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This week in censoring scientific discourse via the legal system, Harun Yahya edition

A good way to convince people your opponents are wrong is to put a red 'X' through a cheesy and outdated depiction of one of their central hypotheses--and then write FALSE next to it. (image from Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation) Unbelievable -- it's now officially a trend. While we were busy breaking the story that Stuart Pivar is using the courts to pursue one of America's most-read science blogs, Harun Yahya (the pen name of Adnan Oktar), Turkish millionaire and conspicuous creationist, managed to get all of blocked in Turkey because of comments he didn't like that appeared on blogs hosted by that site. (Thanks for the tip, Adamant / Russel Seitz!) is the fourth biggest blog hosting site on the internet, and is home to more than 1 million blogs. According to the founding developer of Wordpress, Matt Mullenweg, his site was doing more than 12 million pageviews a month in Turkey -- in other words, a large, thriving citizen-journalist community has been completely cut off because of the ego of a single wealthy creationist. Yahya / Oktar claims that some of what was said about him on hosted blogs was slander. I don't know how the laws work in Turkey, but in the U.S., the procedure for addressing such claims differs somewhat from the tactics Yahya employed: getting the government to use its central firewall for censorship. This is a man whose magnum opus -- the Atlas of Creation -- asserts that no evolution has actually taken place since the dawn of time. He cites as evidence the many fossils that resemble modern forms -- this is an easy enough trick when you're dealing with the coelacanth or the crayfish, both of which are 'living fossils' -- but doesn't works so well when you get to primates. But of course Adnan has an answer: on page 642 of his book, Yahya declares A. Afarensis to be merely "an ordinary ape species." On page 589 of the same text, Yahya captions an image of the burning twin towers with this bon mot:
No matter what ideology they may espouse, those who perpetrate terror all over the world are, in reality, Darwnists. Darwinism is the only philosophy that places a value on--and thus encourages--conflict.
Yes, Mr. Yahya, and war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. And please, stop sending review copies of Atlas of Creation to our offices -- we get enough crank letters as it is. via Adamant

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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