Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PZ Myers vs. Islamists in Dublin

So, PZ Myers encountered some Muslims at this past weekend's International Atheist Convention (I've also seen it called the European Atheist Convention) in Dublin, Ireland. There are certainly some interesting parts to the video, as I will note below.

PZ: "You're saying Mohammad was some kind of ignoramus living in a cave for all of his life?"


Islamist: "In fact, there were no scholars in Arabia in his city. There were only 17 people who could read and write."


PZ: "I'm just kind of surprised that your argument rests on the fact that...Arabs were ignorant nomads and knew nothing at all."

Islamist: "Yes, this is what we said, yes." (paraphrased)

Yep, that's right! The Islamists downplay the knowledge of their ancestors in order to support their belief that Mohammad got his scientific knowledge from Allah. The fact is, though, that the Arab world was on the verge of entering a "golden age" in scientific knowledge.

The video gets interesting again around 6:20. It is a bit harder to understand what everyone is saying, as people are talking over each other, but I will paraphrase the best I can.
PZ: "Is that what the Koran specifically says that the bones come first, then the flesh, and then the muscle?"

Islamist: "Absolutely! This is exactly what the Koran says."

PZ: "You've just demonstrated that the Koran is wrong."

Islamist: "How?"

Discussion of Keith Moore's idea that flesh forms after bones (and assumably before muscle). Myers discusses what really happens: muscle and flesh develop simultaneously

Islamist: "Even if that is the case, the Koran is right!"

Islamists discuss how some word in the Koran can mean simultaneously.
So, after admitting that the Koran says the flesh forms first, they back peddle by twisting the meaning of words in the Koran to fit the science. Oh, this sounds all too familiar to what Christians like to do with the Bible..."Oh, this really means this. You have to understand the ancient Hebrew, Greek, etc." ...As if they somehow understand it themselves. *sigh*

A little later on, AronRa points out how people are punished for not believing (just like in Christianity) though no good reason for believing is provided. More apologetics that sound oddly Christian follow.

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