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September 23, 2004

Mythologies


 



 


After a long time of posting nothing but tongue-in-the-cheek humor, it’s time to post about something serious.


 


An aspect of societies that has remained throughout the historical progression of mankind is that people develop parables to explain events. Every culture has its stories—these myths—that serve as archetypes that relate important occurrences and lessons. These myths are different from folklore, as the latter is always rooted in fiction. Myths, on the other hand, might contain fictional aspects but they relay universal truths. For example, the tale of Beowulf is replete with monsters and other fictional elements that in reality seek to convey higher truths. Grendel, the fiend who is defeated by Beowulf, is a monster—in Christian medieval culture, the “monster” was a term that referred to birth defects, which were believed to be an ominous sign from God and a sign of bad things to come. The monsters in Beowulf are all “outsiders”, i.e., not part of society and thus they are a danger to social harmony. And it is here they represent larger truths. Grendel is depicted as a descendant of Cain (who slays Abel), representing an embodiment of evil. The dragon that Beowulf slays at the end represents an external malice (I can’t believe I remember this high school stuff) that he must conquer to definitively prove his goodness.


 


Myths are also the created product of the High Priest in a society. In other words, this High Priest is a figure regarded to have access to the unseen and receives instruction from the heavens. The High Priest of a society used myths to convey to his people important lessons that they could not otherwise comprehend; moreover, the nature of oral cultures allows myths to be easily spread to later generations while preserving their morally instructive value. Because of the High Priest’s status, the common folk accepted myths without question and without even fully understanding the finer details and lessons of a given myth.  However, they faithfully transmitted them and accepted myths as authoritative explanations on reality, allowing the myth to be propagated without being fully understood.


 


Why have I spent two paragraphs talking about myths and high priests?


 


Because myths and high priests exist today. The High Priest of today is the scientist, who is believed to have power over creation and due to his education, research, and status, is believed to have infallible knowledge over all things. The scientist is able to set forth his beliefs that he wishes for others to relate, and devises myths to explain things. Fittingly enough, these myths themselves are still attempted explanations at greater realities. Ironically enough, those who narrate and relay them don’t really understand them. They simply convey and unquestioningly believe, content in the fact that their parroting of others’ ideas without comprehension is enough to count them amongst the faithful. It’s as if one can throw around enough buzz words to be accepted into the ‘enlightened’ faithful.


 


While this is present in many situations today (such as stem cell research), no where is this more evident in the championing of evolution—Darwinian macro-evolution, to be more exact.  The high priests of today created a myth to answer the most ancient and profound of all human questions: How did we get here and where are we going? Whereas the people of the past created myths rooted in legend and the supernatural to answer this question to their faithful, the scientists of today created a myth rooted in science—something that is held so sacred and infallible that it cannot possibly be wrong.  And if one chooses to speak against this consecrated science, it is to invite the wrath of the high priests and their mindless followers. This fear of censure therefore bullies everyone into accepting the myth, rather than exposing it for the fool’s gold that it really is.


 


I think the greatest myth of our day is this ludicrous notion of long-term macroevolution. It uses seemingly scientific lingo—the sacred language of modernity—in order to justify its nonsensical conclusions. It casually dismisses more substantial and unanimously accepted empirical scientific evidence, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics and such, in the hopes that people will be mesmerized—akin to the magic (sahr) of Pharoah’s sorcerers—and readily accept this “traga-sham-mockery”. And everyone readily accepts it, without understanding it fully, thus perpetuating the myth created by the High Priests.


 


The Muslims must be the ones who expose this nonsense. And by this, I don’t mean for us to resort to evolutionist-bashing or calling Darwin names. Rather, we need to follow the Ghazalian (I know that’s not a word… I’m making it up and I’m going to copyright it soon) model of proving someone wrong: study their claims and become an expert in their claims; then, one must go beyond the highest expert and become a master of their claims such that disproving it becomes, as Ghazâlî writes, “easier than drinking a glass of water.”  We need to stop simply bashing the speakers of such statements; it’s the argument that needs to be disproved and exposed, not the messengers. We need some Beowulfs.

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5 Comments
  1. We need some Beowulfs.
    Beowulf kicks a$$. Oh yea, the post was good too.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Man…you have such a sophisticated way of expressing your thoughts.  Or you are just one crazy good writer.  Anyway, just wanted to give you “Excellent Khutbah props” for yesterday.

  3. You know that this is an issue we have discussed before. I believed pretty firmly, though not blindly, in the modern theory of evolution. You recommended that I read Harun Yahya’s “The Evolution Deceit.” If evolution is an infection, “Evolution Deceit” is vancomycin, the most powerful cure yet discovered. (Sorry if that analogy is geeky, but I just started microbiology.) Seriously though, reading the book made me ask questions about evolution I would never have before.

  4. mmm good ole vancomycin…
    vancomycin is ineffective against many of the gram negatives… and there’s been cases in Japan of nosocomial (hospital related) vancomycin-resistant staph aureus.

  5. to shehbazinator: jazakallah khayr for the kind words

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