Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the designer-animals dept.

Medicine 1319

First time submitter Readycharged writes "The Daily Mail reports on a piece from The Sunday Times revealing that University College London have seen an increasing number of Muslim students boycotting lectures on Evolution due to clashes with the Koran. Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics, says, 'I've had one or two slightly frisky discussions with kids who belonged to fundamentalist Christian churches, now it's Islamic overwhelmingly.' He adds, 'What they object to — and I don't really understand it, I am not religious — they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God.' The article also reveals that Evolutionary Biologist and former Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins also experienced Muslims walking out of such lectures."

cancel ×

1319 comments

I have problems with this (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187238)

Chiefly among them the idea that randomness is not divine. How else would some being equal parts evil and good distribute his Will? In closely examining randomness we find what patterns we will, allowing us to imagine we grasp the whole until the patterns devolve until they're just a cloud.

It's humor to keep a divine being amused for all time - to tease us with imagined understanding.

Re:I have problems with this (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187306)

I wonder if they also object to quantum mechanics?

Not if it can be used to kill Jews and infidels. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187362)

Then I'm sure they will be all for it. Can't let something like quantum mechanics get in the way of a good jihad.

Re:I have problems with this (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187392)

The question answers itself.

Re:I have problems with this (5, Funny)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187534)

God does not play dice.

-- Albert Einstein (aka Anti-science Jewish fundamentalist)

Re:I have problems with this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187310)

You are an absolute wackjob. Fuck off and die.

Re:I have problems with this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187330)

Chiefly among them the idea that randomness is not divine. How else would some being equal parts evil and good distribute his Will? In closely examining randomness we find what patterns we will, allowing us to imagine we grasp the whole until the patterns devolve until they're just a cloud.

It's humor to keep a divine being amused for all time - to tease us with imagined understanding.

Chiefly among them the idea that randomness is not divine. How else would some being equal parts evil and good distribute his Will? In closely examining randomness we find what patterns we will, allowing us to imagine we grasp the whole until the patterns devolve until they're just a cloud.

It's humor to keep a divine being amused for all time - to tease us with imagined understanding.

dfds

Re:I have problems with this (5, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187374)

I'm not sure about random, but if something is chaotic, it is directed by Eris.

Re:I have problems with this (5, Insightful)

neyla (2455118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187548)

It's almost as if religious folks -know- that they're wrong. Thus to preserve their wrongheadedness, it's requires to not even learn about the alternatives. (presumably, learning would risk realising that the alternative theories are correct.)

Learning about something, doesn't require *agreeing* with it. I've read both the Koran and the Bible, and spend hundreds of hours learning about both. I don't *agree* with it,but it's still useful to understand it and know about it.

But religious folks are frequently panicked about the idea that they might have to learn about something they themselves don't agree with. In my opinion, they're scared. And rightfully so. The thing about reality is that it does not go away, even if you don't believe in it.

Good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187240)

I would rather not have a religious whack-job as a doctor.

Up to them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187244)

Well, I suppose it's within their rights to up and leave a lecture because they don't like the topic. However, when they subsequently fail the exam due to their refusal to attend the lecture or personal disagreement with the topics taught, they shouldn't complain. I don't understand why you'd even take a class knowing full well that you don't accept fundamental parts of it.

Re:Up to them (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187300)

Especially a medical class.

I don't ever want to be examined or treated by a doctor that lets their religion get in the way of the study of basic biology or any other part or medical study.

Not to mention that 'random' and 'evolution by natural selection' are not equivalent.

Re:Up to them (5, Interesting)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187412)

In the Netherlands there was a situation a couple of years ago where a muslim medical student refused to examine fellow male students (medical students practice on each other during their training). You don't want to have qualified doctors who refuse to help because the traffic casualty is of the opposite sex. I read recently a quote that the koran says that a prostitute went to heaven for giving a thirsty dog a drink (which she hauled from a well by climbing down, with the water in her shoe). So, helping a fellow (male) human being should be OK. Or she shouldn't be a doctor.

Bert

Re:Up to them (4, Insightful)

bosef1 (208943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187526)

I'm not a scholar of the Koran, but Sura 5:32 echos wisdom from other sources: "...and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind." So, yeah.

Re:Up to them (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187316)

This is the UK, one of the most politically-correct countries in the world. If they fail the exam, they might sue the university for religious discrimination.

Re:Up to them (5, Insightful)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187384)

The students are not asked to like the facts, or to drop their beliefs. They are to meet scientific standards, however. Refusal to look at facts objectively disqualifies you as a scientist. In case of a court case, the students should lose, even in the UK.

Bert

Re:Up to them (-1, Flamebait)

cb88 (1410145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187446)

Evolution is not scientific fact... that is a fact. Stop treating it as such. I believe that being religious has no practical impact on my interpretation of the world... though many interpret it differently than myself that does not mean that my interpretation is any less valid if it meets scientific standards even though my interpretation will account for religious ideas.

I personally don't mind teaching of the possibility of species advancement through mutation which is what evolution is. However I do take offence when it is shoved down my throat as the only "reasonable" explanation just because some fanatical secular humanist says so.

Re:Up to them (5, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187488)

You are not a scientist.

Re:Up to them (4, Insightful)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187408)

It's goes to show how backward-bending western society is when you can sue for religious discrimination when it's obviously a case of academic discrimination.
Discrimination against those who didn't learn enough to pass the expensive course they took.

Re:Up to them (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187494)

While the UK is particularly bad, I have yet to see any case of the type you are describing here - I have seen religious discrimination claims on other grounds, but never one against a failed medical finals...

It sounds like a lot of the UK things are myths as well - the CCTV figures for instance were extrapolated from one street, and counted private cameras as well.

Re:Up to them (3, Interesting)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187416)

Well, I suppose it's within their rights to up and leave a lecture because they don't like the topic

Would be interesting to know if such students (on average) attend more lectures than their counterparts, perhaps due to not being at the pub/hungover etc quite so much!

Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187248)

actually there is little to nothing in Qur'an that's clearly state everything in Darwin theory is incorrect, its quite the opposite it supports some major parts of the theory. the only part IMO that's clash with the Qur'an is that Humans are evolution from something else

So fail them (5, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187250)

I don't get what the problem is. If you don't grasp the material, regardless of the reason, you fail the course. I sure as hell don't want to be treated by a doctor who doesn't understand evolution.

Re:So fail them (5, Insightful)

Jehlon (467577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187276)

Seriously. Just fail them. Tell them the only way they'll get a degree from a respected institution is to not be an idiot. Doesn't matter what your degree is in, if you think your magic book has all the answers you are delusional and not degree-worthy material.

Re:So fail them (1)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187288)

Not to be pedantic, but apparently you can get a degree in religious studies.
Regardless of that: if they can't answer questions about a course because their book of stories tells them it's not so, then fail them.

Re:So fail them (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187378)

Not to be pedantic, but apparently you can get a degree in religious studies.

Or just about anything other than science, math and engineering, where there are "no right answers".

Try disagreeing with a philosophy or even a literature professor. They often mark you very highly. :-)

Re:So fail them (3, Insightful)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187474)

Try disagreeing with a philosophy or even a literature professor. They often mark you very highly. :-)

I'm sure the religious fanatics also allow you freedom to disagree with opinions. Disagreeing with their (interpretation of) $holy_book however is an entirely different matter.

Re:So fail them (5, Interesting)

imroy (755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187388)

Studying religion(s) doesn't necessarily mean you have to practise or believe it. In fact, studying religion is quite likely to result in you seeing religion as just mythology and not believing it.

Re:So fail them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187308)

yes, we need a bit of formalism here :)

Re:So fail them (4, Funny)

imroy (755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187432)

Tell them the only way they'll get a degree from a respected institution is to not be an idiot.

Sadly, there are now a few creationists with degrees in things like biology or geology. They manage to fake their way through uni/college and then go on the creationist lecture tour circuit touting their degrees. It's the classic argument from authority fallacy: "I have a degree, so everything I say is factual. God did it. Really. I have a degree."

Re:So fail them (0)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187498)

Shit? You mean... The DSM IV doesn't hold all the answers?!?!!

Re:So fail them (2, Interesting)

AtomicAdam (959649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187520)

Doesn't matter what your degree is in, if you think your magic book has all the answers you are delusional and not degree-worthy material.

So you're saying being religious means you're not worthy of a degree? Wow... just wow....wow... I'm guessing this is a troll

Tell them the only way they'll get a degree from a respected institution is to not be an idiot. Doesn't matter what your degree is in..

So according to you having an opinion/belief makes you an idiot. I think the only idiot doesn't seek knowledge from many avenues. Academic truth always changes far be it for you to declare what is true or not. However back to the topic: More power to them. However if they fail the test that the professor has outlined, it's their problem. I don't agree with a lot of professors but I sit through their lectures because I want to get good marks on the tests and because of academic courtesy.

Re:So fail them (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187394)

Just fail them? Wouldn't that be considered an act of racism in the UK? Just pass them and keep your job.

What's evolution got to do with treatment? (2, Interesting)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187516)

I don't get what the problem is. If you don't grasp the material, regardless of the reason, you fail the course.

Agreed.

I sure as hell don't want to be treated by a doctor who doesn't understand evolution.

To quote you, I don't get what the problem is. What does belief/disbelief in evolution have to do with medical treatment? A medical doctor needs to know how the body works right now, not how it got to that point. I'm a bit fuzzy on how a belief in evolution helps a doctor diagnose and fix a problem in the patient in front of them.

Now if you want to say certain avenues of medical research should probably be closed then I'd agree.

Re:So fail them (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187544)

Why? You are not a Pokemon. YOU are not evolving. Thus, you will never have a medical need that requires your doctor to understand evolution.

comparing notes? (2)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187252)

are they comparing notes with bible belt Christian fundamentalists? not a good sign.

different types of extremists, religious or secular, have some of the same stuff going on.

Re:comparing notes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187554)

When you consider the roots of either religion, yes they are.

The lack of faith is astonishing... (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187256)

Why do they think that the "random" process is not the face of God, or something? If things work a certain way, that's the way they work. If it's God's will, it's God's will. If you think the two are contradictory, you have no faith. The problem is with you, not the science or the religion.

Re:The lack of faith is astonishing... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187470)

The timelines in evolution contradict the creationist timeline and hence qualify as "blasphemous".

In this century, we have recognized both alcohol and tobacco as being dangerous to individuals and costly to society. In my lifetime, I'm pretty sure we'll add the automobiles to that list. Sadly, I doubt I'll live long enough to see religious faith recognized similarly.

Re:The lack of faith is astonishing... (2)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187540)

Why do they think that the "random" process is not the face of God, or something?

Those are the same people who think their supposedly almighty god needs some help. Why wait for judgment day if you can blow yourself up or murder an abortion doctor? They have the clarity of vision to determine what's right or wrong, regardless of at the same time acknowledging a higher order who's supposed to be the sole source of that wisdom.

The basic thought is already mind-numbingly stupid: "O hai, we disagree with the course material but we'd like to get a diploma nevertheless. Kthxbai".

No degree (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187258)

If they do not accept evolution, they should not be issued with a medical degree.

It's that simple.

If they are so fucked in the head they don't accept evolution, I don't want them practicing medicine in this country.

Re:No degree (1, Troll)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187514)

What does evolution have to do with medics? I bet most doctors in the world know very little about evolution theory.

Sure... (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187262)

People are free to think/say whatever, as long as the course still is taught in a non-religious method disseminating facts to students... If you believe the facts are wrong feel free to research alternatives and teach your own class in the future..

Their lack of faith is disappointing... (0, Flamebait)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187272)

If the science is demonstrably true, and God exists, then there is no contradiction. The randomness is just how God operates. If the randomness really seems to contradict the existence of God, then the problem is in the disciple, not in the science or in God.

Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (5, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187278)

I don't know what else to say.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187340)

I take exception to this. I'm one of the masses and I have nothing to do with the niche extremists of ANY religion who take stands like this and still expect to become licensed professionals. Religion, in this case, is not an opiate, nor is it for the masses. Instead it's a meth-like upper for the extreme few.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (2)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187376)

If you have nothing to do with religious extremists you are definitely NOT one of the masses.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (4, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187536)

Indeed. From Wikipedia: "A 2005 survey published in Encyclopædia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%. This figure did not include those who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists." Here's the link. [slashdot.org]

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187390)

Religion also serves as a method of self-governance. Totalitarian regimes don't like this. So, they address it in one of two ways. Either they restrict the freedom of religion as do most Communist regimes do. Or, they lead the religious movement like Iran does though a theocratic system. But above all, the final say-so is with the government, not society when it comes to totalitarianism.

Re:Religion... a method of self-governance (3, Insightful)

afc_wimbledon (1052878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187448)

Only if you make up the religion yourself. Otherwise the priest class do the governing, and are sometimes part of the government, or are manipulated by the ruling class.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187450)

I think the majority of the medical profession miss the point of becoming a doctor. It's to help humankind in their time of need. That should be the determining factor...if you not in it to help, then you should find another profession.

Disagreeing with a theory is nothing new in human history, but it does seem that tolerance need to be taught within the intellectual community as the majority lack it.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187464)

What does this flamebait have to do with the article? Do you even know what the phrase "opiate of the masses" means? Are you suggesting that The Man wants to keep these students under control, and does so by ensuring they fail their biology class?

No, of course not. But you do know that in any article that even tangentially mentions religion, you can score free karma by taking a nonsensical swipe at it.

Re:Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. (3, Interesting)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187486)

But what Marx really said, is that the drug allowed us to stand the pain of the illness, until we were able to find the cure...

Then fail them (5, Insightful)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187282)

To suppress closed mindedness, exams on evolution etc. should be show stoppers. Don't pass them, no graduation. This is science. Can't handle facts? You're in the wrong business. Don't like the facts? Prove them wrong by the rules.

Bert

Re:Then fail them (4, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187358)

I've met people who have biology degrees from quality institutions, and they don't 'believe' in evolution. I've met their professors, and I ask them how they could possibly get a degree in it, and their response was essentially that they had fully mastered the material... they simply didn't agree with it.

There's something to be said for that argument. But personally I believe the scientific method is "all-or-nothing" - either you agree that it works, or you don't.

No doctor for you (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187286)

Then the school should make the course mandatory, and fail them as doctors if they do not show up.

I went to school to become a programmer, I would have failed if I didn't show up for Math, even though I almost never use it as a System Developer now a few years after.

I see no problem in failing doctors cause they do not show up to Darvin class, I would not want to be treated by a Doctor that does not understand the body, and I am sure our customers would not like a programmer that don't know any Math.

Re:No doctor for you (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187396)

Sadly, you don't really need an appreciation of evolutionary biology to be a doctor.

You don't even really need much in the way of biochemistry. For the most part, rote learning of a vast number facts is sufficient to pass your exams. You can promptly forget most of it the day after.

I found the whole thing deeply tedious, I'm rather glad I got out and started programming for money instead of for fun.

Re:No doctor for you (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187568)

What does Math have to do with programming? And about the mandatoring evolution: you can't do that. Those people are grown-ups, and a school is not a totalitarian regime. Besides, I don't see why they can't be good doctors without knowledge of evolution. It's not like people evolve a great deal in their (the doctors') lifetimes.

The Daily Mail? (5, Informative)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187290)

Why are we discussing a Daily Mail article?

The Daily Mail is closer to a tabloid than to a newspaper. Technically it's 'middle-market', so it has some real stories in there, but I'd never rely on it as a sole source for any opinion or discussion....which is what this summary asks us to do.

Re:The Daily Mail? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187324)

This.

The story is basically anti-immigration trolling. A statistically unverified, anecdotally reported "increasing number" of anti-evolution Muslims making their way into the gold-paved halls of med school and thus upper society = OMG TEH BRITANNIA IZ BEING OVERRUN BY SALADIN'S HORDES. OUR PRECIOUS FISH AND CHIPZ WILL BE REPLACED BY HUMMUS.

Also, hummus is yummus.

Re:The Daily Mail? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187512)

The story is basically anti-immigration trolling. A statistically unverified, anecdotally reported "increasing number" of anti-evolution Muslims making their way into the gold-paved halls of med school and thus upper society = OMG TEH BRITANNIA IZ BEING OVERRUN BY SALADIN'S HORDES. OUR PRECIOUS FISH AND CHIPZ WILL BE REPLACED BY HUMMUS.

Indeed. The very first thing I thought upon reading the summary was, "What about all the other muslim med students who don't have a problem at all with studying evolution? Why are they focusing on a tiny minority of fundos rather than the vast majority of regular mos?"

Re:The Daily Mail? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187522)

Yum mm. Hummus is most yummous. British food [sic] sucks. But you know... Fortress Britian, Muslims are evils yada yada even if they can cook (or perform heart surgery). UK for the... UKians !

Re:The Daily Mail? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187404)

Because it gives the vocal and radical atheist crowd on /. another opening in which to harp on religion which, in turn, results in the vocal religious crowd to attempt to defend their beliefs. Note that I don't consider most of the responding religious believers to be radical because they're trying to stand against aggression rather than being the aggressors.

The moderate atheists on /. are either quiet, or a minority in these threads. It might also be that a lot of their posts get lost in the shouting, but the rare ones that leak through show a measured, intelligent person that doesn't feel they have to belittle another person for the sake of stroking their own ego.

And again, yes, they still post things that are negative to religion while being moderate. You don't need to preach about taking fire and sword to churches and talk about purging the believers in some ill-minded attempt at "enlightening the human race" or such drivel to be critical of religion.

Re:The Daily Mail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187566)

They call it the Daily Hate for a reason.

Lets have it for more anti-immigration crap!

Faith and science web sites (1)

flyhigher (643174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187298)

There are resources which show that the Christian faith does not need to attack evolution (at least, for some definition of each).

For example, http://biologos.org/ [biologos.org] or http://truecreation.info./ [truecreation.info.]

I've searched, but found nothing similar for Islam. The articles I have found, are strikingly similar to apologetic articles written by intelligent design proponents (http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_151_200/muslim_responses_to_evolution.htm).

Re:Faith and science web sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187454)

Yeah maybe those pro-evolution islamic websites got jihad-ed.

Sounds like we'll have fewer muslim doctors? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187312)

They'll obviously fail if they refuse to play. i had a long running disagreement with one of my professors about a coding shortcut i used once, he thought it was messy, i thought it cut about an hours worth of work and had statistically nearly no chance to fail. i did it his way, because i Needed to pass the class.

Muslim medical students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187322)

do not attend lectures, do not pass go, do not collect medical degree.

I am OK with this.

Re:Muslim medical students (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187442)

The problem is if the system allows for one or a few bad grades.

Personally, I'd hate to see them pass marginally with a C minus (or 6 minus) because they are reluctant to put in the work.

Bert

This has always confounded me (2)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187326)

Preface: I am not religious.

I guess you could call me an optimist or idealist, but I always thought that when you went to college or any university of repute where you CHOOSE to study something like the science of evolution, or you CHOOSE to go to a lecture about evolution, why would you bring your religious baggage with you? I thought the idea of attending a lecture or university was to expand your mind, not defend your beliefs.

Again, maybe it's because I'm an optimist, but shouldn't these "scholars" behave a little more... I don't know... scholarly?

It's not random... (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187328)

...it's "mysterious ways".

Beware the daily racist! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187332)

So, the article is from The Daily Mail, also known as The Daily Racist. Not that silly fairytale believing people aren't acting silly, but how big of an issue is this, really? Is there an agenda pushing this "news"?

issues with this (4, Interesting)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187334)

Another aspect of this is that some of these people may well actually cause harm to society in this way: it is known that overprescribing antibiotics is causing evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. A doctor who does not believe in or agree with principles of evolution might then ignore the guidelines and thus add to emergence of new strains. (Overprescribing is also a problem in some countries where the medical practice is rather casual and antibiotics are too-commonly given out for viral diseases like colds or flu.)

Re:issues with this (1)

Eleanor 235 (1700550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187438)

Another aspect of this is that some of these people may well actually cause harm to society in this way: it is known that overprescribing antibiotics is causing evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. A doctor who does not believe in or agree with principles of evolution might then ignore the guidelines and thus add to emergence of new strains. (Overprescribing is also a problem in some countries where the medical practice is rather casual and antibiotics are too-commonly given out for viral diseases like colds or flu.)

What you are referring to is natural selection, which most religions have no problem with. It is the idea that human beings are descended from apes that people take issue with; that we are somehow less human for it, that if animals don't have souls something descended from animals cannot have a soul, that randomness is incompatible with God's design.

However, that said, as it is part of their course they should learn the material, whether they believe in it or not. University is supposed to be a place of learning, and expanding the mind, not forcing beliefs on people. They should have to learn the material, but also, they cannot be made to believe it.

Well. They can visit the creation museums (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187336)

I honestly don't care. If they don't want to understand how things work and believe that they can build a working science on it, its their problem and let me say the following:

Evolution was found and is being put to test using the same principles which help us to develop semiconductors, nuclear weapons, the internet and basically everything in the modern life. Maybe they also would like to oppose quantum mechanics because it somehow makes the non/locality of god not so unique? How about relativity (look at convervapedia how the christian fundamentalists see it)? Maybe lets restrict the internet because there are too many pictures of god inside? Lets define pi to be 3 like in the bible? Lets try not understand how particles formed?

I imagine that not narrowing the angle of view sufficiently to not understanding evolution hinders a lot of things. I suggest these people should go to conservapedia and help the evolution article there a little. And just to make that clear: I am pacifist but in the case that the freedom is in danger because of religion, i can only say that i will fight that with all means available. I don't need a holy book to derive my right to do that and i don't believe any legitimation to use violence can be taken out of any religious text.

Knowledge of evolution is essential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187344)

It is only thru the prisim of evolution we are able to understand the structures encoded in our DNA. Without this understanding your ignorance will prevent you from accomplishing anything useful in the field.

Be a fundie, walk out, get an F, flip burgers for the rest of your life. Its only your parents money.

true religion jeans (1, Redundant)

jeansale (2518990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187348)

go ahead to check out your cheap brand jeans. true religion jeans. www.ebyjeans.com

This is extremism in its purest form. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187350)

I don't discriminate against any one religion. I have met people from all different religions that take it to this level. No one who has really strong religious beliefs is going to accept anything short of what they are taught. I hope one day this will change but I know it won't. This reminds me of when some christians in my town (Murfreesboro TN) burned a contractors equipment and the area for construction because they were going to build a mosque. This is stupid. The funny thing to me is that both religions should get along because they both teach blind devotion to one god. Take with a grain of salt.

A Muslim Perspective (5, Insightful)

vga_init (589198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187352)

First I should say that we ought to know a little bit more about this story before we can make a complete analysis, but as a Muslim, I will be the first to say that there is no problem with evolution. I'm not going to go into all the details of the argument about whether or not evolution explains the biological origins of man; there are mountains of evidence supporting evolution and no other plausible alternative explanations. What I would like to say is there is really no inherent conflict between believing in a Creator and accepting evolution. In Islam especially the case for conflict is weak because the Qur'an lacks a creation story as detailed as the one laid out in Genesis. Yes, the Qur'an has references to creation and even Adam and Eve (the first humans), but conspicuously absent from the Qur'an are any statements that defy the scientific view of evolution. Does the Qur'an say that Adam and Eve were put on the Earth right after the Earth was created? No. Does it say no other creatures existed or preceded humans? No. In fact, one verse of the Qur'an talks about God breathing His spirit into Adam, which some scholars have read to mean that Adam was alive prior to becoming human (in a spiritual sense), and that Adam may even have had parents instead of being materialized spontaneously. Either way there is really no timeline for creation, and Islamic theology suggests that God is *active* in creation, meaning that God didn't just create everything all at once and stopped, but that creation is a current and ongoing process (in line with evolution).

I do believe that there is no basis in Islamic tradition and culture for rejecting evolution--on the contrary, Islamic emphasis on science and knowledge would make Muslims more receptive to the idea. To me this habit of denying evolution is something that Muslim communities learned from Christian communities, and the article actually does a good job of pointing this out.

As for the lectures, what I want to know is if it's really the mere idea of evolution that is offending the students, or if the lectures contain unnecessary statements that are specifically hostile to God and religion. If the course material or the professor is unfairly preaching atheism or making wild assumptions like "God has nothing to do with evolution" then I'd say the students have some legitimate grounds to object. The article doesn't make this part of the story very clear, but at least in one way suggests that this may be what's happening.

Re:A Muslim Perspective (3, Interesting)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187422)

You have a lot to say about whether or not God has something to do with evolution.

Why do you believe in God? Is there any evidence to his/its existence? Or is it simply dogmatic because you were raised that way?

What do you say to someone who is of another faith, perhaps Hindu or Christian or Jane or Sikh or whatever? What of the tens of millions who lived before the founding of Islam?

I'm somewhat baffled by religion in general. I don't intend to pick on a Muslim, your weirdly rational writing struck a profound cognitive dissonance within my head in contrast to the actual content of your writing.

Re:A Muslim Perspective (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187506)

>>I don't intend to pick on a Muslim, your weirdly rational writing struck a profound cognitive dissonance within my head in contrast to the actual content of your writing.

If you haven't met rational religious people before, you really need to get out of the house more often...

Re:A Second Muslim Perspective (4, Interesting)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187436)

I, too, will pitch my hat in the ring to provide a Muslim perspective.

I am from Pakistan, which is about as conservative and Muslim as you can get (okay, so KSA is even more so...but you get the gist)

However, when I was taught biology in school, guess what, I was taught Darwin!

It was simple, the text simply said, "Charles Darwin, a renowned Scientist hypothesized in his theory that..." and then followed by "However, we as Muslims, believe that [insert relevant verses here]"

Simple as that!

If these students were to come to a medical college in Pakistan (and we quite a few of International level) then, surprise surprise, there would be a chapter on Darwin.

Look, we are Muslims, and I know the general trend of Slashdot is towards atheism/agnosticism, but I strictly believe in a right to believe your religion in peace. So I will not say that the very idea of Creationism is wrong, If I (and they) want to believe that, it is my(/our) right.

However, if an eminent scholar presents forward a *theory*, there is no harm in at least reading what he is writing.

Re:A Muslim Perspective (3, Insightful)

lavaface (685630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187476)

That an articulate and measured comment like this is modded flamebait is a true indictment of how out of control Slashdot groupthink has become. I wish I had mod points.

Natural selection (5, Interesting)

maweki (999634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187354)

As many said before me: just fail them and let natural selection take its course.

BS all over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187360)

I find the article just a useless piece of BS. First of all it is people who read/ follow the cited author Harun Yahya who are "allegedly" boycotting the class. Media fanaticism at its best: "a large number of muslim students", how many total, how many were muslims, how many chose not to declare their religion. And all this on slashdot! Please, for the love of all that makes sense, stop being idiots!

Re:BS all over... (1)

TxRv (1662461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187550)

People would rather read something that isn't completely true but makes a good story, than know the full unvarnished truth.

This is a really easy argument to settle. (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187366)

"If God is directing it, how could we tell the difference? We call it random because science is secular."

Just Speaking Generally (5, Funny)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187400)

Wouldn't boycotting an academic lecture be equivalent to willful ignorance? Understanding your opposition's arguments, even if you know going in that you completely disagree with their conclusion, is a useful thing to have.

Re:Just Speaking Generally (3, Insightful)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187562)

You can either ignore the lectures and be uninformed, or listen to them and be misinformed.

-- Mark Twain

That's OK if they walk out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187410)

More knowledge for the rest of us.

My wife worked at UT SW Med center doing (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187424)

genetics research. She worked with a geneticist (PhD) who was a fundamentalist, bible-toting Christian who didn't believe in evolution. She said he was absolutely brilliant when it came to genetics. No one who worked with him could ever figure out how he squared his genetics knowledge with his religious beliefs. Evolution is at the very core of genetics, or is it the other way around? Anyway, he was a very strange person.

Undirected Randomness? (1)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187428)

(Disclaimer: atheist)

...they object to the idea that there is a random process out there which is not directed by God.

Who says it's undirected? To us mortals, a lot of things seem random (radioactive decay, genetic mutations, etc.), but who says these things are undirected? A process which seems random to us could make perfect sense to a deity, and could even be directly controlled by said deity. I don't see the need for mutual exclusion here.

Diest response. (3, Interesting)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187452)

Evolution is the incarnation of the will of god/ Allah / Jane / whomever / the Universe. What's so hard about that ?

Another view . . . (-1, Troll)

lavaface (685630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187460)

I am not sure about the intricacies of their arguments, but perhaps they are right? I do not mean to say that there are not clearly established patterns of scientific knowledge, but perhaps there is a God who has an active role in the guidance of evolution. I realize this is contrary to Slashdot groupthink and expect to get modded down, but I thought I should say something.

Odd. The Quran says differently (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187468)

If I understand it correctly, one of the Quran's directives is to seek all knowledge. I hypocrisy is a human failing, not a religious one... but then again, religion is a human failing.

Christian and Jewic students boycott this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187490)

Christian and Jewic students boycott evolutionary facts too. There is nothing new in this.

Any trivial observation that counters their Moslem, Christian, or Jewic religion will be ignored . They are hypocrites, end of story. What should they do? Abandon their religion? Hmmm, yes, why not? They can keep a cultural identity without lying to themselves I guess.

"The Daily Mail reports..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38187496)

I stopped reading right there. Readycharged, you FAIL.
And samzenpus.... I don't even have to say anything anymore. I mention the name, and people go "I know...".

It takes more.. (0)

jmb1990 (1979110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187528)

It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. We can't see either, true, but believing in some kind of order and divine infrastructure is easier to comprehend than a godless, hopeless, universe where eventually all life will cease to exist leaving nothing but a cold, black, empty void. Personally I think anyone who believes in evolution is a total f*cking idiot.

Religion is getting nuttier (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187530)

Religion is getting nuttier.

Today, evolution is an engineering technology. Watching vruses and bacteria evolve from generation to generation is routine medical research. Genetic engineering and some kinds of drug discovery are forced evolutionary systems. Most of the mechanics of the process are understood. It isn't mysterious any more.

At this point, denying that evolution is real is on a par with claiming the earth is flat. Yet religious denial of evolution has increased.

More religions are anti-education than 50 years ago. Some branches of Islam are explicitly anti-education. Now that's infected Judaism, too. [typepad.com] Which is strange, after centuries of a strong drive in the Jewish community to achieve a good education.

Define "an increasing number" (5, Interesting)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38187556)

While I find radical religious fundamentalism just as distasteful as any other atheist, I would also hesitate to launch into Muslim bashing just because one professor has noticed "an increasing number" of Muslim students boycotting his lectures. For all we know, it may be a small number of students boycotting that do not represent a larger trend, and there may be more to the story than reported here (what if, for example, the professor made offensive remarks about Islam and its followers during a lecture, a la Richard Dawkins).

In regards to whether or not these students should be allowed to graduate and become doctors, I'm a little torn. On the one hand, I don't see how someone's stance on evolution is going to have any demonstrable impact on their ability to perform surgery, for example. On the other hand, if a doctor doesn't believe in evolution, they might also not believe that over-prescribing antibiotics can bread new strains of drug resistant bacteria, which could lead to genuine threat to public health.

I guess I'd say that if evolutionary biology is a requirement for the major, then they should be required to pass the course in order to graduate. They don't need to attend the lectures, and they don't need to believe that it's true - but in the same way that we force future doctors to suffer through organic chemistry (often against their will), these students should be required to pass the final exam in order to demonstrate that they are at least capable of understanding the material.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...