The elephant in the room.

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The elephant in the room.

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:19 am

Pour young Sam Perry's (4thought.tv) parroting of his lectures whilst disbelieving them is, it seems, as nothing compared with some Muslim biology studedents at UCL. They make no bones about it and boycott the lectures. Steve Jones has complained about it in the Sunday Times (not available on line but echoed in the Mail).
Steve Jones emeritus professor of human genetics at university college London has questioned why such students would want to study biology at all when it obviously conflicts with their beliefs.
He told the Sunday Times: 'I had one or two slightly frisky discussions years ago with kids who belonged to fundamentalist Christian churches, now it is Islamic overwhelmingly.
'They don't come [to lectures] or they complain about it or they send notes or emails saying they shouldn't have to learn this stuff.
'What they object to - and I don't really understand it, I am not religious - they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God.'
and
Sources within the group Muslims4UK partly blame the growing popularity of creationist beliefs within Islam on Turkish author Harun Yahya who, influenced by the success of Christian creationists in America, has written several books denouncing Darwinist theory.
Yahya associates Dawinism with Nazism and his books are and videos are available at many Islamic bookshops in the UK and regularly feature on Islamic television channels.
Speakers regularly tour Britain lecturing on Yahya's beliefs.
One such lecture was given at UCL in 2008 and this year's talks have been given in London, Manchester, Leeds, Dundee and Glasgow.
Evolutionary Biologist and former Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins has expressed his concern at the number of students, consisting almost entirely of Muslims, who do not attend or walk out of lectures.
It's one thing keeping creationist preachers out of science classes, but how do you keep creationist interior decorators out of mosques?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ds-newsxml
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:09 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:Pour young Sam Perry's (4thought.tv) parroting of his lectures whilst disbelieving them is, it seems, as nothing compared with some Muslim biology studedents at UCL. They make no bones about it and boycott the lectures.


Steve Jones was threatened by one Muslim student at UCL with being beheaded once the Muslims seized power in the UK. Worse still the past president of UCL's Muslim Society was the very same bigot who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit a couple of years back.

The irony is that UCL is overtly a secular university, you are supposed to leave your religion at the gate when entering the university.

The best I can say is that if the education at UCL offends one's religious beliefs, then don't study there. Ty King's College London instead. It was set up as a religiously inspired alternative to UCL. Then one can play football with Jeremy Bentham's head.

Like it or not historically many studied at UCL precisely because it is free of religion. When I was an undergraduate, it was the university of choice for Jewish people of the more liberal persuasion. Precisely because it never had any anti-semitic taint in its history (unlike Oxbridge).
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Dagsannr » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:34 pm

At the risk of coming across as un-PC, islam is very much a minority religion in the UK and hard-line islam even more so. The number of fundamentalist muslims in the UK is tiny, and they're very much a dying breed, despite what the Daily Fail might like to put across. Moderate islam, which accepts most western values and science, is the growing trend as they've realised that the kind of islam put across by Iran and various radical groups is making them a big fat target to the very well funded and highly efficient intelligence agencies of the west. The list of imprisoned, vanished or killed extremists is long, thanks to a politically driven deportation policy and CIA drones.

Internationally, it's another story, but the world is full of idiots with crackpot beliefs and we can't convince them all. I think concentrating on christian creationism for the most part is still a priority. Christianity is still very much the 'default' position of a lot of people in the UK, and creationism as put across is intellectually easy to accept, given christianity's interwoven nature through our culture.

Plus, islam is still a much younger religion than christianity and is going through the same theological puberty that christianity went through when it was this old (the Enlightenment, etc).
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:23 pm

Natman wrote:At the risk of coming across as un-PC, islam is very much a minority religion in the UK and hard-line islam even more so. The number of fundamentalist muslims in the UK is tiny, and they're very much a dying breed, despite what the Daily Fail might like to put across. Moderate islam, which accepts most western values and science, is the growing trend as they've realised that the kind of islam put across by Iran and various radical groups is making them a big fat target to the very well funded and highly efficient intelligence agencies of the west. The list of imprisoned, vanished or killed extremists is long, thanks to a politically driven deportation policy and CIA drones.



Indeed. I wonder exactly what the opinion is of the senior people actually running UCL is. I wouldn't like to guess but suspect that their may view the Islamic fundamentalist problem there to be irritating rather than a big problem. It's doing really well as universities go with a big new post-grad "campus" planned for the East End. It continues to pull ahead of the pack, so to speak.

Religious fundamentalism has no proper place in the university system. As far as I can make out, most of the American fundamentalist universities would be on breach of the 1871 Universities Test Act.

My long standing view of the Middle East, the Maghreb countries, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East is that the underlying social dynamic is not traditional Islam but the desire to modernise. That this has been surpressed was demonstrated by the Arab Spring of this year. It's not over yet and things could get really rough - I fear what will happen in Algeria, for example and the Iranian theocracy will, sooner or later, collapse (you can't keep the people down forever).


Finally, I suspect that most muslims in the UK are muslims in name only.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:34 pm

Natman wrote:
I think concentrating on christian creationism for the most part is still a priority. Christianity is still very much the 'default' position of a lot of people in the UK, and creationism as put across is intellectually easy to accept, given christianity's interwoven nature through our culture.



An interesting point which I am open on. Seems to me that such Christian creationism is really a product of the USA and the UK is a target market because we share a common language. Take a look at the web sites of the leading international or Australian/US creationist and ID groups - they all appear to be in English only. Can you imagine the Roman Catholic Church these days only communicating in Italian or Latin?
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Andy McIntosh has taken his message to Eastern Europe and Japan, I imagine in English unless his studies of the Tower of Babel have made him multi-lingual. AFAIK, Yarun HaHa has plenty of acolytes to spread his in a variety of languages. On his web site he offers his tripe in 59 additional languages - evidently a winning strategem. http://www.harunyahya.com/other_languages.php
Of course, we don't know where his money comes from so this could still be backed by the almighty dollar.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Dr_GS_Hurd » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:47 pm

The twits posing as Harun Yahya (they are really multiple authors) are mostly plagiarizing tracts from ICR and AiG.

I think it would be a good idea to recruit some Muslim students for the BCSE.

My colleague Taner Edis has a recent book out on Islam and science, "An Illusion of Harmony" (2007 Prometheus Press).
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Yorkie » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:56 pm

I think it's funny when we see the newer religions using the arguments of the old just switching the name of the creator. Really throws the creationists off when they realize any religion can use that argument not just there own.
A great example is Raelism.
Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:04 pm

Dr_GS_Hurd wrote:The twits posing as Harun Yahya (they are really multiple authors) are mostly plagiarizing tracts from ICR and AiG.

I think it would be a good idea to recruit some Muslim students for the BCSE.



Gary - I wish we could. Any ideas how we might go about this? We have very limited funds.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:07 pm

Dr_GS_Hurd wrote:The twits posing as Harun Yahya (they are really multiple authors) are mostly plagiarizing tracts from ICR and AiG.



We picked up some 5 years back that one of the people working for him in Turkey was an American. Any idea who it is?
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Dr_GS_Hurd » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:43 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:
Dr_GS_Hurd wrote:The twits posing as Harun Yahya (they are really multiple authors) are mostly plagiarizing tracts from ICR and AiG.



We picked up some 5 years back that one of the people working for him in Turkey was an American. Any idea who it is?


Nope.

I had some contact with engineering students in Turkey opposed to Harun Yahya (et al), but that was 15 years ago.

I suggest contacting http://askanislamicist.wordpress.com/about/
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby cathy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:17 pm

Marc has mentioned the muslim thing and it cropped up a couple of times on the 4thought commennts. I got the impression from Marc that the Christian creationists are quite happy about it. I get the impression they'd happily use Islam to get creationism into schools, tho Marc was relying on the old Daily Mail xenophobic misconception that Muslims would get what they want by virtue of being muslims. Also Paul Garner responded to something I said by pointing out that teachers were coming across objections from muslim students and therefore it should be discussed. Whoever brings it up it is still wrong and still dishonest. But lets face it creationists are going to jump on any bandwagon and they do have far more in common with the extreme fringes of Islam than either have in common with their moderate Christian and Muslim peers. A bizarre state of affairs indeed.

I don't know any creationist muslims and I wonder if it is a new thing for them. Nor has anyone I know come across any muslim objections at school yet-so far it is still a Christian problem. If you ask me it's just something they've seen the Christians do and have decided to get in on the act.

For UCL the answer is easy, if you don't attend the course you fail. Simple as. And if you threaten lecturers the police will be called. Nobody is forced to study biology to degree or even A level. And if you don't like evolution tough it exists, it is science and it will be taught in science. And the only real solution now is teach it earlier so you can then teach it to a higher standard at KS4. Cos until we do it remains very easy for creationists to say to kids this is what you need to pass exams whilst telling them creationist porkies. If they have to teach earlier than they have to teach it in sufficient depth to allow children to see though those lies more easily. There is too little taught at the moment making it far to easy to undermine.

The biggest problem however, remains Goves education policies. With free schools it is only a matter of time before a creationist school sneaks under the radar. Now we've got Sylv in on the act with the Sheffield free school to dissolve the critical reasoning power of children.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Michael » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:17 pm

Creationism is strong in Isalm and was very obvious at a Darwin conference I was at in Alexandria two years ago.

Oddly Iran accepts evolution whereas Turkey have creationism taught in schools with adam at 15 metres to be big as dinos:)
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Michael wrote:Creationism is strong in Isalm and was very obvious at a Darwin conference I was at in Alexandria two years ago.
Did you get any impression as to whether it's a recent thing? After all, I've seen Muslims claiming that one of their number came up with evolution long before Darwin, with no suggestion that he'd been in trouble for it. I forget the details, though.
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Re: The elephant in the room.

Postby Michael » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:37 pm

It seemed to be long-standing but mostly old earth and no evolution

A different voiceswas Nidhal Guessom whose book Islam's Qauntum Question is a useful book
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