Muslims annoy Jones and Dawkins, according to an article in the Daily Mail 28 November 2011. Muslim biology and medical students at University College London are boycotting lectures on Darwinian evolution because they claim evolution is incompatible with the Koran. Emeritus Professor Steve Jones, an evolutionary geneticist, told the Sunday Times: “I had one or two slightly frisky discussions years ago with kids who belonged to fundamentalist Christian churches, now it is Islamic overwhelmingly. They don’t come (to lectures) or they complain about it or they send notes or emails saying they shouldn’t have to learn this stuff. What they object to – and I don’t really understand it, I am not religious – they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God”.
Richard Dawkins, a retired Oxford University Professor, has also expressed his concern at the number of Muslim students who leave, or do not attend, evolution lectures. Jones questioned why such students would want to study biology at all when it obviously conflicts with their beliefs.
Editorial Comment: Since this editor was a University lecturer in biomedical sciences for many years, I can state from personal experience it is not biology that is the cause of the conflict. Belief that living things were created is quite compatible with the study of biology and medicine, as the more we study living things the more evidence we find for design followed by degeneration, and the less the data supports the concept of evolution of increasing complexity by naturalistic chance random processes.
Fundamentalist atheists like Jones and Dawkins need to face up to the fact that what is happening is a clash of world views, of faiths – in this case it is Atheism vs Islam, and they should be prepared to engage in proper debate, rather than demand that those who disagree with them be silenced by governments and education authorities. For this reason we recommend Christian biology students do not boycott lectures, but actually stand up and be counted by:
a) being informed about the religion of your lecturer:
b) becoming learned about the weaknesses of evolution, and of exposing them;
c) being informed about the Word of God; and
d) always, as the least learned of the apostles, the fisherman Peter stated, being prepared to give a reason, with courtesy and respect, for the hope they have in Christ, to both atheists and Muslims. (See I Peter 3:15)
(Ref. education, philosophy)
Evidence News 7 December 2011