He has his own theories

Lou Yumlu has written his first book challenging Darwin's theory of evolution

Lou Yumlu has written his first book challenging Darwin's theory of evolution

August 21, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Salih "Lou" Yumlu

Age - 79.

Hometown - Gztete, Turkey.

Where would you see Yumlu ? - You might have seen him playing outdoor tennis year 'round, met him at an event sponsored by the Washington County Interfaith Coalition or read one of his many letters to the editor in the newspaper.

Yumlu has been a fixture in the community for 36 years, since he took an engineering job with Mack Trucks in 1971. He retired in 1994.

A recent accomplishment of Yumlu's was the publishing of his first book. Titled "God, Evolutionary Theories, Global Economy and Ethics," he challenges Darwin's theory of evolution and explores the role of big corporations in our lives.


"I just wanted to spread my message to the world. I hope they (readers) will write with comments whether they like it or not. I'd rather be criticized than ignored," Yumlu said of the self-published book.

Yumlu was born in a small village near Istanbul, Turkey, and educated by French monks in high school, where he developed a love for science. His father, who was a pharmacist, also encouraged a love of science.

"I always had a love to search and research. It must be my curiosity," he said.

Yumlu earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul and a Ph.D. from Imperial College in London. He worked for Shell Oil Co. in England and has also worked in Canada and Columbus, Ind., before moving to Hagerstown.

He has lived in his Spring Valley home since 1971.

Research for Yumlu's book took about 2 1/2 years, then another year-and-a-half to get it into "good English." He's already begun the research for another book, this one about how people misinterpret religion and blame religion for the trouble in the world.

He is also the author or co-author of 12 technical papers and a U.S. patent.

Yumlu is active in the local mosque, and is a member of the Islamic Society as well as the Washington County Interfaith Coalition. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month at the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren at 1 p.m.

His second wife, Zada, whom he married in 1974, is a Christian. They each have four children and a total of 14 grandchildren.

He values the mission of the interfaith coalition, to further the community's understanding of each other.

"Each religion says the same thing - your belief won't be complete until you wish on others what you want for yourself," Yumlu said.

Hobbies - Yumlu, who learned French as a student, started playing tennis with co-workers when he started working at Mack. He still plays regularly, although he's had some knee problems that sideline him from time-to-time.

"To me, tennis is the most civilized sport. You shake hands whether you win or lose. Whenever I can, I play," Yumlu said.

He enjoys reading for pleasure and said he hasn't been to a movie theater in 28 years and doesn't watch sitcoms on TV, because he thinks they are "morally corrupt and degrading." Instead, he watches nature programs and The History Channel.

Yumlu and his wife enjoy traveling, but with her mother in a nursing home, they have limited their travels.

What does Yumlu like best about Washington County? - Yumlu said people comment on how conservative this area is, because voters tend to vote Republican.

"My friends are not too conservative. To tell the truth, I really don't understand what liberal or conservative means. Why compact myself into one compact dimension? I sometimes feel liberal, sometimes conservative, sometimes radical," Yumlu said.

For more information on Yumlu's book, go online to or call 1-888-232-4444.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail

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