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How to hold a (scientific) revolution in the Middle East – and how not to

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In “The Middle East is ripe for a scientific revolution”, (New Scientist 27 April 2011) Ahmed Zewail offers,

I see three essential ingredients for progress. First is the building of human resources by promoting literacy, ensuring participation of women in society and improving education. Second, there is a need to reform national constitutions to allow freedom of thought, minimise bureaucracy, reward merit, and create credible- and enforceable- legal codes.

Few would argue with that; it’s an essential foundation for intellectual civilization. But many sources question whether the actual state of science in the Western world today, especially in sensitive areas like evolution, provides grounds for hope that intervention will help.

Trying to “Islamize” Darwin would hardly produce a happier Middle East. And what would a Muslim version of Michael Dowd’s thirty-three ring “Christian evolution” circus even look like? We’d need all new adjectives for that one … .

See here, by contrast, for how design theory might help.

Now that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the post colonialist dictatorships in the Arab awakening, the real (and greater) struggle is coming to the surface. Shaking off the outward / physical symbols of oppression is starting to look like the easy part for Muslims. The real problem they face is an onslaught of materialism and anti-religious bigotry pouring from the West. As a Muslim and someone born in the West, I appreciate all the many benefits that it continues to offer, and do not mean to offend by these comments. Unfortunately, due to a denial and rejection of the theistic foundation that gave rise to many of those qualities, the best parts of Western civilization are being eroded and marginalised. One reason for this is a deep philosophical commitment to naturalism. I thank UD for promoting a way out of this mess. Alan

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