K. Korilakuma by Shinobu Yukimura
The Internet has liberalised knowledge. But it has also liberalised stupidity.
My beloved Heuristically Algorithmic teddy, ‘Kuma’, has recently discovered the internet. I let her surf it because she is bored at home while I go out and fight evil as my alter ego ‘Gonzaburo, The Unseen Hand of Justice’. Sadly, she has come across a lot of inaccurate information about her favourite topic – theology. And more specifically, Islam.
Kuma has been visiting dodgy sites such as ‘Wikiislam’ that have been telling her about mistakes in the Quran (which somehow escaped the notice of non-Muslim Orientalist scholars for hundreds of years) that the clever rabbits at ‘Wikiislam’ had found.
Tragically, Kuma is now close to apostating from Islam as she feels that the Quran is littered with scientific errors. Although, like the Quran, I believe in unconditional religious freedom, I am concerned that Wahhabis & Salafis may try to kill or even burn my poor Kuma alive for leaving Islam. You know, because that’s how they are.
So, to save my beloved teddy from potential eternal damnation and Salafi fatwas, I called round Quran expert and theoretical physicist Chuck Connors to go through the extensive list of supposed scientific errors in the Quran presented on that site.
I did this on an ad hoc basis, hoping to spend several hours systematically reviewing what I thought would be a set of arguments, but frankly, most of the ‘scientific errors’ we saw were so nonsensical, ultra-literalist (‘Go and ask the village’ means actually ask the brick and mortar buildings of the village as opposed to ask it’s inhabitants’ etc), fabricated and generally banal, that we soon started messing around and free-wheeling onto other topics.
The teddy is happily still Muslim and now appreciates that whereas any idiot can start a website, it is harder to publish a book or become an academic and she should not use the internet, wonderful as it is, as a substitute for other serious research methods or even more importantly, critical thinking.
And don’t be so gullible – silly Kuma!
Mahmut ‘Chuck’ Connors was sent to a traditional Islamic Madrasah at the age of ten. He memorised the whole Quran, studied classical Arabic, Tafseer (exegesis of the Quran), Shatibiyyah (different types of recitation), Fiqh (jurispudence), Hadith, Mantiq (logic) and Kalaam (Islamic philosophy and creed) for the next decade.
In a complete change of tac, he then gained BSc’s in both Molecular Biology and Mathematics and Astrophysics as well as an MSc in Theoretical Physics from Kings College London.
He is currently researching Black Hole thermodynamics for his PhD.