Archive for December, 2009

Islamic Dialogues: 4 The Arab View of Manual Labor, Reality, and Respect

In this dialogue an Arab immigrant to America–a computer programmer–interacts with a psychologist also of Arabic ethnicity. The dialogue opens the cultural Arab antipathy to manual labor and the view that it is insulting to ask a person to do it. The notion of shame and somce differences between American and Western values and Arab values and norms are dramatically contrasted.

Continue Reading December 31, 2009 at 7:47 PM 3 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 3: The Scientific Slut–Émilie du Châtelet

Written by Lewis D. Eigen

There is one marvelous scientist who, in the 18th century, not only brought the new mathematics and physics of Isaac Newton to much of France, but also found and corrected some errors that Newton had made—overturning erroneous physics principles that then had general scientific concurrence.  The scientist was a woman–Émilie du Châtelet.  And yet even many of the modern feminists who have sought to give female scientists due recognition, tend to avoid using this scientist as an example.  The reason is that by modern contemporary standards, she was a slut—a sexual libertine.  She was a little too liberated.  This article is not only about her, but about the culture that to this day inhibits recognition of a female scientist because of her personal sexual predilections—having nothing to do with science.

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December 31, 2009 at 12:12 AM 7 comments

Turkish Discrimination Against Christian Schools–Or Is It?

Written by Lewis D. Eigen

 

Christian theological seminaries are currently banned in Turkey. Yet this is a prohibition with which some Westerners and Christians agree, and even those who do not, often understand. The complexity that has resulted from the clash between Islam and modernity is so great that it is almost impossible to tell what is liberal and democratic and what is not. The conflict between Moslem Turkey and Christianity with respect to theological seminaries is a marvelous example of things being in reality very different from what they first appear. This is the story of complexity where up can be down and wrong might be right.

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December 22, 2009 at 3:47 PM 30 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 2: How in a Few Months Late in the 19th Century One Man Who Had Little Interest in Gender Equality Hired More Female Astronomers than the World Had Ever Known

The remarkable story of a unique occurance in scientific history where although males were the final controllers, women worked with other women and under female supervision and the science thrived. This one instance a female culture, scientific laboratory was so successful that females produced more science output than all the men in history. The mostly female model succeeded so well that it put itself out of existence. But more females had worked as astronomers in this one instance than in all of prior recorded history.

Continue Reading December 14, 2009 at 2:20 PM 3 comments


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