March 4, 2007


Click on cartoon to enlarge it:

From Memri:
'the Kuwaiti education ministry plans to delete Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the high school curriculum. This article states that everyone has the right to freedom of religion, including the freedom to change his religion and beliefs. Dr. Rashid Al-'Anzi, chairman of the committee on human rights curricula, explained that the article was deleted "because it is contrary to the Islamic shari'a… and is not in accordance with what we want the pupils to learn."'

Sound familiar? Isn't that why many on the Christian Right want evolution out of science classes, or why they pull their child from school altogether so they can homeschool the Godidit version of science?

Here is what Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdad, a Kuwaiti reformist, states when it comes to secular science and education:
"It is no coincidence…that education is failing in all Arab countries. Is it reasonable for everyone to ignore the fact that education cannot be religious in its content and orientation? Unfortunately, everyone is disregarding the fact that education cannot work, in any society, unless the contents of the curricula are secular, or at least modern

"Introducing religion into every scientific field [of study] causes a drop in the level of scientific teaching. I ask the minister of education to have a look in one of the elementary school arithmetic books, which have been infused with religious contents that do not belong in them…

"We are not permitted to adopt the secular teaching methods, although we know that the secular Western or Japanese education is much more effective, pedagogically and scientifically, than the quasi-religious education [that exists] in the Arab states… Secularism is a way of life which is completely impossible [for us] to implement in our education [system]… The best proof of the [religious] orientation [of Arab education] is the deletion of articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because they are contrary to Islam.

"The expected result of this hodgepodge method of teaching human rights in Kuwaiti schools is that pupils will acquire a deficient and distorted understanding of the truth, and will also learn things that are false. The balanced approach that the Arab education ministries are aiming for - [an approach] that combines religion and secular sciences - has not been realized in a satisfactory manner, or to be more precise, has failed completely.

"Until the Arab governments decide on their pedagogical philosophy - [and adopt] a purely religious philosophy or a purely secular one - scientific education will remain a tattered hodgepodge [of conflicting notions], and will produce graduates that have diplomas instead of people with a [true] love of knowledge.

"Anyone who believes he can walk a tightrope for very long is deluding himself and will end up failing abysmally. This is what happens to anyone who places himself under the control of the religious groups, who have never brought humanity anything but misery."

He'll probably wind up in the West. This is what happens to Arab/Muslim intellectuals. Good for the Western gene pools though. We need smart guys like this procreating in the West.

I don't know how true it is, but according to some recent articles, the braintrust in Saudi Arabia is considering banning the letter X, because it is a cross.

Here is a gem from the land of intellectual darkness:

Saudi Arabia's commission issued this 'famed 1974 fatwa — issued by its blind leader at the time, Sheik Abdul Aziz Ben Baz — which declared that the Earth was flat and immobile. In a book issued by the Islamic University of Medina, the sheik argued: "If the earth is rotating, as they claim, the countries, the mountains, the trees, the rivers, and the oceans will have no bottom.'

In a university book? Don't count on the cure for cancer coming from an Islamic state.

But don't expect it come from the American Bible Belt either. Just look at the recent words of Marshall Hall of Cornelia, Ga., is a retired schoolteacher who has spent the last 30 years protesting the teaching of evolution. His books argue not only that Darwin was wrong but also that science has been wrong ever since Copernicus and that the idea of Earth turning is a "carefully crafted Bible-bashing lie."

A teacher? I feel sorry for his former students.

Before I get flack from modern Christians who will say this fixed earth guy is not representative of the American education system, I would like to draw attention to the new source of information for reality deniers: The Conservapedia.

Their mission:
Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance. Read a list of many Examples of Bias in Wikipedia.

Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America. Conservapedia has easy-to-use indexes to facilitate review of topics. You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of "political correctness".

Yep, the Fundies have found another way to try to dumb down America. Again, I'm convinced that the more they expose their beliefs on the internet, the more they are shooting themselves in the foot. YEC's cannot withstand scientific confrontation.

I really don't mind their page on Atheism. It actually looks like it was written by an Atheist.

But check out their "kangaroo" entry:

According to the origins model used by creation scientists, modern kangaroos, like all modern animals, originated in the Middle East[1] and are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood. It has not yet been determined by baraminologists whether kangaroos form a holobaramin with the wallaby, tree-kangaroo, wallaroo, pademelon and quokka, or if all these species are in fact apobaraminic or polybaraminic.

Also according to creation science, after the Flood, kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether this migration happened over land[2] -- as Australia was still for a time connected to the Middle East before the supercontinent of Pangea broke apart[3] -- or if they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters[2].

I wanted to edit it and add a third possibility (but I wasn't able to sign in and open an account for some reason):

Kangaroos could have floated on the back of crocodiles from the Middle East to Australia. Since there was plenty of fresh dead people and animals in the water, and crocodiles live in the water, they were full, and had plenty of leftover food. So they didn't have to eat living animals, and even thought ahead (probably God inspired), to bring living animals with them to Australia so that crocodiles in the future would have something to eat.

A Qur'anic version of the Consvervapedia would probably do very well in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

On the Conservapedia see also Thoughts From Kansas, Boing Boing, and Librocrats.


  1. Your edit attempt was priceless (except that to a YEC loon it might actually sound plausible!)

    Your analogy with Sharia-law based education systems is of course to the point: from dogma no independent enquiry into the physical world can come. In the past, many schools of Islamic thought did nonetheless very much encourage the study of the physical world, in an open-minded way. And many Christians do so as well. Unfortunately religious thought tends to breed extremists and bigots.

    Conservapedia will provide a source of much hilarity for the foreseeable future and I'm going to delve up some entries too. Stay tuned...

  2. Just to note, I'm not Atheist, I'm a believer (hehe)...yeah I'm Christian...
    but let's begin; i just have one question. IT'S A JOKE, RIGHT? You are entertaining us....
    OMG are they serious? unfortunately I think they are......
    I laughed till it hurts, the KANGAROOS story is hilarious.
    but a quick recapitulation, christians have a bible, which doesn't cross with science, all those myths are imported from other religions, if anyone think they are holding them, drop them...I'm not attacking Judaism who passed that step long ago I think, every religion should stay in it's real place, a social and personal way of life, not to control any aspect of life...
    I apologize if my comment offended anyone.

  3. Let us know if you can find a way to edit for the Conservapedia. I think they closed it off to the public because of either too much science or too much farce.

    Welcome Ezou. It is hard to offend my crowd, you didn't come close:)
    Unfortunately most Christians are strong to medium literalists, and a literal bible conflicts with science immensely.
    45% of Americans (including some Jews as well) believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old literally and that evolution is nonsense.

  4. It seems that the forces of darkness are mounting a sustained attack from two fronts, the Christian fundamentalists with their obsessions about evolution and now the Islamic fundamentalists with their flat earth beliefs. Heading towards another dark ages? Burning of witches at the stake? The future looks grim.

  5. I'm going to say that very few Jews are like Conservapedia. The Jewish people are notoriously liberal to liberal moderate (voting 89% Democrat in 2000) and few besides the ultra-ultra orthodox believe take the bible literally on issues like evolution, etc. I was out evolution at Jewish school.

    Also, I would disagree that any jews believe the earth is only 10,000 years old, because the idea that it is only 10,000 years old comes from a place in the New Testament that says "A Day in the Life of God is like 1,000 years." My Christian turned Agnostic roommate pointed that out to me. And since only "Messianic Jews" and "Jews for Jesus" - neither of whom are actually Jewish except, perhaps, by birth, are the only Jews that believe anything in the New Testament.

    Just my thoughts. Keep up the good work.

    -- Librocrat

  6. I'm not sure but i think the Muslims realized the world was round first,
    Go down to Medieval Muslim world, uninteresting that a place that did lot of the ground work on astronomy would now start calling the world flat.

    good find with the conservopedia should make some fun reading

  7. Lex,I don't think many Muslims believe in evolution of man. I think most believe the earth isn't flat or stationary though, but it is alarming to see a text that conveys that idea in a Saudi university.
    I think the internet will kill the YEC movement. So I am hopeful.

    Librocat, according to this study, a large percent of Orthodox Jews deny the true age of the universe, and most deny evolution. And this study pretty much states that forget about it when it comes to the Ultra-Orthodox. Remember, we aren't even in the 6000th year of the Jewish calander.

    The Pat, the idea of a Heliocentric earth dates back to the ancient Greeks, and then to 8th and 9th Century India.

    The round earth goes back to the ancient Greeks too, but it appears by the 800's plus most scholars accepted it, including the Muslim mathematicians and astronomers.

  8. Kangaroos were given, by god, special boogie boards so that they could immigrate to australia. This is also why their hindlegs are so developed, they paddled with their hindlegs and picked their noses with their short front legs.

    When they got to Australia, they invented zinc cream and spent a lot of time sunbathing. After a short period of rest and relaxation, the kangaroos decided to invent airplanes so that they would never need to swim that distance EVER again. This is ALL true because QANTAS, (Australian Airline), has to this day, a picture of a kangaroo on it.

    Glad I could sort it all out for everyone...

    Proof that kangaroos got off the ark, paddles to australia and went on to design airplanes.,0.jpg

  9. The irony of the creationists is they they believe in uber-evolution.

    Given the finite amount of space on the Ark and given the millions of species that inhabit the earth today, several conclusions follow.

    One, there were far, far less species on the Ark a few thousand years ago than the millions exist today. The water appeared from nowhere, covered the earth, and then magically dissipated into outerspace somehow. After the creatures left the Ark, existing in their food chain for 40 days without eating each other, they speed evolved to their respective habitats, which were instantly recreated by the speed-evolved plant life. The fresh water species in the Ark's aquariums speed evolved into the wide diversity today, and somehow got to their respective habitats, possibly by DragonBallZ-style instant transmission.

    I'm not certain what "conservatives" are trying to conserve with such nonsense, well, beyond stupidity. People can be pro-American and even pro-Christian without believing this childish foolery.

  10. Those Saudi fuckers are so paranoid I read they even forced Starbucks to change its logo for its coffee shops in SA because the female logo was deemed to racy. And to think the ancestors of these stupid fucks gave us algebra!

    Bacon, I have a post up about Orthodox Judaism at my blog that might interest you.

    All the best,


  11. Ah, I don't disagree. But I would point out that the article points to the tremendous decline in orthodoxy in the Jewish Religion - and how that sect is rapidly adapting ultra-orthodox outlooks.

    Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism make up far more of the Jewish population (Emphasis on "Far More") and do not hold the same belief.

    Also, unlike Christianity, within Judaism one is not considered "more Jewish" simply because someone is Orthodox or Conservative or Reform - each is just a different type of practice of the same belief. So Orthodox Judaism does not generalize to Judaism in the eyes of Jews or Judaism, and since there are far more conservative and reform Jews - The Jews that are notoriously liberal and pro-science (great number of evolutionary scientists are Jewish, including my professor Dr. David Barash) - then it is an gross overstatement to say that Judaism doesn't believe in evolution. It's just not the case.


  12. Libro, I said "some" Jews believe in young earth creation. I realize most Jews don't. But many ultra Orthodox and Orthodox Jews do think they are more Jewish than secular Jews...maybe not formally. I think they are more Jewish btw.

    Tommy, I like using Saudi Arabia as a standard to everyone who criticizes Israel....they'll spend hours upon hours whining about Israel's "faults" but seem to hold the Saudis to much lesser standards as humans and a culture, because they usually don't say squat about them when it comes to human rights issues, etc.

    Jason, there were many other possibilities I've heard, like eggs, and that God put the animals into a sort of coma state within the Ark. But you are right, lots of Fundies try to sound scientific by saying they accept micro evolution, not realizing that lots and lots of micro over time equals macro evolution.

    BeepX2, the kangaroos on the plane must have been God inspired.
    I always thought that Australian planes were built and designed by koalas. Thanks for setting me straight.

  13. BEAJ, this post was freaky. The Conservapedia was some scary shit...

    On the subject of "more versus less Jewish," I think I'll weigh in as a practicing, religious, Conservative Jew in Orthodox dominated Israel...

    The majority of Jews are not Orthodox. The most "literalist" strands of the ultra-orthodox do deny evolution (and the heliocentric universe, tho not the round earth), but other orthodox strains, and all non-orthodox strains, don't have a big problem with it- the Jewish tradition includes a healthy dose of metaphoric interpretation of Biblical passages, and the idea of evolution as God's method (or one of God's methods) is not necessarily anti-Jewish.

    As for who's "more Jewish," I don't think any strain has a lock on that. If your mother is Jewish, then by Jewish law, you are Jewish. Some Jewish strains are more "stricly observant," but we are all Jews.

  14. ah my beaj i guess i heard wrong., or what i heard was wrong.

  15. @librocrat:
    You had me working, to find that passage, and it's not "Literally" as you said it, it's 2 Peter 3:8 and it goes: "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." I personally found it more like poetic not really years calculation, but that's not my point, my point is, for me religion is my own law, in a way they teach your conscious, they shouldn't merge neither in politics or law or science.
    but please don't get me wrong i'm not on a missionary path i'm just talking about my view to religions in general.
    @BaconEating AtheistJew:
    well I think that stupidity is universal, and it isn't exclusive for one religion, well i'll give you one example from my entourage well i'm lebanese and if u ask 100 person if earth is round all of them will answer: "don't be stupid" ask these 100 do you believe in the power of the eye or envy (here they knock on the wood, i don't know what's it's called in english) believe me 99 will say: "well i don't believe it but happened with me", see my point?

  16. the pat:
    No, ZAristotle predates the Muslims.

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