Creationism is growing in the Muslim world, from Turkey to Pakistan to Indonesia, international academics said last month as they gathered here to discuss the topic.
But, they said, young-Earth creationists, who believe God created the universe, Earth and life just a few thousand years ago, are rare, if not nonexistent....
More and more seem to be joining the ranks of the so-called old-Earth creationists. They do not quarrel with astronomers and geologists, just biologists, insisting that life is the creation of God, not the happenstance consequence of random occurrences.
The debate over evolution is only now gaining prominence in many Islamic countries as education improves and more students are exposed to the ideas of modern biology.
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If this movement becomes large enough, I wonder if there will be a corresponding strengthening of 'old-earth creationism' among Christians? Competition works among religious groups, just like it does in the marketplace.
One way to look at the emergence of creationism among Muslims is as a reaction to the increase in educational opportunities in the Muslim world. As more and more young Muslims are taught about evolution, the more it poses a threat to traditional Islamic teachings about the creation of man. Likewise, if Islamic 'old-earth creationism' has stronger intellectual appeal than Christian 'young-earth creationism' to people questioning matters of religion, you may see a strengthening of Christian 'old-earth creationism' as both religions compete for converts.