My interview in Croatia(n)

The Croatian journalist Nenad Jarić Dauenhauer, who I’m told is the premier science journalist in the country, interviewed me on Skype about ten days ago, and we had a nice 1.5-hour talk about matters diverse. Nenad, a nonbeliever, asked some good questions, and I really enjoyed the interview. He wrote it up and it was published today in Index HR, a popular Croatian news site. 

If you can read Croatian, or want to chance the translation function (it didn’t do a bad job!), click on the screenshot below:

Here’s my Google translation of the headline:

And yes, I was alarmed, for religious (i.e., Catholic) education during classroom hours is a regular feature of Croatian public schools, with about 92% of kids taking this class. (Students don’t want to be apostates who opt out and sit alone in a room while their peers study Jesus.)

That’s unconscionable in a country that’s supposed to be secular. But Croatia is proving more religious than I assumed, especially for a country that not so long ago was under Communist domination.

Nenad added some data on the religiosity of Croatia (high) and on the percentage of citizens who accept evolution by natural selection (44%; higher than the 19% of Americans who accept naturalistic evolution—but of course the answers depend on how the questions are asked).

However, only 10% of Croatians accept evolution as occurring “under the guidance of a supreme being”, and one could compare that to the 39% of Americans who are theistic evolutionists (evolution occurred but was guided by God); another 39% of Americans are Biblical, young-earth creationists.

Nenad added this, which I solipsistically include: “[The interview] is one of the most popular on my web site Index today. Also many of my friends liked it very much.” It is the longest interview he’s ever published but, as he said, he “had no heart to cram.”

Thanks to Nenad for a fun time and for the publicity.


  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t see any translation function option. Presumably there would be something like an “EN” to click on that would translate the entire page into English, but I don’t see it.

    • mikeyc
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Same same

      • mikeyc
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Nice head shot though. Still a young man.

    • Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      You can always feed the URL into Google Translate.

      • mikeyc
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        AH-HA! Thanks. That works

        • Barry Lyons
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Odd, it didn’t work for me.

      • mikeyc
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I like this translated quote (in response to the contention that the faithful claims there isn’t evidence for the existence of god because he hides himself so people will believe he does via free will);

        “Forgive the expression, but it’s just a shit.”

        hee hee hee. I think something got lost in there but it’s a great quote.

        • Posted October 14, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

          Correct translation would be: “Forgive the expression, but this is just bullshit”.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        When I past the URL, it translates the URL but not the indicated text. What am I doing wrnog?

        • mikeyc
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          hmmmm. Maybe a browser issue? I’m using Firefox and have the translator set to “detect language”.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          When the url appears in the right window & the language highlighted above the window is correct CLICK the blue “Translate” button immediately above the right window

          • rickflick
            Posted October 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            Thanks. That was helpful. I guess I wanted the machine to read my mind for me.

  2. Posted October 13, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I happen to know Croatian. A more exact translation for the title would be:

    “World renown biologist: I am horrified that Croatia does cathechism to its children”.

    • Henry
      Posted October 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Not quite. The correct translation is

      “I am horrified by what Croatia is doing to its children by catechism”

  3. rickflick
    Posted October 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


  4. sparc
    Posted October 14, 2018 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I must have seen this left-handed DNA on hundreds of posters. Still, the vast majority of existing real DNA remains right-handed.

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