Thursday, October 29, 2009

Islamic Creationism

The phenomenon has raised concerns among scientists and educators - especially those in Muslim countries and in countries with growing Muslim minorities - who see in it a threat to scientific literacy, a drag on the potential for Muslim countries to build up their languishing scientific research sectors, and as another flashpoint in the Muslim world’s long-running struggle between religion and secularism. Unlike in the West, creationist beliefs are not associated in the Muslim world with religious fundamentalism, but instead are often espoused by members of the mainstream intellectual elite - liberals, by their own lights, who see the expansive, scientific-sounding claims of creationism as tracing a middle way between the guidance of religion and the promise of modern science. Critics of the movement fear that this makes it more likely that creationism will find its way into policies there, especially when the theory of evolution is portrayed among Muslim thinkers, as it often is, as an instrument of Western intellectual hegemony.

Cue Han Solo: "I got a bad feeling about this..."

How to be a good K-blogger

Ex-pat blogger Roboseyo has some good advice on better blogging. It's geared towards K-blogging, but a lot of the more general tips are well worth heeding. In fact, I think I will try to heed them. My health problems are in abeyance, and things are going better at work. So, maybe I can try to make this blog more worth looking in on, from time to time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Daily Show goes to Iran

Jon Stewart's crew went to Iran and didn't get eaten alive, therefore Iran is just a misunderstood victim of the U.S. propaganda machine. Wonder if the hipper-than-thou jerks spoke with any of these Iranians?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Random Korea reflections, 8

I was hiking in the brushy hills behind my sister-in-law's luxury condo in Gwangju. It was hot, I was sweaty, and when I came to a clearing with a small playground, I found a bench away from the other people there and sat, panting, and staring at the ground. Soon, I noticed a small commotion on the ground a little distance away. Something white and something black were rolling around. It was a white spider, and a wasp attempting to capture it, to feed to its larva. It looked very much like this:

They tussled, and the spider broke free and made a run for it. The wasp took flight, acquired the target with its large compound eyes, and pounced again. They rolled into a clench again, until the wasp managed to ram its stinger home. The spider, on its back, unclenched its legs, like a fist slowly opening. The wasp scooted around the inert spider, in that abrupt way insects have, and stung it again for good measure. Or maybe it was laying its egg inside, I don't know. It started to drag the spider up a blade of grass, and seemed to dither quite a bit doing that. So, I got up and headed back the way I came.

I don't know why this little scene has stayed with me so long, other than because I've always loved nature. And I think wasps are superb little predators.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009