Monday, August 23, 2010

Faith schools and Richard Dawkins, a quick word

I think you'd have to have been living in a cave to not hear about Richard Dawkins and his famous book The God Delusion. The man is a respected scientist and he has written some highly successful books on popular science but he attacks religion with a ferocity that I find unsettling. At some point I will make the time to read what he has to say and digest it thoroughly. On the one hand, I don't think he's a crackpot and anybody fiercely dedicated to the truth and only the truth is someone I respect, even if he has different beliefs. I'm like that because we all don't know. We're trying to do our best - well, some of us are - and we are all trying to pick our way through this maze called life with the most reliable pointers and signs we can find, in my case it is the Qur'an. Still, his quixotic stance in promoting atheism as if it is a religion in itself, or as if it is synonymous with free thinkers, makes me wonder how different he is from those dogmatic people he so thoroughly dislikes. Faith schools in the UK are particularly known for offering excellent educational curriculums for students and are highly sought after, so he's being a bit unfair when he attempts to maul them.

I'm not going to comment further on the man and his work until I've had a chance to review it but I will say unequivocally that I have no problem as a Muslim with evolution, with the fact that there are billions of stars and other worlds; that the universe is expanding, collapsing, or infinite; or that we are all programmed by our genes. There is simply no contradiction between an intelligent, non-superstitious reading of Islamic beliefs and proper scientific evidence. More importantly, crackpots like Adnan Oktam, aka Harun Yahya do not represent me and are hardly what I consider to be credible authorities on anything at all. Yet it astounds me how people put me in a box with a label as soon as they realise I'm Muslim. Anyway, I rest my case, for now...


Anonymous said...

Well said, Maysa. I have relatives for whom atheism is a religion, friends for whom freedom of speech a religion.

Look forward to your thoughts after reading the book.

Hamoudi Al-Assaf said...

Man , i have never seen or heard about a muslim who beleives in Evolution. You are the first muslim i hear about who believes in Evolution. Most muslim scholars i have met and read about simply scold at the idea of evolution and label Darwin as a jew. There is nothing mentioned in the Quraan about Evolution, neither in Muhammad's ahadith. If you deeply think about it, the fact that life came through evolution denies the idea of Intelligent design, which Islamists call "God".

All scientific evidence points to Evolution. We almost know everything about how life came to be on this earth. It will take a lot of time for us to get a clear picture of how this universe came to be in the first place, but it may or may not happen. Cosmology is still waiting for it's Darwin. Maybe there are people on some other planet who know it all, but they are too far away to reach us.

In my honest opinion, i believe Religion and Science are totally different things. Religion is about superstitious things that may or may not exist, but science is about Solid facts (which are subject to change)

The point Richard Dawkins was making against Faith Schools was that Religion blinds people into progressing. But non-religious people have more to give to life because they know things are always changing so what they say know now might not be right tomorrow and vice versa. Whereas, religious people and their prophets and books are always right ( in all matters, including society, inheritance, science, ect...), and they may NEVER be subject to any criticism or questioning, so religion breeds a stubborn and blind generation not capable of progressing ( as in Saudi Arabia for example ).

Look at the situation in Saudi Arabia, they have all that oil and fortune and their people have not been able to contribute anything to humanity.

While take Japan, "bald el buzziyeen wel kefar ", as Islamists say, has contributed more to science and the world in 50 years than other religions have done in 1400 years . Why ? Because they have no fairytales and superstitions to blind them.

Make sure you watch his documentaries , "The root of all evil ", and "Enemies of Reason".

Also make sure you read "Wahm el E3jaz el 3elmi Fel Eslam". It elaborates my point further about how religion and science do not mix, and not only that, but the dangers of religion on science and the progress of humanity.

Maysaloon said...

Well thanks for that Hamoudi, instead of asking me what I think about the subject you go off and write me this mini-essay where you build a straw man that you can then tear apart. You know if people listened more and talked less they'd realise that a lot of arguments don't need to happen.

Maysaloon said...

Thanks Kinzi, and always a pleasure when you drop by. Like a cool breeze on a hot day.

KittySigurdardottir. said...

Hamoudi,I know by first hand account that the root of all evil is the love of money.Does the documentary tell us that? If it does not,then I am not interested because that would be a lie.And as for the Japanese,I've spent some time in Korea where I was totally flabbergasted by the gentle,calm nature and the peace of the Korean people and how they have tolerated the Japanese's cruel treatment of them in past history,I haven't got a clue how they carried on without giving up but became stronger as the result of the treatment,of course the Americans were so good to them.Americans on the average have such gentle nature as we know of course. I've been once in Japan and was treaded so cruelly that I'm still a little ticket off,although I have forgiven the Japanese man,instead I'll pray for him.Needless to say he represented Japan to me and I was not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Maysa, thanks! Sounds like you were a cool breeze for others yesterday, may Allah give you ample opportunity to continue that ministry this hot Ramadan. :)