The Muslim population's acceptance of evolution is necessary for the religiously bound nations to excel in science and technology - advancements that can ultimately yield power and prestige on a global scale, Hameed said.
"We simply cannot afford a mass rejection of evolution by one-sixth of the world's population," said Hameed, referring to the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide.
"Muslims are already behind in contributions to science and technology," Hameed said. "If they reject evolution, there goes the hope that they could catch up. How many geniuses in this large population could we lose because of a culture that rejects evolution?"
This issue of the paper also includes as a pendant an interview with Northampton author Barry Werth on his Banquet at Delmonico's: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America (Random House, 2009).
Q: Why did Americans embrace Darwin's "The Origin of Species" in the late 1800s?
A: (Evolution) was an extraordinarily popular idea, much more popular here than in any other country, except maybe Germany. It fit neatly with America's idea about itself: capitalism, the economy, we had just fought a war (the Civil War) in which one side won and one side lost and the victors in business and in government and in war all felt this was part of the natural process. The winners went on to reproduce and create the future.