That’s really the takeaway from both of these pieces, open in Chrome tabs since Saturday.
Richard Dawkins: Calm reflections after a storm in a teacup
For you religious Paleos (by which I mean, in the conventional sense and not that other problem), interesting sidenote JB brought up:
Just as an aside, do you know that Noah’s Café in the Creation Museum offers gluten-free meals?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah! Oh, I’m sorry. Do you lack the genetic variation necessary to digest wheat? Has an over reliance on wheat based foods for the past ten thousand years created a sensitivity? Is your digestive tract still adapting to this novel food item?
ARE YOU EVOLVING????????? […]
Who wants to bet they caution people to use the handsanitizer, too? Use anti-bacterial soap in the kitchens and bathrooms? Gotta watch out for those superbugs! Pretty nasty flu virus going around this season. Can’t be too careful.
Can’t be too stupid either, by the looks of it.
Anyway, as is pretty much the norm nowadays, one can be drawn & quarterd for simply uttering a truth, as Dawkins did on Twitter.
All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.
At the 2nd of those links, above, you can read his utter dismantling of the moron psychodouche he received in response, for having the temerity to utter a simple verifiable fact.
I thought about comparing the numbers of Nobel Prizes won by Jews (more than 120) and Muslims (ten if you count Peace Prizes, half that if you don’t). This astonishing discrepancy is rendered the more dramatic when you consider the small size of the world’s Jewish population.
It is a remarkable fact that one Cambridge college, Trinity, has 32 Nobel Prizes to its credit. That’s three times as many as the entire Muslim world even if you count Peace Prizes, six times as many if you don’t.
You may be reading in an implication that I didn’t intend. Since (unlike many tweeters, apparently) I am firm about Islam being a religion and not a race, I certainly didn’t, and don’t, imply any innate inferiority of intellect in those people who happen to follow the Muslim religion. But I did intend to raise in people’s minds the question of whether the religion itself is inimical to scientific education. I don’t have the answer, but I think it is well worth asking the question. Has something gone wrong with education in the Islamic world, and is it a problem that Muslims themselves might wish to consider? Just to throw in a separate piece of information, colleagues lecturing to aspiring doctors in British universities inform me that Muslim students boycott lectures on evolution. And I have myself interviewed, for television, pupils and teachers at one of Britain’s leading Islamic secondary schools – one with impeccable Ofsted ratings – where I was informed by a teacher that literally all the pupils reject evolution.
Trinity College is a Christian foundation. Its full name is “the College of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity”.
Er, yes, that could be kind of the point. Christendom has moved on since 1546 when the college was founded. If Islam has not moved on during the same period, perhaps Muslims might consider asking why, and whether something could be done about it. That was sort of why I added the final sentence of my original tweet: “They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”
How many Nobel Prizes have been won by atheists?
Now that’s a really interesting question, one that I would sincerely love to see answered. I suspect that the truculence with which the question was posed might turn out to be misplaced – and that’s an understatement. Polls of the US National Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Society of London give almost identical results and suggest that an overwhelming majority of elite scientists (and a lesser majority of scientists as a whole) have no religious faith, although many might nominally be recorded as, say, baptised Christians or Bar-Mitzvahed Jews. I would love to see a well-conducted study of the beliefs of Nobel prizewinning scientists. My guess is that a large majority would self-describe as atheist or agnostic. And a further substantial number would say something like “I might characterise my awe at the universe as ‘spiritual’ but, like Einstein, I have no belief in a personal god and follow no religion.” I’d be very surprised if a single prize-winner were to say “I believe Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the dead” or “I believe Mohammed rode through the sky on a winged horse”.
Henry Kissinger won a Nobel Prize. That just shows how worthless they are.
That was a Peace prize, and the Peace prize does have a rather more controversial reputation. Mother Teresa won it, after all, and said in her acceptance speech that abortion was the “greatest destroyer of peace in the world”. I’d be happy to subtract the Peace prizes. Trinity would lose only one of its 32 and Muslims would lose fully half their tally. Because of the second of the two boasts that I mentioned at the outset, I was in any case primarily interested in scientific achievement. If we count only science prizes, discounting Economics, Literature and Peace, Trinity’s count drops to 27 and the Muslim count drops to two (and even that includes the great theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, who left Pakistan in 1974 in protest at his particular version of Islam being declared “non-Islamic” by its parliament). Bizarrely, some counts of Muslim scientific Nobelists are boosted by inclusion of that quintessential Englishman Sir Peter Medawar (born in Brazil, his father was Lebanese, a Maronite Christian).
And hey, don’t forget shibags Barack Obama and Al Gore.
Well, anyway, as a friend of mine always says: “Everybody gets to be as stupid as they want to be.” In essence, Dawkins is merely pointing out that generally, the Muslim world wants to be plenty fucking stupid and is pretty happy about it…and to a greater extent than Christians, Jews and most other religions in the modern evolutionary process of moving on slowly from that whole primitive Godlaf thingy.