Saturday, August 21, 2010

El Naschie goes on: My friend the Jewish scientist

El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Sunday August 22. This is a continuation of the Friday column, The Jew who taught me. Here's the original Arabic. My English translation is below.

In an article yesterday I talked about my relationship with my mentor, the late Thomas Barta, in the context of talking about the possibility of an Israeli State without racism or Zionism as visualized in the 1960s by the activist journalist and thinker Uri Avnery. Today I want to point out the role of the scientist Professor Sir Hermann Bondi in my life. My first encounter with Sir Hermann was in the 1960s when he gave weekly lectures on the science of the universe [cosmology and relativity presumably] on German television. I was a student in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Hannover, but my heart belonged to the humanities and theoretical physics.

I learned from Hermann's lectures the most important secrets of the universe, especially about the darkness of the night sky, which ought to be as bright as day from all the stars in the Universe. This is known scientifically as Olbers' paradox after a German scientist from Hamburg [sic. Bremen].

I sent some letters to Sir Hermann [As with Galbraith. It's El Naschie's modus operandi], who was at the peak of his young powers at the time, and he marveled that a simple civil engineer could be interested in such theoretical science so far from his specialty. It was the beginning of a significant friendship between a lover of science and a senior scientist.

Sir Hermann was originally an Austrian Jew who emigrated from Austria to England in the era of anti-Semitism, to attend Cambridge, the top university in Britain.

Sir Hermann was a Jew, as I said. But he believed all religions including Judaism were evil disguised as good, quite the opposite of my understanding of things to this day.

Sir Hermann wrote a book called false facts [?]. This title indicates a Hegelian dialectic mentality to the thinking of Sir Hermann. In this book, Sir Hermann said that "Religion, which is defined to be a source of good, is in fact a source of evil" [There is a book called Lying Truths and it does mention Bondi's opinion about religion. But it is not by Bondi].

Time passed, and Sir Hermann became the head of Churchill College in Cambridge. I became the Director of projects in Saudi Arabia [This would refer to King Saud University or King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. CV], and the satellite project [to do with NASA] was within my care. Also I was assigned the task of establishing a modern university. And complete tomorrow.

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  1. كتب سير هرمان كتاباً اسمه حقائق كاذبة وهو عنوان يدل علي العقلية الجدلية الهيجلية لتفكير سير هرمان في هذا الكتاب قال سير هرمان إن الدين الذي يعرف علي أنه مصدر للخير هو في الحقيقة مصدر للشر

    Correct translation (maybe another reader could provide better translation)

    Sir Hermann wrote a book titled as false facts. This title indicates a Hegelian dialectic mentality for the thinking of Sir Hermann. In this book, Sir Hermann said that " The religion, which is defined to be a source of good is in fact a source of evil"

  2. There is a book called Lying Truths and it does mention Bondi's opinion about religion. But it is not by Bondi. Perhaps El Naschie is confused about its authorship.

    Lying truths: a critical scrutiny of current beliefs and conventions, Ronald Duncan, Miranda Weston-Smith, Pergamon Press, 1979, 242 pages.

  3. There is an article about Hermann Bondi due to El naschie in CSF
    Sir Hermann Bondi: 1st November 1919—10th September 2005
    Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Volume 28, Issue 4, May 2006, Page 845

  4. It would be nice to have the PDF if anyone can get it.

  5. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Monday August 23, titled as Philosophy of Sir Hermann Bondi.
    As usual the great man drops names,
    You will find the name of Alastair Walker, but who
    is Alastair Walker, one can find the answers on fqxi 395 due to El naschie's sock-puppets (or most probably El naschie himself).

    G. Carroll wrote on Nov. 21, 2008 @ 21:21 GMT
    If you want to know who is or who was Mohamed El Naschie then your best bet is to ask Prof. Alastair Walker. Prof. Walker was a member of the stability research group in University College, founded by Lord Chilver. He wrote the introduction to Prof. El Naschie’s book on Stress, Stability and Chaos published 1990 by McGraw Hill. I think Walker was his thesis supervisor. Walker was last the Dean of Engineering in the University of Surrey. It is simple if you want to know the truth but of course, those who are asking these questions, do not want to know the truth.

    El naschie in that comment in fqxi might be using name of real existent one (G. Carroll).

  6. Excellent info, Zahy! I will incorporate it into the next post.