Creationism Goes Global, from American to Islamic Fundamentalism


1 Jan 2010

Evolution, History of Science

Ronald L. Numbers

Salman Hameed

The lecture in this video was the evening keynote address given by Ronald L. Numbers on October 2, 2009 as a part of Hampshire College’s conference, “Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World”.  Numbers discusses the rise of creationist movements in the United States, primarily in Christianity and Islam, and their connections to the Islamic world, focusing in part on the ideas of Adnan Oktar and the Harun Yahya group.

Topics discussed include:  William Jennings Bryan, the Scopes trial (1925), “gap theory”, Noah’s flood, Young Earth creationism, Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research, Duane Gish, micro-evolution, BAV (Turkish Science Research Foundation), materialism, anti-Semitism, Communism, intelligent design, Jewish anti-evolutionism.

The speaker is introduced by Salman Hameed.  Questions and answers are not included in this video.

Ron Numbers is the Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has written extensively about religion and science in the United States (and elsewhere), and about myths about science and religion.


There is relatively little about Islam or science here, except to the extent they are presented within the ideas of particular anti-evolution groups.  The ideas of those groups do not represent the historical mainstream of Islamic thought or academic scientific thought.  Dr. Numbers’ own views do not misrepresent either Islam or science.

The historical material and connections drawn here are sound.

About Salman Hameed

Salman Hameed trained as an astronomer and teaches about the intersections between religion and science. He received his undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy from State University of New York, Stony Brook (1994) and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University (2001). Hameed went on to become a fellow in the astronomy department at Smith College and University of Massachusetts Amherst before he settled at Hampshire College in 2005. As of 2015, Hameed is an Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities and an endowed chair, in addition to being the Director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies at Hampshire.

Hameed’s publications include articles in The Guardian newspaper, the Zygon Journal of Religion and Science, and Religion Dispatches. He also frequently writes on subjects concerning science and religion in his blog, Irtiqa (the Urdu word for evolution). A collection of some of Hameed’s work, including videos, may be found as part of his biography on the Eqbal Ahmed website. His academic profile can also be found through the Hampshire College website. Hameed is also active on Twitter and other social media as of 2015 and has a personal website.

Selected Bibliography:

About Salman Hameed.” Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education. EACPE, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Dr. Salman Hameed.” American Islamic Congress. American Islamic Congress, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Irtiqa. N.p., n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. “Salman Hameed Profile.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Twitter. Twitter, n.d.

Salman Hameed.” Hampshire College. Hampshire College, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.