Cranks, Conspiracists, and Creationists

Weirdness in Conservative Muslim Environments

Featuring: Taner Edis

There are both differences and striking similarities between misrepresentations of science and scholarship in conservative Muslim and Christian religious circles. Sect leaders and televangelists denounce chess or advertise crank medicine. Arab conspiracy theorists resurrect new versions of antisemitism and feed into an apocalyptic imagination. Turkish religious innovators and stuffy Islamist government officials propagate creationist ideas. The content of Muslim weirdness is sometimes strange, sometimes strangely familiar to any reader of the Skeptical Inquirer. But its context of religious politics, a right-wing populist revolt against secular expertise, increasing inequality, and a hyper-commercial and consolidated media landscape is even more familiar. The Age of Misinformation is more global than we might think.

Taner Edis is a professor of physics at Truman State University. He has written many articles and books critical of paranormal and supernatural claims and is particularly interested in science and religion in an Islamic context.

This talk took place at CSICon Las Vegas on Saturday, October 28th, 2017.