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← Islam, Charles Darwin and the denial of science

Islam, Charles Darwin and the denial of science - Comments

Voodoo's Avatar Comment 1 by Voodoo

What poor decision making of these students. Why invest everything into a degree you refuse to agree with...?

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:26:57 UTC | #896540

achromat666's Avatar Comment 2 by achromat666

Cognitive Dissonance notwithstanding, this is a bizarre issue to have to deal with: the idea that you would seek an education in a field you're fundamentally opposed to in in most basic form.

It fascinates me that tradition, culture and faith actually trumps actual evidence in so many instances for people. I never cease to be befuddled by it.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:38:59 UTC | #896545

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Comment 3 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Interesting article. Can anyone who also uses Firefox with NoScript enabled tell me which one of the 17 domains listed I need to grant script access to in order to read the comments on the original article in the telegraph? Just enabling the Telegraph and disqus appears to be insufficient.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:39:46 UTC | #896546

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 4 by Schrodinger's Cat

Religion is what happens when someone forgets to add 'Once upon a time.....' to the start of their story.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:58:18 UTC | #896551

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 5 by drumdaddy

Support networks are needed to help the brainwashed to bridge the gap to reality, thereby affording them full, productive and satisfying lives. If they are bright enough to pursue science then we can't just let them fail because they were intellectually abused as children.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:03:46 UTC | #896555

dilated_in_disbelief's Avatar Comment 6 by dilated_in_disbelief

Comment 5 by drumdaddy :

Support networks are needed to help the brainwashed to bridge the gap to reality, thereby affording them full, productive and satisfying lives. If they are bright enough to pursue science then we can't just let them fail because they were intellectually abused as children.

And they say that you need religion to care about others. Job well done, drumdaddy.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:09:07 UTC | #896561

danconquer's Avatar Comment 7 by danconquer

In the article, Steve Jones clearly states that he has had both christian and muslim undergraduates complain that he "demeans their religion". There was little in the article that related exclusively to Islamic anti-evolutionists.

So why has the sub-editor at the Maily Telegraph singled out Islam in the headline? Anyone reading the article can see that it is religions(pl.) which are being critiqued. There is no uniquely Islamic perspective offered by the article whatsoever. I'm all in favour of articles that address uniquely Islamic issues... But this wasn't such an article!

There is a lamentable, sloppy trend in British newspapers. 'Islam' is like a trigger which is being pulled at every available opportunity, whether it is warranted or not; just another lazy shorthand designed to press the same old xenophobic, irrational buttons in gullible readers. The media have form in this now. Another chipwrapper had a front-page headline claiming "Christmas 'Nicked' By Muslims" when infact the local council in question had put up illuminations for all the major supernaturalist groups... So what possible justification for singling out 'muslims' in the headline?!

There is no excuse for it. Though no doubt someone on here will be along very shortly to fabricate one.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:14:32 UTC | #896564

tll's Avatar Comment 8 by tll

Christ... With the exception of the long arms doesn't that little chimp like skeleton on the table really look like a little human skeleton! How and the hell can a person deny evolution with that in their face?

However, the other bigger skeleton in the pic looks more like me New Years Day early morning!

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:15:46 UTC | #896565

Nerevarine's Avatar Comment 9 by Nerevarine

Comment 1 by Voodoo :

What poor decision making of these students. Why invest everything into a degree you refuse to agree with...?

Perhaps their dream is to learn enough about biology to be able to pick apart and refute Darwinian evolution?

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:19:17 UTC | #896566

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 10 by Vorlund

I blame the Uni for putting up with this kind of shit in the first place. Students wishing to enter these courses should have an entry test based on evolution, if they fail it they should be sent away to do something like knitting or macrame. No student could be considered a good candidate for engineering if they come to uni without some facility in the underpinning wisdom of newtonian mechanics and calculus. Intelligent falling or doG causes particles to behave in this way will see them off after the first year. If religion had anything to do with it, we'd need not calculate rocket trajectories or satellite orbits we may as well launch space probes willy nilly with a few incantations and leave the 'hard to think about bits' to the great architect and trust the launch procedure fits his cosmic plan..

Evolution explains biology and the latter is just a collection of facts without it, the medical profession is capable of legislating on issues such as testing surgical competence in the workplace so why not in this instance also?

Teaching evolution doesn't demean religion it dispenses with it and those who can't see that demean themselves. They are not worthy of holding any qualification in which evolutionary theory is a key underpinning concept.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:28:05 UTC | #896568

BigJohn's Avatar Comment 11 by BigJohn

@Comment 3 -- I usually just temporarily allow everything when there is a long list being blocked by NoScript. It saves time trying to figure out which one is the one you need.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:32:41 UTC | #896571

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 12 by Neodarwinian

I liked the way Professor Jones listed the various points that his creationist students has to object to to be consistent in their objections to overall evolutionary theory. Some of the more intelligent students will have their ideological dam breached by consideration of all the subtleties of evolutionary theory.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:34:30 UTC | #896572

dilated_in_disbelief's Avatar Comment 13 by dilated_in_disbelief

I just read this article. It seems relevant.

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/07/192/boghossian#.Tr0-ZRmJNus.mailto

"Should We Challenge Student Beliefs?" by Peter Boghossian

"A teacher is obligated to use cognitive dissonance to inspire students to shape a more reliable picture of reality that informs their sense of cause and effect.

The alternative would be mass customization of teaching in a way that supports only the beliefs each student brings to our classrooms. Such a regime would leave many students in the dark, believing knowledge need not be based on facts. Bridges would collapse. Those inclined to escape their ignorance might not believe it important enough to do so."

I'm sure many will disagree with one or two of the premises in this article, but it's worth the read.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:40:47 UTC | #896573

Ben.Brown's Avatar Comment 14 by Ben.Brown

Comment 7 by danconquer :

In the article, Steve Jones clearly states that he has had both christian and muslim undergraduates complain that he "demeans their religion". There was little in the article that related exclusively to Islamic anti-evolutionists.

So why has the sub-editor at the Maily Telegraph singled out Islam in the headline? Anyone reading the article can see that it is religions(pl.) which are being critiqued. There is no uniquely Islamic perspective offered by the article whatsoever. I'm all in favour of articles that address uniquely Islamic issues... But this wasn't such an article!

There is a lamentable, sloppy trend in British newspapers. 'Islam' is like a trigger which is being pulled at every available opportunity, whether it is warranted or not; just another lazy shorthand designed to press the same old xenophobic, irrational buttons in gullible readers. The media have form in this now. Another chipwrapper had a front-page headline claiming "Christmas 'Nicked' By Muslims" when infact the local council in question had put up illuminations for all the major supernaturalist groups... So what possible justification for singling out 'muslims' in the headline?!

There is no excuse for it. Though no doubt someone on here will be along very shortly to fabricate one.

Just to point out the fact that there was recently a Muslim walkout in a University lecture during the Evolution part. That is why Muslims were the main group mentioned.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:44:11 UTC | #896575

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 15 by brighterstill

There are certain people in the world who make me question the value of compromise.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 20:52:45 UTC | #896577

danconquer's Avatar Comment 16 by danconquer

Comment 14 by Ben.Brown :

Just to point out the fact that there was recently a Muslim walkout in a University lecture during the Evolution part.

Where in this article does it say that?

That is why Muslims were the main group mentioned.

Really? Are you sure it doesn't have more to do with the fact that the Maily Telegraph is usually publishing articles complaining that christianity is "under attack" and lamenting the "demise of christian values"? Therefore it is more convenient and coherent to their ideological slant to pin the blame on muslims whenever there is blame to be pinned.

For a masterclass in the media behaviour I am talking about see this article today in the Daily Mail. A revolting non-story complaining about a McDonalds opening on Christmas Day (along with all the other pubs and restaurants in Britain that have opened for years!) which gratuitously and needlessly finds a way to shoehorn the 'muslim' buzzword into the headline even though it is plainly utterly irrelevant. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071123/Church-fury-McDonalds-opening-Christmas-Day-Muslim-manager-drafted-in.html

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:01:32 UTC | #896578

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 17 by alaskansee

@Comment 7 by danconquer

It's because "they" are too afraid of Islam to mention it in the article.

No wait it's the other way round this time! I wonder if any of our "you're too afraid to mention islam" friends will pop up to admit defeat this time?

Unfortunately I think just sloppy lazy journalism done in a hurry as usual not a clever conspiracy or is that too generous of me? Who knows perhaps your invitation will illicit some responses although I'm still holding out for my apology from the other crowd too.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:07:31 UTC | #896581

MichaelE's Avatar Comment 18 by MichaelE

Comment 9 by Nerevarine :

Comment 1 by Voodoo :

What poor decision making of these students. Why invest everything into a degree you refuse to agree with...?

Perhaps their dream is to learn enough about biology to be able to pick apart and refute Darwinian evolution?

If their dream is to refute Darwinian evolution, it may help to have at least a basic understanding of the theory first.You can't possibly argue against something unless you know and understand both sides of the arguement first.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:26:27 UTC | #896585

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 19 by mysticjbyrd

If my students threatened to walk out or not attend if I brought up evolution, I would literally find a way to somehow mention it EVERY single day. And it wouldn't even be that hard, just look at the story in the original post. Then at test time, I would make sure to ask numerous questions not covered in the assigned readings.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:27:47 UTC | #896586

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 20 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 7 by danconquer

In the article, Steve Jones clearly states that he has had both christian and muslim undergraduates complain that he "demeans their religion". There was little in the article that related exclusively to Islamic anti-evolutionists.

Er...how about actually reading the article before the apologetics set in ?

He is quite clearly specifically referencing Islam. The phrase 'Much of their propaganda has been lifted from Christian fundamentalism' leaves no conclusion other than that 'their' refers to Islamics. It is patently obvious that the 'as do some of their Christian fellows' is merely a politically correct add on so as not to appear biased to people who can't read between the lines.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:49:59 UTC | #896589

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Comment 21 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 11 by BigJohn :

@Comment 3 -- I usually just temporarily allow everything when there is a long list being blocked by NoScript. It saves time trying to figure out which one is the one you need.

I usually do the same, but there were some scary domains listed there, and I often go for weeks or even months without restarting my Firefox. It's as well to keep IE around for these sorts of cases.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:00:36 UTC | #896594

danconquer's Avatar Comment 22 by danconquer

Comment 20 by Schrodinger's Cat :

...merely a politically correct add on...

Political correctness? In the Maily Telegraph?!

If you're right that the Telegraph (and Steve Jones) are now proponents of a phenomena which they usually spend every day decrying then that surely means that the publication is even more hypocritical and even more deserving of contempt than that which I have already heaped upon them! Even a soppy "apologist" like me doesn't feel the need to make such gratuitous "add-ons"! When I want to knock Islam I do so readily and manage it without roping in other superstitions. The Telegraph is, however, a strongly pro-Christian organ, and surely this fact is vital in critiquing their motives, no?!

Some people are very naive about how lazily the British chipwrapper industry churn out their headlines. Maily Telegraph journalists - like those of most crap newspapers - are under pressure to shoehorn 'trending' buzzwords into articles and headlines in order to get readers clicking onto familiar 'keywords' whilst artificially inflating 'hits' through search engines (thus, "A jam factory in Huddersfield, a town not yet visited by Lady Gaga, has been closed after a poisoning scare", etc, etc).

So there isn't necessarily always anything malicious about it, although arguably it is recklessly indifferent as to the longer term effects. It's just that 'muslim' and 'Islam' have become sloppy buzzwords guaranteed to generate 'hits' for otherwise utterly unremarkable stories, much like "Health and Safety", "Political Correctness (Gone Mad)", "Bird/Swine Flu", and so forth.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:27:17 UTC | #896601

TobySaunders's Avatar Comment 23 by TobySaunders

"That had lots of advantages, but faced the unfortunate male with a problem, for the delicate machinery for making sperm works best at low temperatures, perhaps to reduce the number of errors made as DNA is copied." 'To reduce'? No... they exist like that perhaps because they reduced the number of DNA errors in our ancestors, not to reduce the number. If testes were like that to reduce the number of DNA mistakes, then there would have to be foresight & a plan, hence the term 'to'. It's a common mistake; I heard that kind of falsehood from biology experts on every mainstream story... they say "we evolved this to do that", but it is simply, utterly false. It is 'because' not 'to'... it's actually rather important to say it right, in light of the misconceptions.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:34:28 UTC | #896605

ridelo's Avatar Comment 24 by ridelo

Don't these students understand that to refute something you have to understand it to begin with? If I was a believing student, I would at least try to understand as much as possible of evolution before even considering talking about it, let alone attacking it.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:39:52 UTC | #896607

S. Gudmundsson's Avatar Comment 25 by S. Gudmundsson

"The most virulent attack I have had in recent years came from a physics teacher in a respected north London state school, who – to the embarrassment of his colleagues – barracked my talk on evolutionary biology with repeated statements that Darwinism contradicted the laws of thermodynamics."

How this guy not only graduated, but became a teacher on the subject, no less, is a mystery to me.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:48:33 UTC | #896608

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 26 by Alan4discussion

Comment 18 by MichaelE

If their dream is to refute Darwinian evolution, it may help to have at least a basic understanding of the theory first.You can't possibly argue against something unless you know and understand both sides of the arguement first.

I've made this point before about picking up a creationist false dichotomy:-

The only people who think there are TWO sides to any argument about evolution are the creationist muppets who "KNOW" without any understanding, that the two sides are - their simplistic view, (god-did-it) and the "wrong one".

Scientists know that there are thousands of species, hundreds of aspects to genetics, and multiple sides to various issues and views of the details. In subjects as complex as ecology, evolution, and genetics there are very likely to be many more sides to any aspect of the subject.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:50:23 UTC | #896609

Explorer's Avatar Comment 27 by Explorer

Why should religious students be permitted to demean science?

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:56:16 UTC | #896610

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 28 by Rawhard Dickins

Comment 10 by Vorlund I blame the Uni for putting up with this kind of shit in the first place. Students wishing to enter these courses should have an entry test based on evolution, if they fail it they should be sent away to do something like knitting or macrame.

Yes indeed!

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 23:09:32 UTC | #896615

Reginald's Avatar Comment 29 by Reginald

Comment 27 by Explorer

Why should religious students be permitted to demean science?

I would expel them all from the classroom and tell them to get back to their mosques and spend their lives with their noses on the earth and their arses in the air, and leave the rest of us to advance our own education, and ignore them altogether..

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 23:12:31 UTC | #896617

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 30 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator - sockpuppet of banned user

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 23:52:25 UTC | #896635