Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stunned by the Obvious

For weeks, commentators and analysts in the Muslim world have been grappling with the implications that a Muslim doctor and engineer, at the pinnacle of their society, may have been behind the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow last month.

The question being asked in many educated and official circles is this: how could such acts be committed by people who have supposedly dedicated their lives to scientific rationalism and to helping others?

The answer, some scientists and analysts say, may lie in the way that a growing movement of fervent Muslims use science as reinforcement of religious belief, rather than as a means for questioning and exploring the foundations of the natural world.

Muslim scientists are among the most politicized groups in the region, and the Muslim approach to the scientific method, in the most extreme cases, can squelch the freewheeling curiosity at the heart of scientific discovery.

"Fundamentalist-type attitudes are relatively common among people in applied science in the Muslim world," Edis said. "The conception has been that modern science is developed outside, and we need to bring it into our societies without it corrupting our culture."

In other words, science is a tool for furthering an ideology rather than a means of examining core beliefs.

"Wherever you go in the Muslim world, those who are most violent and most extremist are the ones who have the most scientific tendencies," Abu Hanieh said. "One could even argue that sciences might contribute to increasing one's radical thinking if the radical finds justifications to his philosophy through science," he said.


First off, the idea that someone is rational in his outlook simply because he makes his living in a scientific or technical profession is a non sequitur, as Vox Day and others have demonstrated many times. When one delves into the "scientific" explanations for life on Earth in its current form, it becomes clear that scientists are as susceptible to ideology and faith-based conclusions as the poor benighted masses they look down upon from the lofty heights of Mt. Elitism.

As for Islam, it has a long history of utilizing science in furtherance or support of its tenets, not in finding the truth. This is neither a new development, nor an "extreme" one. I notice the consistent use of labels like "extreme" and "radical" in describing normal behaviors of Muslims that constitute logical extensions of their beliefs.

Apparently, some "moderates" (Muslims who can't afford bombvests) in the Islamic world have excavated the lie that others unearthed a long time ago: that poverty or ignorance causes spontaneous Muslim combustion. In reality, ideas do.

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