Monday, December 20, 2010

El Naschie on science, scientific ethics and Islam

El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Tuesday, December 21. Science and ethics don't always go together. Original Arabic or Google's English translation. And here's Bing's English. Arabic readers, please check my translation. This is one of his most interesting and important columns.




A world-famous scientist receives public adulation for his speeches and interviews. But when the scientist is the arbitrator in granting major scientific awards, he steers the Grand Prize toward his own student! These stories are famous and continue to occur at all levels, unfortunately. I know full well a large number of such cases and have lived the experience.

Indeed, Prof. «Ahmed Zewail» told a similar story of what happened to him before his winning of the Nobel Prize. I can recommend a user-friendly account on page 180 of the English version of his 2002 book «Journey through Time» from the Singapore publisher «The World of Science».

Scientists in the Arab world have prestige and respect derived from Arabic and Islamic traditions. Comparison, measurement and the science of logic share mental mechanisms with Islamic jurisprudence and the morals derived from Islam.

This great heritage suggests general rules to keep in mind, like this nice example not limited to scientists «the true scientist is aware of the extent of his ignorance», as well as «science holds the truth, it does not seek it» [?]. The images people have of the scientist are of humility and piety, moral character, chastity of the tongue, and sincerity in speech. Unfortunately the reality of today and perhaps in truth even a long time ago was very different from this picture established in the imagination of the public and in particular the Arab population.

The scientist is in fact a human being like everyone else. He just happened to excel at the acquisition of knowledge, and found through diligence, luck, or the will of God, a concept or theory or machine that didn't exist or wasn't understood before. The scientist is not necessarily selfless or civic-minded, but just as likely to be insular, selfish and close-minded as anyone else.

In the past there were polymaths who understood science, art and philosophy; but there are no more. Those like «Leonardo da Vinci» or «Poincaré» no longer exist, because knowledge inflation and scale force specialization and full-time attention into one area of expertise. Particularly in applied science and engineering it is no longer possible for one person to cover all this large area of science and knowledge. [This is amusing because El Naschie's sockpuppets go on and on about El Naschie being a genius polymath with an expert grasp of science, art, history, philosophy and politics. El Naschie Watch readers of course know that his knowledge in all areas comes primarily from mass-market popularizations.]




El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Sunday, December 26. Victory after defeat. Original Arabic or Google's English translation.

El Naschie talks about responsibility. Although his children are financially independent, he says, he can't help worrying about their well-being. How much greater, he wonders, must have been the worry of Gamal Abdel Nasser for the well-being of the whole of Egypt in the days of the Tripartite Aggression? How must he have felt when Israel occupied the Sinai? The title of today's column refers to Egypt's turning a military defeat into a strategic victory.

This is all laying the groundwork for tomorrow's column in which we can expect grandiose sycophancy toward President Hosni Mubarak, who, as a commenter notes, trounced all the opposition in Egypt's recent elections.

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8 comments:

  1. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Wednesday, December 22. Extremism «Bertrand Russell». Original Arabic or Google's English translation. El Naschie says that Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Paul Dirac, Richard Feynman and other great scientists had character flaws unrelated to their scientific work. He talks about Bertrand Russel's politics. Mentions George Bernard Shaw and Hans Reichenbach. Feynman was a womanizer and Russell openly had an affair with a colleague's wife, El Naschie says. He quotes Rudyard Kipling "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet" and says that he's known a lot of contenders for the Nobel Prize and Fields Medal but for the most part he wouldn't trade places with them. Continued tomorrow.

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  2. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Thursday, December 23. Employment bad for Scientific Awards. Original Arabic or Google's English translation. While everyone is competent to have opinions about politics and religion, it is not so with science, he says. For example he knows a lot about the Bible and Torah, and many Egyptian Coptics know about and respect the Quran. But the average man or woman doesn't know anything about «vacuum fluctuations» or «space time». He heard in the media a hopeless explanation of Ahmed Zewail's work and he's sure Zewail would agree. «Newton» believed in witchcraft and superstition but that doesn't diminish his status, he says, and he makes similar remarks about «Feynman» and «Bertrand Russell». He concludes "Personally, I prefer to have science in the military service only on the condition that they will return the service good to humanity and the nation first and foremost and I speak here for Egypt and the Arab world and with reference to the current circumstances, any direct comparison without a deep understanding of the different social heritage, religious, cultural and scientific cooperation between Europe and America on the one hand and Egypt and the Arab world on the other hand would be completely counter-productive." This is in the same vein as an opinion he has expressed before in his columns, which is that international scientific collaboration by Egyptian scientists should require approval by the Egyptian government.

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  3. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Friday, December 24. Geometric definition of parallelism. Original Arabic or Google's English translation.

    Today's column wanders aimlessly from topic to topic: Middle East politics. Euclid's parallel postulate. Spherical coordinates. General relativity. Bullying by Israel and the United States. Chaos. Entropy. Fractals. Really, it's stream-of-consciousness babbling. He does make a point of calling Garnett Ord and Laurent Nottale his colleagues. Probably he read our recent post New book by Laurent Nottale coming Spring 2011 in which I wrote about a precedence dispute between El Naschie and Nottale.

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  4. Today's Rosa has some background in current events in Egypt and the douche's desperate attempts to be relevant and loyal to the NDP. The parliamentary elections in Egypt ended recently with an overwhelming majority won by the NDP. No one from the Muslim Brotherhood won (after winning 20% in the previous elections) and the 'official' opposition won about 1% of the seats. Amid allegations of widespread corruption in the rigged elections, the opposition parties decided to establish a 'parallel' parliament. In the inaugural parliamentary session, Mubarak gave a speech and was asked about the 'parallel stuff'. He laughed and said, 'Let them have fun.'

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  5. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Sunday, December 26. Victory after defeat. Original Arabic or Google's English translation.

    El Naschie talks about responsibility. Although his children are financially independent, he says, he can't help worrying about their well-being. How much greater, he wonders, must the worry of Gamal Abdel Nasser for the well-being of the whole of Egypt have been in the days of the Tripartite Aggression? How must he have felt when Israel occupied the Sinai? The title of today's column refers to Egypt's turning a military defeat into a strategic victory.

    This is all laying the groundwork for tomorrow's column in which we can expect extravagant sycophancy toward President Hosni Mubarak, who, as the commenter above notes, trounced all the opposition in Egypt's recent elections.

    ReplyDelete
  6. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Sunday, December 26. Victory after defeat. Original Arabic or Google's English translation. El Naschie talks about responsibility. Although his children are financially independent, he says, he can't help worrying about their well-being. How much greater, he wonders, must the worry of Gamal Abdel Nasser for the well-being of the whole of Egypt have been in the days of the Tripartite Aggression? How must he have felt when Israel occupied the Sinai? The title of today's column refers to Egypt's turning a military defeat into a strategic victory. This is all laying the groundwork for tomorrow's column in which we can expect grandiose sycophancy toward President Hosni Mubarak, who, as the commenter above notes, trounced all the opposition in Egypt's recent elections.

    ReplyDelete
  7. El Naschie's Rosa Al-Youssef column is up for Sunday, December 26. Victory after defeat. Original Arabic or Google's English translation. El Naschie talks about responsibility. Although his children are financially independent, he says, he can't help worrying about their well-being. How much greater, he wonders, must the worry of Gamal Abdel Nasser for the well-being of the whole of Egypt have been in the days of the Tripartite Aggression? How must he have felt when Israel occupied the Sinai? The title of today's column refers to Egypt's turning a military defeat into a strategic victory. This is all laying the groundwork for tomorrow's column in which we can expect grandiose sycophancy toward President Hosni Mubarak, who, as the commenter above notes, trounced all the opposition in Egypt's recent elections.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Blogger is censoring my comment so I've appended it to the blog post.

    ReplyDelete