Adnan Oktar is the real name of the pseudonymous creationist Harun Yahya, who published the widely distributed and lavishly embellished Atlas of Creation (if you’re a biologist, you’ve gotten one). Here’s my copy, which, though gathering dust atop my cabinet, has defied being discarded:
Okatar’s schtick about evolution, which is the subject of the two volumes of this lavish book (and makes a brief appearance at 6:50 and then again at 8:25 in the video below), is that because we can find old fossil species similar to living ones, evolution couldn’t have occurred. (One of his “living species” in the book, which he didn’t realize, is actually an insect fly tied by a fisherman!). I won’t go after that canard now, for we have kittens to watch.
Oktar has been accused of Holocaust denialism, of being funded by powerful and unsavory anonymous individuals in Turkey (it must have cost at least $100 to produce the Atlas, and thousands of copies were sent out gratis), and is a troublemaker in other ways. As Wikipedia notes:
In more recent years, Adnan Oktar has been known for his televangelism on his TV channel, A9 TV, noted especially for featuring ‘kittens’, his female devotees. His organization is commonly referred to as a cult, and he has been described as the “most notorious cult leader in Turkey.” Oktar filed more than 5 thousand lawsuit against individuals for defamation in the last decade, and led to blocking of a number of prominent websites in Turkey [JAC: those websites included, for a while, The Richard Dawkins Foundation site].
What about those “kittens”? Reader Ken called my attention to this video on the Broadly channel, a section of Vice devoted to women’s interests. But this is of interest to both genders, for it not only shows how creepy Oktar is, but how he’s assembled a bizarre cult around him. The reporting is by Meher Ahmad of Broadly, who wasn’t allowed to do her own filming during her encounter with Adnan and the Kittens (that’s a great name for a rock group).
Get a load of the oliaginous Oktar and his coterie of bleached-blond, lip-plumped acolytes, who, he says, need to be relieved of the strictures of Islam. I’m not sure, though, that this is palpably superior to women in burkas:
Note that the parting gift to Ahmad is the Atlas of Creation. In the end, I don’t think there’s any great lesson about evolution or religion here except that Oktar is not only deluded but perverted.