Richard Dawkins Upsets Liberals and Muslims by Confronting Them with Reality

August 11, 2013
Just hate this guy and everything will be fine.

Just hate this guy and everything will be fine.

On Thursday this week the well-known biologist, atheist and author Richard Dawkins tweeted,

All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.

The reactions to this true and easily verifiable statement have been pretty negative,

The Guardian: “as rational as the rantings of an extremist Muslim cleric”

Telegraph: “Dawkins has gone from criticising the religion itself to criticising Muslims, as a vast bloc.”

Daily Mail: “Half of the ten Muslim laureates were awarded the prize in the 21st century, during which Trinity College has only had one prize winner.”

New Statesman: “…on what planet are Nobel Prizes the best metric for achievement or progress?”

The blogosphere, being more representative of the Western population, is less polite but more balanced with people defending Dawkins.

Reality Bites

So why are the critics so angry with Dawkins? No one contests that his statement is true, indeed the truth of it may well be the source of their indignation. The politically correct people, common in the mainstream media, are not willing to give up on their vision of multiculturalism – and if Islam is intellectually barren then mass immigration of Muslims to the West may not be such a good idea. So if their political ideas clash with reality – then screw reality.

And the reality is actually much worse than Dawkins tweet suggests. Of the ten Muslim Nobel Prize winners, only two are in hard science. Six are in the controversial peace category and two are in literature. Furthermore, Orhan Pamuk, winner in the literature category, claims to be a “cultural Muslim”,

So I’m a Muslim who associates historical and cultural identification with this religion. I do not believe in a personal connection to God; that’s where it gets transcendental.

Which probably few of the world’s Muslims would acknowledge as a true Muslim. And the winner in physics, Abdus Salam belonged to the Ahmadiyya sect which most Muslims don’t recognize as part of their religion. That leaves us with two clear-cut Muslims winning outside the joke category of peace. On a population of 1.6 billion. Is this just a coincidence or in fact an indication of a bigger problem?

Not So Smart…

Of course, the Nobel Prize is not the only measure of intellectual achievement or level of civilization. All around the world psychologists have people take IQ tests to measure their cognitive abilities. The smartest predominantly Muslim country is Kazakhstan with a national average IQ of 94, followed by Malaysia at 92. These scores correlate strongly with a nation’s GDP. Basically, no country below 95 is doing well, unless it has enormous amounts of oil or if it’s a tax haven. And for anyone who thinks high IQs are the result of money rather than vice versa, the stats for super-rich Muslim oil countries tell a different story – Brunei  91, Qatar 78 and United Arab Emirates 84.

But Highly Corrupt…

The above mentioned United Arab Emirates and Qatar share the highest spot (being the least corrupt) at 27th on the Corruptions Perceptions Index. But overall, corruption is high in the entire Muslim world. Malaysia and Turkey share second place at 54th. Many of the countries now attempting to achieve democracy are among the most corrupt in the world – Egypt at 118, Syria at 144, and Libya at 160 of 174 nations.

And, Less Known, Very Inbred

Inbreeding is a topic rarely discussed in mainstream media even though it correlates strongly to both intelligence and corruption. I hope that we can all agree that having sex with your relatives is a bad idea and that having children with them is even worse. So how does this relate to Islam? If we compare PEW’s map of the percentage of Muslims by country with a map of the frequency of consanguineous marriages from Consang.net  we can see that they are almost identical,

PEW's map of Muslims by country.

PEW’s map of Muslims by country.

Global frequency of marriages between first cousins or closer.

Global frequency of marriages between first cousins or closer.

This may seem like a cheap shot, but inbreeding is also a correlate of intelligence, corruption and obviously congenital diseases. And it probably also contributes to a hostile tribalism or clanishness.

What to Do About It?

Some critics will blame the shortcomings of the Muslim world on the West, but intelligence is a highly inheritable trait which is very resistant to external influences. For instance, malnutrition has decreased drastically in recent decades around the world but it hasn’t had any big impact on IQ scores, and those super rich oil countries remain at a very low level. Corruption is a strong correlate of intelligence and can hardly be due to Western influence either. If it was we’d expect South America to be as corrupt as the Middle East. And Western oppression has probably not compelled Muslims to marry their cousins, uncles and nieces while leaving the oppressed of other faiths to decide for themselves.

Maybe we shouldn’t blame anyone. The problems of the Muslim world are no doubt a matter of both genes and religion, and date back a long time. Perhaps they should fix their own problems; and maybe we can help them, then again maybe we can’t. I don’t have the answers.

But I’m pretty sure that Dawkins is right that there is a big problem and that Islam is a threat to the West. If we import the people, we import their problems. Looking at the situation in my own country of Sweden this is very clear when you look at the situation in the town of Malmö, our Muslim murder capital. After several cases of assault, vandalism and harassment towards Jews making many leave the country, Ilmar Reepalu, the mayor of Malmö commented,

There haven’t been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo.

Again, screw reality.

And honestly why aren’t the pundits who attack Dawkins doing the same to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who says exactly the same thing? No, they wouldn’t attack a Black guy, especially not a smart and sympathetic one like Degrasse Tyson. That would look bad. And perception is at the heart of the attitude of the politically correct. They rather save face than save Western civilization.

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A Few Thoughts on Gun Control and Media-Driven Politics

January 21, 2013
Making a difference?

Making a difference?

Obama’s recently declared plan on gun control in response to mass shootings like that in Sandy Hook aims at reducing this sort of violence by stricter legislation. Some of the main points are better background checks, a ban of assault rifles, and limiting magazines to 10 rounds.

This sounds pretty reasonable but will it really have an effect? To get this problem in proportion we need to look at some basic stats. According to FBI, homicides involving three or more victims are very rare. They account for less than one percent of all homicides, and they have done so since 1980, which is as long as they’ve kept records on this type of crime. In 2008 homicide with four victims were at 0.2 percent and five or more victims at 0.1 percent. It’s not that I want to diminish the fact that children in elementary school were gunned down but according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics some 500-700 children under the age of five have been killed annually since 1975 in America, hardly anyone of them were victims of mass shootings. Are they somehow less dead?

Also, does less guns mean less gun violence?  There was a ban on assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 with no discernable impact on gun violence. Another way to look at it by comparing how armed a state is in comparison to its firearm deaths. The Daily Beast made ranking based on background checks. If we compare that to death by firearm (provided by Statemaster) there is not much of a connection either. Using a calculator from easycalculation.com, I typed in every state (except Kentucky which has a different policy making their numbers completely different from the other states). It turns out, Washington DC, the least armed state, had the most number of deaths by firearm.  And heavily armed states, like Utah and the Dakotas, were under the average in deaths by firearm. The overall correlation was a meagre 0.246. So the old argument that guns don’t kill people makes sense.

As for background checks, well that actually also makes sense. It’s not a controversial claim that the prisons are full of boys and men with personality disorders. Banning them from owning guns might actually accomplish something. But all in all, Obama is handling this pretty much like any politician: he focuses on problems that make headlines and that make him look good. Around 600 children under the age of five will be killed in America this year. They will not be making any headlines or creating photo-ops, so they won’t be a priority for the president,


What Everybody Missed About the AP Poll: Democrats Have More Implicit Nonblack Racists Than the Republicans

October 29, 2012

You can’t argue with this girl. Seriously, you can’t.

That’s right. This poll reported that 64 percent of all Republicans and 55 percent of all Democrats show implicit racism against Blacks. But racism is practically without exception directed at other groups rather than towards people of the same group. I haven’t found any exact number on this but it’s unlikely to be more than one percent of such self-haters.  At least  I don’t think anyone would disagree if I say that an estimate of 5 percent black self-haters is an overestimate. But let’s be generous and go with that.

So we know that 64 percent of the Republicans are implicitly prejudiced against Blacks. And assuming that 5 percent of GOP’s 2 percent black voters are self-haters they would make up 0.1 percent, leaving us with 63.9 nonblack racists out of 98 nonblack Republicans – which makes 65.2 percent of nonblack Republicans. Now we look at the 55 percent of Democrat racists. Of these 0.95 percent are black self-haters, leaving us with 54.05 nonblack racists out of 81 nonblack Democrats – which makes 66.7 percent nonblack racists among Democrats.  Slightly more than for the Republicans. And again, that’s assuming 5 percent of all Blacks are self-hating racists.

No, my point is not that Democrats are more racist. I just made this little exercise to show how people interpret data to fit their preconceived notions. My suspicion is that this poll doesn’t even measure racism – how do you measure something without even defining it? But I’m sure there is a lot of tribalism, that people like their own and dislike others, and some of that is in the form of racism. That, however, is a universal trait and nothing that is exclusive to white conservatives. As you might be led to believe judging by the reactions this poll has generated.


Farmer Eaten by His Own Pigs – Why Are We Interested in the Morbid?

October 2, 2012

This little piggy went to town.

In Oregon, a 69 year old farmer named Terence Vance Gardner appears to have died a macabre and possibly suspicious death. He set out to feed the hogs, some of which weighed around 700 pounds, but didn’t come back. A few hours later his dentures and pieces of his body were found in the enclosure.

Stories like this are bound to make headlines. People love horror stories and sensationalism, and I have to confess that I’m no exception to the rule. I immediately thought that he probably would have liked to die surrounded by a big bunch of grandchildren instead. And then a little voice in my head said, maybe he did. That creepy sense of humor seems to go hand in hand with the morbid interest in other people’s misfortune.

Why don’t we shy away from these horrid tales? I guess we need them somehow – as a way to cope with life, when real horrors knock at our own door step perhaps? Or maybe it’s that our brains have been formed by evolution to be very alert to danger. The modern environment doesn’t provide that much of it giving us horror abstinence.

At any rate it’s clear that the vast majority love gruesome tales as titillation and even humor. Maybe it’s healthy to give our brains a little dose of what it’s built for but rarely encounters these days. Like having a glass of wine now and then to clear up the arteries.  It sounds cruel but then again life is cruel. We all die and become fodder for pigs or for sick jokes. It’s the circle of life : )


Attacks on US Consulate kills Ambassador – The Arab Spring Has Only Just Begun

September 12, 2012

This trailer for a film by Sam Bacile posted on YouTube has sparked an attack on the US consulate in Libya in which the US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed along with information management officer Sean Smith and two other Americans whose names have yet to be revealed. The American embassy in Egypt was also attacked but without any causalties.
It’s a reminder that the divide between the West and the Muslim world is still huge and irreconcilable. The assumption that the Arab Spring would bring democracy and human rights to these countries is looking more and more naive. Instead it has given Muslim theocrats a great opportunity to seize power and turn rougue on whoever dares to insult their religion. Pretty soon might just end up thinking about the Mobarak and Khaddafi era as the good old days. Because democracy necessary lead to freedom and enlightenment – if it did it wouldn’t be democracy. It leads to wherever the voters takes it.

So where does this leave the West? I think we should stop trying to civilize the world and focus on our own security. Does this mean supporting democracy? No, not if it’s just a transition to theocracy. In that case we are better off with puppet dictators.

One comforting fact in this story is that YouTube has not removed the film. It’s extremely important not to give in to threats. Even if you believe that to be a morally acceptable option, history shows that most of the time people get punished and not rewarded for being submissive. Remember “Peace for our time”?


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