Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Richard Dawkins kicks goals... again....

You have surely heard something like the following two statements, often uttered with a measure of truculence:-
 1. “There are 1.6 billion Muslims, nearly a quarter of the world’s population, and we are growing fast.” There is even, sometimes, a hint of menace added. In the words of Houari Boumediene, President of Algeria, “Le ventre de nos femmes nous donnera la victoire” (the belly of our women will give us the victory).
2. “Islamic science deserves enormous respect.” There are two versions of this second claim, ranging from the pathetic desperation of “the Qu’ran anticipated modern science” (the embryo develops from a blob, mountains have roots that hold the earth in place, salt and fresh water don’t mix) to what is arguably quite a good historical point: “Muslim scholars kept the flame of Greek learning alight while Christendom wallowed in the Dark Ages.”
Dawkins then goes on to respond to the many tweets he had in response to one of his, on the paucity of scientific achievement in Islam.  
On the second point above -- keeping the flame of Greek learning alight -- one might add, to Dawkins' own ripostes (below), that of A.C. Grayling in "The God Question": namely, that if indeed Islamic scholars kept the Greek learning flame alight, then shouldn't we be paying our homage to that Greek learning, not to those who simply passed it on?  Dawkins' point on this issue is: if they did indeed keep the Greek flame alive, why didn't they do something with it in the 600 years since?
Read the rest of Dawkins, it 's good and sound stuff.
With thanks to Rob Anderson, for the link.