Monday, May 15, 2006


Bosnia's Answer to the Intelligent Design Movement

Craig Smith published a fascinating story in today's New York Times about a Bosnian Indiana Jones who believes he's discovered a 25,000 year old pyramid -- the world's oldest and largest -- buried under a hill not far from Sarajevo.

Although construction of the pyramid would have to have taken place before the last Ice Age, Semir Osmanagic, an amateur archaeologist, is so utterly convinced he's right that he's been able to talk villagers from nearby Visoko into trudging up the hill with picks and shovels to help him dig it out.

Archaeologists, geologists, and historians have told Osmanagic and his helpers that their hill was "formed when an ancient lake bed buckled from tectonic movement of the earth's crust millions of years ago," according to Smith, but the digging goes on.

You might think of the project as Bosnia's answer to the intelligent design movement because, in their own way, the parallels are stunning.

Interest in the discovery comes not from science, but from a deep need to recover the nation's pride following the ethnic cleansing of the civil war. Visoko is the stronghold of the Bosnian national party.

Although 21 experts published an open letter in Bosnian newspapers in April describing Mr. Osmanagic's project as bad science and manipulative sociology, "largely uncritical television and newspaper reports have made the photogenic Mr. Osmanagic a national celebrity" and volunteers have flocked to his side, reports Smith.

Although Osmanagic studied economics and politics in Sarajevo, his true interest, is "the real history of civilization."

Osmanagic's curiously symmetrical Bosnian hill exhibits all the characteristics of intelligent design, as well:

"Nature could not have created three identical hills in this pattern," Osmanagic tells Smith with matter-of-fact confidence."

"Every flat surface, every straight line only confirms his hypothesis," writes Smith. "He sees four clearly delineated sides to the Visoko hill, corresponding to the cardinal points. 'That was enough to convince me that we are talking about pyramids here," he said, standing on the gentler slope of the hill's west side, the 'ceremonial causeway.'"

Many people see what they want to see. Osmanagic and his followers desperately want to see a glorious Bosnian past. Behe, Dembski, Johnson and the rest want more than anything else to see the hand of God -- their God -- in the creation.

No evidence will ever convince them otherwise.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?