Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
General manifesto *****
The deep Crisis of the West
The outrageous truth slips out: Labour cynically plotted to transform the entire make-up of Britain without telling its voters
26.10.2009. Three days ago former speech writer for Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, Andrew Neather, published an article in The Evening Standard where he disclosed that:
It didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year, when the Government introduced a points-based system, was to open up the UK to mass migration. [...] I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended - even if this wasn't its main purpose - to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far. [...] Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.
The reactions in the UK have been strong:
See also Neather's reaction to the outrage.
Not worthy of our compassion?
Being white in Zimbabwe or South Africa can be dangerous indeed (photo by EPA/SCANPIX).
24.10.2009. The situation for Whites in Zimbabwe is difficult, and it is gradually getting worse in South Africa too. The future for people of European descent in these two countries is uncertain, to say the least.
Even so, the federal government in Canada has denounced as "perverse" a refugee board ruling that granted asylum to white South African Brandon Huntley on the grounds he could face persecution in his homeland because of his skin color, reports National Post.
HonestThinking comments: Western countries regularly grant asylum to people whose situation is less precarious. Why this double standard?
Should be celebrated - according to article in Nature
16.10.2009 (updated 17.10.2009). Science is finding evidence of genetic diversity among groups of people as well as among individuals. This
discovery should be embraced, not feared, say Bruce T. Lahn and Lanny Ebenstein in their article Let’s celebrate human genetic diversity (Nature, Vol 461, 8 October 2009). The two authors continue:
A growing body of data is revealing the nature of human genetic diversity at increasingly finer resolution1,2. It is now recognized that despite the high degree of genetic similarities that bind humanity together as a species, considerable diversity exists at both individual and group levels (see box, page 728). The biological significance of these variations remains to be explored fully. But enough evidence has come to the fore to warrant the question: what if scientific data ultimately demonstrate that genetically based biological variation exists at non-trivial levels not only among individuals but also among groups? In our view, the scientific community and society at large are ill-prepared for such a possibility. We need a moral response to this question that is robust irrespective of what research uncovers about human diversity. Here, we argue for the moral position that genetic diversity, from within or among groups, should be embraced and celebrated as one of humanity’s chief assets.
The current moral position is a sort of ‘biological egalitarianism’. This dominant position emerged in recent decades largely to correct grave historical injustices, including genocide, that were committed with the support of pseudo scientific understandings of group diversity. The racial-hygiene theory promoted by German geneticists Fritz Lenz, Eugene Fischer and others during the Nazi era is one notorious example of such pseudoscience. Biological egalitarianism is the view that no or almost no meaningful genetically based biological differences exist among human groups, with the exception of a few superficial traits such as skin colour3. Proponents of this view seem to hope that, by promoting biological sameness, discrimination against groups or individuals will become groundless.
We believe that this position, although wellintentioned, is illogical and even dangerous, as it implies that if significant group diversity were established, discrimination might thereby be justified. We reject this position. Equality of opportunity and respect for human dignity should be humankind’s common aspirations, notwithstanding human differences no matter how big or small. We also think that biological egalitarianism may not remain viable in light of the growing body of empirical data (see box).
Discussions of human genetic diversity inevitably touch on many sensitive issues. We therefore provide the following caveats to minimize misinterpretations of our position. First, the recognition that genetic diversity can contribute to variation in biological traits by no means diminishes the role of the environment in influencing many of these traits. Arguments for improving the well-being of individuals and groups through environmental approaches such as better nutrition, education, career opportunities and medical treatment lose none of their strength when embracing genetic diversity. Second, acknowledging differentiation among groups does not reduce the importance of diversity within groups, in which most human diversity seems to lie. Third, although we firmly believe that diversity is beneficial overall, we acknowledge that it might not always be so. For example, genetic diversity can lead to higher disease susceptibilities in some individuals or groups. We nevertheless believe that any downside of genetic diversity, including at the group level, does not detract from its overall benefit to our species.
It is also important to recognize that humanity is diverse in its diversity — which is to say that genetic diversity contributes to variation across numerous physical, physiological and cognitive domains. How individuals or groups fare in one domain can be largely independent of how they fare in others. For example, although IQ is a useful metric of some aspects of intelligence and it is partly heritable, it is far from a complete measure of total mental capacity. Therefore, acceptance of human genetic diversity in its totality necessarily leads to the rejection of unidimensional rankings of the capacity of human individuals or groups. If anything, the study of genetics is taking us towards an ever greater appreciation of the multidimensional nature of human potential.
Genetic diversity is a strength not a weakness of humanity. It is time to acknowledge, embrace and celebrate this strength. There is nothing scientifically improbable or morally reprehensible in the position that people, including groups of people, can be genetically diverse. Those who deny or even condemn human diversity adopt a stance that is both factually doubtful and morally precarious. On the whole, humanity has been and will be stronger, not despite our differences, but because of them.
Lahn and Ebenstein give the following reasons for their beliefs (shown in a box on page 728, emphasis added):
Genetic diversity is the differences in DNA sequence among members of a species. It is present in all species owing to the interplay of mutation, genetic drift, selection and population structure. When a species is reproductively isolated into multiple groups by geography or other means, the groups differentiate over time in their average genetic make-up.
Anatomically modern humans first appeared in eastern Africa about 200,000 years ago. Some members migrated out of Africa by 50,000 years ago to populate Asia, Australia, Europe and eventually the Americas9. During this period, geographic barriers separated humanity into several major groups, largely along continental lines, which greatly reduced gene flow among them. Geographic and cultural barriers also existed within major groups, although to lesser degrees.
This history of human demography, along with selection, has resulted in complex patterns of genetic diversity. The basic unit of this diversity is polymorphisms — specific sites in the genome that exist in multiple variant forms (or alleles). Many polymorphisms involve just one or a few nucleotides, but some may involve large segments of genetic material2. The presence of polymorphisms leads to genetic diversity at the individual level such that no two people’s DNA is the same, except identical twins. The alleles of some polymorphisms are also found in significantly different frequencies among geographic groups1,5. An extreme example is the pigmentation gene SLC24A5. An allele of SLC24A5 that contributes to light pigmentation is present in almost all Europeans but is nearly absent in east Asians and Africans10.
Given these geographically differentiated polymorphisms, it is possible to group humans on the basis of their genetic make-up. Such grouping largely confirms historical separation of global populations by geography5. Indeed, a person’s major geographic group identity can be assigned with near certaintly on the basis of his or her DNA alone (now an accepted practice in forensics). There is growing evidence that some of the geographically differentiated polymorphisms are functional, meaning that they can lead to different biological outcomes (just how many is the subject of ongoing research). These polymorphisms can affect traits such as pigmentation, dietary adaptation and pathogen resistance (where evidence is rather convincing)10–12, and metabolism, physical development and brain biology (where evidence is more preliminary)6,8,13,14.
For most biological traits, genetically based differentiation among groups is probably negligible compared with the variation within the group. For other traits, such as pigmentation and lactose intolerance, differences among groups are so substantial that the trait displays an inter-group difference that is non-trivial compared with the variance within groups, and the extreme end of a trait may be significantly overrepresented in a group.
Several studies have shown that many genes in the human genome may have undergone recent episodes of positive selection — that is, selection for advantageous biological traits6. This is contrary to the position advocated by some scholars that humans effectively stopped evolving 50,000–40,000 years ago15. In general, positive selection can increase the prevalence of functional polymorphisms and create geographic differentiation of allele frequencies.
1. Frazer, K. A. et al. Nature 449, 851–861 (2007).
2. Redon, R. et al. Nature 444, 444–454 (2006).
3. Kamin, L. J., Lewontin, R. C. & Rose, S. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature (Pantheon, 1984).
4. Rose, S. Nature 457, 786–788 (2009).
5. Li, J. Z. et al. Science 319, 1100–1104 (2008).
6. Pickrell, J. K. et al. Genome Res. 19, 826–837 (2009).
7. Zhu, X., Tang, H. & Risch, N. Adv. Genet. 60, 547–569
8. Phan, V. H. et al. Expert Opin. Drug Metab. Toxicol. 5,
9. Peregrine, P. N., Peiros, L. & Feldman, M. (eds) Ancient
Human Migrations: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Univ. Utah Press, 2009).
10. Lamason, R. L. et al. Science 310, 1782–1786 (2005).
11. Tishkoff, S. A. et al. Nature Genet. 39, 31–40 (2007).
12. Hamblin, M. T. & Di Rienzo, A. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 66, 1669–1679 (2000).
13. Fujimoto, A. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 17, 835–843 (2008).
14. de Quervain, D. J.-F. et al. Nature Neurosci. 10, 1137–1139 (2007).
15. Gould, S. J. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Belknap
Bruce T. Lahn is in the Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Illinois. Lanny Ebenstein is in the Department of Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara, California. Their article can be downloaded (pdf) from Gene Expression.
HonestThinking comments: As has repeatedly been stated by yours truly and many others (quoting from the above box):
When a species is reproductively isolated into multiple groups by geography or other means, the groups differentiate over time in their average genetic make-up.
This is blindingly obvious, and proves that there were never any good reasons to believe the egalitarian dogma in the first place. As Arthur Schopenhauer said:
All truth passes through 3 stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
PS: Steve Sailer has a humorous take on the fact that Nature, for decades a bastion of politically correct thinking on these issues, have now published an article like this.
And its genetic basis
16.09.2009. Excerpts from Genetic Basis of Human Brain Evolution by HHMI investigator Bruce T. Lahn:
As a species, Homo sapiens exhibits many marked distinctions from other mammals. Particularly notable is the human brain, which is far larger and more complex than that of all other species. As a result of the highly evolved brain, humans are endowed with a rich and sophisticated behavioral repertoire that includes language, tool use, self-awareness, symbolic thought, and cultural learning.
Obviously, the distinct biological properties of the human brain are the product of genetic changes accumulated over the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens. We explore the genetic basis of human brain evolution using a variety of approaches—ranging from genomics, bioinformatics, and population genetics, to biochemistry, cell biology, and animal models.
Accelerated evolution of brain genes in the descent of humans. To address whether the evolution of the human brain has left genome-wide genetic imprints, we systematically examined the evolutionary history of genes implicated in diverse biological aspects of brain function. This analysis showed that, on average, protein sequences of brain-related genes have evolved more rapidly in primates than in other mammalian taxa, and that this accelerated evolution is most dramatic along the lineage leading to humans. Moreover, when examining only the subset of genes that functions predominantly in brain development, the high rate of evolution in the human lineage becomes even more pronounced.
The above results argue that the remarkable phenotypic evolution of the human brain is correlated with accelerated evolution in the protein-coding regions of the underlying genes, particularly those involved in brain development. These results also argue that the accelerated evolution, visible across many genes, likely reflects the accumulation of a large number of advantageous mutations scattered across many brain-related genes in the course of primate and human evolution.
Is the human brain still evolving? The most salient trend in the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens is the rapid increase of brain size and complexity. Could this trend be continuing even in anatomically modern humans? To address this question, we focused on the candidate "humanness" genes discussed above and used population genetics tools to search for evidence of ongoing adaptive evolution of these genes in modern humans. We reasoned that if a gene has evolved adaptively in the making of the human species, it may well continue to undergo adaptive evolution even after the emergence of anatomically modern humans. By analyzing human polymorphism patterns, we found evidence that some of these genes are indeed experiencing ongoing positive selection in humans.
Of particular interest are the ASPM and Microcephalin genes. In each of these genes, a new sequence variant arose in the recent past of human history and has since swept to exceptionally high frequency around the world, presumably because of strong positive selection operating on the new variant. We do not yet know the exact fitness advantage conferred by these new variants. However, given the highly specific function of ASPM and Microcephalin in regulating brain size and also given their history of intense adaptive evolution in the lineage leading to Homo sapiens, it is reasonable to hypothesize that these new variants segregating in modern humans may improve some aspect of brain function. We are currently testing this hypothesis. These findings suggest the tantalizing possibility that the human brain is still evolving, in the sense that it is still undergoing rapid adaptive changes.
Read the entire article at Lahn's home page at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
How can anyone think IQ is unimportant?
10.10.2009. Excerpts from the essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? by Fjordman:
Research by Rice University professor John Alford in 2008 found that identical twins were more likely to agree on political issues than were fraternal twins. He thinks that political scientists are too quick to dismiss genetics, and believes that genetics should be studied along with social influences. Alford’s research — and there are others studies with similar results — indicates that people who have a similar genetic make-up think in similar ways as well.
Let us take this principle and apply it to entire societies: What if culture has a genetic component, perhaps even a powerful one? I am not a believer in genetic determinism as there are quite a few events in history that cannot be successfully explained by IQ or genes, but there are also many that can. Even if genes do not determine everything that does in no way imply that they don’t matter at all, yet the ruling ideology in the West today stipulates that everything is “socially constructed” and that all observed differences between groups of people are caused by prejudice and “racism,” by which is usually meant white racism only.
The case of the state of Israel is interesting. I have heard reports that it is difficult to integrate Ethiopian Jews in Israeli society. This could be because they have an African genetic profile which makes them too different from Middle Eastern or especially European Jews. If you postulate that any society cannot successfully absorb a substantial number of people with a radically different genetic profile, this will explain why Africans haven’t been integrated into the United States after living there for several centuries, longer than many European immigrants who were seamlessly assimilated. We could mention the case of the Gypsies, too, who come from India originally and have been living in Eastern and Central Europe for the better part of a thousand years (since the Late Middle Ages) but still aren’t integrated there.
One of our major problems is binary thinking. In the binary system there are only ones and zeros, on and off. You cannot be anything in between, just like you cannot be slightly pregnant. When it comes to matters related to IQ and genetic intelligence, the basic impulse among most Western academics is to make the subject taboo and denounce all those who touch it as “racists.” This is anti-scientific and should be rejected as such. On the other hand you find those who attribute almost everything to genetic intelligence, which is simplistic.
It wasn’t genetic changes that made medieval Italians create capitalism when Roman Italians had never done the same. It is unlikely that changes in IQ is why Scandinavians in the Viking Age were feared as warriors yet are now considered feminized sissies. European societies changed greatly when they adopted Christianity, as societies often do with a new religion. Western Europe by the early 1900s was the most powerful civilization on Earth and still ruled much of the planet. A century later the same region doesn’t even rule its own suburbs. I seriously doubt that the Western European IQ has drastically declined in the meantime. What happened is that the European spirit was broken, especially by two devastating wars and by the dysfunctional and dangerous Utopian ideologies that were unleashed in the process.
High IQ doesn’t automatically make you a more moral person. Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, definitely had very high intelligence, yet this only enabled him to implement evil more effectively. The same can be said about Communist revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. I sometimes wonder whether Europeans have become addicted to implementing destructive ideologies. In that case, high IQ won’t always help us.
People with an IQ of 100 will always have a far greater potential for great achievements than people with an IQ of 80. To what extent that potential is realized or inhibited depends to a large extent on cultural factors. You can easily destroy the ability of high-IQ peoples to utilize their potential, but you cannot create additional potential for low-IQ peoples. North Korea can be made a poorer country than South Korea through Communism, but West Africans can never become pioneers in space exploration. France has produced some of the greatest mathematicians in recorded history. Algeria has produced virtually none. I seriously doubt whether France will continue to produce great mathematicians if it is populated by Algerians.
Yes, I know that there are many white Marxists and others who are hostile to Western civilization, and there are many non-whites who genuinely admire this civilization and want to preserve it. Culture does not always follow genes, but on the other hand it is questionable whether the two can be completely separated. What if culture is at least partly the product a specific group of people with a related genetic profile? What if cultural heritage cannot be totally separated from genetic heritage and that in order to preserve the former in any meaningful way you must also preserve the latter? If so, Western culture was historically the product of European peoples and can only be maintained by them. In that case, perhaps US President Barack Hussein Obama will be remembered as a transitional figure in the evolution of the USA from a Western to a non-Western country with a non-European majority.
While Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel contains some worthwhile parts, the overall conclusion is almost certainly wrong. You can just look at the state of California to disprove it. California was by the 1960s and 70s the economic engine of the USA and by the extension the world. By 2009 it is close to bankruptcy. The reason for this is not that the geography of California changed, nor its plants or animals to any significant degree. What changed was the demographic make-up of California. As long as it was predominantly inhabited by whites it was a dynamic region. As soon as it become inhabited by Mexicans and other lower-IQ Third World peoples it came increasingly to resemble a Third World region. Diamond is currently a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which means that he can see clearly that his theories are flawed just by looking out the window.
Jared Diamond is a poor and dishonest scientist for failing to seriously consider alternative hypotheses which sometimes explain observed reality better than his own. So why has he become so popular and influential? Because he gave the Western Multicultural elites exactly what they wanted to hear: People are equal, what matters is geography. This is an ideological green light for mass immigration of people from failed countries and cultures to the West. If you follow this logic to the extreme you should be able to swap the populations of, say, Japan and Kenya. Kenyans would then have access to all those magnificent Japanese plants and would therefore become much cleverer and would develop the next lines of high-tech cars for Toyota and Mitsubishi or sophisticated TVs for Sony. Personally, I don’t buy that idea. The experiences brought by non-Western immigration to Western cities so far indicate otherwise.
Read the entire essay at Gates of Vienna.
Without it Europe would not have become what it is
10.10.2009. Excerpts from the essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? by Fjordman (boldface emphasis added):
One of the reasons why the West has enjoyed exceptionally high levels of sustained innovation is because we have often enjoyed a greater degree of political liberty and free speech than many other cultures. At least, we used to do so. In some critical fields we no longer do. What we are witnessing now is an experiment of unprecedented magnitude in world history: Never before have a massive amount of low-IQ peoples been allowed to settle in lands where the native inhabitants have substantially higher average IQ than themselves.
The European Union is currently promoting mass immigration to Western European countries by peoples from other cultures. It also imposes a centralized, authoritarian structure which used to be alien to pre-Communist Europe, but in some ways resembles a bureaucratic empire such as Ming Dynasty China. During all of previous European history, no single authority has ever been able to successfully censor ideas throughout the entire Continent, which, frankly, has been one of Europe’s greatest strengths. The EU in collaboration with the national Multicultural elites is now purposefully destroying what have traditionally been Europe’s foremost comparative advantages: High average IQ combined with free inquiry.
Michael Hart in Understanding Human History deals with the issue of whether it is immoral to consider the possibility there could be differences in intelligence between various ethnic groups, and whether believing so makes you a “Nazi.” He suggests that the potential existence of such differences is not a moral question at all, but merely a factual one:
“Such differences (if they exist) are merely facts of nature; as such, they may be unfortunate, but cannot be immoral. Plainly, if such differences actually exist it is not immoral to believe that they exist, nor to honestly state one’s belief that they exist, nor to study the differences. And even if the differences do not exist, a belief that they do (if honestly held) is not immoral, nor is a serious inquiry into the question immoral. The attempt to turn factual questions into moral questions is the essence of dogmatism, and has long been a hindrance to scientific progress. A well-known example involves the conviction of Galileo by the Inquisition in 1633. The members of the court that condemned him were turning a factual question (‘Does the Earth revolve about the Sun?’) into a moral question (‘Is such a belief contrary to scripture, and therefore heretical?’)”
Throughout the Western world there is powerful censorship of anything related to Multiculturalism or mass immigration of non-European peoples. In Europe, EU authorities constitute one of the major forces behind this in collaboration with national authorities, the media and the academia in various countries. Together they promote mass immigration and ideological “anti-racism” through social and legal intimidation as well as propaganda campaigns designed to silence anybody who might conceivably object to the above mentioned policies. This is easily the most serious cases of censorship in this civilization’s history. Much of Europe has enjoyed a remarkable genetic continuity since the Old Stone Age. Native Europeans are now supposed to be displaced by peoples with a completely different genetic profile, but we’re not allowed to debate the long-term consequences of doing so.
Galileo vs. the Inquisition was a bad moment in European history, but the attempted censorship of the heliocentric cosmology of Copernicus had little long-term effect. Moreover, this censorship didn’t do anything to change physical reality. The Earth still orbits the Sun.
When scientists decoded a human genome after the year 2000 they were quick to portray it as proof of mankind’s remarkable similarity. The DNA of any two individuals, they emphasized, is at least 99 percent identical. But new research is exploring the remaining fraction to explain observed differences. After all, you who read these words may well be 99.5 % or more genetically identical to Newton and Einstein, but that last bit made a rather huge difference.
In 2007 The New York Times in the USA, a center-left newspaper very concerned about “racism,” real or imagined, asked in the article In DNA Era, New Worries About Prejudice “whether society is prepared to handle the consequences of science that may eventually reveal appreciable differences between races in the genes that influence socially important traits.” Multiculturalists have, reluctantly, admitted that race is not “socially constructed” when it comes to medicine; some ethnic groups are more susceptible to certain diseases than others.
It is likely that we in the twenty-first century will witness a genetic revolution that will change our view of biology as profoundly as the Copernican theory changed our view of astronomy. Maybe we will identify not only which genes are responsible for certain diseases, but also combinations of genes that contribute to unusually high intelligence. Perhaps a few generations from now, claiming that people are more or less genetically identical and that emphasizing differences in abilities between various ethnic groups is “racism” will appear just as quaint and irrational as it does for us to read older claims that the Sun orbits the Earth. The big difference is that once anti-Copernicanism had been discredited, the Western world was still much the same as before. If or when anti-racism has been scientifically discredited and it has been conclusively established that people really do have different levels of intelligence and capabilities, an entire civilization, the most creative and influential that has ever existed in human history, could in the meantime have been irreversibly destroyed in the process.
Read the entire essay at Gates of Vienna.
The achievement of Europeans
10.10.2009. Excerpts from the essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? by Fjordman:
In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, a largely — and in my view excessively — pro-Mongol book, author Jack Weatherford claims that the Mongol conquests triggered the Renaissance in Europe by opening up the continent to ideas from Asia:
“Because much of the Mongol Empire had been based on novel ideas and ways of organizing public life rather than on mere technology, these ideas provoked new thoughts and experiments in Europe. The common principles of the Mongol Empire — such as paper money, primacy of the state over the church, freedom of religion, diplomatic immunity, and international law — were ideas that gained new importance….Under the widespread influences from the paper and printing, gunpowder and firearms, and the spread of the navigational compass and other maritime equipment, Europeans experienced a Renaissance, literally a rebirth, but it was not the ancient world of Greece and Rome being reborn: It was the Mongol Empire, picked up, transferred, and adapted by the Europeans to their own needs and culture.”
There are frequent claims these days that Western science was facilitated by medieval translations from Arabic. So, we encounter claims that the Renaissance was what caused the great advances in Western science and that it was triggered by Muslims in the twelfth century or Mongols in the thirteenth century. Yet according to Pomeranz, there was nothing special about Europe until the nineteenth century. An intelligent reader will quickly see that all of these different claims cannot be true at the same time, yet they are all made at the same time.
The point here is not what is factually correct, the point is to put down any sense of pride people of European origins might have in their historical achievements. It is a bit ironic that European culture is constantly derided for being racist, oppressive and evil, yet everybody else seems very busy with claiming the honor for having created it. If we are racist oppressors who rape the Earth and create global warming, why are Muslims and others so eager to take credit for having created our culture? Shouldn’t they feel ashamed of themselves instead?
Western Multiculturalists claim that all cultures are equal, yet only one of them created modern organized science. This is the big elephant in the middle of the room. Multiculturalists try to explain this away by stating that: A.) Science was invented independently in many regions and “merged” into modern science. B.) All cultures and peoples are equal. If one of them appears to be more successful than others, this must be because it exploits and oppresses the others. Since European civilization has been uniquely influential this can only be because it is uniquely evil. Consequently, stamping it out is a good deed for the sake of Earth and for mankind. An alternative way to respond to this explanatory challenge of why modern science emerged in Europe is to ignore the problem all together and talk about zebras and Australian plants instead. This is Jared Diamond’s preferred solution.
The truth is that the Scientific Revolution was the greatest achievement of the human mind in all history, and it was done by Europeans, not by anybody else. We can debate why this was the case, which can make for a fascinating discussion, but the end result is not debatable.
Read the entire essay at Gates of Vienna.
Why care about truth and accuracy?
10.10.2009. Excerpts from the essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? by Fjordman:
US President Barack Hussein Obama’s speech delivered at Cairo University in Egypt in 2009 contained a remarkably high number of half-truths, distortions or plain lies. Take this quote:
“As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar University — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
Is there even a single truthful statement in this entire paragraph? Muslims did create some fine calligraphy, and a few of their scholars made contributions to algebra, but apart from that it’s almost total nonsense. The magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese and possibly by Europeans and others independently. Printing of books, too, was invented by the Chinese, and was stubbornly and persistently rejected by Muslims for a thousand years or more due to Islamic religious resistance. They liked the Chinese invention of gunpowder a lot more.
Read the entire essay at Gates of Vienna.
African bishops speak of him in religious terms
10.10.2009. Excerpts from an article at Breitbart (emphasis added):
African bishops attending a Vatican meeting are speaking about the election of Barack Obama in divine terms—putting them very much at odds with many of their U.S. counterparts.
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana said Wednesday that there was "a divine plan behind" Obama's election.
"It's like the biblical story repeating itself," he told reporters, citing the Old Testament figure Joseph, who after being sold into slavery in Egypt ends up becoming a top official.
"We believe God has his own plans. God directs history," he said of the U.S. election. "We pray that it (Obama's presidency) brings blessings for Africa and the whole world."
"If the election of a black as head of the United States of America was a divine sign and a sign from the Holy Spirit for the reconciliation of races and ethnic groups for peaceful relations ... this synod and the universal church would gain from not ignoring this primordial event of contemporary history which is far from being a banal game of political alliances," he said in his speech.
Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria gave more tangible reasons for praise in meeting with reporters.
"Obama has the authority to talk straight to our bad leaders and tell them they are messing up our countries," he said. Besides, he added, "In Africa we are always happy when our brother is big."
HonestThinking comments: Consider in particular the following quote:
If the election of a black as head of the United States of America was a divine sign and a sign from the Holy Spirit for the reconciliation of races and ethnic groups for peaceful relations [...]
This appears to be the same kind of reasoning that lies behind the decision of the Nobel Committee. However, the bishops do not seem to perceive race and ethnicity as becoming less important in the future:
"In Africa we are always happy when our brother is big."
Plot to expel all commercial farmers
10.10.2009. President Robert Mugabe plans to expel all white farmers from farms and seize all the land, according to a document obtained by The Zimbabwe Times.
Permalinks to older articles