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Fundamentalism Vs. Science

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on November 27, 2001 16:43:22 UTC

We have a case history of what happens when fundamentalism overcomes free thinking and open science. It happened in Islam about 800 years ago.

From what I hear on NPR (radio) from Islamic scholars being interviewed to help us all understand Islam better- From 700AD to 1200AD, the science of Islam was far ahead of any other science in the world. Concurrently, Islam nearly took over the entire world.

But for some reason, starting in the 13th century, the pursuit of science in Islam lost its freedom. The reason given by these scholars is that the political impetus for such strong support of science earlier was to complete the theology of Islam. I am not sure exactly how science could do this. But apparently what happened is the by the 13th century, the theology was completely worked out.

Then the theocracy, really the politicians, became fearful that further scientific studies might undermine the theology. So they went conservative. That is about when the Muslin Articles of Faith (that jisbond provided us) were written. As I have indicated in earlier posts, these articles condemn research and investigation- even condemns discussion.

So we all know what happened. Islamic science stagnated and Eurpean science took over where the Muslims left off. Eventually the european science and resulting military technology became so superior that the Europeans were able to colonize all the formerly Islamic states.

The history lesson is obvious. A state or culture undermines free pursuit of science at its own peril. Eventually it will catch up with you, assumng that scientific discoveries do not reach a dead end- seems very unlikely.

So the American breed of fundamentalists that are distorting science to support a literal interpretation of scripture are undermining science in the USA. We see it in Kansas and we see it in the White House, which will not allow a cloned human cells to develop into stem cells because they are alive and human and therefore are being aborted.

It's bad enough that the pursuit of money rather than value in the US has already undermined the education of the youth of the US. For example, the best high school in the City of New York, the one near the former trade center, has no Americans admitted to it. The entire enrollment are from other countries or emmigrants. The Americans just are not well trained enough to get higher marks on the exams than the foreign-trained competition. Thank god that emmigration has provided the USA with the brightest scientists in the world.

The fundamentalists are even against emmigration. Yet our brightest scientists, even on this forum, are emmigrants.

So science should be very fearful of fundamentalists. If they take over, the USA is doomed and Europe will again take over the world leadership in science and technology, or pehaps the Asians, who even in this country seem to be brighter than the rest of us. They are just not as good at politics as the rich fundamentalist Americans.

My apologies if I have insulted anyone on this forum. But this is an extremely serious issue in the long run. Frankly, I think the US has probably already lost the race and now it's just a matter of time before all our best scientists emmigrate elsewhere.

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