The Best and Brightest Fanatics

An op-ed I wrote about Islam, “The Best and Brightest Fanatics,” has been published in a number of newspapers internationally. I thought the Secular Outpost readership might enjoy it as well.

The sobering thought is that this op-ed, a short piece where I can do very little with detail and nuance, and where I address a topic of current newsworthy interest rather than something that I really care about deeply and work upon, has reached the largest audience among everything I have ever written.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16624603521338516156 DFB

    As an engineer myself, I’m often frustrated by my peers’ lack of rational (scientific) thinking. I guess we’re kind of half-way between scientists and laborers, or stated another way, not scientists. Most of us just don’t think like scientists, even though we are well-versed in the language and methods.

    If I’m understanding correctly, applied scientists (doctors, engineers, etc.) enjoy greater prestige in muslim communities because they are the ones trying to get the culture up to speed with the west. But why is their prestige greater than the actual scientists? I’m not following.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07278467009426607118 bmk md

    dfb:

    Engineers and physicians are respected because it is easy to see how they can help society and individuals. We need safe buildings and bridges, ala Minnesota. We need understanding and application of medical knowledge for everyday issues, a cold, pneumonia, a broken arm.

    But what do Biologists or Physicists do that is understandable to most people? Tease out the genome? Understand the Big Bang and black holes? see the difference between everyday gravity and gravity at the speed of light?

    You have to be knowledgable and inquisitive to look into more esoteric areas of science.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07278467009426607118 bmk md

    Taner:

    You are too respectful of religion and religious people.

    Frequently repect for other’s opinion is a governmental, legal, political issue not a religous prinicple.

    Religions (usually) don’t preach tolerance, democracies do. Islam least of all. It is a religion founded on squelching oposition and forcing others to convert at risk of death. REad the Qu’ran.

    Christianity and Judaism aren’t much better, if at all.

    None of them preach respecting other religious points of view.

    Again, only in democracies, with an enlightenment view of the world and humanity, teach and support tolerance.


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