With creationism now coming in Christian and Muslim versions, scientists, teachers and theologians in France are debating ways to counteract what they see as growing religious attacks on science.French scientists rebut U.S., Muslim creationism (Reuters via Yahoo News)
Bible-based criticism of evolution, once limited to Protestant fundamentalists in the United States, has become an issue in France now that Pope Benedict and some leading Catholic theologians have criticized the neo-Darwinist view of creation.
An Islamist publisher in Turkey mass-mailed a lavishly illustrated Muslim creationist book to schools across France recently, prompting the Education Ministry to proscribe the volume and question the way the story of life is taught here.
The Bible and the Koran say God directly created the world and everything in it. In Christianity, fundamentalists believe this literally but the largest denomination, Catholicism, and most mainline Protestant churches read it more symbolically.
This literalism led Christian fundamentalists to reject the theory of evolution elaborated in the 19th century by Charles Darwin, the foundation stone of modern biology. Muslim scholars also dispute evolution but have not made this a major issue.
"There is a growing distrust of science in public opinion, especially among the young, and that worries us," said Philippe Deterre, a research biologist and Catholic priest who organized a colloquium on creationism for scientists at the weekend.
Perhaps we've dismissed Dinesh D'Souza's ideas too quickly. Plug your umbilical cords into your belief systems and stop that pesky thinking forever!