Hinsliff has nothing on Evans
Evans is ostensibly addressing the merits of a comment by Lord Norman Tebbit, in which Tebbit claimed that “nowhere in the Muslim world has there been any real advance in science or art or literature or technology in the last 500 years.” Evans suggests that Tebbit has a point, at least with regard to technology, and attempts to put forward an explanation. Citing the work of a Harvard scholar, Evans says that, for cultures dominated by concern for God, there is little reason for curiosity about anything else. He then gives us this curious series of statements.
To be honest, the comment about the US is so out of place and incoherent with the surrounding text (Is the US really an example of a non-Muslim theocracy? Does America’s technological achievements really compare unfavorably “in contrast to” those of northern Europe? I don’t think so.) that it strikes me as simply a snide comment inserted for the amusement of an editor, and it accidentally got left in the published piece. It does seem to me to be just the kind of contemptuous comment that would get a few yucks in the BBC newsroom. But, intentionally part of the piece or not, its presence does give us an insight into Evans’ thinking, which seems to be typical BBC condescension towards Americans with religious beliefs.
Of course, theocracies are not a Muslim monopoly.
The rulers of the Christian Catholic theocracies of mediaeval Spain and Italy had a deep suspicion of new knowledge - witness the persecution of Galileo after he challenged the view that the sun revolved around the earth.
And today, one wonders how much curiosity about evolution there might be in the American Bible Belt where evolution's scientific worth is denied.
In contrast, the countries of northern Europe with a different, perhaps looser set of attitudes produced many of the technological developments which were crucial to later industrial development - small developments with a big impact, like mechanical clocks or reading glasses that enabled craftsmen to make more detailed machinery.
BTW, who strikes you as more incurious about the scientific value of evolutionary theory, those who seem interested in investigating its possible deficiencies or those who refuse to acknowledge that any such deficiencies might exist?