Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey’s assertion that, amongst other things, ‘no great invention has come for many hundred years from Muslim countries’ was always going to whip up Muslim anger, accusations of racism and almost tiresome listing of Muslim achievements.
Carey may have a point, but he finds himself hurling stones from inside a glasshouse. Christianity is certainly not a religion of science or invention, but has a long history of suppressing discovery. Pope John Paul II may have admitted the mistake – after a special commission – in 1992, but some still hold that the church was right and Galileo was wrong when he pushed the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun (buy their book).
Meanwhile, Christians across America are getting so good at promoting creationism, that briefing documents like this have to be issued to teachers. For these people, a lack of empirical evidence is no barrier to teaching creationism as if it were a verifiable scientific discovery – biologists, geologists and palaeontologists are part of some great conspiracy.
Today, no religion enables a culture of innovation; we owe that to secularism and tolerance.