A few days ago, I found a book in my mail box. It was made from glossy, high-quality paper, some 300 pages thick and titled The Evolution Deceit. Since it’s no secret that I have disdain for pseudo-science, especially when it serves to spread religion, I thought a friend was poking fun at me, giving me a fake book, or a well-made satire. After all, even at a cursory glance, it hits all the wide-eyed creationist highlights and the introduction reads like something straight from The Onion.
[…] the theory of evolution constitutes the underpinning of a deceptive philosophy that has held sway over a large number of people: Materialism.
Now, that is high satire. I mean, come on – claiming that a natural order can become an ideology is funny. I wish I had thought of that.
However, I quickly found out that not only is the book real, it also represents a tragically inept attempt at spreading religion:
- First, the book is peddling Creationism. Here in Switzerland, levels of education are high, and only a few stubborn half-wits believe in the literacy of ‘God created Adam from clay, and Eve from a rib’. The potential audience for this kind of book, the occasional US ex-pat aside, is minuscle.
- Then, as I was stunned to discover, the book is selling Islamic Creationism. This is astonishing for the simple fact that unlike Christianity, Islam never had a problem with evolution. So this book first creates a problem where none exists, and then tries to sell Islam by solving a non-existing issue. And if this wasn’t enough, Switzerland is a predominantly Christian country, with very little sympathy for Islam. So if you do find someone stupid enough to believe in creationism, they’d already be a Christian.
If you want to sell that kind of crazy here, I don’t think that you could pick a worse combination than Islam and Creationism – even if you wanted to.
The book itself is pretty much what you’d expect from someone foolish enough to try and use ‘science’ to disprove Evolution: misrepresentation (‘Darwin claimed in Origin of Species that Whales evolved from Bears’), misattributions, false assumptions, misdirection, really bad math (these Creationists sure love miscalculating probability), outright slander (my favorite: ‘Darwin is responsible for Hitler, Nazis and Communism’), allegations of conspiracy against ‘alternative’ science, and of course mountains of suggestive evidence that has been taken out of context. It doesn’t help that the author is also a conspiracy theorist and – this is a first – has both denied and affirmed the Holocaust.
But why am I writing about a deranged, scientifically illiterate or dishonest author who is prepared to lie in order to sell his religion? After all, there are tons of those, and nothing of what he writes is original nor noteworthy.
It’s not so much the fact that yet another scientific ignoramus is sacrificing his integrity on the altar of his imaginary master. It’s this: the book has enormous production values: high quality paper, lots of good photos and illustrations, impeccable layout, and well translated. The production values are higher than most school books I’ve seen recently, and it is distributed for free (I was wrong – no friend dropped off that book; everyone on my block got one as unsolicited mail).
I find it unsettling that someone would spend this amount of money to produce and distribute a book dedicated to undermining knowledge, reason and science. This book undeniably looks and reads better than most academic books I read at university. I’m worried what it could do to a poor community where real science books are difficult to come by and where people have little means to discern science from hateful claptrap.
This book wasn’t written to educate, to better this world and humanity. It’s been written, produced and distributed to prey on unsuspecting people; to infect minds with a divisive, dangerous ideology, disguised as science.
It serves as yet another unwelcome reminder of the fact that there is no evil that fundamental Christians do that Islamists won’t imitate.