Abdus Salam and Galileo: The separation of science from religion (and philosophy)
Dr Abdus Salam, the late Pakistani particle physicist is the only Muslim physicist till date to have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Dr Salam was rare among modern day scientists in that he was a devout Muslim. While most modern scientists are not concerned with religious matters, Dr Salam found his inspiration for science in religion.
The Ghost of Bob Dylan: On the two models of poetry
I remember I first listened to Bob Dylan’s songs back in 2004 when I was studying in the small town of Colchester (the oldest town, and the first capital of Britain). I found myself relating to his songs in a way that I had never related to music before. The combination of his powerful lyrics…
Re-Modeling Iqbal: Why Iqbal is too important to be given up!
Dr Muhammad Iqbal wrote one of the major national songs of India, has been declared the national poet of Pakistan, and served as one of the intellectual influences for Iran’s revolutionaries. However, over the last few years, there has been an ever-growing allergy towards Iqbal among the liberal sections of Pakistan Iqbal is presently claimed…
Wittgenstein contra Wahhab
The basic tenet of Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims is that the word of God, i.e., the Quran, is not open to interpretation; the meaning is apparent from what is stated and woe unto those who indulge in the needless and dangerous talk of interpretation. On the other hand, those who hold views similar to those held in…
William James and Free Will Peril
The problem of free will, as classically defined, is that since each event is caused by a chain of antecedent events, nothing we do is of our own free will; if we do have free will, its hard to see how it could come about. Humankind has been at this problem for millennia. Instead of
The Evolution of Human Behavior?
On why scientists should not make unsubstantiated claims in popular science works especially where human beings are concerned It is quite fashionable these days to try and explain human behavior as a result of evolution through natural selection. Just as a small example, I quote the following from an article by the renowned evolutionary psychologist…
Bombs, Sectarianism and Blasphemy: What’s Art Got To Do With It?
March 4, 2013 Was coming back from an “Art Event” at the Karachi Arts council. I don’t go to such events but mom insisted (emotionally blackmailed to be precise), so I went. While coming back we started getting messages and calls on our cellphones that there had been two bomb blasts a few hundred meters…
From Causality to the Supernatural: Babies know it all!
Work in cognitive psychology has shown that young infants possess the concept of causality as an innate feature of their minds. In fact, it has been shown through recent experiments that this notion is so strong that infants can infer the existence of an unseen casual interaction and even an unseen causal agent from just the motion of…
Newton’s ‘Quantum Revolution’ and the Death Knell of Materialism
In an earlier post on Einstein, I discussed Newton’s demolition of the mechanical philosophy. Since the topic of materialism is so widely misunderstood, I think the significance of what Newton did should be discussed at length. Unfortunately, the revolutionary import of what Newton did has still not been absorbed by many people, even after the…