Tayyip Erdogan, a Turkish politician, recently claimed that Muslims discovered America before Columbus. It’s a pretty stupid statement – “we discovered America” – and one that people and groups continue to make. Muslims, Columbus, the Vikings, the Chinese, etc. etc., didn’t discover America because the land was already inhabited by indigenous people. People lived in North America 12,000 years…… Continue reading No, Erdogan, Muslims Didn’t Discover America Either
U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (Texas) recently suggested that the U.S. should judge its foreign policy decisions based on a literalist interpretation of prophecies and stories in the Bible. Scriptural literalism in any religious tradition blatantly denies cold-hard facts such as evolution and encourages naive absolutism in the face of scientific inquiry, among other issues. Interpreting the…… Continue reading A Radical Christian in U.S. Congress
Published on Huffington Post (October 22nd, 2013) In his recent article, Sam Harris, a popular critic of Islam, referred to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist, as “the best thing to come out of the Muslim world in 1,000 years.” Hidden in this comment is the idea that Malala’s fellow Muslims are backward and that her…… Continue reading Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization
Researchers from Abo Academy University in Finland say that violence in early human communities was driven by personal conflicts rather than large-scale battles. They say their findings suggest that war is not an innate part of human nature, but rather a behaviour that we have adopted more recently. The study is published in the journal…… Continue reading New Study Finds War Not Innate to Human Nature
The image above is of a field of crescent-shaped dunes in the northern polar region of Mars. Each dune is about 100 metres across. The image was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, released in July 2012. As suggested by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian, it is science, not art, ‘that now provides the most…… Continue reading Creativity: Is science more beautiful than art?
Most of you have probably heard by now of the recent news on the groundbreaking Higgs boson or ‘God particle’. Most of you, however, probably have no idea that the physicist who helped develop the God particle’s theoretical framework is Adbus Salam. Salam, who died in 1996, of Pakistani origin and Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate.…… Continue reading The Pakistani scientist behind the ‘God particle’