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Friday, July 09, 2010

Jihad in Space - Heaven Help Us!

“As above, so below.” Hermetic maxim
The ancient Hermetics believed that what happened on earth corresponded with what was happening in the heavens. “Herm” was a stone pillar used in ancient Greece to communicate with the gods. Hermes was a generic name for god. He only became known as the God of Knowledge in the 2nd century A.D. The Chinese, the Indians, and the Persians all developed methods of astrology as well.

Which has nothing at all to do with astronomy, the scientific, empirically-based study of the universe. From ancient times, cultures all over the world studied the heavens. In the West, the studies began with the ancient Babylonians (Iraq).

The Greeks then made great advances in the science of astronomy. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos calculated the size of the Earth, and was the first to propose a heliocentric model of the solar system. In the 2nd century BC, the ancient mathematician Hipparchus calculated the size and distance of the Moon and invented the earliest known astronomical devices such as the astrolabe.

Hipparchus also created a comprehensive catalog of 1020 stars, and most of the constellations of the northern hemisphere are taken from Greek astronomy.  The Antikythera mechanism (c. 150–80 BC) was an early analog computer designed to calculate the location of the Sun, Moon, and planets for a given date. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe.

Hipparchus’ work, however, vanished. Fortunately, Ptolemy of Alexandria recorded his observations in The Almagest. The Almagest has also been valuable to students of mathematics because it documents the ancient Hipparchus' mathematical work. He wrote about trigonometry, but because his works have been lost, mathematicians use Ptolemy's book as their source for Hipparchus' works and ancient Greek trigonometry in general.

The Dark Ages befell Europe, with its wars and plagues and falling off of knowledge. So it was Islam to the rescue, or so we’re told. Now followers of the seventh century religion, Arabic astronomers (borrowing on the advances of the Greek and Egyptian cultures they’d overrun) made great discoveries like the Milky Way. They began adding stars to the star catalog, naturally giving them Arabic names and translating some of the Greek and Roman names already in the books into Arabic to teach in their universities.

But according to The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, by Robert Spencer, all above is not all as it seems below. The Muslims, believing God was free to do what he wanted, didn’t create the Universe by any rational laws. A rational law would dictate that there’s something that God cannot do.

Christians call them miracles. The Muslims considered science heresy and drove off many of its great minds. Science flourished through these immigrants to Europe; it stagnated in the Middle East.

Then, too, many of the scientific and mathematical discoveries to which they laid claim, such as algebra, had been discovered centuries before. Al-Khwarizmi introduced Europe to algebra in his treatise, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, from which the world algebra is derived. But he didn’t invent it. Even the Arabic numerals, according Spencer, are not Arabic, but Indian.

He and other Muslim scholars flourished in Europe and were ignored in their own lands, Spencer says, because Muslim schools relied largely on memorization of the Koran and not much else. You had the word of Allah, so what else did you need? Philosophers were considered infidels, heretics.

By the time Columbus discovered America, Islam pretty much dominated the Middle East. In school, we’re taught that Columbus was seeking a shorter route to the Far East. The truth, Spencer tells us, is explorers were seeking a less dangerous route to India and China.

“The Fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453 choked off the trade routes to the East. This was devastating for European tradesmen, who had until then, traveled to Asia for spices and other goods by land.” p. 97

Another consequence was the aforementioned emigration of Greek intellectuals and philosophers to Europe. “This,” Spencer explains, “led to the rediscovery of classical philosophy and literature.”

Now Obama has charged the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) with a new mission – to serve as ambassador to the Muslim world, to acknowledge the religion’s “contributions” to science and space exploration.

The Muslims were responsible for the name of one interesting star, “Algol”, Arabic for “the ghoul” or demon star. Modern science no longer names individual stars, as I learned in my college astronomy class years ago. Instead, it alphabetically catalogs the stars, according to their constellation and their brightness (i.e., Alpha Centauri).

Not content with claiming credit for scientific discoveries they didn’t initially make, and persecuting those among their own kind who did make contributions, nor with their quest for global jihad, in which every non-Muslim who survives will be reduced to second-class citizenship, they’ve expanded their reach to conquer the universe.

This is the stuff science fiction movies are made of. Learning from history, they’ve come to realize that their subjects invariably find a way to elude them, witness the discovery of the New World. Now that the West has done all the hard work, they can put our space program to the greater purposes of serving Allah, or so they think. After all, Allah can do anything. There are no rules.

Obama has foreseen that we might try to escape his clutches. He’s usurped NASA’s initial mission of space exploration and reserved it for the proselytization of Islam. I wonder how they’re going to find the “east” in outer space? I guess it will be enough to calculate the position of earth and point their spaceship in that direction.

What a spectacle we will make in outer space, a theater for the rest of the appalled galaxy. A brave band of futuristic freedom fighters fleeing a totalitarian theocracy. Will they forbid any of us to land in their star systems, blasting us all out of the sky (as they probably should)? Will they harbor the freedom fugitives? Will they side with the oppressors?

Or will they be bigger, stronger, and even meaner than the Islamists, ensuring the enslavement of the entire universe? Stay tuned.

And pray.

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