Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obama Revisionism

Here's a thorough fisking of some good ol' par-for-the-course Obama revisionism. It's written by Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University.

In his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, President Barack Obama claimed: “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar University — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing.”

Obama is not much of a “student of history” if he believes this. Almost every advance he attributes to the Muslims was due to someone else.

The non-Muslim Chinese invented the magnetic compass and printing (Gutenberg invented not printing, but movable type). The non-Muslim Hindu Indians invented algebra and the decimal numbering system. The non-Muslim European Christians invented the university.

I can’t address advances in medicine, but I have studied the history of astronomy and physics. The Muslims contributed nothing.

This stuff is important to point out because it's political pandering on the President's part, and there are still people who think somehow Obama is beyond politics and politcal calculations. Obama is not an idiot, but he certainly knows how to leverage the idiocy of the general populace. Check this out from page 2 of Tipler's article:

The reason Muslims never developed fundamental physics is because the leading Muslim theologians declared the idea of fixed physical laws to be heretical. The Qur’an (verse 6:64) states: “The Jews have said, ‘God’s hand is fettered.’ Fettered are their hands, and they are cursed for what they have said. Nay, but His hands are outspread; He expends how He will.” The standard Muslim interpretation of this passage has been that there cannot be unchanging physical laws because Allah may change the laws at any moment. In 1982, the Institute for Policy Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan, criticized a chemistry textbook by saying: “There is latent poison present in the subheading Energy Causes Changes because it gives the impression that energy is the true cause rather than Allah. Similarly it is unIslamic to teach that mixing hydrogen and oxygen automatically produces water. The Islamic way is this: when atoms of hydrogen approach atoms of oxygen, then by the Will of Allah water is produced.” The implication is clear: next week, Allah may change his mind about water being a compound of hydrogen and oxygen. With this sort of worldview, how could one possibly be a scientist?

The cosmology of the Qur’an is obviously geocentric, and as a consequence, Al-Azhar University, which Obama singles out for praise in his speech, still teaches Ptolemaic astronomy.

There was one truly great “Muslim” physicist, the Nobel Prize winning Pakistani, Mohammed Abdus Salam. I put “Muslim” in quotes, because Salam belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam, a sect that accepts modern science. But in 1974, the Pakistani parliament declared the Ahmadi sect heretical, and its members are currently being persecuted in Pakistan. Contemporary Muslim historians generally do not list Salam as an important Muslim scientist. Had he remained in Pakistan, he quite possibly would have been killed.

So some Catholics told Galileo to shut up over 300 years ago and we're still hearing about how unscientific Christianity is. Meanwhile the Muslim's produce one serious scientist in modern times and they disown him, persecute his sect and drive him from his homeland out of fear for his life. Now that's enlightened.

In spouting all this garbage, we're coddling Muslim's by inflating their self-esteem, just like we do with underperforming kids in public schools. This is merely going to perpetuate their envy and disappointment. In effect, here's what Obama's message should sound like: "Continue to be angry and envious of others and please keep festering in your persecution complex. Be proud of your great contributions to the world such as female genital mutilation, fashionable explosive vests and hatred of the Jews, and the fact that we use a few of your words in our language." We need a guy with an Obama voice to do speech impersonations, but I'm not holding my breath for the show-business honeymoon with this guy ending soon.

1 comment:

  1. Islam is very backwards and anti-intellectual. They can't make any real contributions to art either, because many sects of Islam oppose music, dance, theater and representational art.

    Compare this to the enormous contributions made to civilization by Jewish scientists and artists.

    Islam has a very narrow view of God. I see God as the greatest Scientist and Artist. He created those things just as he created everything in the universe. This is why science and art need not be at odds with faith.

    The Muslims need to get past whining about their "hurt feelings" and "humiliation", stop blaming Jews for all their problems, and take an honest look at themselves. They certainly don't need to be coddled by Obama and the rest of the world.