Archive for December, 2018

Decolonising humanities in Beirut

Monday, December 24th, 2018

A conference on decolonisation of humanities was organized at Al Maaref University, Beirut.

General view of the conference

The big concern was how colonial education has altered human values. But Western education did not come for humanities, therefore my point was that merely changing humanities education won’t result in the desired change.  The facts are (1) Western education came to the colonised as church education. (2) It was and is justified  on the grounds that the colonised need science. The net effect of (2) is that the colonised foolishly trust the authority of church institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. This way the church is able to mix all sorts of subtle poison in university education, even through math and science.

CKR at Beirut conference

Though Western education ostensibly came for science it ensures that the mass of educated are ignorant of math and science, so they are forced to trust authority (of the West, obviously). It further anti-educates them by planting myths, and teaching them to think in terms of stories. For example, due to such indoctrination, the colonised are trapped in the myth that science and church are at war. They failed to notice the obvious fact, contrary to this myth, that colonial education came as 100% church education, and that, for example, the best science colleges, even in India, are still church institutions.

Mind control of the colonised was the work of the church, in  collusion with the colonial state. This persists, like Western education, even after direct political control of the colonised ended. Once the colonised are rendered ignorant, and taught to trust Western authority and myths, as Western education teaches, there is no solution for them.

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The racist nitwits of Cape Town

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

A reporter from Africa met me recently in India to find out about the events concerning the panel discussion on decolonisation in Cape Town, a year ago. Someone here asked: could he be a church agent, who may again present a biased picture? I don’t know. But he does not seem to know any math, and may not have understood my critique of formal math. So, to make sure that others (especially the ill-informed) do not “control the narrative”, and totally misrepresent it, it is time I put up my side of things.

An important background, to the debate last year in the University of Cape Town, which has not been adequately mentioned, is my book The Eleven Pictures of  Time (Sage 2003). In it I extensively criticised the book Large Scale Structure of Space-Time by Stephen Hawking, and G. F. R. Ellis, of the University of Cape Town. (Note, in passing, that Hawking unethically collaborated with Ellis at a time when there was an academic boycott of apartheid.) My key issue with the Hawking and Ellis book was that their conclusions about a “singularity” involved bad mathematics, and a bad understanding of calculus (even from within  formal mathematics).

But let us go one step at a time. First, their conclusion that the cosmos began with a  “singularity” was not science (since not refutable on Popper’s criterion). Second, their conclusion was of great political significance to the church, through the claim that science supports the church’s religious dogmas of creation. The  mathematical conclusion of a singularity is explicitly connected by Hawking and  Ellis to religious beliefs about creation and other dogmas. The key takeaway of their book (p. 364) is that “the actual point of creation, the singularity, is outside  the presently known laws of physics.”

The belief that God rules the world with eternal “laws” of nature is itself a religious church dogma first articulated by Aquinas, not a scientific (refutable) belief. Simply put, the church supports it, but Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam deny it.  (See this minuted discussion for example, which explains that Hinduism accepts rta, but not immutable laws, for Buddhism, see the video “Buddhism and science”, for Islam see the keynote and article on Islam and science.) Further, other religions accept continuous creation, or the creativity of living organisms (not continuous creation in the mechanistic sense of the theory of Bondi, Gold, Hoyle and Narlikar). The big bang theory alone is NOT the opposite of continuous creation. The “singularity”, interpreted as a beginning of time, relates to creation  more clearly than the big bang, which need not be a true beginning of time, but could be just the other side of a big crunch in an oscillating cosmos.

There is no doubt about the religiosity of the book by Hawking and Ellis. Ellis got  the million dollar Templeton award, for putting together science and religion, and Hawking never got the Nobel prize! The church greatly glorified Stephen Hawking, and that church propagandist support helped sell millions of copies of his book  Brief History of Time which restated the conclusions of singularity theory for a lay audience.  But singularities and creationism are simply not physics. Therefore, much as Hawking desired the Nobel prize, and much as the Nobel prize committee may have wanted to give it to him, they simply could not do so.

The physicist F. J. Tipler (Physics of Immortality) pushed this connection of science and religion via singularity theory. He explicitly claimed that singularity theory proves the truth of Judeo-Christian theology. In the opening paragraphs, Tipler said his book aimed

“to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics…the area of global general relativity…created…by the great British physicists Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking.”

The colonised mind may talk against creationism, in support of Darwinism, but it never dared contest this kind of religious claim of creationism backed by Western authority. Despite the millions who read Stephen Hawking’s book, Brief History of Time, I have not heard a SINGLE other dissenting voice in the last thirty years. (more…)