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Anti-Darwinists turned away by Israeli academia - Comments

black wolf's Avatar Comment 1 by black wolf

The article doesn't name the Turkish side on this. The Dean apparently knows more, and if these are indeed people from a creationist organization, it is safe to assume that they would seize the opportunity to spread their false ideology. That's par for the course in their strategy book as we have countless examples for. They may start by discussing religious scholarship, but they will steer any debate or lecture towards un- and pseudoscientific attacks on evolution theory.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 14:38:00 UTC | #201178

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 2 by al-rawandi

Israel scores one more point in my book.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 14:43:00 UTC | #201182

steve8282's Avatar Comment 3 by steve8282

the fact that they could not figure this out until the delegation arrived does not speak will of their professionalism.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 15:30:00 UTC | #201213

Vaal's Avatar Comment 4 by Vaal

Did they bring "Expelled" in Turkish with them?

Turkish scholars were going to talk AGAINST Darwin's theory about The Origin of Species? How then are they scholars? Scholars of deceit, religious propaganda, disinformation and anti-science. That is an oxymoron, if ever I heard one.

Bravo, the Israelis, to kick into touch this boorish stupidity. Is it just me, but whenever I see the expression religious scholar, you can almost guarantee the next few sentences they are going to be spouting is unmitigated bollox.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 15:56:00 UTC | #201221

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 5 by huzonfurst

Perfect! Add "religious scholar" to the dictionary of oxymorons.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:04:00 UTC | #201223

MPhil's Avatar Comment 6 by MPhil

Hmmm.... the "religious scholars" I met were actually people studied religions as a sociocultural and ideological phenomenon... not from within... very intelligent people. Perhaps the term has a different meaning in different academic contexts?

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:08:00 UTC | #201225

RamziD's Avatar Comment 7 by RamziD

Why assume that this Turkish delegation was just a creationist front? I think it would have been more productive to let the conference proceed, but take out the discussion on evolution/creationism. There was a more important "interfaith dialogue" that was nixed because of this. As long as there are people who are going to believe in islam and judaism (and despite our abhorrence of religion, it's not going away anytime soon), then "interfaith dialogue" (especially ones that include denouncing radical islam by both sides) can be very important. Academic debate is an important medium for bringing about social change.

Also, like someone else already mentioned, it's not very professional or constructive to cancel an event like this on such short notice and when the speakers had already traveled to Israel.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 16:48:00 UTC | #201236

T4Baxter's Avatar Comment 8 by T4Baxter

Seems to me that "anti Darwinian" sentiment works in our favor wherever it rears it's silly swede. If they are stupid enough to pan the parts of his thesis that have subsequently been corrected, they look like morons. If they are arrogant enough to attempt to subvert the credibility of all the fields of study that have subsequently appeared on the back off Darwin's work! I'm sure the academic community would waste no time at all, in giving them the good news.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:11:00 UTC | #201244

Mango's Avatar Comment 9 by Mango

The Turks say that the anti-evolution part was mistakenly included in the event's activities, so if the Israelis would have talked to them first before canceling the entire conference it would have been better handled. Or maybe the Israelis know more than what this story relays.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:14:00 UTC | #201247

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 10 by Bonzai

Good job Hebrew U!

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:28:00 UTC | #201249

Al420's Avatar Comment 11 by Al420

Religious people are always so touchy. The University didn't want to invite discussion of creationism, so they obviously chose "to maintain the radical image of Islam".
Not to maintain the good name of Charles Darwin

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:49:00 UTC | #201254

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 12 by Cartomancer

These are two serious scientists and not some religious Taliban preachers."
Serious scientists do not deny the validity of evolutionary biology. Whatever else these people were, serious scientists they were not.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:12:00 UTC | #201262

catskill's Avatar Comment 13 by catskill

I had high hopes when I saw the article title. Sadly the talks that were canceled seemed to not be creationist focused, and the details about the whole event seem somewhat... fishy.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:33:00 UTC | #201270

chuckg's Avatar Comment 14 by chuckg

I would like to know if there are any Muslim evolutionary biologists... or Baptists ones for that matter.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:54:00 UTC | #201280

Village_Idiot's Avatar Comment 15 by Village_Idiot

These are two serious scientists and not some religious Taliban preachers.


Hahaha...they planned to talk about uniting between the two religions, didn't they? Turkey is culturally 500 years behind the rest of Europe and the science there gets very "serious" when it comes to uniting religious nonsense. This is just ridiculous!

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 19:02:00 UTC | #201284

rydrum2112's Avatar Comment 16 by rydrum2112

Someone tell me they watched the daily show tonight, and saw Deepak get killed.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 19:17:00 UTC | #201291

hopeful's Avatar Comment 17 by hopeful

Comment #212200 by chuckgoecke "I would like to know if there are any Muslim evolutionary biologists... or Baptists ones for that matter."

I remember reading something by Steven Weinberg (I think) regarding how the middle east was a prominent centre of science 900 years ago, at which time a certain king declared everything to be the work of god, effectively putting a stop to science to this day.

It is a very sad story, when one considers how much suffering could have been avoided in that part of the world had they been free to progress scientifically.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 20:01:00 UTC | #201304

Christopher Davis's Avatar Comment 18 by Christopher Davis

I second Cartomancer's above comment (#12).

Also, I call bullshit on this "interfaith initiative" the only thing Muslim and Christian "religious scholars" have in common is their eagerness to denounce evolution.

Furthermore, the idea that the University's decision not to host a farce is somehow reinforcing the image of Islam as a radical religion is bunk. Islam's image a a radical religion is reinforced everytime on of these dirt-worshipping, woman-hating, virgin seekers blows something up and people die.

Oh but wait! These "scholars" are AGAINST terrorism!

How fucking humane of them.

What they fail to mention is that it isn't terrorism if only infidels die...it's Allah's will.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 21:01:00 UTC | #201320

Raiko's Avatar Comment 19 by Raiko

hese are two serious scientists and not some religious Taliban preachers.


If they were indeed going to talk about something involving pro-creationism, this statement is questionable - especially the 'serious scientists' part.

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 23:58:00 UTC | #201356

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 20 by justinesaracen


I would like to know if there are any Muslim evolutionary biologists.


Of course there are. Contrary to the image that so many Americans have of ALL Muslims being bearded fanatics or women in chador, there are evolutionary scientists in the big universities. A friend of mine has worked a great deal with geneticists in Cairo studying mummy DNA.

I realize it is much more fun to hate Muslims if you view them all as fundamentalists, but there are secularied Muslims too. Muslim scientists may not be at the forefront of genetics, but they are in the global scientific dialog, and, like American scientists, also at odds with the fundies of their respective countries.

In addition,here is an interesting article from Nature Genetics on a large genetic project being developed by the Arab League

http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v38/n8/full/ng0806-851.html

and a quote from it in case you don't want to bother:

Ghazi O. Tadmouri and colleagues (Nucl. Acids Res. 34, D601�"D606, 2006) have assembled the CAGS database, CTGA, that at the time of that publication listed 692 phenotypes for some 235 genes that have been found to be mutated in people living in Arab countries. About a third of the genes responsible for these genetic conditions have not yet been identified, so even in its current state, the CTGA database indicates that the populations it covers constitute a considerable resource for understanding single-gene disorders. Another useful feature of the database is that it assembles links to a large number of regional English-language medical journals that may be unfamiliar to an international readership.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #201363

realaphex's Avatar Comment 21 by realaphex

@Village_Idiot, I'd like to know how did you come to the conclusion that Turkey is 500 years behind Europe? Have you ever been there, have you ever met people from Turkey?

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:25:00 UTC | #201368

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 22 by Enlightenme..

Comment #212224 by hopeful on July 16:

I remember reading something by Steven Weinberg (I think) regarding how the middle east was a prominent centre of science 900 years ago, at which time a certain king declared everything to be the work of god, effectively putting a stop to science to this day.


The one you are most probably referring to would be, not a king, but Al-Ghazali:

Wiki:
"He was a Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, cosmologist, physician, psychologist and mystic of Persian origin,[3][4] and remains one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of Sufi Islamic thought. He is considered a pioneer of the methods of doubt and skepticism,[5] and in one of his major works, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, he changed the course of early Islamic philosophy, shifting it away from the influence of ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and towards cause-and-effect that were determined by God or intermediate angels."

At the Cheltenham science festival I attended a lecture by Jim Al-Khalili, the one who presented the excellent BBC4 series on the atom.

His lecture was on Arabic Science, but I was disappointed to hear him put the demise of it mainly down to the crusades, which I considered to be disinformation.
When I bought up Al-Ghazali in the Q&A he waffled for a bit, but basically belittled his disastrous effect on Arabic/Islamic science.

I stand to be corrected..

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:34:00 UTC | #201372

shonny's Avatar Comment 23 by shonny

21. Comment #212290 by realaphex on July 17, 2008 at 1:25 am
@Village_Idiot, I'd like to know how did you come to the conclusion that Turkey is 500 years behind Europe? Have you ever been there, have you ever met people from Turkey?


Ah, after the Turks abandoned Kemal Atatürk's visions time reeled backwards in Turkey.
Very, very fast!
Much like in the US with the current W.H. occupant, Vacuity, and his mob.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 00:40:00 UTC | #201376

Christopher Davis's Avatar Comment 24 by Christopher Davis

"I realize it is much more fun to hate Muslims if you view them all as fundamentalists, but there are secularied Muslims too."---esuther

It's not fun, or productive, to hate anyone. As for these secularized muslims you refer to, they represent a miniscule minority.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 01:15:00 UTC | #201386

noamzur's Avatar Comment 25 by noamzur

Found some more information on these scholars:

Apparently, according to a commenter on the original site:

The two Turkish gentlemen turned away are authors in our book:

Seckbach, J. & Gordon, R. (eds.) (2008). Divine Action and Natural Selection: Questions of Science and Faith in Biological Evolution [in press], Singapore: World Scientific.


Write me for details. Thanks.
Yours, -Dick Gordon
gordonr@cc.umanitoba.ca


I tried google-ing both the title of the book and of Richard Gordon and found nothing relevant...

Does anyone have more information about this they can share with me/us?

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 02:30:00 UTC | #201417

notsobad's Avatar Comment 26 by notsobad

Turkey is culturally 500 years behind the rest of Europe

What a silly statement. Does you knowledge about Turkey stops before Ataturk's reforms?

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 03:47:00 UTC | #201433

flobear's Avatar Comment 27 by flobear

I know a lot of people on this forum dislike Israel, but this article is a testament to the fact that, unlike their neighbors, they have a lot of things right in their country.

Noamzur: Good job digging that up. Funny sometimes how small the world is.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 04:15:00 UTC | #201447

noamzur's Avatar Comment 28 by noamzur

@flobear - that was my point submitting this one - to show that the Middle East is not one big, equally backward place. With all the criticism there is about, we should also have a chance to see the things that ARE working properly!

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 04:21:00 UTC | #201449

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 29 by al-rawandi

enlightenme...





Al-Ghazali was an occassionalist. Meaning he thought a candle burned because Allah willed it, and when you put a glass over the flame, it went out because Allah willed it. There was no intermediary reactions, only that of the divine will.

He wrote a number of works on a number of topics, for instance he wrote on "The Duties of Brotherhood in Islam" and his most famous work is "The Alchemy of Happiness". A lot of Muslim thought at this time revolved around celestial bodies. For instance al-Farabi devised the notion that Allah is like the sun and Muhammad like the moon, and that we see the light of god only as reflected by a prophet. He went on to enumerate the various intellects (Potential, Acquired, etc...).

The thing about many Muslim philosophers was their connection to medicine (Qutb al-Din Shirazi, Ibn Sina, et al.).

I don't think it is fair to say the Crusades destroyed this, as they didn't penetrate to the areas where philosophy was centered (Iraq, Persia, E. Syria). What doomed the philosophy was the fact that Islamic religious thought became more solidified and rendered literal readings as the most accurate.






esuther,




I went to a museum in Riyadh (I forget the name). I was shocked to see all kinds of fossils and dinosaurs, and the theories on the extinction of dinosaurs. I don't recall any exhibits on evolution, but I have the feeling it may have been presented... but I cannot promise that.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 04:48:00 UTC | #201452

Ishruul's Avatar Comment 30 by Ishruul

Ultimate teaching tool of evolution coming soon to all. I'm really anticipating this one.

http://www.spore.com/ftl

Seem childish, cartoony or whatever, but hey! Even mister Dawkins would have used this in Growing up in the Universe.

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 05:05:00 UTC | #201458