Category Archives: Islam

Israeli rabbis have approved the practice of polygamy

Israeli rabbis have approved the practice of polygamy to counter what they believe is a demographic threat posed by Arab populations living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

An expose by Channel 10, an Israeli broadcasting channel, revealed the practice was approved by the rabbinate that has actively encouraged and facilitated polygamy, claiming the practice will give Jews an edge in the demographic race against Arabs in Israel.

One rabbi who has been married for 26 years is filmed by an undercover reporter persuading a single woman to become his second wife.

“If your parents ask you why you don’t marry like everyone else,” he told her, “tell them that it is a mitzvah [religious commandment] and I want to do a mitzvah.”

The rabbi showed the reporter a letter signed by Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar permitting him to marry a second wife.

Read: Israeli rabbis launch war on Christmas tree

Reporting on the story, The Times of Israel commented that “although Jewish law forbids a woman to marry more than one husband, a practice known as polyandry, it does permit a man to marry more than one wife.”

“There are several instances of polygamy in the Bible, including two of the three patriarchs (Abraham and Jacob) and many of the kings. Jewish law gives guidelines as to the circumstances under which polygamy is permitted,” The Times of Israel explained.

The Israeli newspaper also claimed that there are cases outside of Israel, primarily within Sephardic communities, where a husband who refuses to divorce his wife is granted permission to remarry by a rabbi. This leaves the first wife as an aguna, or chained woman, who is forbidden by Jewish law from remarrying.

A spokesperson for a pro-Jewish demographic domination group, The Complete Jewish Home, told Channel 10: “We are dealing with men and women who are responsible, and this is a solution to the problem of having more single women than men seeking marriage. It also ensures the Jewish demographic majority in the country, and guarantees the right of religious women to become mothers.”

Though polygamy has been illegal in Israel since 1977, authorities largely turn a blind eye to the practice.

Read: ‘Return to the Mount’ activists seek destruction of Al-Aqsa

 


 
 

Hate and hospitality, here and in the Muslim world

Hate and hospitality, here and in the Muslim world By Special to The Enterprise From page B4 | July 05, 2017 By Robb Davis Three vignettes: One: A dying village on the edge of the Sahara. We arrive late in the day to assess the nutritional status of children. The village well is drying up. They will have to leave soon. They offer us tea. The village is devoid of animals … except for one chicken. They ask “Do you eat chicken?” We say “No … please. We do not eat chicken.” They slaughter the bird — the last. We eat with our heads hung low: honored guests feeling the burden of that honor. Two: A street outside the airport in Islamabad. My U.N. flight diverted from Peshawar on my way out of Mazar Esharif; I’m ill from the effects of the harsh winter on the steppes leading to Uzbekistan. I am lost, with no idea how to get “home.” He approaches and offers help. He takes my hand, hails a taxi, ushers me in, rides with me chatting about the city. Miles across town — a place I could not have found — he places me on a bus. Pays the taxi and the bus fare, and tells the bus driver where to drop me in Peshawar. We hug in parting and never meet again. Three: A Masjid in Davis. Children play outside in the Ramadan night. A car approaches, and tosses sheets of a torn-up Quran at their feet. His/her face is not known. The car is not identified. The children rush to tell their parents and they shake their heads in sad wonder at the purpose of such an act. Two points: One: I learned of hospitality in places deep within the “Muslim world.” I could multiply these vignettes by dozens and they would only scratch the surface of how my life was altered as I learned that hospitality is not merely a cup of tea or a meal shared, but rather the opening of one’s heart to the stranger. I can never be the same for having experienced that kind of hospitality. My only hope is that I can offer the same. Two: A hate incident is the opposite of hospitality. It is the closing of a heart. It is saying: “You are not welcome here. Your kind has no place here.” When it occurs, we see those at whom it is directed made to feel unwelcome. We see them doubt their place among us. We see them shrink back into the shadows. One vignette: We sit behind the masjid after prayers as Ramadan comes to an end. We share a simple meal. We come together to challenge the hate by acts of mutual hospitality. I say “You are welcome here” (such a small gesture). They serve me food. We are human together. My interlocutors are from Kazakhstan, the Kurdish region of Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Lebanon, Pakistan and the United States. There is no rush. There are many smiles. And as the cool evening flows through us I wonder whether we can all agree to counter the hate via the day-to-day opening of our hearts; with the quotidian sharing of ourselves; with the dispensing of the kind of hospitality I was blessed to receive over all those years in all those places. — Robb Davis is mayor of Davis. He worked in the field of public health for more than 25 years, addressing issues such as food security, child nutrition and maternal and child health around the world.

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London attack: Muslim raises $37,000 for victims

London attack: Muslim raises over $30,000 for victims

After witnessing the car-and-knife attack from his office window, Muddassar Ahmed launched a crowdfunding campaign.

 
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A crowdfunding campaign by a British Muslim who witnessed an attack in London that killed four people has almost reached a target of $37,000, which will be donated to the victims’ families.

By the time of publishing, more than 1,000 people had donated $33,500 towards the fund.

On Wednesday, Muddassar Ahmed was barricaded in a nearby office building in Westminster at the time of the car-and-knife attack, which also wounded dozens.

“I was there and I was shocked,” he told Al Jazeera. “Because I saw what happened, I felt that had to do something for the victims … I wanted to raise money quickly so I launched the campaign late that night.”

“It was primarily to help families of the victims … it was something that could be done to offer support and empathise with the families.”

Ahmed then called his friends to help with fundraising.

Two British Muslim MPs – Naz Shah and Yasmin Qureshi – have since voiced their support for the Muslims United for London initiative.

‘Being proactive is part of the solution’

On the crowdfunding page, Ahmed wrote that he was shocked to witness “the injuries and loss of life outside my window”.

“I reflected on what it means to be a born-and-bred Londoner and found myself proud of how security and medical services responded,” he said.

The suspect behind the attack, who was killed after he stabbed a policeman to death, was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. Reports said he was a Muslim convert.

Some 40 people were injured in the attack, 29 of whom were being treated in hospital, according to police. Seven were still in critical condition.

“Rather than just condemning the attacks, being proactive and actually doing something is part of the solution,” said Ahmed.

While acknowledging that the campaign might help to show Muslims in a positive light, that was not his “primary goal”.

READ MORE: Seeking solace in wake of the Westminster attack

Some of Britain’s Muslim community leaders remain concerned about a possible backlash in the aftermath of the attack.

Following similar violence across Europe in recent years, Muslims have suffered collective punishment as some equate Islam with “terrorism”.

In London, police have advised several mosques to increase security.

“We’re in a very difficult position, the Muslim community,” Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque, told Al Jazeera.

“We hope that there’s no reaction from some far-right extremists who may use this incident to spread fear and hate and racism among our society.”

READ MORE: On Facebook Live, emojis and distortion

Meanwhile, religious leaders from different faiths have gathered near the site of the attack to call for unity.

“To Christians, to Anglicans, who sense a great emotion of anger, that is appropriate when the innocent are killed,” said Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. “It is not appropriate to be angry at a whole category of people, but simply at one person.”

Woman in hijab abused on social media

Following Wednesday’s attack, a photograph picturing a Muslim woman walking at the scene went viral, with many questioning her willingness to aid the wounded.

Thousands of people on Twitter shared the image, which drew a barrage of racistmessages.

The Muslim woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, later released a statement through Tell MAMA, a UK-based organisation that keeps track of Islamophobic attacks.

“My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern,” the woman said. “What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims.”

She added that she was “devastated” by the attack, and at the shock of finding her picture plastered all over social media “by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia”.

Additional reporting by Zineb Abdessadok, Neave Barker, Barnaby Phillips.

 

Source: Al Jazeera News

Westminster Attack United Kingdom Europe

Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C

 

Large-scale film cools objects on which it sits.

Y. Zhai et al., Science 355, 6325 (9 February 2017)

Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C

If heat is not your thing, rejoice: A thin plastic sheet may soon provide some relief from the intense summer sun. The film, made from transparent plastic embedded with tiny glass spheres, absorbs almost no visible light, yet pulls in heat from any surface it touches. Already, the new material, when combined with a mirrorlike silver film, has been shown to cool whatever it sits on by as much as 10°C. And because it can be made cheaply at high volumes, it could be used to passively cool buildings and electronics such as solar cells, which work more efficiently at lower temperatures.

During the day most materials—concrete, asphalt, metals, and even people—absorb visible and near-infrared (IR) light from the sun. That added energy excites molecules, which warm up and, over time, emit the energy back out as photons with longer wavelengths, typically in the midrange of the infrared spectrum. That helps the materials cool back down, particularly at night when they are no longer absorbing visible light but are still radiating IR photons.

In recent years, researchers have tried to goose this “passive cooling” effect by making materials that absorb as little visible light as possible yet continue to emit mid-IR light. In 2014, for example, researchers led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineer at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, created a sandwichlike film of silicon dioxide (glass) and hafnium dioxide that reflected almost all the light that hit it while strongly emitting mid-IR light, a combination that allowed it to cool surfaces by as much as 5°C. Still, Fan and his colleagues had to use clean room technology to make their films, a costly process that doesn’t work well on a large scale.

Glass spheres in a plastic film strongly emit infrared light, cooling objects below.

Y. Zhai et al., Science 355, 6325 (9 February 2017)

When Xiaobo Yin, a materials scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, saw Fan’s paper, he noticed the material worked in part by encouraging infrared photons to bounce back and forth between the layers of the film in a manner that made it a stronger IR emitter. Yin wondered whether there was a simpler way to do this. From previous work, Yin knew that spherical objects can act like tiny resonance chambers—much as the sound box of a guitar encourages sound waves of a particular frequency to bounce back and forth inside. He and his colleagues calculated that glass beads about 8 micrometers in diameter—little bigger than a red blood cell—would make powerful IR resonators and thus strong IR emitters.

 

So they bought a batch of glass powder from a commercial supplier and mixed it with the starting material for a transparent plastic called polymethylpentene. They then formed their material into 300-millimeter-wide sheets and backed them with a thin mirrorlike coating of silver. When laid across objects in the midday sun, the bottom layer of silver reflected almost all the visible light that hit it: The film absorbed only about 4% of incoming photons. At the same time, the film sucked heat out of whatever surface it was sitting on and radiated that energy at a mid-IR frequency of 10 micrometers. Because few air molecules absorb IR at that frequency, the radiation drifts into empty space without warming the air or the surrounding materials, causing the objects below to cool by as much as 10°C. Just as important, Yin notes that the new film can be made in a roll-to-roll setup for a cost of only $0.25 to $0.50 per square meter.

“This is very nice work demonstrating a pathway toward large-scale applications of the concept of radiative cooling,” says Fan, who did not work on the current project. Yin says that he and his colleagues are already working on one such application, chilling water that could then be used to cool buildings and other large structures. That could be particularly useful in electricity-generating power plants, where cooling water even a few degrees can increase energy production efficiency by a percentage point or two, a “big gain,” Yin says. And without the silver backing, he adds, the plastic film could also increase the power generation from solar cells, which operate more efficiently at lower temperatures.

Why Darwinism Is False

Why Darwinism Is False

Jonathan Wells
Discovery Institute
May 18, 2009

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Jerry A. Coyne is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago. In Why Evolution is True, he summarizes Darwinism—the modern theory of evolution—as follows: “Life on earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species—perhaps a self-replicating molecule—that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.”1

Coyne further explains that evolution “simply means that a species undergoes genetic change over time. That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes in the DNA, which originate as mutations. The species of animals and plants living today weren’t around in the past, but are descended from those that lived earlier.”2

According to Coyne, however, “if evolution meant only gradual genetic change within a species, we’d have only one species today—a single highly evolved descendant of the first species. Yet we have many… How does this diversity arise from one ancestral form?” It arises because of “splitting, or, more accurately, speciation,” which “simply means the evolution of different groups that can’t interbreed.”3

If Darwinian theory were true, “we should be able to find some cases of speciation in the fossil record, with one line of descent dividing into two or more. And we should be able to find new species forming in the wild.” Furthermore, “we should be able to find examples of species that link together major groups suspected to have common ancestry, like birds with reptiles and fish with amphibians.” Finally, there are facts that “make sense only in light of the theory of evolution” but do not make sense in the light of creation or design. These include “patterns of species distribution on the earth’s surface, peculiarities of how organisms develop from embryos, and the existence of vestigial features that are of no apparent use.” Coyne concludes his introduction with the bold statement that “all the evidence—both old and new—leads ineluctably to the conclusion that evolution is true.”4

Of course, “evolution” is undeniably true if it means simply that existing species can change in minor ways over time, or that many species living today did not exist in the past. But Darwin’s claim that all species are modified descendants of a common ancestor, and Coyne’s claim that DNA mutations and natural selection have produced those modifications, are not so undeniably true. Coyne devotes the remainder of his book to providing evidence for them.

Fossils

Coyne turns first to the fossil record. “We should be able,” he writes, “to find some evidence for evolutionary change in the fossil record. The deepest (and oldest) layers of rock would contain the fossils of more primitive species, and some fossils should become more complex as the layers of rock become younger, with organisms resembling present-day species found in the most recent layers. And we should be able to see some species changing over time, forming lineages showing ‘descent with modification’ (adaptation).” In particular, “later species should have traits that make them look like the descendants of earlier ones.”5

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record presented difficulties for his theory. “By the theory of natural selection,” he wrote, “all living species have been connected with the parent-species of each genus, by differences not greater than we see between the natural and domestic varieties of the same species at the present day.” Thus in the past “the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great.” But Darwin knew that the major animal groups—which modern biologists call “phyla”—appeared fully formed in what were at the time the earliest known fossil-bearing rocks, deposited during a geological period known as the Cambrian. He considered this a “serious” difficulty for his theory, since “if the theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed… and that during these vast periods the world swarmed with living creatures.” And “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”6

Darwin defended his theory by citing the imperfection of the geological record. In particular, he argued that Precambrian fossils had been destroyed by heat, pressure, and erosion. Some of Darwin’s modern followers have likewise argued that Precambrian fossils existed but were later destroyed, or that Precambrian organisms were too small or too soft to have fossilized in the first place. Since 1859, however, paleontologists have discovered many Precambrian fossils, many of them microscopic or soft-bodied. As American paleobiologist William Schopf wrote in 1994, “The long-held notion that Precambrian organisms must have been too small or too delicate to have been preserved in geological materials… [is] now recognized as incorrect.” If anything, the abrupt appearance of the major animal phyla about 540 million years ago—which modern biologists call “the Cambrian explosion” or “biology’s Big Bang”—is better documented now than in Darwin’s time. According to Berkeley paleontologist James Valentine and his colleagues, the “explosion is real, it is too big to be masked by flaws in the fossil record.” Indeed, as more fossils are discovered it becomes clear that the Cambrian explosion was “even more abrupt and extensive than previously envisioned.”7

What does Coyne’s book have to say about this?

“Around 600 million years ago,” Coyne writes, “a whole gamut of relatively simple but multicelled organisms arise, including worms, jellyfish, and sponges. These groups diversify over the next several million years, with terrestrial plants and tetrapods (four-legged animals, the earliest of which were lobe-finned fish) appearing about 400 million years ago.”8

In other words, Coyne’s account of evolutionary history jumps from 600 to 400 million years ago without mentioning the 540 million year-old Cambrian explosion. In this respect, Coyne’s book reads like a modern biology textbook that has been written to indoctrinate students in Darwinian evolution rather than provide them with the facts.

Coyne goes on to discuss several “transitional” forms. “One of our best examples of an evolutionary transition,” he writes, is the fossil record of whales, “since we have a chronologically ordered series of fossils, perhaps a lineage of ancestors and descendants, showing their movement from land to water.”9

“The sequence begins,” Coyne writes, “with the recently discovered fossil of a close relative of whales, a raccoon-sized animal called Indohyus. Living 48 million years ago, Indohyus was… probably very close to what the whale ancestor looked like.” In the next paragraph, Coyne writes, “Indohyus was not the ancestor of whales, but was almost certainly its cousin. But if we go back 4 million more years, to 52 million years ago, we see what might well be that ancestor. It is a fossil skull from a wolf-sized creature called Pakicetus, which is bit more whalelike than Indohyus.” On the page separating these two paragraphs is a figure captioned “Transitional forms in the evolution of modern whales,” which shows Indohyus as the first in the series and Pakicetus as the second.10

But Pakicetus—as Coyne just told us—is 4 million years older than Indohyus. To a Darwinist, this doesn’t matter: Pakicetus is “more whalelike” than Indohyus, so it must fall between Indohyus and modern whales, regardless of the fossil evidence.

(Coyne performs the same trick with fossils that are supposedly ancestral to modern birds. The textbook icon Archaeopteryx, with feathered wings like a modern bird but teeth and a tail like a reptile, is dated at 145 million years. But what Coyne calls the “nonflying feathered dinosaur fossils”—which should have come before Archaeopteryx—are tens of millions of years younger. Like Darwinists Kevin Padian and Luis Chiappe eleven years earlier, Coyne simply rearranges the evidence to fit Darwinian theory.)11

So much for Coyne’s prediction that “later species should have traits that make them look like the descendants of earlier ones.” And so much for his argument that “if evolution were not true, fossils would not occur in an order that makes evolutionary sense.” Ignoring the facts he himself has just presented, Coyne brazenly concludes: “When we find transitional forms, they occur in the fossil record precisely where they should.” If Coyne’s book were turned into a movie, this scene might feature Chico Marx saying, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”12

There is another problem with the whale series (and every other series of fossils) that Coyne fails to address: No species in the series could possibly be the ancestor of any other, because all of them possess characteristics they would first have to lose before evolving into a subsequent form. This is why the scientific literature typically shows each species branching off a supposed lineage.

In the figure below, all the lines are hypothetical. The diagram on the left is a representation of evolutionary theory: Species A is ancestral to B, which is ancestral to C, which is ancestral to D, which is ancestral to E. But the diagram on the right is a better representation of the evidence: Species A, B, C and D are not in the actual lineage leading to E, which remains unknown.

 

Wells' Descent Chart 

It turns out that no series of fossils can provide evidence for Darwinian descent with modification. Even in the case of living species, buried remains cannot generally be used to establish ancestor-descendant relationships. Imagine finding two human skeletons in the same grave, one about thirty years older than the other. Was the older individual the parent of the younger? Without written genealogical records and identifying marks (or in some cases DNA), it is impossible to answer the question. And in this case we would be dealing with two skeletons from the same species that are only a generation apart and from the same location. With fossils from different species that are now extinct, and widely separated in time and space, there is no way to establish that one is the ancestor of another—no matter how many transitional fossils we find.

In 1978, Gareth Nelson of the American Museum of Natural History wrote: “The idea that one can go to the fossil record and expect to empirically recover an ancestor-descendant sequence, be it of species, genera, families, or whatever, has been, and continues to be, a pernicious illusion.”13 Nature science writer Henry Gee wrote in 1999 that “no fossil is buried with its birth certificate.” When we call new fossil discoveries “missing links,” it is “as if the chain of ancestry and descent were a real object for our contemplation, and not what it really is: a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices.” Gee concluded: “To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”14

Embryos

So evolutionary theory needs better evidence than the fossil record can provide. Coyne correctly notes: “When he wrote The Origin, Darwin considered embryology his strongest evidence for evolution.” Darwin had written that the evidence seemed to show that “the embryos of the most distinct species belonging to the same class are closely similar, but become, when fully developed, widely dissimilar,” a pattern that “reveals community of descent.” Indeed, Darwin thought that early embryos “show us, more or less completely, the condition of the progenitor of the whole group in its adult state.”15

But Darwin was not an embryologist. In The Origin of Species he supported his contention by citing a passage by German embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer:

“The embryos of mammals, birds, lizards and snakes, and probably chelonia [turtles] are in their earliest states exceedingly like one another…. In my possession are two little embryos in spirit, whose names I have omitted to attach, and at present I am quite unable to say to what class they belong. They may be lizards or small birds, or very young mammals, so complete is the similarity in the mode of formation of the head and trunk in these animals.”16

Coyne claims that this is something von Baer “wrote to Darwin,” but Coyne’s history is as unreliable as his paleontology. The passage Darwin cited was from a work written in German by von Baer in 1828; Thomas Henry Huxley translated it into English and published it in 1853. Darwin didn’t even realize at first that it was from von Baer: In the first two editions of The Origin of Species he incorrectly attributed the passage to Louis Agassiz.17

Ironically, von Baer was a strong critic of Darwin’s theory, rejecting the idea that all vertebrates share a common ancestor. According to historian of science Timothy Lenoir, von Baer feared that Darwin and his followers had “already accepted the Darwinian evolutionary hypothesis as true before they set to the task of observing embryos.” The myth that von Baer’s work supported Darwin’s theory was due primarily to another German biologist, Ernst Haeckel.”18  Haeckel maintained not only that all vertebrate embryos evolved from a common ancestor, but also that in their development (“ontogeny”) they replay (“recapitulate”) their evolutionary history (“phylogeny”). He called this The Biogenetic Law: Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

In Why Evolution Is True, Coyne writes that “the ‘recapitulation’ of an evolutionary sequence is seen in the developmental sequence” of various organs. “Each vertebrate undergoes development in a series of stages, and the sequence of those stages happens to follow the evolutionary sequence of its ancestors.” The probable reason for this is that “as one species evolves into another, the descendant inherits the developmental program of its ancestor.” So the descendant tacks changes “onto what is already a robust and basic developmental plan. It is best for things that evolved later to be programmed to develop later in the embryo. This ‘adding new stuff onto old’ principle also explains why the sequence of developmental stages mirrors the evolutionary sequence of organisms. As one group evolves from another, it often adds its developmental program on top of the old one.” Thus “all vertebrates begin development looking like embryonic fish because we all descended from a fishlike ancestor.”19

Nevertheless, Coyne writes, Haeckel’s Biogenetic Law “wasn’t strictly true,” because “embryonic stages don’t look like the adult forms of their ancestors,” as Haeckel (and Darwin) believed, “but like the embryonic forms of their ancestors.” But this reformulation of The Biogenetic Law doesn’t solve the problem. First, fossil embryos are extremely rare,20 so the reformulated law has to rely on embryos of modern organisms that are assumed to resemble ancestral forms. The result is a circular argument: According to Darwin’s theory, fish are our ancestors; human embryos (allegedly) look like fish embryos; therefore, human embryos look like the embryos of our ancestors. Theory first, observation later—just as von Baer had objected.

Second, the idea that later evolutionary stages can simply be tacked onto development is biologically unrealistic. A human is not just a fish embryo with some added features. As British embryologist Walter Garstang pointed out in 1922, “a house is not a cottage with an extra story on the top. A house represents a higher grade in the evolution of a residence, but the whole building is altered—foundations, timbers, and roof—even if the bricks are the same.”21

Third, and most important, vertebrate embryos are not most similar in their earliest stages. In the 1860s, Haeckel made some drawings to show that vertebrate embryos look almost identical in their first stage—but his drawings were faked. Not only had he distorted the embryos by making them appear more similar than they really are, but he had also omitted earlier stages in which the embryos are strikingly different from each other. A human embryo in its earliest stages looks nothing like a fish embryo.

Only after vertebrate embryos have progressed halfway through their development do they reach the stage that Darwin and Haeckel treated as the first. Developmental biologists call this different-similar-different pattern the “developmental hourglass.” Vertebrate embryos do not resemble each other in their earliest stages, but they converge somewhat in appearance midway through development before diverging again. If ontogeny were a recapitulation of phylogeny, such a pattern would be more consistent with separate origins than with common ancestry. Modern Darwinists attempt to salvage their theory by assuming that the common ancestry of vertebrates is obscured because early development can evolve easily, but there is no justification for this assumption other than the theory itself.22

Although Haeckel’s drawings were exposed as fakes by his own contemporaries, biology textbooks used them throughout the twentieth century to convince students that humans share a common ancestor with fish. Then, in 1997, a scientific journal published an article comparing photos of vertebrate embryos to Haeckel’s drawings, which the lead author described as “one of the most famous fakes in biology.” In 2000, Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould called Haeckel’s drawings “fraudulent” and wrote that biologists should “be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks.”23

But Coyne is not ashamed. He defends Haeckel’s drawings “Haeckel was accused, largely unjustly,” Coyne writes, “of fudging some drawings of early embryos to make them look more similar than they really are. Yet we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”24 The “baby” is Darwin’s theory, which Coyne stubbornly defends regardless of the evidence.

Vestiges and Bad Design

Darwin argued in The Origin of Species that the widespread occurrence of vestigial organs—organs that may have once had a function but are now useless—is evidence against creation. “On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility…  should so frequently occur.” But such organs, he argued, are readily explained by his theory: “On the view of descent with modification, we may conclude that the existence of organs in a rudimentary, imperfect, and useless condition, or quite aborted, far from presenting a strange difficulty, as they assuredly do on the old doctrine of creation, might even have been anticipated in accordance with the views here explained.”25

In The Descent of Man, Darwin cited the human appendix as an example of a vestigial organ. But Darwin was mistaken: The appendix is now known to be an important source of antibody-producing blood cells and thus an integral part of the human immune system. It may also serve as a compartment for beneficial bacteria that are needed for normal digestion. So the appendix is not useless at all.26

In 1981, Canadian biologist Steven Scadding argued that although he had no objection to Darwinism, “vestigial organs provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.” The primarily reason is that “it is difficult, if not impossible, to unambiguously identify organs totally lacking in function.” Scadding cited the human appendix as an organ previously thought to be vestigial but now known to have a function. Another Canadian biologist, Bruce Naylor, countered that an organ with some function can still be considered vestigial. Furthermore, Naylor argued, “perfectly designed organisms necessitated the existence of a creator,” but “organisms are often something less than perfectly designed” and thus better explained by evolution. Scadding replied: “The entire argument of Darwin and others regarding vestigial organs hinges on their uselessness and inutility.” Otherwise, the argument from vestigiality is nothing more than an argument from homology, and “Darwin treated these arguments separately recognizing that they were in fact independent.” Scadding also objected that Naylor’s “less than perfectly designed” argument was “based on a theological assumption about the nature of God, i.e. that he would not create useless structures. Whatever the validity of this theological claim, it certainly cannot be defended as a scientific statement, and thus should be given no place in a scientific discussion of evolution.”27

In Why Evolution Is True, Coyne (like Darwin) cites the human appendix as an example of a vestigial organ. Unlike Darwin, however, Coyne concedes that “it may be of some small use. The appendix contains patches of tissue that may function as part of the immune system. It has also been suggested that it provides a refuge for useful gut bacteria. But these minor benefits are surely outweighed by the severe problems that come with the human appendix.” In any case, Coyne argues, “the appendix is still vestigial, for it no longer performs the function for which it evolved.”28

As Scadding had pointed out nearly thirty years ago, however, Darwin’s argument rested on lack of function, not change of function. Furthermore, if vestigiality were redefined as Coyne proposes, it would include many features never before thought to be vestigial. For example, if the human arm evolved from the leg of a four-footed mammal (as Darwinists claim), then the human arm is vestigial. And if (as Coyne argues) the wings of flying birds evolved from feathered forelimbs of dinosaurs that used them for other purposes, then the wings of flying birds are vestigial. This is the opposite of what most people mean by “vestigial.”29

Coyne also ignores Scadding’s other criticism, arguing that whether the human appendix is useless or not, it is an example of imperfect or bad design. “What I mean by ‘bad design’,” Coyne writes, “is the notion that if organisms were built from scratch by a designer—one who used the biological building blocks or nerves, muscles, bone, and so on—they would not have such imperfections. Perfect design would truly be the sign of a skilled and intelligent designer. Imperfect design is the mark of evolution; in fact, it’s precisely what we expect from evolution.”30

An even better example of bad design, Coyne argues, is the prevalence of “dead genes.” According to the modern version of Darwinism that Coyne defends, DNA carries a genetic program that encodes proteins that direct embryo development; mutations occasionally alter the genetic program to produce new proteins (or change their locations); and natural selection then sorts those mutations to produce evolution. In the 1970s, however, molecular biologists discovered that most of our DNA does not encode proteins. In 1972 Susumu Ohno called this “junk,” and in 1976 Richard Dawkins wrote: “A large fraction of the DNA is never translated into protein. From the point of view of the individual organism this seems paradoxical. If the ‘purpose’ of DNA is to supervise the building of bodies, it is surprising to find a large quantity of DNA which does no such thing.” From the point of view of Darwinian evolution, however, there is no paradox. “The true ‘purpose’ of DNA is to survive, no more and no less. The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.”31

Like Dawkins, Coyne regards much of our DNA as parasitic. He writes in Why Evolution Is True: “When a trait is no longer used, or becomes reduced, the genes that make it don’t instantly disappear from the genome: evolution stops their action by inactivating them, not snipping them out of the DNA. From this we can make a prediction. We expect to find, in the genomes of many species, silenced, or ‘dead,’ genes: genes that once were useful but are no longer intact or expressed. In other words, there should be vestigial genes. In contrast, the idea that all species were created from scratch predicts that no such genes would exist.” Coyne continues: “Thirty years ago we couldn’t test this prediction because we had no way to read the DNA code. Now, however, it’s quite easy to sequence the complete genome of species, and it’s been done for many of them, including humans. This gives us a unique tool to study evolution when we realize that the normal function of a gene is to make a protein—a protein whose sequence of amino acids is determined by the sequence of nucleotide bases that make up the DNA. And once we have the DNA sequence of a given gene, we can usually tell if it is expressed normally—that is, whether it makes a functional protein—or whether it is silenced and makes nothing. We can see, for example, whether mutations have changed the gene so that a usable protein can no longer be made, or whether the ‘control’ regions responsible for turning on a gene have been inactivated. A gene that doesn’t function is called a pseudogene. And the evolutionary prediction that we’ll find pseudogenes has been fulfilled—amply. Virtually every species harbors dead genes, many of them still active in its relatives. This implies that those genes were also active in a common ancestor, and were killed off in some descendants but not in others. Out of about thirty thousand genes, for example, we humans carry more than two thousand pseudogenes. Our genome—and that of other species—are truly well populated graveyards of dead genes.”32

But Coyne is dead wrong.

Evidence pouring in from genome-sequencing projects shows that virtually all of an organism’s DNA is transcribed into RNA, and that even though most of that RNA is not translated into proteins, it performs essential regulatory functions. Every month, science journals publish articles describing more such functions. And this is not late-breaking news: The evidence has been accumulating since 2003 (when scientists finished sequencing the human genome) that “pseudogenes” and other so-called “junk DNA” sequences are not useless after all.33 Why Evolution Is True ignores this enormous body of evidence, which decisively refutes Coyne’s Darwinian prediction that our genome should contain lots of “dead” DNA. It’s no wonder that Coyne falls back again and again on the sort of theological arguments that Scadding wrote “should be given no place in a scientific discussion of evolution.”

Biogeography

Theological arguments are also prominent in The Origin of Species. For example, Darwin argued that the geographic distribution of living things made no sense if species had been separately created, but it did make sense in the context of his theory. Cases such as “the presence of peculiar species of bats on oceanic islands and the absence of all other terrestrial mammals,” Darwin wrote, “are facts utterly inexplicable on the theory of independent acts of creation.” In particular: “Why, it may be asked, has the supposed creative force produced bats and no other mammals on remote islands?” According to Darwin, “on my view this question can easily be answered; for no terrestrial mammal can be transported across a wide space of sea, but bats can fly across.”34

But Darwin knew that migration cannot account for all patterns of geographic distribution. He wrote in The Origin of Species that “the identity of many plants and animals, on mountain-summits, separated from each other by hundreds of miles of lowlands, where Alpine species could not possibly exist, is one of the most striking cases known of the same species living at distant points without the apparent possibility of their having migrated from one point to the other.” Darwin argued that the recent ice age “affords a simple explanation of these facts.” Arctic plants and animals that were “nearly the same” could have flourished everywhere in Europe and North America, but “when the warmth had fully returned, the same species, which had lately lived together on the European and North American lowlands, would again be found in the arctic regions of the Old and New Worlds, and on many isolated mountain-summits far distant from each other.”35

So some cases of geographic distribution may not be due to migration, but to the splitting of a formerly large, widespread population into small, isolated populations—what modern biologists call “vicariance.” Darwin argued that all modern distributions of species could be explained by these two possibilities. Yet there are many cases of geographic distribution that neither migration nor vicariance seem able to explain.

One example is the worldwide distribution of flightless birds, or “ratites.” These include ostriches in Africa, rheas in South America, emus and cassowaries in Australia, and kiwis in New Zealand. Since the birds are flightless, explanations based on migration over vast oceanic distances are implausible. After continental drift was discovered in the twentieth century, it was thought that the various populations might have separated with the landmasses. But ostriches and kiwis are much too recent; the continents had already drifted apart when these species originated. So neither migration nor vicariance explain ratite biogeography.36

Another example is freshwater crabs. Studied intensively by Italian biologist Giuseppe Colosi in the 1920s, these animals complete their life cycles exclusively in freshwater habitats and are incapable of surviving prolonged exposure to salt water. Today, very similar species are found in widely separated lakes and rivers in Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, India, Asia and Australia. Fossil and molecular evidence indicates that these animals originated long after the continents separated, so their distribution is inconsistent with the vicariance hypothesis. Some biologists speculate that the crabs may have migrated by “transoceanic rafting” in hollow logs, but this seems unlikely given their inability to tolerate salt water. So neither vicariance nor migration provides a convincing explanation for the biogeography of these animals.37

An alternative explanation was suggested in the mid-twentieth century by Léon Croizat, a French biologist raised in Italy. Croizat found that Darwin’s theory did “not seem to agree at all with certain important facts of nature,” especially the facts of biogeography. Indeed, he concluded, “Darwinism is by now only a straitjacket… a thoroughly decrepit skin to hold new wine.” Croizat did not argue for independent acts of creation; instead, he proposed that in many cases a widespread primitive species was split into fragments, then its remnants evolved in parallel, in separate locations, into new species that were remarkably similar. Croizat called this process of parallel evolution “orthogenesis.” Neo-Darwinists such as Ernst Mayr, however, pointed out that there is no mechanism for orthogenesis, which implies—contrary to Darwinism—that evolution is guided in certain directions; so they rejected Croizat’s hypothesis.38

In Why Evolution Is True, Coyne (like Darwin) attributes the biogeography of oceanic islands to migration, and certain other distributions to vicariance. But Coyne (unlike Darwin) acknowledges that these two processes cannot explain everything. For example, the internal anatomy of marsupial mammals is so different from the internal anatomy of placental mammals that the two groups are thought to have split a long time ago. Yet there are marsupial flying squirrels, anteaters and moles in Australia that strikingly resemble placental flying squirrels, anteaters and moles on other continents, and these forms originated long after the continents had separated.

Coyne attributes the similarities to “a well-known process called convergent evolution.” According to Coyne. “It’s really quite simple. Species that live in similar habitats will experience similar selection pressures from their environment, so they may evolve similar adaptations, or converge, coming to look and behave very much alike even though they are unrelated.” Put together common ancestry, natural selection, and the origin of species (“speciation”), “add in the fact that distant areas of the world can have similar habitats, and you get convergent evolution—and a simple explanation of a major geographic pattern.”39

This is not the same as Croizat’s “orthogenesis,” according to which populations of a single species, after becoming separated from each other, evolve in parallel due to some internal directive force. According to Coyne’s “convergent evolution,” organisms that are fundamentally different from each other evolve through natural selection to become superficially similar because they inhabit similar environments. The mechanism for orthogenesis is internal, whereas the mechanism for convergence is external. In both cases, however, mechanism is crucial: Without it, orthogenesis and convergence are simply words describing biogeographical patterns, not explanations of how those patterns originated.

So the same question can be asked of convergence that was asked of orthogenesis: What is the evidence for the proposed mechanism? According to Coyne, the mechanism of convergence involves natural selection and speciation.

Selection and Speciation

Coyne writes that Darwin “had little direct evidence for selection acting in natural populations.” Actually, Darwin had no direct evidence for natural selection; the best he could do in The Origin of Species was “give one or two imaginary illustrations.” It wasn’t until a century later that Bernard Kettlewell provided what he called “Darwin’s missing evidence” for natural selection—a shift in the proportion of light- and dark-colored peppered moths that Kettlewell attributed to camouflage and bird predation.40

Since then, biologists have found lots of direct evidence for natural selection. Coyne describes some of it, including an increase in average beak depth of finches on the Galápagos Islands and a change in flowering time in wild mustard plants in Southern California—both due to drought. Like Darwin, Coyne also compares natural selection to the artificial selection used in plant and animal breeding.

But these examples of selection—natural as well as artificial—involve only minor changes within existing species. Breeders were familiar with such changes before 1859, which is why Darwin did not write a book titled How Existing Species Change Over Time; he wrote a book titled The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. “Darwin called his great work On the Origin of Species,” wrote Harvard evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr in 1982, “for he was fully conscious of the fact that the change from one species into another was the most fundamental problem of evolution.” Yet, Mayr had written earlier, “Darwin failed to solve the problem indicated by the title of his work.” In 1997, evolutionary biologist Keith Stewart Thomson wrote: “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution’s smoking gun,” and “the smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.” Before Darwin, the consensus was that species can vary only within certain limits; indeed, centuries of artificial selection had seemingly demonstrated such limits experimentally. “Darwin had to show that the limits could be broken,” wrote Thomson, “so do we.”41

In 2004, Coyne and H. Allen Orr published a detailed book titled Speciation, in which they noted that biologists have not been able to agree on a definition of “species” because no single definition fits every case. For example, a definition applicable to living, sexually reproducing organisms might make no sense when applied to fossils or bacteria. In fact, there are more than 25 definitions of “species.” What definition is best? Coyne and Orr argued that, “when deciding on a species concept, one should first identify the nature of one’s ‘species problem,’ and then choose the concept best at solving that problem.” Like most other Darwinists, Coyne and Orr favor Ernst Mayr’s “biological species concept” (BSC), according to which “species are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups.” In Why Evolution Is True, Coyne explains that the biological species concept is “the one that evolutionists prefer when studying speciation, because it gets you to the heart of the evolutionary question. Under the BSC, if you can explain how reproductive barriers evolve, you’ve explained the origin of species.”42

Theoretically, reproductive barriers arise when geographically separated populations diverge genetically. But Coyne describes five “cases of real-time speciation” that involve a different mechanism: chromosome doubling, or “polyploidy.”43 This usually follows hybridization between two existing plant species. Most hybrids are sterile because their mismatched chromosomes can’t separate properly to produce fertile pollen and ovaries; occasionally, however, the chromosomes in a hybrid spontaneously double, producing two perfectly matched sets and making reproduction possible. The result is a fertile plant that is reproductively isolated from the two parents—a new species, according to the BSC.

But speciation by polyploidy (“secondary speciation”) has been observed only in plants. It does not provide evidence for Darwin’s theory that species originate through natural selection, nor for the neo-Darwinian theory of speciation by geographic separation and genetic divergence. Indeed, according to evolutionary biologist Douglas J. Futuyma, polyploidy “does not confer major new morphological characteristics… [and] does not cause the evolution of new genera” or higher levels in the biological hierarchy.44

So secondary speciation does not solve Darwin’s problem. Only primary speciation—the splitting of one species into two by natural selection—would be capable of producing the branching-tree pattern of Darwinian evolution. But no one has ever observed primary speciation. Evolution’s smoking gun has never been found.45

Or has it?

In Why Evolution Is True, Coyne claims that primary speciation was observed in an experiment reported in 1998. Curiously, Coyne did not mention it in the 2004 book he co-authored with Orr, but his 2009 account of it is worth quoting in full:

“We can even see the origin of a new, ecologically diverse bacterial species, all within a single laboratory flask. Paul Rainey and his colleagues at Oxford University placed a strain of the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens in a small vessel containing nutrient broth, and simply watched it. (It’s surprising but true that such a vessel actually contains diverse environments. Oxygen concentration, for example, is highest on the top and lowest on the bottom.) Within ten days—no more than a few hundred generations—the ancestral free-floating ‘smooth’ bacterium had evolved into two additional forms occupying different parts of the beaker. One, called ‘wrinkly spreader,’ formed a mat on top of the broth. The other, called ‘fuzzy spreader,’ formed a carpet on the bottom. The smooth ancestral type persisted in the liquid environment in the middle. Each of the two new forms was genetically different from the ancestor, having evolved through mutation and natural selection to reproduce best in their respective environments. Here, then, is not only evolution but speciation occurring in the lab: the ancestral form produced, and coexisted with, two ecologically different descendants, and in bacteria such forms are considered distinct species. Over a very short time, natural selection in Pseudomonas yielded a small-scale ‘adaptive radiation,’ the equivalent of how animals or plants form species when they encounter new environments on an oceanic island.”46

But Coyne omits the fact that when the ecologically different forms were placed back into the same environment, they “suffered a rapid loss of diversity,” according to Rainey. In bacteria, an ecologically distinct population (called an “ecotype”) may constitute a separate species, but only if the distinction is permanent. As evolutionary microbiologist Frederick Cohan wrote in 2002, species in bacteria “are ecologically distinct from one another; and they are irreversibly separate.”47 The rapid reversal of ecological distinctions when the bacterial populations in Rainey’s experiment were put back into the same environment refutes Coyne’s claim that the experiment demonstrated the origin of a new species.

Exaggerating the evidence to prop up Darwinism is not new. In the Galápagos finches, average beak depth reverted to normal after the drought ended. There was no net evolution, much less speciation. Yet Coyne writes in Why Evolution Is True that “everything we require of evolution by natural selection was amply documented” by the finch studies. Since scientific theories stand or fall on the evidence, Coyne’s tendency to exaggerate the evidence does not speak well for the theory he is defending. When a 1999 booklet published by The U. S. National Academy of Sciences called the change in finch beaks “a particularly compelling example of speciation,” Berkeley law professor and Darwin critic Phillip E. Johnson wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble.”48

So there are observed instances of secondary speciation—which is not what Darwinism needs—but no observed instances of primary speciation, not even in bacteria. British bacteriologist Alan H. Linton looked for confirmed reports of primary speciation and concluded in 2001: “None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of twenty to thirty minutes, and populations achieved after eighteen hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another.”49

Conclusions

Darwin called The Origin of Species “one long argument” for his theory, but Jerry Coyne has given us one long bluff. Why Evolution Is True tries to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record; by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution; that early development in vertebrate embryos is more consistent with separate origins than with common ancestry; that non-coding DNA is fully functional, contrary to neo-Darwinian predictions; and that natural selection can accomplish nothing more than artificial selection—which is to say, minor changes within existing species.

Faced with such evidence, any other scientific theory would probably have been abandoned long ago. Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, Darwinism is false. Its persists in spite of the evidence, and the eagerness of Darwin and his followers to defend it with theological arguments about creation and design suggests that its persistence has nothing to do with science at all.50

Nevertheless, biology students might find Coyne’s book useful. Given accurate information and the freedom to exercise critical thinking, students could learn from Why Evolution Is True how Darwinists manipulate the evidence and mix it with theology to recycle a false theory that should have been discarded long ago.

 

 

Notes
1 Jerry A. Coyne, Why Evolution Is True (New York: Viking, 2009), p. 3.
2 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 3-4.
3 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 5-6.
4 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 18-19.
5 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 17-18, 25.
6 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Sixth Edition (London: John Murray, 1872), Chapter X, pp. 266, 285-288. Available online (2009) here.
7 J. William Schopf, “The early evolution of life: solution to Darwin’s dilemma,” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9 (1994): 375-377.
James W. Valentine, Stanley M. Awramik, Philip W. Signor & M. Sadler, “The Biological Explosion at the Precambrian-Cambrian Boundary,” Evolutionary Biology 25 (1991): 279-356.
James W. Valentine & Douglas H. Erwin, “Interpreting Great Developmental Experiments: The Fossil Record,” pp. 71-107 in Rudolf A. Raff & Elizabeth C. Raff, (editors), Development as an Evolutionary Process (New York: Alan R. Liss, 1987).
Jeffrey S. Levinton, “The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,” Scientific American 267 (November, 1992): 84-91.
“The Scientific Controversy Over the Cambrian Explosion,” Discovery Institute. Available online (2009) here.
Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2002), Chapter 3. More information available online (2009) here.
Stephen C. Meyer, “The Cambrian Explosion: Biology’s Big Bang,” pp. 323-402 in John Angus Campbell & Stephen C. Meyer (editors), Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2003). More information available online (2009) here.
8 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 28.

9 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 48.
10 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 49-51.
11 Kevin Padian & Luis M. Chiappe, “The origin and early evolution of birds,” Biological Reviews 73 (1998): 1-42. Available online (2009) here.
Wells, Icons of Evolution, pp. 119-122. 
12 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 25, 53.
Chico Marx in Duck Soup (Paramount Pictures, 1933). This and other Marx Brothers quotations are available online (2009) here.
13 Gareth Nelson, “Presentation to the American Museum of Natural History (1969),” in David M. Williams & Malte C. Ebach, “The reform of palaeontology and the rise of biogeography—25 years after ‘ontogeny, phylogeny, palaeontology and the biogenetic law’ (Nelson, 1978),” Journal of Biogeography 31 (2004): 685-712.
14 Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time. New York: Free Press, 1999, pp. 5, 32, 113-117.
Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2006). More information available online (2009) here.

15 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 79.
Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter XIV, pp. 386-396. Available online (2009) here.
16 Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter XIV, pp. 387-388. Available online (2009) here.
17 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 73.
Karl Ernst von Baer, “On the Development of Animals, with Observations and Reflections: The Fifth Scholium,” translated by Thomas Henry Huxley, pp. 186-237 in Arthur Henfrey & Thomas H. Huxley (editors), Scientific Memoirs: Selected from the Transactions of Foreign Academies of Science and from Foreign Journals: Natural History (London, 1853; reprinted 1966 by Johnson Reprint Corporation, New York). The passage quoted by Darwin is on p. 210.
Jane M. Oppenheimer, “An Embryological Enigma in the Origin of Species,” pp. 221-255 in Jane M. Oppenheimer, Essays in the History of Embryology and Biology (Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press, 1967).
18 Timothy Lenoir, The Strategy of Life (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982), p. 258.
Frederick B. Churchill, “The Rise of Classical Descriptive Embryology,” pp. 1-29 in Scott F. Gilbert (editor), A Conceptual History of Modern Embryology (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 19-20.
19 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 77-79.
20 Simon Conway Morris, “Fossil Embryos,” pp. 703-711 in Claudio D. Stern (editor), Gastrulation: From Cells to Embryos (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2004).
21 Walter Garstang, “The theory of recapitulation: a critical restatement of the biogenetic law,” Journal of the Linnean Society (Zoology), 35 (1922): 81-101.
22 See Chapter Five and accompanying references in Wells, Icons of Evolution.
See Chapter Three and accompanying references in Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.
23 Michael K. Richardson, J. Hanken, M. L. Gooneratne, C. Pieau, A. Raynaud, L. Selwood & G. M. Wright, “There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: implications for current theories of evolution and development,” Anatomy & Embryology 196 (1997): 91-106.
Michael K. Richardson, quoted in Elizabeth Pennisi, “Haeckel’s Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered,” Science 277 (1997): 1435.
Stephen Jay Gould, “Abscheulich! Atrocious!” Natural History (March, 2000), pp. 42-49.
“Hoax of Dodos” (2007). Available online (2009) here.
24 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 78.Notes
25 Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapters XIV (p. 402) and XV (p. 420). Available online (2009) here.
26 Darwin, Charles. The Descent of Man, First Edition (London: John Murray, 1871), Chapter I (p. 27). Available online (2009) here.
Kohtaro Fujihashi, J.R. McGhee, C. Lue, K.W. Beagley, T. Taga, T. Hirano, T. Kishimoto, J. Mestecky & H. Kiyono, “Human Appendix B Cells Naturally Express Receptors for and Respond to Interleukin 6 with Selective IgA1 and IgA2 Synthesis,” Journal of Clinical Investigations 88 (1991): 248-252. Available online (2009) here.
J.A. Laissue, B.B. Chappuis, C. Müller, J.C. Reubi & J.O. Gebbers, “The intestinal immune system and its relation to disease,” Digestive Diseases (Basel) 11 (1993): 298-312. Abstract available online (2009) here.
Loren G. Martin, “What is the function of the human appendix?” Scientific American (October 21, 1999), Available online (2009) here.
R. Randal Bollinger, Andrew S. Barbas, Errol L. Bush, Shu S. Lin & William Parker, “Biofilms in the large bowel suggest an apparent function of the human vermiform appendix,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 249 (2007): 826-831. Available online (2009) here.
Duke University Medical Center, “Appendix Isn’t Useless At All: It’s A Safe House For Good Bacteria,” ScienceDaily (October 8, 2007). Available online (2009) here.
27 Steven R. Scadding, “Do ‘vestigial organs’ provide evidence for evolution?” Evolutionary Theory 5 (1981): 173-176.
Bruce G. Naylor, “Vestigial organs are evidence of evolution,” Evolutionary Theory 6 (1982): 91-96.
Steven R. Scadding, “Vestigial organs do not provide scientific evidence for evolution,” Evolutionary Theory 6 (1982): 171-173.
28 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 61-62. 
29 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 46. 
30 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 81.
31 Susumu Ohno, “So much ‘junk’ DNA in our genome,” Brookhaven Symposia in Biology 23 (1972): 366-70.
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 47.
32 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 66-67. 
33 A few of the many scientific articles published since 2003 that document the function of so-called “junk” DNA are:
E.S Balakirev & F.J. Ayala, “Pseudogenes: are they ‘junk’ or functional DNA?” Annual Review of Genetics 37 (2003): 123-151. 
A. Hüttenhofer, P. Schattner & N. Polacek, “Non-coding RNAs: hope or hype?” Trends in Genetics 21 (2005): 289-297.
J.S. Mattick & I.V. Makunin, “Non-coding RNA,” Human Molecular Genetics 15 (2006): R17-R29.
R.K. Slotkin & R. Martienssen, “Transposable elements and the epigenetic regulation of the genome,” Nature Reviews Genetics 8 (2007): 272-285.
P. Carninci, J. Yasuda & Y Hayashizaki, “Multifaceted mammalian transcriptome,” Current Opinion in Cell Biology 20 (2008): 274-80.
C.D. Malone & G.J. Hannon, “Small RNAs as Guardians of the Genome,” Cell 136 (2009): 656–668.
C.P. Ponting, P.L. Oliver & W. Reik, “Evolution and Functions of Long Noncoding RNAs,” Cell 136 (2009): 629–641.

34 Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapters XIII (pp. 347-352) and XV (p. 419). Available online (2009) here.
35 Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapters XII (pp. 330-332). Available online (2009) here.
36 Alan Cooper, et al., C. Mourer-Chauviré, C.K. Chambers, A. von Haeseler, A.C. Wilson & S. Paabo, “Independent origins of New Zealand moas and kiwis,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 89 (1992): 8741-8744. Available online (2008) here.
Oliver Haddrath & Allan J. Baker, “Complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequences of extinct birds: ratite phylogenetics and the vicariance biogeography hypothesis,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 268 (2001): 939-945. 
John Harshman, E.L. Braun, M.J. Braun, C.J. Huddleston, R.C.K. Bowie,
J.L. Chojnowski, S.J. Hackett, K.-L. Han, R.T. Kimball, B.D. Marks, K.J. Miglia,
W.S. Moore, S. Reddy, F.H. Sheldon, D.W. Steadman, S.J. Steppan, C.C. Witt & T. Yuri, “Phylogenomic evidence for multiple losses of flight in ratite birds,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105 (2008): 13462-13467. Abstract available online (2008) here.
Giuseppe Sermonti, “L’evoluzione in Italia – La via torinese / How Evolution Came to Italy – The Turin Connection,” Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 94 (2001): 5-12. Available online (2008) here.
37 Giuseppe Colosi, “La distribuzione geografica dei Potamonidae,” Rivista di Biologia 3 (1921): 294-301. Available online (2009) here.
Savel R. Daniels, N. Cumberlidge, M. Pérez-Losada, S.A.E. Marijnissen &
K.A. Crandall, “Evolution of Afrotropical freshwater crab lineages obscured by morphological convergence,” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (2006): 227–235. Available online (2009) here.
R. von Sternberg, N. Cumberlidge & G. Rodriguez. “On the marine sister groups of the freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura),” Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 37 (1999): 19–38.
Darren C.J. Yeo, et al., “Global diversity of crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) in freshwater,” Hydrobiologia 595 (2008): 275-286.
38 Léon Croizat, Space, Time, Form: The Biological Synthesis. Published by the author (Deventer, Netherlands: N. V. Drukkerij Salland, 1962), p. iii.
Robin C. Craw, “Léon Croizat’s Biogeographic Work: A Personal Appreciation,” Tuatara 27:1 (August 1984): 8-13. Available online (2009) here.
John R. Grehan, “Evolution By Law: Croizat’s ‘Orthogeny’ and Darwin’s ‘Laws of Growth’,” Tuatara 27:1 (August 1984): 14-19. Available online (2009) here.
Carmen Colacino, “Léon Croizat’s Biogeography and Macroevolution, or… ‘Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes’,” The Philippine Scientist 34 (1997): 73-88.
Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), pp. 529-530.
39 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 92-94. 

40 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 116.
Darwin, The Origin of Species, Chapter IV (p. 70). Available online (2009) here.
H. B. D. Kettlewell, “Darwin’s Missing Evidence,” Scientific American 200 (March, 1959): 48-53.

41 Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), p. 403.
Ernst Mayr, Populations, Species and Evolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963), p. 10.
Keith Stewart Thomson, “Natural Selection and Evolution’s Smoking Gun,” American Scientist 85 (1997): 516-518.

42 Jerry A. Coyne & H. Allen Orr, Speciation (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2004), p. 25-39.
Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 174.

43 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 188.

44 Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolution (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2005), p. 398.

45 Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, Chapter Five (“The Ultimate Missing Link”), pp. 49-59.

46 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, pp. 129-130.

47 Paul B. Rainey & Michael Travisano. “Adaptive radiation in a heterogeneous environment,” Nature 394 (1998): 69-72.
Frederick M. Cohan, “What Are Bacterial Species?” Annual Review of Microbiology 56 (2002): 457-482. Available online (2009) here.

48 Coyne, Why Evolution Is True, p. 134.
National Academy of Sciences, Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second edition (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences Press, 1999), Chapter on “Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution,” p. 10. Available online (2009) here.
Phillip E. Johnson, “The Church of Darwin,” The Wall Street Journal (August 16, 1999): A14. Available online (2009) here.

49 Alan H. Linton, “Scant Search for the Maker,” The Times Higher Education Supplement (April 20, 2001), Book Section, p. 29.

Frederick M. Cohan, “What Are Bacterial Species?” Annual Review of Microbiology 56 (2002): 457-482. Available online (2009) here.

50 Paul A. Nelson, “The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning,” Biology and Philosophy 11 (October 1996): 493 – 517. Abstract available online (2009) here.
Jonathan Wells, “Darwin’s Straw God Argument,” Discovery Institute (December 2008). Available online (2009) here. Jonathan Wells, “Darwin’s Straw God Argument,” Discovery Institute (December 2008). Available online (2009) here.

 

 

 

 

Nicotine shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia

Nicotine shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia

A new study has revealed how smoking can normalize the impairments in brain activity associated with...

A new study has revealed how smoking can normalize the impairments in brain activity associated with schizophrenia, unlocking an entirely new field of drug research to combat the disease(Credit: mariephotos/Depositphotos)

For years researchers have noted an unusual association between smoking and schizophrenia. Across multiple studies it was identified that people with schizophrenia were much more likely to smoke than people without the disease. New research may have finally solved the mystery while also paving the way for the development of new, more targeted treatments for several mental health conditions.

A meta-analysis of worldwide studies conducted in 2005 definitively showed what many doctors had been anecdotally noting for decades. Schizophrenia patients were much more likely to become heavy smokers than than those in the general population. In fact some studies found over 80 percent of those diagnosed with schizophrenia were smokers. There were many social and psychological hypotheses proposed to explain this strange anomaly, but none were ever sufficient.

A new study published in Nature Medicine has not only revealed how smoking can normalize the impairments in brain activity associated with schizophrenia, but unlocks an entirely new field of drug research to combat the disease.

The study expanded on the recent discovery of a genetic mutation, labelled CHRNA5, that was identified as being associated with the cognitive impairments seen in schizophrenic patients. The scientists took mice with the CHRNA5 gene variant and discovered they displayed similar characteristics to those suffering from schizophrenia, such as an inability to suppress a startle response and an aversion to social interaction.

Using brain imaging technologies the research team discovered the mice with the CHRNA5 gene variant displayed symptoms of hypofrontality, a state of decreased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Hypofrontality is commonly thought to be a prominent cause of many symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as being associated with other psychiatric conditions including Bipolar Disorder and ADHD.

As well as identifying the role this gene variant plays in causing hypofrontality, the study examined how nicotine acted to restore normal activity to the prefrontal cortex. The researchers found that within one week of daily nicotine dosing the impaired brain activity in mice with schizophrenic characteristics had normalized.

“Since the repeated administration of nicotine restores normal activity to the prefrontal cortex, it could pave the way for a possible therapeutic target for the treatment of schizophrenia,” says Uwe Maskos, the main author of the study.

The authors of the study also believe the research may have broad applications for novel drug development across the mental health field.

Source: University of Colorado BoulderInstitut Pasteur (via Eurekalert)

Tipu Sultan, the man who started India’s freedom struggle.

“Tipu Sultan a great Indian hero, freedom fighter and the first ruler to fight against British imperialists”

 

Tipu Sultan was a great king and an Indian hero who was amongst the first to fight the British and was able to defeat them.

The 18th century king died fighting the British in the last Anglo-Mysore war. Renowned litterateur Girish Karnad said that Tipu Sultan’s place would have been even higher, had he been a Hindu.

Karnad was not off the mark, as Tipu Sultan was the first and only Indian king of the era who saw East India Company’s design and fought against them.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that Tipu Sultan had fought three wars against the British and he was in a true sense the man who started India’s freedom struggle.

The words that India’s freedom struggle began with Tipu Sultan, are quite true. Tipu was the most formidable enemy, this is acknowledged by the British even today and he is listed among the fiercest adversaries that include Napoleon Bonaparte. Tipu’s anniversary was celebrated across state on November 10.

Experts say that while Tipu Sultan laid his life for the country, right-wing extremists who quote from distorted history, selectively target Tipu. They say that his attack in Coorg is used to defame him and his army is accused of atrocities, which are exaggerated.

The reality was that medieval era kings did attack territories to subdue rebellion. A case in point is Shivaji’s attacks including his seize of Surat, which was burnt and destroyed by the Maratha army.

Though Marathas kept looting and attacking across the country, this aspect is not recalled and Shivaji along with other Maratha rulers are termed as ultra-nationalists. However, Tipu Sultan is systematically targeted and denied his due status.

Karnad said that it was a fact that Muslims were not given their due recognition. “Had he been Hindu, Tipu Sultan’s stats would have been similar to Shivaji. He was the first to unify the region that was in disarray then, just like Shivaji formed his empire in adjoining Maharahstra”, he adds.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Tipu Sultan was a true secularist and a great hero. He said it at the event organised by Karnataka government on Tipu Sultan’s anniversary. The CM rejected the BJP and right-wing groups’ propaganda to demean the status of the Sher-e-Mysore.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had tried to disrupt the Tipu Sultan Jayanti function and had resorted to violence and stone pelting. The police had taken action and a VHP leader Kuttappa died when he got injured in the melee.

Godhra train burning was BJP’s pre-planned conspiracy

“Godhra train burning was BJP’s pre-planned conspiracy to create communal divide for winning Gujarat election”

 

“The burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra was a pre-planned conspiracy”, claim leaders of Patel agitation.

They have alleged that it was planned to create communal divide and set off riots so that the BJP could win the Gujarat election in 2002.

The stunning statement of the Patel leaders has once again brought to fore the mystery of the fire in the Sabarmati Express, which led to riots across Gujarat.

Rahul Desai and Lal Bhai Patel, who are leaders of the Patidar Samiti, who have now openly said that Godhra train fire was pre-planned. The BJP is a communal party and had there been no communal carnage, Narendra Modi won’t have been re-elected as chief minister in 2002, said Desai.

Earlier too there have been questions raised over the circumstances surrounding the mysterious train blaze at Godhra. But Patel agitation leaders’ charge has come as a surprise. Patels are angry at the crackdown on them, especially, the leader of agitation Hardik Patel, who is in jail on sedition charges.

The bodies of the dead were taken around along with processions, rousing tempers and the result was riots all over the State. It is alleged that ‘go ahead’ was given from the top and there were verbal orders to police and administration to let rioters attack Muslims, their houses and establishments.

The result was a pogrom which led to over 1,000 killings and mass rapes. This became a blot on the secular fabric of India. Separate commissions looked into the train fire and the riots that followed but the mystery had remained. 

Congresswoman tells Netanyahu to end abuse of Palestinian children

Congresswoman tells Netanyahu to end abuse of Palestinian children

Palestinian children protest to show solidarity with child prisoners in Israeli jails, Gaza city, January 2015.

Mohammed AsadAPA images

A member of Congress said she had “a clear message” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Washington on Wednesday: he must respect the rights of Palestinian children.

As US President Donald Trump and the Israeli leader held a joint press conference at the White House, Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota challenged Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian children in a post on Facebook.

“Israel’s military detention system arrests, interrogates and prosecutes as many as 700 Palestinian children – as young as 11 years old – every year,” McCollum says. “Abuse is rampant and children often have no lawyer or parent present during detention and interrogation.”

“Israel must end the abusive military detention of Palestinian children,” she adds. “Israeli children, Palestinian children – all children – should be able to live free of systematic, state-sponsored human rights abuses! Respecting the human rights of children is the only path to peace and security in the Middle East.”

McCollum also took to Twitter to demand accountability from Netanyahu:

Breaking silence

McCollum continues to break with the vast majority of US lawmakers who refuse to challenge Israeli policy.

In June 2015, the Democrat authored a letter, co-signed by 18 other members of Congress, demanding that the Obama adminstration push Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children.

Two months later, the lawmaker called for sanctions on the Israeli Border Police unit responsible for killing Palestinian teenagers Nadim Nuwara and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir on 15 May 2014.

The boys were shot in cold blood at a Nakba Day protest – their killings caught on video – near the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia.

McCollum initiated another push in June 2016 urging Obama to appoint a special envoy to protect the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation. Lawmakers who signed McCollum’s letter condemned Israel’s rampant use of administrative detention – incarceration without charge or trial – against Palestinian children in Israeli military jails.

Grassroots activists with the No Way to Treat a Child campaign – a joint initiative of Defense for Children International – Palestine and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – have been working closely with lawmakers on the issue of Palestinian children in detention.

“Congresswoman McCollum’s leadership and integrity inspires us,” AFSC’s Jennifer Bing told The Electronic Intifada.

“Her voice is among a growing number of Congress members who are speaking up for the human rights of Palestinian children – children who face systematic oppression and denial of rights by the Israeli army,” Bing added.

Inspired by the No Way to Treat a Child campaign in the US, activists in Australia gathered the support of 49 members of Parliament last November on a letter calling for Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children.

 

Natives Fabricated Mass Sex Attack by Immigrants

Mass sexual assault in Frankfurt by refugees ‘completely made up’

One purported victim of ‘sex rioting mob’ was not in city at time of alleged attack

 

Prosecutors are investigating two people for allegedly fabricating an account of a mass sex attack by Arab migrants in Frankfurt.

Claims that a “sex rioting mob” of around 50 men assaulted a group of women over the new year were reported by German tabloid Bild earlier this month.

The report, which suggested the attackers lived at a refugee shelter in central Hasse, was widely re-circulated by right-wing news sites.

In an article since taken down from its website, Bild interviewed a chef who runs a restaurant in Fressgass, a busy shopping district, as well as a 27-year-old woman.

The chef alleged that dozens of Arab men came into his restaurant in, stole his customers’ jackets and sexually assaulted multiple women.

The 27-year-old female told the paper: “They grabbed me under my skirt, between the legs and on my breast – everywhere.”

Yet, police said on Tuesday they believed the allegations were “completely baseless”. One of the purported victims of the alleged attack was not in Frankfurt at the time of the purported crime, they said.

“Interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented,” police told German daily Frankfurter Rundschau.

“One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place.”

They concluded: “Masses of refugees were not responsible for any sexual assaults in the Fressgass over New Year. The accusations are completely baseless.”

No sexual assaults were reported to police from the the area over New Year before the Bild report, they said.

Investigators were looking into whether the pair had made up the story.

Bild‘s editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt issued an apology on behalf of the tabloid, writing in a tweet: “We apologise for our own work. I’ll shortly announce what Bild will do about it.”

BJP disowns ISI spy.

 

BJP disowning ‘ISI spy’ Dhruv Saxena is Hindutva hypocrisy at its worst

But the deafening silence in mainstream media over the BJYM IT coordinator’s involvement in recently busted MP espionage ring is simply unbelievable.

 |  ANGIOGRAPHY  |   Long-form |   15-02-2017

Angshukanta Chakraborty

ANGSHUKANTA CHAKRABORTY

 @angshukanta

 
 
 
 

Five days have passed since an alarmingly disturbing story broke in the Indian mediasphere. Dainik Bhaskar Post (DB Post), published from Bhopal, front-paged on Friday, February 10, the busting by the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of an alleged spy ring selling state secrets and sensitive details about Indian Army deployments to the dreaded Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or the ISI.  

11 arrested for spying for ISI from Madhya Pradesh. No Islamic terror angle here! @dbpostnews

 

According to DB Post, and other follow-ups that were posted in online portals of some of the media outlets, 11 persons, “all Hindus”, including a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) – the BJP youth wing – member and its district IT cell coordinator based in Bhopal, Dhruv Saxena, were arrested by MP ATS in this connection.

According to DB Post:

“This may be the tip of the iceberg, but as of now, ATS has nabbed 11 people, all Hindus, from four districts of the state, namely Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Satna. All these men had been clandestinely operating various mediums to send classified information out to their Pakistani handlers. The ATS conducted the operations on a tip-off received from the central intelligence agencies and the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

While three of the detainees were working as handlers for ISI agents working in India, eight were running parallel telecom exchanges, facilitating the ISI spies to call up military personnel posted in J&K, impersonating senior Army officers. They fished out details about possible operations, deployment of force and relayed photographic records of Army bridges in the region. The parallel telecom exchanges were being run in Bhopal and Gwalior.”

Naturally, the charges are extremely grave and under usual circumstances (read with names of suspects that sounded generic Muslim) one would expect Indian media, particularly the boisterous TV channels that practically live-telecast the JNU agitation, to justifiably outrage, question, send reporters to Bhopal en masse, try and dig deeper, unearth the nasty espionage ring that compromised India’s national security and sold its soul to Pakistan, for a few extra bucks.

One of the 11 arrested in Madhya Pradesh for spying on Indian army was rather close to top state BJP leaders. @dbpostnews

 

Instead, we have pin-drop silence.

The reasons are obvious as to why there are no shrill TV debates on this and why Major Gen Bakshi isn’t sobbing copiously over it! https://twitter.com/daipayanhalder/status/830034340381806592 

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

This is “Nationalist” Spying against Indian Army on behalf of ISI. Includes connection to BJP.

 

We have pin-drop silence from the TV channels that decided to brand JNU “anti-national” merely on the account of its students holding a talk on Afzal Guru on his death anniversary. We have pin-drop silence from the channels that ensured 24X7 coverage of the JNU agitation exactly a year back, that saw the arrest of the JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

We have pin-drop silence from media outlets and Twitter superstars who claimed that the staunchly Marxist and atheist JNU PhD student Umar Khalid had made over “850 calls to the Gulf countries”, and had to be an aspiring jihadi. We have pin-drop silence from newsanchors who claimed Hafiz Saeed was sponsoring the JNU agitation. The month-long obsession with JNU and turning it into a media epicentre continued despite the whole thing being triggered by a “doctored video” of “anti-nationals” chanting “anti-India slogans”, as it was soon discovered.

Absolutely amazing and eye-opening this silence is, when the keywords that usually make those in the BJP/RSS quarters, and in the nationalist media in the country, sit up and scream their patriotic lungs out – ISI, Pakistan, espionage, national security, state secrets – are ALL not just present, but ominously informing each and every aspect of this case.

spy-5_021517034508.jpg
Why has been Dhruv’s name being struck off from the BJYM’s Bhopal website, when its Google cache clearly shows him as the district IT cell coordinator? [Photo: Indiatoday.in]

So, why this deathly silence now over something that needs immediate national and international attention? Why a cyber-espionage cell operating in a BJP-ruled state, involving personnel who have their social media sites flooded with photos featuring BJP leaders, including the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and the party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, evokes no interest at all from politicians and journalists who fall back on national security to silence critics at every step, who brand human rights activists as anti-nationals who must be sent to Pakistan, who hide behind the Indian soldier every time there is an election around the corner?

So it came as no surprise that BJP also disowned Dhruv Saxena, arrested in MP for providing crucial info abt army deployments to ISI 4/n pic.twitter.com/cHETBWwd1b

Never mind if Dhruv had pics with the CM or BJP National Gen Secy. Anyone can have pictures with anyone, they said 5/n pic.twitter.com/pcGoPMwI4u

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Pic from his FB account showed him as a BJYM District IT coordinator, wishing the BJYM president on his B’day. 6/n

 

Why indeed, we must ask.

Tiny portals are unearthing details and asking questions that should have been ideally asked in glitzy newsrooms of the national capital that set the national agenda.

Questions such as:

A) Why is it that Dhruv Saxena, who belonged to BJYM, the BJP’s youth wing, and was the district coordinator of the BJYM’s Bhopal IT cell, is now being disowned by the state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan and the BJYM chief Anshul Tiwari?

B) Why has been Dhruv’s name struck off from the BJYM’s Bhopal website, when its Google cache clearly shows him as the district IT cell coordinator?

.@altnews_in did a brilliant job of retrieving the page frm Google cache & lo and behold, it showed Dhruv as the District IT Coordinator 9/n

 

C) Why, in the age of PM Narendra Modi-driven demonetisation and a cashless push from the topmost elected leader of the country, is a cyber spy ring – that has committed alleged cyber fraud involving “parallel telecom exchanges”, “activated SIM cards with no legal paperwork”, “impersonations of Indian Army officers” on mobile calls to extract Army deployment in sensitive states like Jammu and Kashmir and passing them on to their “ISI handlers”, three among those detained, as well as other crimes that directly threaten national security – of no interest to the TV and print media published/broadcast from Delhi and NCR?

MP district coordinator for BJP IT cell Dhruv Saxena nabbed by the ATS for being an ISI agent. Why are the patriotic journalists silent ?

 

D) Why, when the Madhya Pradesh ATS chief, Sanjeev Shami, has said that a case under various sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, and also Sections 122 and 123 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with collecting arms, information for waging war against the country, has been lodged against the 11 accused, is there practically zero interest in the national media about this extremely unsettling case of national insecurity?

Dhruv Saxena who was helping the ISI was spreading canards about JNU and muslims on social media and endorsing the likes of Tarek Fateh

 

It is imperative that we ask why at this juncture are these questions not being asked by the usual suspects whose bread and butter is harping on national security and instilling the climate of fear among ordinary citizens of the country.

BJP has a history of disowning its members/volunteers when embarrassed, so here is another one. 1/n

 

Is it because the BJP/RSS and the Sangh Parivar-facilitated, Hindutva-milking commentariat have a long and illustrious history of dubious disavowals and disowning of persons, events, instances that do not fit the hypernationalist script? 

2 yrs ago, they disowned AmiteshSingh of their Pune unit after he was arrested for his hate tweet. 2/n

 

Is it because the BJP/RSS habitually disown any person or affiliated organisation that has gone awry, or deviated slightly from the narrative of Hindu piety, or has exposed the BJP IT cell as a conglomerate of rabid trolls threatening journalists, women, Bollywood stars, opposition leaders, seculars and liberals and operating on orders from the very top?

So it came as no surprise that BJP also disowned Dhruv Saxena, arrested in MP for providing crucial info abt army deployments to ISI 4/n

 

Is it because the idea of a Hindu, BJP-affiliated, nationalist being caught with his patriotic pants down, ferrying out state secrets to the common enemy-in-chief Pakistan – the nationalist bogeyman and one-stop answer to every problem in the country, the raison d’être of the staggering national security apparatus that looks increasingly rudderless and exploited by the mercenaries – is exactly what destroys the Sangh Parivar’s claim to a prioi patriotism?   

 

Patriotism by default of those born Hindu and espousing Hindutva was in fact blown to smithereens a long time ago when the RSS decided to side with the British Empire and not the freedom fighters who were demanding complete independence. It was once again proven to be a hoax when the RSS disowned Nathuram Godse, who killed Gandhi blaming him for Partition and dividing a “civilisationally Hindu” India.

70 years on, as Godse is being revived as a Hindutva icon – let’s admit it, he was never really deserted – and as nationalism becomes a shouting match for those in TV studios and party headquarters taking orders from Nagpur, we have one more scathing exposé, as it were, of the hypocrisies around these grand narratives.

As “murmurs of feared infiltration” within the BJP camp get a passing mention in a news portal, exactly as the 11 detainees, particularly the BJYM member now disowned by the party, are seen more as aberrations than the norm, (the norm being that those conspiring to sell state secrets to Pakistan must have a Muslim, or at least a non-Hindu name), we realise the gravity of the case which we simply want to unsee, wish it disappeared.

Just three months from the dreaded Bhopal “fake encounter”, in which eight SIMI activists were gunned down in broad daylight after a controversial jailbreak on Diwali night last year, we have the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-ruled Madhya Pradesh in a soup almost as big as the last one. The Bhopal “smartphone encounter” is still shrouded in mystery, pointing to the likelihood of the Chouhan government not allowing a proper investigation into the cold-blooded shooting to death of the eight inmates.

Now, the emergence of a massive spy ring within just three months, which reports quoting sources in the MP ATS say is only the “tip of the iceberg”, is reason enough for the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh to do some soul-searching, and take the right steps, instead of brushing this under the thick carpet of politically convenient amnesia, as it did in the case of the murderous Vyapam scam.

As for those in the media who have opted for selective silence over this issue, not even giving it a ticker on their 24X7 television channels, how exactly have you served journalism with your extreme cowardice?

Also read – ISI spies and sex rackets: BJP’s MP unit has become a haven for criminals

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/embed/ifgb3ggzy8

 
 
 
 
 
 

Writer

Angshukanta ChakrabortyANGSHUKANTA CHAKRABORTY @angshukanta

Opinionator at DailyO. Because criticism is the opium of the classes.

Lauren Booth on Visit My Mosque Experience

Lauren Booth on Visit My Mosque Experience

 

Lauren Booth on Visit My Mosque Experience
 

Didsbury Mosque, Manchester, was one of the faith venues in the North West of England to open its doors to the wider community at the weekend for the annual Visit My Mosque day.

From 12.30, a steady stream which rapidly grew to a tidal wave of local people came to see what are the mysteries beneath the minarets in their midst. Or in the case of Didsbury, behind the stained glass windows. The building was originally built in 1883 as a Methodist Chapel, becoming a mosque in the 1960’s.

Anna Fryer, her husband and two primary aged children were enjoying samosas in the mid afternoon throng. Anna is the Lib Dem candidate for the Didsbury East ward. Whilst pleased to be looking around, she wondered about access to mosques year round.

“It is incredibly welcoming here. The disconnect is that we see (through the media) this religion as separate and different in some ways. Whereas we might have more of an understanding if we could access the places of worship more often,” she told Aboutislam.

Visitor studies Al Fatihah

Visitor studies Al Fatihah

In fact, Didsbury Mosque opens its doors every Sunday afternoon to anyone interested in paying a visit. The signs outside are not as effective as door to door canvassing, a note for all UK mosques to take into account.

The day in its third successful year is drawing support from politicians such as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who again attended his local mosque. Local businesses including Subway had provided the food for guests at Didsbury.

Visitors entering the vast wooden front doors were met by Muslims from Somalia, Tunisia, Pakistan and some of the growing number of British converts to Islam born and raised in Greater Manchester.

Jenny and Simon, a professional couple, had interesting and technical questions about salah [prayer] timings and the meaning of Al Fatihah the opening verses of the Qur’an and the start to every prayer cycle.

Simon told Aboutislam he was pleased to “now know what’s going on inside this mosque. Next time we drive past, we can look at the building and think, ‘ah we know what people are doing inside there right now.”

Jenny said: “There is a load of nonsense about isn’t there (on the news)? So it’s nice to just come in and balance that out a bit.”

InspirationalLauren Booth on Visit My Mosque Experience

Sarah Morgan is a ceramicist from Chorlton. She had come with her friend India, both felt moved to attend by the negative political and media campaigns targeting Muslims in Europe and the US.

At Maghrib, the artist stood behind the rows of women as they bowed and prostrated in prayer.

Afterwards, she told Aboutislam: “I liked the feeling of women being united, of supporting one another. I found it moving and powerful. People knowing what to do. Today has given me a further insight into what Islam actually means and I’d certainly like to find out more.”

Lauren Booth, Daughter Alexandra, Sarah from Killarney Ireland

Lauren Booth, Daughter Alexandra, Sarah from Killarney Ireland

Children from all parts of the community had their faces painted as flowers and tigers, their hands decorated with elaborate henna. Old and young, asked questions of Muslim neighbors, feeling relaxed enough to do so.

Alicia, from Northenden, is a sixth form student at Manchester High School for Girls, who describes herself as a “non practicing Catholic.” She and her family came to “show solidarity with our community”.

Alicia was surprised and impressed by elements of Muslim worship. She told Aboutislam: “You guys have so many prayers! I admire your dedication. I have Muslim friends at school and I’ve seen them pray but I didn’t know they had other ones as well. That takes dedication’. Her message to anyone who feels nervous about going to a mosque for the first time is ‘Just come do it. They are so lovely and it’s really interesting as well you learn so many new things.”

Taking off shoes at the door was something which Martin, a language assistant from Manchester High School for Girls felt, gave a sense of intimacy.

United

 Jenny and Simon

Jenny and Simon

One specific element of Muslim tradition and understanding was mentioned by all those interviewed by Aboutislam. It is an element that Christians in particular expressed having admiration for.

The Ummah, a single community of believers bound together by ties of religion.

“The idea of this community which comes together is a universal message we can all learn from,” said Anna Fryer.

More needs to be done, in the next twelve months to reach further into the community, beyond the generous Christians, good-hearted charity workers and middle class families who attended so widely at the weekend.

The Muslim community must encourage and enable those who live in social impoverishment across the UK, to interact and access local mosque facilities.

Sarah Morgan, artist

Sarah Morgan, artist

Some mosques, like Didsbury already offer free health screenings to local residents. But do the poor realize those who live beyond the plush residential streets in the neighborhood. Yesterday’s demographic turnout showed that as unlikely.

In the time of Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, the poor were fed, children educated, women respected and the whole community served by the mosque.

Mosque committees should use this weekends success to continue or to kick start projects to support the elderly, feed the hungry and help poor families, whatever their faith. And in the meantime, letting more local people know they are welcome to visit at any time, is a good start.

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer

February 1, 2017
First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer
Prototype of the core of a trapped ion quantum computer. Credit: Ion Quantum Technology Group, University of Sussex

An international team, led by a scientist from the University of Sussex, have today unveiled the first practical blueprint for how to build a quantum computer, the most powerful computer on Earth.

 

This huge leap forward towards creating a universal quantum computer is published today (1 February 2017) in the influential journal Science Advances (1). It has long been known that such a computer would revolutionise industry, science and commerce on a similar scale as the invention of ordinary computers. But this new work features the actual industrial blueprint to construct such a large-scale machine, more powerful in solving certain problems than any computer ever constructed before.

Once built, the computer’s capabilities mean it would have the potential to answer many questions in science; create new, lifesaving medicines; solve the most mind-boggling scientific problems; unravel the yet unknown mysteries of the furthest reaches of deepest space; and solve some problems that an ordinary computer would take billions of years to compute.

The work features a new invention permitting actual quantum bits to be transmitted between individual quantum computing modules in order to obtain a fully modular large-scale machine capable of reaching nearly arbitrary large computational processing powers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
A short film where Prof Hensinger unveils the blueprint for a large scale quantum computer. Credit: University of Sussex

Previously, scientists had proposed using fibre optic connections to connect individual computer modules. The  introduces connections created by electric fields that allow charged atoms (ions) to be transported from one module to another. This new approach allows 100,000 times faster connection speeds between individual quantum computing modules compared to current state-of-the-art fibre link technology.

The new blueprint is the work of an international team of scientists from the University of Sussex (UK), Google (USA), Aarhus University (Denmark), RIKEN (Japan) and Siegen University (Germany).

Prof Winfried Hensinger (2), head of Ion Quantum Technology Group (3) at the University of Sussex, who has been leading this research, said: “For many years, people said that it was completely impossible to construct an actual quantum computer. With our work we have not only shown that it can be done but now we are delivering a nuts and bolts construction plan to build an actual large-scale machine.”

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer
Prof. Hensinger (right) and Dr Lekitsch (left) with a quantum computing blueprint model behind a quantum computer prototype at the University of Sussex. Credit: University of Sussex

Lead author Bjoern Lekitsch, also from the University of Sussex, explains: “It was most important to us to highlight the substantial technical challenges as well as to provide practical engineering solutions”.

As a next step, the team will construct a prototype quantum computer, based on this design, at the University.

The effort is part of the UK Government’s plan to develop quantum technologies towards industrial exploitation and makes use of a recent invention (4) by the Sussex team to replace billions of laser beams required for quantum computing operations within a large-scale quantum computer with the simple application of voltages to a microchip.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Video explaining the design of a scalable trapped ion quantum computer. Credit: Lekitsch et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601540

Prof Hensinger said: “The availability of a universal quantum computer may have a fundamental impact on society as a whole. Without doubt it is still challenging to build a large-scale machine, but now is the time to translate academic excellence into actual application building on the UK’s strengths in this ground-breaking technology. I am very excited to work with industry and government to make this happen.”

The computer’s possibilities for solving, explaining or developing could be endless. However, its size will be anything but small. The machine is expected to fill a large building, consisting of sophisticated vacuum apparatus featuring integrated  silicon microchips that hold individual charged atoms (ions) using electric fields.

The blueprint to develop such computers has been made public to ensure scientists throughout the world can collaborate and further develop this brilliant, ground-breaking technology as well as to encourage industrial exploitation.

 
 
 
 
 
A popular science lecture given by Prof. Hensinger explaining the principles of quantum computing

 Explore further: Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

More information: ‘Blueprint for a microwave trapped ion quantum computer’ B. Lekitsch, S. Weidt, A.G. Fowler, K. Mølmer, S.J. Devitt, Ch. Wunderlich, and W.K. Hensinger, Science Advances 3, e1601540 (2017) advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/2/e1601540 

Muslim Student At DC March

Muslim Student At DC March Is Shepard Fairey’s Poster Come To Life

 

WASHINGTON — Nour Obeidallah bought her American flag hijab long before she decided to attend the Women’s March on Washington. Wearing it on Saturday, with a cardboard cutout framing her in the center, she bore a striking resemblance to the “we the people” posters designed for the event by graphic artist Shepherd Fairy.

“I feel a little overwhelmed,” Obeidallah told TPM about her experience at the march. “It’s amazing that this many people came out, not just to support women’s rights and preserving Planned Parenthood but for so many varied causes.”

 

A New York University student considering an economics degree, Obeidallah came to D.C. on an all-expenses trip organized by the university’s Asia Pacific Institute.

“I’d never been to D.C. And I thought it would be cool having my first time here being a protest against it,” she said.

Dozens of marchers stopped to take her picture. When a man walked by carrying the Fairey poster, she gamely posed with it as several cameraphones clicked.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

How to Draw with Math

How to Draw with Math

The regularity of natural patterns can lead artists to use mathematical concepts in works of art

 

 
Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

Mathematics can help us to draw real-life objects. The regularity of natural patterns can lead artists to use mathematical concepts in works of art. Many plants have very interesting and beautiful leaves and some mathematical patterns can be found in their structures. For example, Aloe polyphylla is a plant species from Lesotho. The leaves of an Aloe polyphylla form very beautiful spirals.

There are various ways of generating leaves shapes with mathematical concepts. A famous example is the Barnsley fern. The British mathematician Michael Barnsley (born 1946) described this beautiful fractal in his book Fractals Everywhere. His fractal resembles the fern leaves. He created this fractal by using the iterated function systemmethod.

Drawing a Japanese maple leaf with mathematical formulas. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

You might imagine that the leaves in the images below are drawn by hand. But they are actually computer-generated mathematical figures. These shapes are generated with the trigonometric functions sine and cosine. Here I would like to talk about the method I used to create these drawings.

When I want to draw a real-life object, I try to find a mathematical formula that produces the drawing. I use a step-by-step process to find such a formula. In each step of the process, I try to increase the resemblance of the drawing to the real-life object by adding a mathematical expression to the formula. Usually, I search through the expressions that are generated by the sine and cosine functions. The properties of these two mathematical functions (especially periodicity, boundedness and smoothness) make them very useful in the process. Indeed, I need to solve the problem of finding an appropriate mathematical expression in each step. So some steps may be very difficult or even impossible. For example, in the image above, you can see the process of generating a mathematical curve that resembles a Japanese maple leaf. The graph shows how the process transforms a circle into the drawing.

These images show three mathematical curves that are created with the mentioned method. They are described by parametric equations:

Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

Japanese Maple Leaf

Japanese Maple Leaf. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh.

Oak Leaf

Oak Leaf. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

Also, below you can see two mathematical figures created by drawing thousands of circles. The radiuses and centers of the circles are determined with trigonometric functions.

Olive Branch

Olive Branch. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

Palm Branch

Palm Branch. Credit: Hamid Naderi Yeganeh

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American

Carbon Capture Breakthrough by an Indian company

Indian firm makes carbon capture breakthrough

Carbonclean is turning planet-heating emissions into profit by converting CO2 into baking soda – and could lock up 60,000 tonnes of CO2 a year

 
Tuticorin thermal power station near the port of Thoothukudi on the Bay of Bengal, southern India. The plant is said to be the first industrial-scale example of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).
 Tuticorin thermal power station near the port of Thoothukudi on the Bay of Bengal, southern India. The plant is said to be the first industrial-scale example of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). Photograph: Roger Harrabin

A breakthrough in the race to make useful products out of planet-heating CO2 emissions has been made in southern India.

A plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin is capturing CO2 from its own coal-powered boiler and using it to make baking soda.

Crucially, the technology is running without subsidy, which is a major advance for carbon capture technology as for decades it has languished under high costs and lukewarm government support.

The firm behind the Tuticorin process says its chemicals will lock up 60,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and the technology is attracting interest from around the world.

Debate over carbon capture has mostly focused until now on carbon capture and storage (CCS), in which emissions are forced into underground rocks at great cost and no economic benefit. The Tuticorin plant is said to be the first unsubsidised industrial scale example of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

There is already a global market for CO2 as a chemical raw material. It comes mainly from industries such as brewing where it is cheap and easy to capture.

Until now it has been too expensive without subsidy to strip out CO2 from the relatively low concentrations in which it appears in flue gas. The Indian plant has overcome the problem by using a new CO2-stripping chemical.

It is just slightly more efficient than the current CCS chemical amine, but its inventors, Carbonclean, say it also needs less energy, is less corrosive, and requires much smaller equipment meaning the build cost is much lower than for conventional carbon capture.

The new kit has been installed at Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals. The firm is now using the CO2 from its own boiler to make baking soda – a base chemical with a wide range of uses including glass manufacture, sweeteners, detergents and paper products.

The firm’s managing director, Ramachandran Gopalan, told BBC Radio 4: “I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet. I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and this was the best way of getting it.” He says the plant now has virtually zero emissions to air or water.

Carbonclean believes capturing usable CO2 can deal with perhaps 5-10% of the world’s emissions from coal. It’s no panacea, but it would be a valuable contribution because industrial steam-making boilers are hard to run on renewable energy.

The inventors of the new process are two young chemists at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. They failed to find Indian finance and were welcomed instead by the UK government, which offered grants and the special entrepreneur status that whisks them through the British border.

The firm’s headquarters are now based in London’s Paddington district. Its CEO, Aniruddha Sharma, said: “So far the ideas for carbon capture have mostly looked at big projects, and the risk is so high they are very expensive to finance. We want to set up small-scale plants that de-risk the technology by making it a completely normal commercial option.”

By producing a subsidy-free carbon utilisation project, Carbonclean appears to have something of a global lead. But it is by no means alone. Carbon8 near Bristol is buying in CO2 to make aggregates, and other researchers are working on making plastics and fuels from waste CO2.

At last, it seems, the race to turn CO2 into profit is really on.

Member of Travancore Royal family tells a tale of religious harmony: Muslims saved Padmanabhaswamy Temple from looters

Member of Travancore Royal family tells a tale of religious harmony: Muslims saved Padmanabhaswamy Temple from looters

 

December 4, 2016, 5:47 pm
Member of Travancore Royal family tells a tale of religious harmony: Muslims  saved  Padmanabhaswamy Temple  from  looters

Muslims saved Padmanabhaswamy Temple while it was under threat from a group of looters, Gouri Lakshmi Bai, a member of the Travancore royal family, said.

Speaking at an event organised by Dubai Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) marking the UAE national day, she said that the history of Kerala is all about religious harmony between Hindus and Muslims.

16 century Padmanabhaswamy temple, located in Thiruvanathapurm became the richest temple in the world when the Supreme Court appointed experts opened the five vaults in the temple on 27 June 2011

The valuables in the five vaults, estimated to be worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore, include gold coins weighing 1,000 kg, over a tonne of gold in the form of rice trinkets, a sack full of diamonds and a rare statue of Lord Vishnu studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies.

She also remembered the legacy of Travancore kingdom that gave shelter to a number of Muslims during the time of chaos.

“Pathan Muslims in Kollam were quick to come to the rescue of the Padmanabhaswamy temple. They collected the money and gold asked by the group of assailants from Muslim households and gave it to them to avoid an attack on the temple,” she said.

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She also cited another example of religious harmony in Travancore, in which a group of Haj pilgrims was invited as guests to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple when they left stranded without food and water, 200 years ago.

It was the Temple that rushed to help these haj pilgrims when they left unattended by the society. They were offered with food and water and sent off to Mecca

Gouri Lakshmi Bai

She also said that all human beings are the creatures of the God, beyond the boundaries of religion.

Muslim League State President Haidarali Shihab Thangal, PV Abdul Vahab MP and many Muslim League leaders attended the function.

DN Jha’s ‘The Myth of the Holy Cow’ examined facts, and its detractors didn’t like that.

It’s easy to see why the Right wanted this book about Indians’ beef-eating history to be banned

DN Jha’s ‘The Myth of the Holy Cow’ examined facts, and its detractors didn’t like that.

Right next to my school in Chennai, there used to be a hole-in-the-wall eatery that served as a rite of passage for most of us who’d hit high school. It resembled more a shotgun shack rather than a respectable dining establishment, the kitchen walls seemed covered in soot, so that you could hardly see what was going on in there. The only sensory stimuli was aural, provided by a furious wok and a spatula. The menu was limited, and everybody more or less ordered the same thing, a plate of beef fry along with a beef fried rice.

In retrospect, I don’t think it constituted a fine culinary experience, but there certainly was some subversive relish in the whole activity, and while beef isn’t as ubiquitous in Tamil Nadu as it is in Kerala, it wasn’t all that hard to come by in Chennai. By the time a few years had passed, I had been benumbed of the novelty of these clandestine beef runs and was wholly converted, eating the bovine ilk at any given opportunity.

It was at this juncture that I found myself in Delhi, hankering for beef in a city that offered few such oases. I was directed to a Malayali mess in Hauz Khas, one where the beef fry was the only item on the menu written in Malayalam. I proceeded to place my order in what I felt was an acceptable amplitude for a mess, only to be met with a circumspect stare from the waiter, who trotted off to the kitchen hastily and returned to drop it on my table with the gravitas of a Cold War era dead drop.

In 2010, when I was a university student in Bangalore, the Karnataka government threatened to pass a new law, enacted in “The Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill 2010”, but this was eventually rejected by the former governor of the state HR Bhardwaj, who felt the Bill “adversely affects lakhs of people’s lives and lacks legislative competence.” It was around this time that I first heard the historian and academic DN Jha’s name in passing for the first time.

History, not hate

Jha’s Myth Of The Holy Cow was never intended to be provocative. It was merely an academic inquiry into the historical beef-eating dietary habits on the Subcontinent, one that was buttressed with ample evidence from ancient texts and sources. However, many publishers refused to take on the heat of brining it out, and after it was finally published in 2001 by Matrix Books, it was received with the usual symphony of death threats and brickbats from the fundamentalist Hindutva right.

The book promptly faced a court injunction, and would eventually resurface only in 2009, published this time by Navayana with a pop art cover whose appealing shelf presence would probably betray the sober, academic content of the book itself. Jha’s central premise is that the practice of eating beef is hardly a foreign concept brought to India by Islamic and Christian influences, and that people from the Vedic era not only ritually sacrificed the cow, but also relished its meat.

Jha meticulously brings this out by drawing our attention to various ancient texts – the Vedas, epics like the Ramayana, and Buddhist and Jain scriptures. Jha also charts out society’s transformation from a pastoralist, nomadic group to settled agriculturalists, where the the status of the cow was elevated to that a beast of burden.

However, the cow hadn’t yet become holy, with neither the Laws of Manu (which prohibit eating cows but condones their slaughter by Brahmins) nor the concept of ahimsa in Buddhist and Jain thought elevating the animal to a hallowed status. Beef-eating eventually became taboo in the medieval period among upper caste Hindus, but the cow was yet to be canonised, as this happened much later in the 19th century, when various cow protection groups galvanised themselves on this nebulous notion of a shared identity.

As Jha puts it “The holiness of the cow is elusive. For there has never been a cow goddess, nor any temple in her honour. Nevertheless the veneration of this animal has come to be viewed as a characteristic trait of modern day non-existent monolithic ‘Hinduism’ bandied about by the Hindutva forces.”

Unholy nexus

In the past couple of years, we have seen a Muslim man murdered on suspicion of storing beef in UP, two Muslim cattle herders lynched in public in Jharkhand, and Dalits flogged for carrying cow carcasses in Gujarat. To understand the morbid paranoia that has taken over the Hindu right, we must look to the words of one of its seers, a Chitpavan Brahmin and former sarsanghchalak of the RSS, MS Golwalkar: “The expression ‘communalism of the majority’ is totally wrong and misconceived. In a democracy the opinion of the majority has to hold sway in the day-to-day life of the people. As such it will be but proper to consider the practical conduct of the life of the majority as the actual life of the national entity.”

We’ve never come closer to reaching Golwalkar’s perverse ideal in the history of the Indian republic than now, but the seeds of this hysteria have always been around. To cite a small instance in the realm of art, take Girish Karnad’s masterful Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, a film adaptation of SL Bhyrappa’s novel of the same name. Here we see an irate mob of villagers gathering around the feudal mansion of Kalinga Gowda, whose American wife Hilda orders the slaughter of the household cow and eventually eats it, which results in their being outcast by the community.

In direct opposition to Golwalkar’s parochial idea of the republic stands BR Ambedkar, whose insightful and highly readable essay, Untouchability and the Dead Cow, finds it way to the Navayana edition of Jha’s book. As the chief framer of the Indian Constitution, he managed to slip in the crucial Article 29 and 30 to counter such unsophisticated partisan instincts. It reads: “Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.”

Ambedkar further elucidated this deliberate inclusion by saying, “It is also used to cover minorities which are not minorities in the technical sense, but which are nonetheless minorities in the cultural and linguistic sense…if there is a cultural minority which wants to preserve its language, its script and its culture, the State shall not by law impose upon it any other culture which may be either local or otherwise.”. Ultimately, the Malayali heading to the Kerala mess for a beef fry in Delhi is far more in line with the Constitution than the man stoking the tinderbox of cow protection in his community over what his neighbour is allegedly storing in the freezer.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

“ലജ്ജ കൊണ്ട് എന്റെ തലകുനിയുന്നു”: രാഷ്ട്രപതിയ്ക്കും പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിക്കും നാവികസേനാ മുന്‍മേധാവിയുടെ തുറന്ന കത്ത്

“ലജ്ജ കൊണ്ട് എന്റെ തലകുനിയുന്നു”: രാഷ്ട്രപതിയ്ക്കും പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിക്കും നാവികസേനാ മുന്‍മേധാവിയുടെ തുറന്ന കത്ത്

45 വര്‍ഷം ഞാന്‍ സേവനമനുഷ്ഠിച്ച നമ്മുടെ സായുധ സേന ഇന്ത്യയുടെ മതേതര ചിന്തകള്‍ക്ക് മാതൃകയാണ്. അത് കപ്പലിലായാലും മുങ്ങിക്കപ്പലിലായാലും, വിമാനത്തിലായാലും യുദ്ധരംഗത്തായാലും, മതത്തിന്റെയും ജാതിയുടെയും അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഞങ്ങള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ വിവേചനങ്ങളുണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല ഞങ്ങള്‍ ഒരുമിച്ച് പരിശീലിക്കുകയും പോരാടുകയും ജീവിക്കുകയും തിന്നുകയും മരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു.


 

Open-Letter

Admiral-Ramdas

അഡ്മിറല്‍ എല്‍. രാംദാസ്

രാജ്യത്തെ സമകാലീന രാഷ്ട്രീയാന്തരീക്ഷത്തില്‍ തനിക്കുള്ള ആശങ്കകളും നിരാശകളും പങ്കുവെച്ചുകൊണ്ട് മുന്‍ നാവികസേനാ മേധാവി അഡ്മിറല്‍ എല്‍. രാംദാസ് രാഷ്ട്രപതി പ്രണബ് മുഖര്‍ജിയ്ക്കും പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി നരേന്ദ്രമോദിയ്ക്കും എഴുതിയ തുറന്ന കത്ത്


ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട പ്രസിഡന്റ്, ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി,

എന്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട രാജ്യവും അവിടുത്തെ ജനതയും ഗുരുതരമായ വെല്ലുവിളികള്‍ നേരിടുകയും നമ്മുടെ മഹത്തായ പാരമ്പര്യം വലിയ ഭീഷണികള്‍ നേരിടുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന സാഹചര്യത്തില്‍ ഹൃദയവേദനയോടു കൂടിയാണ് ഞാനീ തുറന്ന കത്ത് എഴുതുന്നത്.

ഞാന്‍ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സായുധസേനയില്‍ സേവനമനുഷ്ഠിച്ചയാളാണ്. സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം ലഭിച്ചയുടന്‍ 14ാം വയസില്‍ സേവനം തുടങ്ങിയ എന്റെ 45 വര്‍ഷത്തെ കരിയറിനിടെ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ നാവികസേനാ മേധാവിയുമായി (1990 മുതല്‍ 1993 വരെ). ഇതിനിടെ ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ പലമാറ്റങ്ങള്‍ക്കും സാക്ഷിയായി. 1947ലെ വിഭജകാല ഭീതി മുതല്‍ നാം ഇന്ന് കാണുന്ന ഡിജിറ്റള്‍ കക്ടിവിറ്റിയുടെ മറ്റൊരു ലോകം വരെ.

ഹിന്ദു വിശ്വാസപ്രകാരം വളര്‍ന്ന ഒരാളെന്ന നിലയില്‍ കൂടിയാണ് ഞാന്‍ ഈ എഴുത്ത് എഴുതുന്നത്. ഞാന്‍ മനസിലാക്കുകയും അനുഭവിക്കുകയും ചെയ്ത ഹിന്ദുയിസം മാന്യവും, അനന്യമായ ബഹുസ്വരത ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളുന്നതുമായിരുന്നു. സ്‌നേഹത്തിന്റെ മൂല്യവും എല്ലാ ജീവികളോടുമുള്ള ആദരവും എന്റെ മതം എന്നെ പഠിപ്പിച്ചു. ഇന്നത്തെ ‘ഹിന്ദുത്വ’ ബ്രാന്റ് പ്രതിനിധീകരിക്കുന്ന തരത്തില്‍ വിഭജനത്തിന് ആക്കം കൂട്ടുന്നതും രാജ്യത്ത് ഭീതി വളര്‍ത്തുന്നതുമായ ഹിംസയും അസഹിഷ്ണുതയും നിറഞ്ഞതല്ല എന്റെ ഹിന്ദുയിസം ബ്രാന്റ്.


2014 മെയില്‍ പുതിയ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ അധികാരത്തില്‍ വന്നശേഷം എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണ് രാജ്യത്തെ ന്യൂനപക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരായ അതിക്രമങ്ങള്‍ വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നതായി നാം കാണുന്നത്? ചില പ്രത്യേക സമുദായങ്ങള്‍ പ്രത്യേക ശ്രദ്ധയോടെ താക്കീത് ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്നു ഉദാഹരണത്തിന്, മുസ്‌ലീങ്ങള്‍. ഇന്ന് ഒരു മുസ്‌ലീമിന് അവനായാലും അവളായാലും അവരുടെ ദേശഭക്തി തെളിയിക്കേണ്ടി വരുന്നു.


dADRI

ഇന്ന്, എന്റെ സഹജീവിതങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്, പ്രത്യേകിച്ച് ന്യൂനപക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കും ദളിതര്‍ക്കുമെതിരായ ആക്രമണങ്ങളുടെ ഒരു നിരതന്നെ കാണുമ്പോള്‍ എണ്‍പതുവയസിന്റെ അനുഭവസമ്പത്തുള്ള ഞാന്‍ ലജ്ജ കൊണ്ട് തലകുനിക്കേണ്ടി വന്നിരിക്കുകയാണ്. 45 വര്‍ഷം ഞാന്‍ സേവനമനുഷ്ഠിച്ച നമ്മുടെ സായുധ സേന ഇന്ത്യയുടെ മതേതര ചിന്തകള്‍ക്ക് മാതൃകയാണ്. അത് കപ്പലിലായാലും മുങ്ങിക്കപ്പലിലായാലും, വിമാനത്തിലായാലും യുദ്ധരംഗത്തായാലും, മതത്തിന്റെയും ജാതിയുടെയും അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഞങ്ങള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ വിവേചനങ്ങളുണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല ഞങ്ങള്‍ ഒരുമിച്ച് പരിശീലിക്കുകയും പോരാടുകയും ജീവിക്കുകയും തിന്നുകയും മരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു.

 

2014 മെയില്‍ പുതിയ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ അധികാരത്തില്‍ വന്നശേഷം എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണ് രാജ്യത്തെ ന്യൂനപക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരായ അതിക്രമങ്ങള്‍ വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നതായി നാം കാണുന്നത്? ചില പ്രത്യേക സമുദായങ്ങള്‍ പ്രത്യേക ശ്രദ്ധയോടെ താക്കീത് ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്നു ഉദാഹരണത്തിന്, മുസ്‌ലീങ്ങള്‍. ഇന്ന് ഒരു മുസ്‌ലീമിന് അവനായാലും അവളായാലും അവരുടെ ദേശഭക്തി തെളിയിക്കേണ്ടി വരുന്നു.


Don’t Miss: ഹിന്ദു, മുസ്‌ലിം കുടിയേറ്റക്കാരെ വേര്‍തിരിക്കലാണ് എന്റെ പാര്‍ട്ടിയുടെ നയം: ബി.ജെ.പി നേതാവായ ആസാം മന്ത്രി


അവരുടെ ആരാധനാലായങ്ങള്‍ ആക്രമിക്കപ്പെട്ടു, അവരുടെ ഭക്ഷണശീലങ്ങളും അടിസ്ഥാന സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യങ്ങളും ചോദ്യം ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്നു. തീര്‍ത്തും അംഗീകരിക്കാനാവാത്ത ഏകപക്ഷമായ ജനക്കൂട്ട പെരുമാറ്റം കൊലപാതകത്തിലേക്ക് നയിക്കുന്നതും മുതിര്‍ന്ന നേതാക്കളുടെ പ്രകോപനപരമായ പരസ്യ പ്രതികരണങ്ങളും കൂടുകയും ആവര്‍ത്തിക്കുകയുമാണ്. യാതൊരു ശിക്ഷാ ഭയവുമില്ലാതെ ദളിതര്‍ക്കെതിരായ അതിക്രമങ്ങള്‍ വര്‍ധിച്ചുവരുന്നു.

ന്യൂനപക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്, പ്രത്യേകിച്ച് ഹിന്ദുക്കള്‍ക്കും ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികള്‍ക്കും, ദളിതര്‍ക്കും ആദിവാസികള്‍ക്കും ഇതികം തന്നെ വിവേചനങ്ങളും അരികുവത്കരിക്കപ്പെട്ടതായി തോന്നുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന സാഹചര്യത്തില്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ തീകൊണ്ടാണ് കളിക്കുന്നതെന്ന് രാജ്യത്തിന്റെ മുന്‍നിര നേതാക്കളെ ഓര്‍മ്മപ്പെടുത്തേണ്ട കാര്യമില്ല.


hariyana

ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ ഹിന്ദു രാഷ്ട്രം സൃഷ്ടിക്കാനുള്ള ഭൂരിപക്ഷ അജണ്ട നടപ്പിലാക്കാനുള്ള വളരെ ആസൂത്രിതമായ ശ്രമം നടക്കുന്നുണ്ടെന്നാണ് തോന്നുന്നത്. ഇതുമാത്രം പറഞ്ഞുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന രാഷ്ട്രീയ സ്വയം സേവക് സംഘവും മറ്റ് ഹിന്ദുത്വശക്തികളുമാണിതിന് പിന്നില്‍. ഇത് വെറും പ്രചരണങ്ങളുടെ പേരില്‍ ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതും കൊലചെയ്യുന്നതുമുള്‍പ്പെടെ വളരെ അപകടകരമായ ഒരു ജനക്കൂട്ട പെരുമാറ്റത്തിന് വഴിവെച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ചുരുക്കി പറഞ്ഞാല്‍ നിലവിലുള്ള നിയമസംവിധാനത്തെ വകവെക്കാത്ത രീതി. നിയമം നടപ്പിലാക്കാന്‍ ഉത്തരവാദിത്തപ്പെട്ടവര്‍ പക്ഷപാതിത്വം പ്രകടമാക്കുകയാണ്.

രാജ്യഭരണത്തിന് ചുക്കാന്‍ പിടിക്കുന്നവര്‍ ഇത്തരം പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങളെ തുറന്ന് അപലപിക്കുന്നില്ല എന്നതാണ് ഇതിനേക്കാളേറെ ഞെട്ടലുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന കാര്യം. സര്‍ക്കാറിന്റെ പ്രതികരണം ഓരോ തവണയും ദയയില്ലാത്തതും അനാസ്ഥ വെളിവാക്കുന്നതുമാണ്. ഇത്തരം ആക്രമണങ്ങളുടെയും ആരോപണങ്ങളുടെയും ഗൗരവവും ഗുരുതരവുമായ സ്വഭാവത്തിന്റെ പ്രാധാന്യം കുറച്ചുകാണിക്കുന്ന തരത്തിലുള്ള പ്രതികരണമാണ് സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ സംവിധാനത്തില്‍ നിന്നുണ്ടാകുന്നത്.


നമ്മുടെ നാനാത്വത്തെ നമ്മുടെ ശക്തിയായി പരിഗണിക്കുന്നതിനു പകരം അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര സമൂഹത്തിനു മുന്നില്‍ നമ്മള്‍ വംശീയ, ഫാസിസ്റ്റ്, അസഹിഷ്ണു, സങ്കുചിതമായ ഒരു സമൂഹമായി മാറിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ചിലവിഭാഗങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരായ അക്രമം ഇന്ത്യ അപൂര്‍ണ ജനാധിപത്യമാണെന്ന പ്രതിച്ഛായ സൃഷ്ടിച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണ്, എല്ലാതരത്തിലുളള അഭിപ്രായ ഭിന്നതകളെയും നിരുത്സാഹപ്പെടുത്തുകയും മനുഷ്യാവകാശ ലംഘനങ്ങളെ കണ്ടില്ലെന്നു നടിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന ഒരു രാഷ്ട്രമെന്ന പ്രതിച്ഛായ.


kALBURGI-2

ഈ സമൂഹം ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള പെരുമാറ്റങ്ങള്‍ വെച്ചുപൊറുപ്പിക്കില്ലെന്ന് ഉറപ്പുവരുത്താനുള്ള പ്രതിഷേധങ്ങളും പ്രക്ഷോഭങ്ങളും നടക്കുമ്പോള്‍ അധികാരികള്‍ ഈ സംഭവങ്ങളെ വെറുതെ ‘വേദനാജനകം’ എന്നോ ‘ദൗര്‍ഭാഗ്യകരമെന്നോ’ വിശേഷിപ്പിക്കുന്നു. ഇത്തരം പ്രതികരണങ്ങളിലും നടപടികളിലും മുന്‍പന്തിയില്‍ എം.പിമാര്‍ മുതല്‍ മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിമാരും കേന്ദ്രമന്ത്രിമാരും വരെയുണ്ട്. ഭരിക്കുന്ന പാര്‍ട്ടിയും അതിന്റെ സംഘടനകളുമെല്ലാം ചേര്‍ന്നു നടത്തുന്ന ഒരു പദ്ധതിയാണെന്ന ധാരണ ഇത് ആളുകള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ സൃഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു.

ന്യൂനപക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്, പ്രത്യേകിച്ച് ഹിന്ദുക്കള്‍ക്കും ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികള്‍ക്കും, ദളിതര്‍ക്കും ആദിവാസികള്‍ക്കും ഇതികം തന്നെ വിവേചനങ്ങളും അരികുവത്കരിക്കപ്പെട്ടതായി തോന്നുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന സാഹചര്യത്തില്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ തീകൊണ്ടാണ് കളിക്കുന്നതെന്ന് രാജ്യത്തിന്റെ മുന്‍നിര നേതാക്കളെ ഓര്‍മ്മപ്പെടുത്തേണ്ട കാര്യമില്ല.

നമ്മുടെ നാനാത്വത്തെ നമ്മുടെ ശക്തിയായി പരിഗണിക്കുന്നതിനു പകരം അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര സമൂഹത്തിനു മുന്നില്‍ നമ്മള്‍ വംശീയ, ഫാസിസ്റ്റ്, അസഹിഷ്ണു, സങ്കുചിതമായ ഒരു സമൂഹമായി മാറിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ചിലവിഭാഗങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരായ അക്രമം ഇന്ത്യ അപൂര്‍ണ ജനാധിപത്യമാണെന്ന പ്രതിച്ഛായ സൃഷ്ടിച്ചിരിക്കുകയാണ്, എല്ലാതരത്തിലുളള അഭിപ്രായ ഭിന്നതകളെയും നിരുത്സാഹപ്പെടുത്തുകയും മനുഷ്യാവകാശ ലംഘനങ്ങളെ കണ്ടില്ലെന്നു നടിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന ഒരു രാഷ്ട്രമെന്ന പ്രതിച്ഛായ.5000ത്തിലേറെ വര്‍ഷങ്ങളുടെ സ്ഥിരമായ മാറ്റങ്ങളിലൂടെ രൂപപ്പെടുത്തിയെടുത്ത സംസ്‌കാരങ്ങളുടെ സംഗമമാണ് ഇന്ത്യ പ്രതിനിധീകരിക്കുന്നത്. ഈ വൈവിധ്യവും സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ പ്രത്യേക സ്വഭാവവും ഒരുപക്ഷേ ഭൂമിയിലൊടിത്തും ഉണ്ടാവില്ല. ഇക്കാരണം കൊണ്ടാണ് ഏകമത ഐഡന്റിറ്റി അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഏകസംസ്‌കാരം ഈ പരിഷ്‌കൃത പാരമ്പര്യത്തിന് അപമാനമായി തോന്നുന്നത്.

 


Rohith-Vemula

ഇന്ത്യന്‍ പ്രസിഡന്റാണ് പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിക്കും മറ്റ് മന്ത്രിമാര്‍ക്കും സത്യപ്രതിജ്ഞ ചൊല്ലി നല്‍കുന്നത്. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഭരണഘടനയെ അനുസൃതമായി പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കും എന്നാണ് അവര്‍ പ്രതിജ്ഞ ചെയ്യുന്നത്. അത് പാലിക്കുന്നതിലുള്ള അവരുടെ പരാജയമാണ് ഇതുവരെ കണ്ടത്. ഈ പരാജയം ദേശീയ സുരക്ഷയ്ക്കും അഖണ്ഡതയ്ക്കും നല്ലതല്ല. കേന്ദ്രസംസ്ഥാന സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ ദ്രുതഗതിയില്‍ നടപടിയെടുക്കുകയും ഇതുപോലുള്ള സംഭവങ്ങളെ തുറന്ന് അപലപിക്കുകയും നീതി നടപ്പിലാക്കുകയും കുറ്റക്കാരെ ശിക്ഷിക്കുകയും വേണം.


Don’t Miss: അഡ്മിറല്‍ രാം ദാസ് കള്ളനും രാജ്യദ്രോഹിയുമെന്ന് ബി.ജെ.പി നേതാവ്


അത്തരം നടപടികള്‍ എല്ലാത്തിനെയും പ്രതിരോധിക്കാന്‍ സഹായകമാകും. നമ്മുടെ പരമ്പരാഗത രീതകള്‍ക്കും വൈവിധ്യങ്ങളെ ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളുന്ന രാജ്യത്തെ സംസ്‌കാരത്തിനും ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്കുമെതിരെ സംസാരിക്കുകയും പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നവരെ വെളിച്ചത്ത് കൊണ്ടുവരാന്‍ സാധിക്കും.

5000ത്തിലേറെ വര്‍ഷങ്ങളുടെ സ്ഥിരമായ മാറ്റങ്ങളിലൂടെ രൂപപ്പെടുത്തിയെടുത്ത സംസ്‌കാരങ്ങളുടെ സംഗമമാണ് ഇന്ത്യ പ്രതിനിധീകരിക്കുന്നത്. ഈ വൈവിധ്യവും സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ പ്രത്യേക സ്വഭാവവും ഒരുപക്ഷേ ഭൂമിയിലൊടിത്തും ഉണ്ടാവില്ല. ഇക്കാരണം കൊണ്ടാണ് ഏകമത ഐഡന്റിറ്റി അല്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഏകസംസ്‌കാരം ഈ പരിഷ്‌കൃത പാരമ്പര്യത്തിന് അപമാനമായി തോന്നുന്നത്.


നിങ്ങളെ പോലെ തന്നെ ഏറെ അനുഭവസമ്പത്തുള്ള മുന്‍ സേവകന്‍ എന്ന നിലയില്‍ ഇതേ ഭരണഘടനയെ ഉയര്‍ത്തിപ്പിടിക്കുമെന്ന് ഞാനും ഉറപ്പുനല്‍കിയിരുന്നു. ഭരണഘടനയുടെ അവതാരികയിലും ഡയറക്റ്റീവ് പ്രിന്‍സിപ്പളിലും പറഞ്ഞപോലെ ഈ മണ്ണിലെ ഓരോ പൗരന്മാരുടെയും അവകാശങ്ങളെ ബഹുമാനിക്കാന്‍ തെരഞ്ഞെടുക്കപ്പെട്ട ഭരണകൂടം ബാദ്ധ്യസ്ഥമാണ്.


ROHITH-VEMULA-1

ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട രാഷ്ട്രപതി, ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി, നിങ്ങള്‍ രണ്ടുപേരും വിദഗ്ദമായി നിര്‍മ്മിക്കപ്പെട്ട ഭരണഘടന അനുസരിച്ച് രാജ്യത്തെ ഓരോ പൗരന്റേയും സംസാരിക്കാനും ആരാധിക്കാനും ഉള്ള സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തെ ബഹുമാനിക്കുമെന്ന് പ്രതിജ്ഞ ചെയ്തവരാണ്.

നിങ്ങളെ പോലെ തന്നെ ഏറെ അനുഭവസമ്പത്തുള്ള മുന്‍ സേവകന്‍ എന്ന നിലയില്‍ ഇതേ ഭരണഘടനയെ ഉയര്‍ത്തിപ്പിടിക്കുമെന്ന് ഞാനും ഉറപ്പുനല്‍കിയിരുന്നു. ഭരണഘടനയുടെ അവതാരികയിലും ഡയറക്റ്റീവ് പ്രിന്‍സിപ്പളിലും പറഞ്ഞപോലെ ഈ മണ്ണിലെ ഓരോ പൗരന്മാരുടെയും അവകാശങ്ങളെ ബഹുമാനിക്കാന്‍ തെരഞ്ഞെടുക്കപ്പെട്ട ഭരണകൂടം ബാദ്ധ്യസ്ഥമാണ്.


Don’t Miss: ബിയര്‍ കഴിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ വയര്‍ കൂടുന്നതിന്റെ കാരണം ഇതാണ്


സുപ്രീം കമാന്‍ഡര്‍ എന്ന നിലയിലും ചീഫ് എക്‌സിക്യൂട്ടീവ് എന്ന നിലയിലും ഇത് നിങ്ങള്‍ ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തേണ്ടതും ഇന്ത്യയിലെ ജനങ്ങള്‍ നിങ്ങളില്‍ അര്‍പ്പിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള എല്ലാ അധികാര ശക്തികളും ഉപയോഗിച്ച് നടപ്പിലാക്കേണ്ടതുമാണ്.

നമ്മള്‍ വേരോടെ പിഴുതെറിഞ്ഞില്ലെങ്കില്‍ പിന്നീട് ഏറെ വൈകിപ്പോകും. ജനാധിപത്യത്തിലുള്ള വിശ്വാസം നിലനിര്‍ത്താനും രാജ്യത്തിന് അന്തസ്സും ഐക്യവും കാത്തുസൂക്ഷിക്കാനും വേണ്ട എല്ലാ നീക്കവും നിങ്ങള്‍ നടത്തണമെന്ന് ഇന്ത്യയിലെ ജനങ്ങളാണ് ഞങ്ങള്‍ ആവശ്യപ്പെടുന്നു.

അഡ്മിറല്‍ എല്‍. രാംദാസ്

 


KILL Cancer Using Cannabis and Coconut Oil

Cannabis and Coconut Oil Make Powerful Mixture to KILL Cancer Cells

   


The human race has used the cannabis plant for its different uses since time began, with countless references to it in every ancient culture. 

 



It is only since 1937, very recently in terms of civilization, that this natural plant has been deemed illegal to utilize. It seems baffling that something that grows naturally on our planet has been made illegal, but that is what the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 did, and later the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made the punishment for using it even greater.

 



Thankfully, as time passes it seems that the public, and indeed doctors are coming round to the realization that cannabis has many therapeutic properties. There has been over 20,000 published studies, and 2,100 since 2011 that have investigated the effect cannabis has on the body, in a scientific way.
 
Because of this change in perception, there are currently 20 states and the District of Columbia where medical marijuana is legally distributed.  
 
 
Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General, wrote the following in a March 26, 2004, article titled “Myths About Medical Marijuana,” published in the Providence Journal:

 

 The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.

 
 
Ray Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director of the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), says something similar n his 2002 article titled “The Plight of the Chronically Ill,” posted on the AAMC website:

 

 Many of the chronically ill have successfully sought relief with the use of medical cannabis, an age-old remedy that now shows real scientific efficacy. Hundreds of thousands of the sick have replaced disabling narcotics and other psychotropic medications with nontoxic and benign cannabis. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Folks with spinal injuries able to give up their walkers, AIDS patients able to gain weight and keep their medications down, cancer patients finding relief from the terrible nausea of chemotherapy, chronic pain patients once again functional with their consciousness restored from narcotic lethargy, and folks once disabled from crippling psychiatric disorders and addictions, returned to sanity and society with the assistance of a nontoxic herb with remarkable healing powers.

 
 
The American Nurses Association (ANA) are on board too, this is from its Mar. 19, 2004 “Position Statement: Providing Patients Safe Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” posted on the ANA website:

 

 The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.

 
Medical marijuana has been tested and proved positive in helping with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and moderate autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, and has shown to be beneficial in cancer studies.
 
As an alternative to smoking, it can be mixed with coconut oil and taken in tablet form. The combination makes the marijuana easy for the body to absorb when it gets to the liver.

 
Coconut oil’s fatty agents are great for delivering the cannabinoids into the body, not to mention the stand-alone benefits of coconut oil, which is rare as it contains lauric acid which is scarcely found in nature and its referred to as a ‘miracle’ ingredient.


Meet Stan and Barb Rutner

 
 
Stan and Barb Rutner are utterly convinced of its effectiveness, as they have faced cancer on multiple occasions and have lived to tell the tale. 

 
Barb has twice suffered from breast cancer and Stan was diagnosed 20 years ago with non-Hodgkin lymphoma which responded to treatment. In 2011 however, the cancer came back, and had spread to his lungs and brain. 

He was told by doctors his only option was further chemotherapy, but Stan and his family defied the doctors, instead looking a natural way of treating him that would be less harmful than chemo and which would help his quality of life, and perhaps even prolong it. They had heard that cannabis was effective in cases of cancer, so they decided undertake this alternative therapy and haven’t looked back.
 
 
It was Stan’s daughter Corrine who found after researching that cannabis was particularly effective when taken with coconut oil, and so this is the route that Stan took. After two weeks of taking the capsule, Stan was able to give up his oxygen tank that he had previously had to use 24/7. He began to gain weight, sleep better and get stronger overall. After a few months, a brain scan revealed that Stan was completely cancer free.

 
The Rutners have praised cannabis oil in helping Stan recover,  John, the Rutners son-in-law has said  “There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis pulled my father-in-law out of the wasting stages of cancer and enabled him to gain strength and in turn fight this horrible cell malfunction with success. While many would say that the chemo and radiation could have played a part, he would never have lived long enough to find out without cannabis oil.”




Bhopal Fake Encounter

After several incriminating videos of the so-called ‘encounter’ (a classic Indian euphemism for cold-blooded, execution-style murder by cops), now come some damning stills!

Surely, it is just a coincidence that the killer and the killed are wearing the same sports shoes, same make and colour. Not fishy at all, no?

But the big question is: Since jails don’t allow belts/shoes/watches, how/where did #SIMI men find these? While walking to the jungle? In the shoe closet at the three heavily-guarded gates they crossed? Or the shoe rack on top of the jail’s watch tower? Or did they first walk from the jail to the ATS squad office, raid their sports shoes supplies, then quietly marched to the jungle, huddled together atop a hill, waiting to be killed?

Let’s not even ask the other questions! Between the 8 of them, two allegedly had desi, crude pistols – how did they manage to get these? Or for that matter the knives? From some corrupt prison staff? Or found them lying on the road they walked on? Or through an accomplice, waiting for them outside? In which case, why was the accomplice stupid enough not to get an SUV or a van to drive them a couple of hundred miles away at night, maybe even take them outside the state and/or drop them to a railway station, for them to vanish on separate long-distance trains?

Police reports say the escapees fired 2 rounds at them while they fired 47 rounds. So, the escapees got 2 desi guns with only one bullet each? How stupid of them!

A video shows a cop ‘recovering’ a knife from an escapee’s waistband. A shiny broad-blade and 5-6 inches long. How did this escapee manage to walk with this knife tucked inside his (new) jeans, without slicing his groin or cutting open his thigh? Warning: don’t try this at home, but without walking, just try & tuck in a kitchen knife Into your waistband!

The jailbreak itself is the stuff of legend. Like Jai-Veeru in Sholay with the angrezon ke zamaaney ke jailer.

Let’s accept scene 1 of the MP cops’ screenplay. That the escapees attacked a warden. Then stole the keys from him to open other cells to free their friends. But they forgot to free their own leader Abu Faisal alias Doctor from a nearby cell? How clumsy and stupid, but let’s say they were in too much of a hurry!

But how did they manage from there? The staffer inside the cell doesn’t carry keys to the entire jail and all its entry/ main & intervening security gates, but only for his block. Any movie-goer knows that!

So, how did the escapees cross gate 1, 2 and 3? Did these gates have no security or armed guards? The cops’ screenplay suggests they had made keys from wood and metal spoons. When? That night itself? Or well in advance? Either way, the jail staff on duty and armed guards just looked on as these escapees stood around gate 1 for hours, filing and chiseling the spoon, fitting & trying it and finally making a duplicate key? And then, they repeated the process at gates 2 and 3?

The screenplay now suggests that they climbed (multiple sets of?) 30 foot high walls by making a “ladder out of bedsheets”. Imagine 1 man climbing the rope-knotted-bedsheets and reaching the top of the first wall. Then what – he jumps down thirty feet, landing perfectly on his brand-new sports shoes? Or climbs down another bedsheet-rope that he has carried to the top? Now it is the turn of escapees 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 to repeat this mountaineering feat.

No police or jail staff spots them during the long time it took them to do this? No one from the watch tower? No armed guards see them? And – no CCTV camera capture this remarkable Olympian achievement?

If this were a Bollywood movie, we would’ve walked out saying “kya bakwaas script hai”! Even Bollywood veterans like Ajay Devgn, Raveena Tandon, Anupam Kher and Paresh Rawal would agree. But this screenplay carries on.

The escapees come out of the ISO-certified Bhopal Central jail. What do they do next? They go for a leisurely walk, covering less than 1.5 km/ hour for 7-8 hours. Not in any hurry. No sense of urgency to escape. And they decide to stick together, all 8 of them. Not split into 2 teams of 4 each or 4 teams of 2 each and go off in different directions, making their own capture difficult. DI’d they never watch TV or any films – and were they just too stupid to take these basic, elementary steps? In that case, they seem to be too foolish to be “dreaded terrorists” or any sort of “masterminds”!

The script now says that apart from 2 desi guns, the escapees get some knives – for what? Hand-to-hand combat with the heavily-armed ATS men? An IGP on camera suggests that his men have sustained injuries, but not from the only 2 bullets supposedly fired at them. So, knife injuries? How? Maybe once the escapees had been shot dead and the ATS chaps went nearer to check, the corpses’ hands twitched and jerked involuntarily but inflicted precise non life threatening injuries. Even in death, they were considerate enough to not slice open an artery or a vein – such kind-hearted terrorist?!

Triumphant IGP and valiant cops speak of the ‘encounter’ proudly on camera, telling us how bravely they tackled these men. Gushing TV anchors, wearing flack jackets and in combat mode themselves, inform us that 8 terrorists have been “neutralised” – never mind that these were undertrials, yet to be convicted for any offence, let alone for terrorism, by any court.

A Madhya Pradesh minister slips up and admits that the ‘terrorists’ had no gun, only some kitchen utensils they’d sharpened into makeshift knives. He blows apart the whole brave-cops-under-enemy-fire-reluctantly-retaliate-and kill, without sustaining any injuries themselves. The IGP also contradicts himself.

And then the worst happens – a video apparently shot by the local sarpanch shows us a plainclothes cop ‘recovering’ a knife-machete, another brave one aiming at a figure lying on the ground and firing in cold blood while off-screen voices shower some abuse and even acknowledge that someone is shooting it all on video.

And then comes a second video.
And a third video.
And a fourth video.
All of them are on YouTube for anyone to browse.

Showing us 5 men atop a hillock, no guns or weapons in sight. An independent eyewitness journalist writes to CM Chouhan – they had no way to escape – on the other side was a sheer drop of a couple of hundred feet. They were surrounded. Killed in cold blood.

Finally – Dear Madhya Pradesh Government, ATS & Police, you need to hire better scriptwriters; this is such a terrible story full of large, gaping holes! Learn from the #GujaratModel. 20-30 “encounters”, clearer plotlines & savvier ‘spin’ management! Despite that, they made history by having the largest number of IPS officers & cops arrested & jailed in independent India! And – never have your Home Minister ‘monitor’ the encounters directly – it may land him in jail too!

As a film-maker, let me tell you that cinema works on the basis of “willing suspension of disbelief”. But even in that context, your story, script, screenplay & dialogues are terrible! And people in real life don’t embrace disbelief readily, unless they’re your cadres or blind Bhakts.

The citizens will ask questions, challenge your narratives, criticize you, keep you in check as is mandated in the Indian Constitution under the chapter titled Fundamental Duties!

– Rakesh Sharma

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Why I will never use Ramdev’s Patanjali products again

 

Why I will never use Ramdev’s Patanjali products again

The yoga guru’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny of his products and processes.

 |   Long-form |   21-10-2016

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

NILANJAN MUKHOPADHYAY

 @nilanjanudwin

 
 
 
 

Till a few years ago, I was a regular consumer of Ayurvedic medicines manufactured and marketed by the empire of Baba Ramdev – Patanjali Ayurved. 

Drawn to one of his shops after battling chronic lower-back pain for close to three decades, I found refuge in a communicative “vaidji” who sympathetically heard the litany of health complications.

“It will take time but theek ho jayega.”

Greatly relieved, I did not let it bother me that these products were rather expensive. I reasoned that allopathic medicines and tests often cost a lot more. Hope, it is said, often denudes rationalism.

I believed that a tiny packet containing brownish powder was worth its cost of several hundreds of rupees, as the man at the counter explained that the price was high because “gold was used” in manufacturing the medicine. It had to be mixed with other powders – cheaper than this – and then had to be taken in prescribed doses at designated hours.

Over several years, many medicines were added for other ailments, beginning with diabetes and a few other chronic ailments. Yet none of the “problems” were alleviated. In time, my back pain worsened and I chose to try out oil massage therapy of the Kottakkal school of Ayurveda.

In contrast to the Hindi-speaking vaidji at Ramdev’s shop, the doctor who I was assigned to was an English-speaking Punjabi lady – an oddity in the Malayali-dominated hospital in East Delhi.

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Ramdev has gone beyond being yoga guru, and is now often referred as what he actually is – an industrialist.

The question must have been scribbled on my face because she volunteered that she had studied in an Ayurvedic college in Punjab before settling in Delhi after her marriage and taking up a job at the hospital. She read the supplementary question too and explained:

“Basically, all Ayurvedic medicines are the same. Be it ours, Dabur, Hamdard or even Baba Ramdev’s. Our medicines respond better to certain ailments like muscular pains and neurological disorders because we use oils with medicines mixed in it. Also, they are applied to affected parts by trained hands.”

I also agreed to supplement the massage with oral medicines. That is when I began reading the fine print of constituents in the medicine and discovered, to my astonishment, that some of them were the same as the Patanjali medicines.

Before I went to try the Kottakkal therapy, I had been further sucked into the Ramdev web. I started buying Patanjali’s hair oils and shampoos in the mistaken idea (not that my hair will grow again) that itching in the scalp would stop. A sucker for diabetic products, I began buying Patanjali biscuits despite rating it lesser on the taste parameter compared to those “sugar-free” products manufactured by FMCG regulars.

I remained a committed Patanjali consumer till the summer of 2011 when I began examining if CPI leader Brinda Karat had indeed raised valid questions about its products and medicines.

After all, anyone who was engaged in genuine “sewa” would not behave in the selfish manner Baba Ramdev chose to in June that year when he abandoned thousands of followers disguising himself in a woman’s attire and exposing them to grave danger.

I was particularly incensed that while the Baba scooted, a poor woman, Rajbala, took police batons on her body and eventually died of injuries. Only a professional politician abandons followers, and not someone who likens himself to gurus and swamis, I reasoned. And my disenchantment with Ramdev, opportunistic campaigner against corruption, grew.

In the past five years Ramdev has gone beyond being a yoga guru, and is now often referred as to what he actually is – an industrialist.

After all, after having become a Rs 5,000-crore company this past fiscal, he is now aiming to round off the current financial year with a turnover of more than Rs 7,000 crore, and an annual sales figure of $1 billion.

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Every business activity of Patanjali is justified in the name of Ramdev’s vision of providing an alternative. (Photo: PTI)

As his business grew by leaps and bounds, my reasons to stop using Patanjali products also increased for several reasons, but most importantly, I found the idea of guru and business anachronistic.

This is not a campaign piece. Let me make it clear that I do not object to members of my family from using Ramdev products, if they wish – and many do with great faith.

Yet, because of being in the business of news and views, and since we often write about personal experiences, it is probably apt for me to do so because Ramdev is in the middle of an aggressive campaign against Chinese goods.

A person having diverse business interests is one matter, but if he also begins displaying active political interests and promotes his products by political and nationalistic reasons, then his sincerity is suspect in my eyes.

Once again, let me confess that I have not been buying Chinese brands for several years, though there is almost no escaping multi-national brands assembled or manufactured in China, and thereby, I am partially on the same page as Ramdev.

Where we differ is that I have no business interests, while he has. And thus his decision is suspect in my eyes.

On radio, over TV, Patanjali products are advertised ad nauseam and it is estimated that Ramdev’s face appears on one major Indian TV channel every 30 seconds, which coupled with ad spends for print and radio, involves an annual expenditure of Rs 400 crore. That too because the cost does not involve that of the “model” – the so-called yoga guru himself.

But most importantly, in radio ads, his sales pitch is that Patanjali products must be purchased to secure “aarthik azaadi for Bharat”. Similarly, in one of frequently aired ads references are made to the Swadeshi movement of 1906 and images of Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad are used liberally.

Essentially, this means that Ramdev is likening his products to those that were popularised in the first flush of the nascent national movement and he is presenting himself as part of the generations of India’s freedom fighters.

A businessman must remain in his territory and such tactics must be disallowed. It is for the government to decide that. If it chooses to allow Patanjali or any other company using national icons, symbols and episodes of the freedom struggle, it becomes open to charges of pandering to crony capitalism.

The ruling dispensation also attracts this charge because Ramdev has claimed that he advises Modi on political matters — “I tweeted to Modiji that he should talk about Buddha and yudhha (war) side by side.”

In his advertisements, the promoter of Patanjali also claims that profits earned from the sale of products are accrued in the account of any person. However, Balkrishna, Ramdev’s aide who spent time in jail on charges of money laundering, owns 94 per cent of the shares of Patanjali Ayurved Limited.

Watch: How India Today got Baba Ramdev’s ‘Power Yogi’ pose

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/embed/j4ci68lt1c

Interestingly, Forbes magazine recently listed Balkrishna as one of India’s richest individuals but, for the sake of pretence, he is always clad in dhoti and half-sleeve kurta.

The BJP governments in several states have also been large-hearted in their largesse towards Ramdev’s empire by allotting land at concessional prices for pursuing his businesses, which are cleverly woven into his yoga camps.

The favour bestowed on Ramdev is obviously part of the quid pro quo arrangement that was worked out in return for Ramdev’s support to Modi during the 2014 polls and thereafter.

While the almost-iconic photograph of Ramdev on the India Todaycover where his inversely vertical image has been a rage, little is known to the public about the intricate business arrangement of his four verticals — food, cosmetics, herbal and home care. To add to these, he now intends adding dairy as the fifth vertical.

Every business activity of Patanjali is justified in the name of Ramdev’s vision of providing an alternative. He is a clear leader in a sector which has witnessed the entry of others who peddle spirituality besides yielding enormous political clout, for instance, Sri Sri Ravishankar and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sachha Sauda. But because of the economic and social class that Ramdev targets – mainly the middle-middle group – he is the clear winner in this category of businessmen.

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Ramdev’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny. (Photo: PTI)

Though his vow is to provide alternate products, the business model that Ramdev uses is no different from what MNCs and other big companies. His products are manufactured in similar production units but without any information if laws related to their functioning and labour regulations are followed or not. (Karat was embroiled in the controversy after workers went to the CPM-controlled CITU with complaints of law laws being violated by Patanjali)

Because of the veil of doing “good business”, no information ever comes out as government officials refrain from checking if norms are being followed or not because of his political connections.

Ramdev is successful because he preys on the insecurities of potential consumers (“you will fall ill if you continue consuming products made by existing companies” or “their products are harmful while mine are not”).

After nudging consumers from their perch of safe and secure consumption, his marketing ploy emphasises on two themes – faith and purity.

Ramdev in this manner emerges as clear leader in the F&P sector as his primary product is yoga, or “ticket” to well-being, while Sri Sri and Ram Rahim’s primary outreach vehicle is spirituality as membership to a sect. All Ramdev’s followers are his clients, though not all consumers are his followers.

Riding on the unbeatable formula of spiritualism, politics and business, Ramdev has now stepped into fashion and footwear, which by no imagination can be termed as “alternatives”.

Jeans, after all, are a foreign idea and to say that there can be “Swadeshi jeans” is stretching the imagination too far. However, it gets accepted and stores put his products on their counter because they fear political pressure.

Ramdev tweets from the latest Apple iPhone, quite unmindful that they are assembled in China. This makes one wonder if in times to come Ramdev will also step into the mobile market and come up with Pat Mobiles?

Ramdev’s political clout makes it easy for him to evade government scrutiny of his products and processes, and this gives him an unfair advantage in the market. Having being gullible once, I now opt again for products made by long-standing companies, who do not have the capacity to evade routine inspections from government officials.

Many of these products, I am sure, get into the market by greasing palms. There have been several studies that have demonstrated that cold drinks, infant milk, instant noodles contain dangerous contaminants. But it is probably wiser to wade into a territory knowing that there are landmines than stepping into a field about which we know little.

Because of the size of Ramdev’s business and the wide range of products, it is time that consumers had better information about these products, rather than be guided by faith and believing blindly that they are pure.

Maybe they are. But if not, then?

Watch: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/embed/is2jzlz28w

Also read: No economic freedom in Ramdev’s Patanjali

 
ALSOREAD
 
 
 

5 Years Ago Today, the US Helped Murder Gaddafi to Stop the Creation of Gold-Backed Currency

5 Years Ago Today, the US Helped Murder Gaddafi to Stop the Creation of Gold-Backed Currency

Five years ago today, the West took it upon itself to use NATO to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi — not for any humanitarian threat to civilians as had been repeatedly claimed — but because his planned roll-out of a new currency to be used across Africa posed a palpable existential threat to central banks at the heart of the Western financial and political system.

Long theorized to be the actual vehicle for Gaddafi’s downfall, the gold dinar-based, pan-African currency motive came to light in nascent 2016 in one of more than 3,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department — conveniently timed with the New Year’s holiday to abate outrage or repercussions.

And outrage there should still be — plenty of false posturing in the lead-in to the ultimate overthrow of the Gaddafi regime should sour public trust in the West’s geopolitical motives, as a prime example of embroiling itself in unnecessary conflict every time a nation threatens to gain too much independence.

In March 2011, amid heightening rebellion of the Arab Spring, chaos came to Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi — and the West and its allies quickly capitalized on those events to partake in a falsely-premised rebellion of its own.

Citing a decades-old U.N. Security Council resolution to invoke a nefarious no-fly zone over Libya to “protect civilians,” the United States, U.K., France, and others began a bombing campaign on March 19 — in actuality, of course, that protection was of the central bank monopoly and, in particular, France’s financial interests in the historically French-colonial region.

“We are doing it to protect the civilian population from the murderous madness of a regime that in killing its own people has lost all legitimacy,” railed French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who played a key role in Gaddafi’s fated demise.

“Colonel Gaddafi has made this happen. He has lied to the international community… He continues to brutalize his own people,” British Prime Minister David Cameron also asserted. “We cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue.”

As head of the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton intoned the scripted narrative, heralding the intervention in Libya as the need to “protect civilians and it is to provide access for humanitarian assistance.”

In the years leading up to the decision to topple the Libyan government, Gaddafi had made amends for the nation’s terrorism-pockmarked history, even agreeing to abandon and dismantle its chemical and nuclear weapons programs. In fact, Gaddafi so ameliorated Libya’s reputation, the U.S. removed the nation from its state sponsors of terrorism list in 2006.

But all of that was for naught once Gaddafi sought to pivot from central banks for the good of millions of people in Africa.

In the aforementioned memo released by the State Department, longtime Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal wrote the secretary of state on April 2, 2011, under the heading, “France’s client & Qaddafi’s gold,” about several pertinent concerns in the ongoing siege on Libya.

It seemed to Blumenthal toppling Gaddafi might be a more cumbersome task than originally imagined, in part because the leader had “nearly bottomless financial resources to continue indefinitely” combating NATO and allied forces.

Blumenthal wrote:

“On April 2, 2011 sources with access to advisors to Saif al-Islam Qaddafi stated in strictest confidence that while the freezing of Libya’s foreign bank accounts presents Muammar Qaddafi with serious challenges, his ability to equip and maintain his armed forces and intelligence services remains intact. According to sensitive information available to this these individuals, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011 these stocks were moved to SABHA (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli.”

Indeed, the extent of the threat to the West’s central financial monopolies from the gold dinar-backed currency is made astonishingly clear as the now-notorious memorandum continues:

“This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide, the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

“(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

Those unnamed sources cited five major points of concern for Sarkozy over Gaddafi’s innovative plan to escape Western control:

a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,

b. Increase French influence in North Africa,

c. Improve his internal political situation in France,

d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,

e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in,Francophone Africa.)

In what could best be described a gut-wrenching letter — considering the events to follow — Gaddafi, oblivious to the plot, penned a letter on April 6 to President Obama begging for an end to NATO-led airstrikes on Libya.

Addressing the president as “Our son,” referring to Obama’s African heritage, the embattled leader wrote [unusual spellings and errors per original]:

“We have been hurt more morally that physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you. Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action.”

Gaddafi added that “for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato off the Libyan affair for good.

“As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed member of AlQuaeda in Benghazi.”

But his plea — as one sent just days before the bombing began, in which Gaddafi insisted, “even if Libya and the United States enter into war, God forbid, you will always remain my son” — fell on purposely, criminally deaf ears.

On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi attempted in vain to flee the city of Sirte — and Libya fell largely under Western-backed rebel and NATO control by the end of the month.

Hillary Clinton’s deplorably merciless reaction, “We came, we saw, he died,” played out in an interview shortly after Gaddafi’s shameful murder.

As per usual, the U.S. and its Western counterparts left the country to its own devices after slashing the once-thriving nation to the ground.

“Today there is no government of Libya. It’s simply mobs that patrol the streets and kill one another,” Virginia State Senator Richard Black told RT of the mess left behind.

And despite certain issues in Libya before the coup, “Libyans had an incredibly high standard of living, the highest in Africa,” international lawyer Francis Boyle told RT“When I first went to Libya in 1986, I was amazed by the empowerment of women. What I saw in Libya was that women could do anything they wanted to do.”

Tragically, as has played out repeatedly around the planet, any nation — no matter how functional and successful — will be annihilated by the American empire if it or its allies have sufficient reason.

As Sen. Black noted — as could be of any such nation:

“We were willing to absolutely wipe out and crush their civilization.”


Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/5-years-ago-us-killed-gaddafi-gold/#RUZzf538GSO4g411.99

Fats and figures

Fats and figures

32Fats

Meet the doctor who is changing the way we eat

  • “The focus has been on cholesterol, weight and burning calories—it’s all fatally flawed. The root cause driving heart disease and diabetes is insulin resistance. What drives insulin resistance is a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates” – Dr Aseem Malhotra

Dr Aseem Malhotra orders a double helping of cheese. At Li Veli, an Italian bistro in Covent Garden, he picks a plate of Italian cheeses as a starter and then tucks into aubergine Parmigiana, a gratin with mozzarella and Parmesan.

This isn’t a “sod the diet” day, though. Malhotra is a cardiologist, and this is how he thinks we should all eat. He puts grass-fed butter on his vegetables, and extra-virgin olive oil on everything else. And in his new documentary, The Big Fat Fix, he sets out why fat is not the enemy but sugar is, and how refined carbohydrates—white bread and white pasta—are false friends, to be consumed only in moderation.

“Some people have an outdated fear of fat,” the 38-year-old says. “It’s nonsense. We’ve got better data than we had years ago when it was said that fat was the problem. Full-fat, non-processed dairy is good for the heart and fat keeps you fuller for longer.”

What about the old bogeyman of the food industry, saturated fat? “There are different types. Extra virgin olive oil—amazing for health—has about 14 to 20 per cent saturated fat. We should move towards food-based, not food-group, guidelines.”

Malhotra dismisses the current health consensus: “The focus has been on cholesterol, weight and burning calories—it’s all fatally flawed. The root cause driving heart disease and diabetes is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps control glucose levels in the blood. What drives insulin resistance is a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.”

In The Big Fat Fix, Malhotra travels to Pioppi, southern Italy, where residents enjoy longevity and a healthy old-age with low rates of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Britain’s bastardisation of the Italian diet means we think pizza and pasta. It doesn’t. It means oily fish and lots of vegetables. Pizza is a once-a-month treat; pasta is a starter. And in Pioppi, even a rare pudding is cooked in olive oil.

35AseemMalhotraDr Aseem Malhotra | Alamy

The Pioppi Protocol should be our dietary model, Malhotra says. His first advice to patients (he works at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage) is that they should eat a handful of nuts a day. Then they should cut all processed and refined sugar. They should never buy anything marked low-fat but should eat lots of vegetables and oily fish, which is high in Omega 3. Counting calories is out, too. “It’s the quality of the calories you are eating that matters, not the number,” he asserts.

The effects, he says, are dramatic: “I don’t mean weight loss—although you may lose weight as a side-effect—I mean with health. We should focus on health; the weight will correct itself.”

Even the slim should heed this advice. Many have the “illusion of protection”, Malhotra says, because they aren’t struggling to button up their jeans. “Many of my patients’ measure of success is their weight and doctors focus too much on it, too. There’s no such thing as a healthy weight. Forty per cent of people with a normal BMI will still get lifestyle diseases. The biggest risk factor for them is waist circumference.”

Malhotra was not always this way. He used to eat sugary cereal for breakfast. Finding himself starving at 11am, he would reach for a KitKat. For lunch he might have pasta, while dinner could be a curry with lots of rice. Since changing his diet, he has lost a stone—and it is all from around the waist. What changed his view was seeing, as a junior doctor, the pressure on England’s National Health Service. “There was ever more misery, ever more people who were overweight or with type II diabetes.” He believed our dietary advice must be wrong, started investigating and noted conflicts of interest in the promotion of a low-fat diet. “I have been eating and sleeping this for five years.”

35Thefocus

The Big Fat Fix also looks at exercise (there is even a training montage). Previously, Malhotra was a drive-to-the-gym-and-pound-the-treadmill type. But then he spoke to orthopaedic surgeons, who said they were seeing people in their forties needing hip and knee replacements, and that no one should run on the pavement, or even treadmills.

Now he does a lot of squats, and focuses on compound movement. “Try not to sit for more than 45 minutes at your desk. Just stretch for 15 seconds or do a squat. For heart health, keep moving. Do what you enjoy: whether it’s cycling or walking.” In Pioppi there are no gyms. “If you look at the Mediterranean culture in the film, they walk everywhere. These people are living until 90!” He also reckons we should have more sex—to reduce the odds of heart disease, obviously.

He is frustrated that so much focus is on working off calories. “It angers me that people are measuring how many they burn on a treadmill. The body doesn’t work that way. The amount you burn from exercise is minimal compared to what people eat. If you want to put on weight, we tell you to exercise because it increases appetite.”

He calls for a revolution in how we think about energy from food. “About 75 per cent of the calories we burn are just for keeping your organs going. I need energy for my brain, my heart. I don’t want to be fuelling that with stuff that’s going to give me heart disease and type II diabetes. The idea that it doesn’t matter where the calories come from, you can just burn it off, is nonsense.”

Malhotra’s mission now is to take these messages to the masses. “A doctor’s duty goes beyond individual patients, to the whole population.”

34doctorprescribes

What the doctor prescribes 
* Fat is not the enemy: cheese and butter are off the banned list, and olive oil and nuts are your dietary new best friends 
* Stop counting calories. What really matters is the quality of the calories you eat 
* Cut out processed and refined sugar. You can still eat fruit, but try to get the majority of your five-a-day from vegetables 
* Reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates by eating as the Italians actually do—pasta is not a main course and pizza is a treat 
* If you sit at a desk all day, set a timer and every 45 minutes do 15 seconds of stretching, a squat or walk to the water cooler 
* To combat stress, get 10 minutes a day (you can break it up) of deep breathing or tai chi exercises, where you switch off

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): 9 Healthy Habits That Science Later Proved

Jack The Lad

In honor of the prophet’s birthday, we decided to share with you some of Muhammad’s (PBUH) healthy habits, which happen to be backed scientifically today!

Early Riser: Prophet Muhammad slept early and woke up with the Adhan of Fajr each day. Being an early riser has scientifically been correlated with better productivity, as well as better mental health in general. So, waking up early may be hard but with baby steps, even if it’s just waking up 15 minutes earlier to start with, you can begin improving your quality of life.


Eating Less: The practice of eating less to prevent sickness and disease was emphasized by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and now backed heavily by science much later. The Islamic concept ‘1/3 for your food, 1/3 for your liquids, and 1/3 for your breath’ matches very closely to the Japanese ‘hara hachi bu’ concept, which means eat until you are only…

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Muhammad Mentioned By Name In The Hebrew Bible | Jack The Lad

Muhammad Mentioned By Name In The Hebrew Bible | Jack The Lad

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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The name “Muhammad” is written in the Bible in the original Hebrew language.

In the 5th chapter of the Shir haShirim ( שיר השירים ), which is one of the five megilot or Sacred Scrolls that are part of the Hebrew Bible or for short the “Song of Solomon” (also called “Song of Songs”). That chapter is giving a prophecy about an individual to come, a mystery man.

Song of Songs 5:15 compares this prophetic mystery man to the land of “Lebanon” which is the land of the Arabs. This implies that the mystery man would be an Arab.

Verse 15 of the NIV Bible says: “His appearance is like Lebanon”, so this is an Arabic gentleman (or Arab looking).

Verse 11 says: “his head is as the most fine gold, his locks are
wavy, and black as a raven”. Verse 10 describes this man as being “radiant and ruddy” which means he was slightly light-skinned with a rosy color. This physical description matches exactly with the authentic Islamic sources.
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 747, says Muhammad was slightly light skinned, with a rosy color (and has the same hair as is mentioned in verse 11)

Song of Songs 5:10 says: “My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.” This is a prophecy of Prophet Muhammad as he conquered Mecca. It is a well known historically documented fact that in the year 630 CE Muhammad entered Mecca as the leader of an army of “ten thousand men”.

In reading the English translation of Song of Songs 5:16 it finishes the description by saying: “He is altogether lovely” but what most people don’t know is that the name of that man was given in the original megilot. Here is the name written in ancient Hebrew as it appears in verse sixteen: מחמד . It is read as : “Mahammad”.

Hebrew: חִכּוֹ, מַמְתַקִּים, וְכֻלּוֹ, מַחֲמַדִּים; זֶה דוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי, בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

English: His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is ALTOGETHER LOVELY. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

There is a plural used together with this Hebrew word, with
the plural it’s pronounced “Mahamadd-im”. The ending letters ‘im’ is a plural of respect, majesty and grandeur for God’s prophet, just as in the word Eloh-im.

According to Ben Yehuda’s Hebrew-English Dictionary, it is correctly pronounced as “Mahammad”.

If you still don’t believe, go to these translator links, paste the name מחמד and then translate it into English. You will see that מחמד is translated as “Muhammad”.

http://www.freetranslation.com/

http://www.worldlingo.com

You can also see and listen to the Song of Songs in its original form, in Hebrew where Muhammad is mentioned by name in the below link (please notice the “im” in Hebrew is a plural of respect):

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3005.htm

The main proof of Muhammad’s Prophethood, peace and blessings be upon him, is and forever will be the Miraculous Qur’an which was revealed by God to him through the Angel Gabriel. God Almighty, out of His mercy for the Jews and Christians (respectfully referred to in the Qur’an as the People of the Book) also provided an additional proof to mankind of his Prophethood. This can be found in their very own scriptures, the Torah and Gospels.

This video discusses the 42nd chapter of the Old Testament Book of Isaiah which clearly foretells the coming of an Arabian Prophet, specifically Prophet Muhammad.

To learn more about Muhammad in the Bible please visit this website:

www.manyprophetsonemessage.com

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