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Islamic Science.

Yes we all know how supreme Islamic science is don’t we? How far in advance of anything we have ever considered here in the poor benighted West. It can only be supreme prejudice that has stopped them garnering more Nobel Prizes than South London Polytechnic, surely?

This report is almost unfiskable, but for a taste…

In the report Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state.

‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote. ‘One made a gesture that made it clear she was available… this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.’

21 Comments

  1. Lynne says:

    I’d have sooooo fisked that had I seen it first.

    By the same moronic Saudi logic, there are an awful lot of porn mad homos in SA who have rolled up pelvises. Perhaps they use their pelvises to swat flies and mozzies…

  2. John Galt says:

    Colour me unsurprised. This is exactly what you get when your country is run by ultra-orthodox types based upon an ancient misogynistic, intolerant religious code.

    This is why I am certain that the west will eventually prevail, because much of the reason why we put up with medieval states like Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. As soon as we get past this stage of our ongoing technical development we can let the fuckers rot.

    Sure, it will probably take another century or so to wean off our dependence on oil and gas, but we can’t continually be held to ransom by these bastards.

    This is not about waging more wars to get regime change so that “our guy” is in charge. From Nasser and Mosaddeq through to Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi, this has never resulted in any real change, just alienated their populations against us.

    Once the West has cut its dependence on muslim oil then we can let these fuckers live in their own crappy flea bitten paradise. They won’t need to worry about women driving cars because their won’t be any cars for them to drive.

  3. Ljh says:

    Just a thought, but is the antifracking lobby funded by Saudi oil as a way of maintaining the importance of their bit of sand in the world? The arguments bear a family resemblance.

    I once worked with a young surgeon, assimilated, happy to mix with the kuhfar, who conversationally dropped this into the general chat, “Of course, you know, all the science you need is in the Quran.”

  4. NickM says:

    If I might be so bold (considering my wife’s occupation) the idea is shrouded in mistranslation between Arabic and English. Specifically the word “science”. It’s a mess and a misunderstanding. Basically it seems to me that it goes back to this. Science means to us well, like physics and such and we have conflated it in translation from Arabic with the older meaning which is more akin to what we’d just call “knowledge” in the most general sense. Yes there are Muslims who claim the Qu’ran or Hadith contain everything you need to know like evah (the missed the chapter on servicing a Vauxhall Corsa, mind, or constructing a RAID, But mostly this is bollocks of the sort the “Christian” “Answers in Genesis” tribe believe.

    Properly understood the Bible, Qu’ran, Mein Kampf, Das Kapital are not science. They are politico/religious/ethical diatribes. Perhaps the best example here is Lenin’s “What is to be done?” which is perhaps the most honestly titled. Why? Well, they are all, in a sense, engineering, not science. Calling them science is conflating (and I believe this is sometimes done deliberate) two things that haven’t translated well. Essentially English speaking Muslims might talk about the “sciences” of the Qu’ran but they don’t mean what I think of as science and most probs don’t see it that way either. In the context the term is an awkward place-holder. It gets awkward when, as has happened to me, a Muslim (non-scientist in the generally held sense of the term) has advanced the idea the Qu’ran predicted black holes. This is the same as the answers in Genesis tribe.

    Fundamentally this bizarre and archaic translation confuses physical sciences which deal with truth and political/social/theological sciences which deal with what ought to be done (clock the Lenin ref above) and not what can be done. They are very different questions and if there is a true tragedy over my lifetime (and before) it is the conflation of the two.

    Put simply. Science asks questions about the nature of matter and all the rest is about organizing a society. And they are different things.

    I don’t want to do this but I shall for the point matters…

    Does anyone who objects to abortion really object to the tech behind it? Oh, they might use gory images of a D&C or whatever but is the tech the issue? No, it isn’t. The tech is not the issue. Morality is. And morality is a different question from science. A different kind of question. Qualitatively so. Science is not about morals. Enough scientists feel it is is – AGW, genocide, gay genes etc. But it ain’t. If it were we’d prosecute mountains for avalanches that killed skiers but we don’t because that is patently absurd. Discussing morals in the Qu’ran, Bible or the Fabian Society leaflet or whatever is only quantitatively less absurd. Well in terms of “science” anyway.

  5. “‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote.”

    Hmmm,

    Brad Pitt might legitimately claim that, Daniel Craig too, even – god knows – that little dweeb from the ‘Twilight’ movies, but if Google image search is bringing back the right Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan, I’m sceptical…

  6. Ljh says:

    Nick M. Thanks for the explanation but the conversation I’m remembering was when MRIs were shiny new tools and we were discussing the physics and Iran was a new republic. Everyone was too polite to request specifics.

  7. Paul Marks says:

    For the record there was a movement within Islam that valued human reason – human free will (agency – the existence of the “reasoning I” the moral agent). But it was defeated – more than a thousand years ago.

  8. Julie near Chicago says:

    Nick—-here I go on a tangent again, but there are people who claim to object to abortion on the grounds of “the tech” involved?

    Back to the issue you raised, it’s good point. Even brothers and sisters who grew up together don’t always mean the same thing with the words they use. (Not even denotatively). I am always somewhat astonished that humans manage to communicate at all.

  9. NickM says:

    OK, I’ll bite…

    Is the morality of abortion really a tech issue? Sure some people might see it those terms but I don’t. I don’t care if it’s a bottle of gin, a bathtub and a rusty kebab skewer or a suite at the John Hopkins. It is essentially a moral point.

  10. Julie near Chicago says:

    No, I meant seriously. I don’t see how it’s a tech issue either. So I don’t understand what people would mean by calling it a tech issue. People do argue that abortion should be legal so we don’t have people doing it with rusty coat-hangers, etc., but that’s still a “morality” question except the focus is on the “morality” of making the aborting mother risk her life unnecessarily. But that’s an issue of the practical results of illegalizing abortion, not of the morality of abortion per se.

    So I really am looking for an explanation of what the argument is by which abortion is claimed to be a “tech” issue and NOT an issue about the morality of killing the young creature in the very early stages of the human life-cycle.

  11. JohnR says:

    Perhaps I should point-out that, apart from its use as an energy source, oil is the basis of practically all industry ?
    No oil, no plastics.
    That said, who gives a crap what religious freaks think: If they ever do.
    Anyway, he was right about women drivers.

  12. RAB says:

    He was right about women drivers was he?

    Hmm, park all over him ladies…

  13. John Galt says:

    @JohnR:

    In fairness to women drivers, insurance industry statistics have shown for decades that although women drivers as a whole are more likely to be involved in minor accidents than male drivers as a whole, they are far less likely to be involved as the driver in a severe accident especially speed related fatalities.

    I’ll trade a broken wing-mirror over a broken neck any day of the week.

    With regard to your view of “No oil = No plastics”, you are correct, but once we remove our dependence on Islamic oil by moving away from it in power generation and transport, we should be able to source our remaining oil from domestic or allied sources.

    It will also help the “kute likkle polo bears”, although none of the watermelons ever mentions what happened to polar bears during the medieval warm period.

  14. NickM says:

    The plackies are the thing that hives me the grunt.This sis really not about the power that made or or powers this Lenovo but the plastics that made the keys. If there is any truth in not burning fossils it is this…. We need this stuff to make stuff. Not to power stuff.

    We can do that with nukes.

  15. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    Been sniffing the whiteboard markers again? I’d rather not have irradiated plastic bags if you don’t mind. Just give me a hemp one and it’ll last me years (a the current ones have).

  16. NickM says:

    I don’t have a whiteboard. I do have a load of placky stuff.

    And nukes are like cool.

  17. John Galt says:

    “And nukes are like cool.”

    In power generation and for space travel I agree, Indeed I am a big fan of Liquid fluoride thorium reactors, but I draw the line at irradiated household goods and foods (especially the idea of 4,691 irradiated haggis)

    Nuclear weapons, not so much. I recognize their importance historically in preventing massive loss of allied AND Japanese lives during the proposed invasion of Japan AKA Operation Downfall and preventing a communist takeover of Europe, but suspect that we’ve still to pay the price for letting the nuclear genie out of the bottle.

  18. NickM says:

    Ah c’mon JG! Are you being deliberately awkward? An Allied (and Soviet?) invasion of Japan would have been hideous. Apart from the initial slaughter (millions) there quite poss would have been a Tokyo Wall to make Berlin’s look like my garden fence. God knows what would have happened in Korea either in such circs.

    Anyway, genies and bottles? Firstly your premise is wrong. The genie just existed. It was inevertible it would come to reality. It is nature and it exists. And it shall be used. The genie/bottle argument is like trying to disinvent gunpowder. The Sovs were working on nukes well before Fuchs let ‘em in on it. It’s doable. Very much so. That’s what is scary but that is what is real. Some bugger was always gonna do it. The USA got in first which is OK. I guess it is like gun control – stopping nukes will never work. They just are. What we do with them is a different matter. As is what we haven’t done with them since 1945 is too.

    Feynman recalled a trip to a Buddhist shrine on Hawaii and a pearl of wisdom, “The Gates of Heaven and Hell are adjacent and identical”. Dwight Eisenhower remarked on “Guided missiles and unguided men”. The nuclear genie was never in the bottle. It was just there. In exactly the same way the properties of flint allowed Mr Ugg the caveman to either chop more wood for his family or brain Mr Ogg. Tech advances and we just have to deal with it morally. Ain’t easy being an adult.

  19. John Galt says:

    Yes, even Leo Szilard said as much, which was why he kept his original 1933 discovery of how nuclear fission might be used to make a nuclear weapon secret, but once you understand the fundamentals it is just a matter of time.

    With regard to the gun-type weapon used at Hiroshima, I concede that this was purely a matter of obtaining sufficient quantities of enriched uranium, however given the length of time taken to prepare the 64kg of uranium necessary for “Little Boy” and the relative inefficiency of the explosion (only about 1.7%) to achieve a 13kt detonation, a world in which only “Hiroshima”-type weapons existed would not have enabled the exponential arms race that ensued.

    There was an initial expectation that plutonium devices could be manufactured much more rapidly from the reactors at Oak Ridge (and later Hanford), but this was based upon the “Thin Man” gun-type design and expectations of much higher purity of plutonium than Oak Ridge actually delivered. Oak Ridge plutonium contained impurities in the form of the isotope plutonium-240, this contributed to a likelihood of a pre-detonation “fizzle” and doomed the “Thin Man” approach at that time.

    Thus the only way to explode a plutonium-based device remained the purely theoretical “implosion” approach proposed by Richard Tolman which they had no idea how to turn into a practical device. It was only good fortune that preparatory work had been done on the necessary shaped charges and focussed explosive lensing (for use in anti-tank mines) or the Manhattan project would have been restricted to the use of only “Hiroshima”-type weapons for the assault on Japan, which they would never have produced in sufficient quantity to have a decisive effect on the war.

    Good fortune played a big part in the “implosion” design, but they wouldn’t have got there without the military, financial and political focus of the Manhattan project, which cost $2-billion in 1945 dollars and severely hampered other conventional military operations.

  20. John Galt says:

    The 1946 United States Strategic Bombing Survey, written by Paul Nitze concluded the atomic bombs had been unnecessary to win the war. After reviewing numerous documents, and interviewing hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, Nitze reported:

    “There is little point in attempting precisely to impute Japan’s unconditional surrender to any one of the numerous causes which jointly and cumulatively were responsible for Japan’s disaster. The time lapse between military impotence and political acceptance of the inevitable might have been shorter had the political structure of Japan permitted a more rapid and decisive determination of national policies. Nevertheless, it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion.

    Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

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