“When children in Turkey head back to school this fall, something will be missing from their textbooks: any mention of evolution. The Turkish government is phasing in what it calls a values-based curriculum. Critics accuse Turkey’s president of pushing a more conservative, religious ideology — at the expense of young people’s education……… At a news conference last month, Turkey’s education minister announced that new textbooks will be introduced in all primary and secondary schools, starting with grades 1, 5 and 9 this fall, and the rest next year. They will stop teaching evolution………..”
Years ago, when I was a school kid, we were taught about Charles Darwin and the evolution (and creationism of course). That was on the Gulf, the Persian-American Gulf. That was in our small corner on the northern coast, almost certainly not in the whole Gulf region. We considered ourselves more ‘advanced’ than the others, at least in education (and we were in those days).
Now Turkey, formerly thought of as the realm of Kemal Ataturk-ism but now a Muslim Brotherhood bastion, is going backward, even beyond what we had in my simple corner of the Gulf years ago.
Things are going backward in some ways, and not only in parts of the United States. More than 90 years after the Scopes Trial of Tennessee (that God-fearing state apparently still teaches mostly creationism in public schools). It is a losing battle, but some states and regions still fight (or try to) the teaching of evolution. Fortunately, many of these regions they can’t afford to publish their own science textbooks.
That is in Mr. Erdogan’s realm. It is tempting to wonder what Mr. Trump believes about this. But I’ll leave that for another time: need to hike before the predicted showers start, and out here they threaten to start any time now.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“A batch of 1,000-year-old manuscripts from the mountainous northern reaches of war-torn Afghanistan, reportedly found in a cave inhabited by foxes, has revealed previously unknown details about the cultural, economic and religious life of a thriving but little understood Jewish society in a Persian part of the Muslim empire of the 11th century…………The texts are known collectively as the Afghan Geniza, a Hebrew term for a repository of sacred texts and objects. They were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Arabic and Arabic, and some used the Babylonian system for vowels, a linguistic assortment that scholars said would have been nearly impossible to forge. One text includes a discussion of Hebrew words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. Another is a letter between two brothers in which one denied rumors that he was no longer an observant Jew. There are legal and economic documents, some signed by witnesses, recording commercial transactions and debts between Jews and their Muslim neighbors, and other mundane yet illuminating details of daily life like travel plans. One missive between two Jews, Sheik Abu Nasser Ahmed ibn Daniel and Musa ibn Ishak, dealing with family matters, was written in the Hebrew letters of Judeo-Persian, but had an address in Arabic script on the back, presumably for the benefit of the Muslim messenger. One document has a date from the Islamic calendar corresponding to the year 1006. The most important religious text among those acquired by the National Library is a fragment of a Judeo-Persian version of a commentary on the Book of Isaiah originally written by the renowned Babylonian rabbinic scholar Saadia Gaon, a previously unknown text. A sliver of it has been sent to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot for carbon dating. The exact source of the documents is murky………………”
Sheik Abu Nasser Ahmed ibn Daniel and Musa ibn Ishak? Indeed: Jews of those days often had Arabic or Muslim first names, or at least they were known by some Muslim first name. Just as they often have “Christian” first names in the West now like Richard or Steven or Jedediah or Etienne (wtf). Come to think of it, so do the Chinese or Cambodians and others in the West.
Now if the ancestors of Lieberman, Avigdor not Joe, had not wandered and ended up in Molodva or thereabouts, then he’d probably be known as Avigdor ibn Qutada Al Lieberman (okay, scratch the Lieberman part). Come to think of it, even Joe Lieberman would probably be known as Yusuf ibn Ikrimah ibn Saud Al Lieberman (again, scratch the Lieberman part). And he’d probably have a better looking chin than he does now.
Neck of the woods
Re. my earlier post on Anthropology and the stone-age weapons trade between Europe and the Persian Gulf. I just want to emphasize that this was just fanciful speculation. There is no such tribe as the Gruntgrunt tribe in the Gulf region, not that I know of. It is a generic “tribe” name that does not refer to any existing tribe that I know of, not necessarily. I apologize if I stepped over any tribal sensibilities (or on any tribal senselessness or insensibility, which is probably more likely).
FYI: the largest tribe in the Gulf region is not on the Arabian Peninsula. It is the Bakhtiari tribe in Iran that numbers more than a million. This is true, although Iran is not a ‘tribal’ society, except for the ruling Mullah tribe. I was not referring to them either with the Gruntgrunt thingy.
Neck of the woods
“The date when stone-age humans first invented the lethal technology of spears and arrows has been set back many thousands of years with the discovery of small stone blades dating to 71,000 years ago. Archaeologists believe the “bladelets” were used as the sharp tips for arrows or spears and were made by a relatively sophisticated technique involving the heat treatment of stone before shaping the final cutting edges. The fine stone blades were excavated from a prehistoric site called Pinnacle Point on the southern coast of South Africa and are between 6,000 and 11,000 years older than the previous oldest known samples of spear and arrow blades, scientists said. The discovery suggests that the invention of lethal projectile weapons came far earlier in the course of human prehistory than previously realised and that, once invented, the knowledge was passed down the generations, according to a study in Nature led by Curtis Marean of Arizona State University..……………..”
Everybody loves Anthropology, no matter what their major. Well, maybe there are exceptions: some ayatollahs, Wahhabi clerics, Orthodox priests, Salafis, Muslim Brothers, and most U.S. Republican Congressmen, among others.
Do you think they did in those days what they do now? Do you think leading Western cavemen from Europe traveled to the Middle East peddling their axes and stone (obsidian) spears to our leading cavemen of the ruling “Gruntgrunt” tribe? Is it possible that someone who looked like Mr.Cameron, all hairy and clad in animal skin (no underwear of course) walked to the Gulf to sell sharpened stones attached to pieces of wood as well as rock-encrusted clubs as defensive weapons? And what about ‘crowd control’? There was no tear gas in those days, no stun weapons. Did he advise the use of human waste as the second best thing to tear gas? Use of “stink bombs” as opposed to the modern version of crowd control weapons?
Did he advise the leading cave-men that, after bashing their fellow cave–men’s (and cave–women’s) brains with his clubs, they ought to start thinking about considering the possibility of looking into the idea of perhaps allowing them to entertain thoughts of being allowed to tell them that they stink and perhaps ought to dunk themselves in the Gulf waters once in a while.
Fanciful but interesting speculation. No?