Nature Praises Iran President, Criticizes Religious West

first_imgThe lead Editorial in Nature this week,1 “Revival in Iran,” had mostly praise for the repressive regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran for his alleged support of “science”:Perhaps the rise of science relates to the importance that Iran’s government attaches to the development of nuclear technology.  Many regard Iran’s interest in these technologies with extreme suspicion.  Nonetheless, Iran’s embrace of science should be welcomed.That’s the closest the article got to admitting that Ahmadinejad is seeking to build nuclear weapons; though many may regard it with “extreme” suspicion, apparently the editors of Nature do not.  In fact, they praised his efforts to remove debt at Iranian universities, to prepare for an expansion of student numbers, and to avoid cutting research funds.  Presumably, Ahmadinejad has the noblest of scientific motivations for these initiatives.    On the other hand, the editors spoke of “the many problems caused by US sanctions.”  The article praised Iran for becoming “the most scientifically productive country in the Middle East apart from Israel” but failed to mention that this same Iranian president seeks to destroy Israel, and denies the Holocaust.    What is it that Nature admires so much about Iran, and Muslim science in general?  The editorial described a glorious scientific heritage of Islam (but see 12/16/2004 and 11/21/2004).  Most revealing was the following paragraph, which portrayed a liberated East in stark contrast to a repressive West – and notice the specific examples:One practical advantage for science in Muslim countries is the lack of direct interference of religious doctrine, such as exists in many Christian countries.  There has never, for example, been a debate about darwinian evolution, and human embryonic stem-cell research is constrained by humanistic rather than religious ethics. The Royan Institute in Iran was the first in the Middle East to develop a human embryonic stem-cell line, using spare embryos from its in vitro fertilization programme.The Editorial ends with a line from medieval Muslim poet-scientist Omar Khayyam, whom they insinuate should have gotten the credit for the triangle named for Pascal (a European Christian).  Criticism of the West in this editorial was, therefore, both overt and subtle, while criticism of the Muslim East and its most dangerous dictator was muted and overcompensated with blessing.  “Whatever its motivation,” the subtitle reads, “Iran’s support for education and science is to be welcomed.”1Editorial, “Revival in Iran,” Nature 442, 719-720(17 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/442719b; published online 16 August 2006.But what if its motivation is to wipe out Israel and destroy Europe and America?    It’s time to awaken Nature from its drunken stupor and dowse the editors with a splash of sobering letters.  If you aren’t fed up enough with the utterly illogical pro-totalitarian, anti-Western, ultra-liberal leadership of the Big Science elitists, go find a breathalyzer.  It’s incredible that Nature could write such a piece, especially now, right after Iran was exposed guilty as a demon for supplying Hezbollah, one of the worst terrorist groups on earth, with thousands of rockets to rain on Israel, along with money and soldiers in its offensive war against the tiny strip of land that actually is, despite its diminutive size and population, the #1 most scientifically productive country in the Middle East.    The editors did not address their love letter to the many Iranians yearning to breathe free in a modern, civilized country instead of a 7th-century tribal warrior theocracy, but to the Ahmadinejad regime itself, which many believe used the Hezbollah war to distract attention from its nuclear ambitions.  Why not praise the other end of the Axis of Evil in North Korea while you’re at it, guys?    Many worthy scientists contribute their research results faithfully to this rag, hoping for the prestige and publicity it carries; they are not responsible for what the editorial board thinks.  It would be one thing if Nature were pressuring Iranian scientists to push for democratic reforms in their country, so that Iran could join the community of nations in a spirit of rational diplomacy and scientific openness.  The whole editorial, by contrast, reeks of a blame-the-West attitude, while praising one of the most dangerous and irrational regimes in the world today for – what? – uncontested Darwinism and unrestricted stem cells.  Unbelievable.    Big Science may be infested with ultra-liberal bias (12/02/2004), but this is too far and over the top.  It’s time to clean house.  Along with Eric Pianka and Ward Churchill and the profs blaming Bush for 9/11, these guys are completely out of touch with reality, and should get an earful from Christian and Jewish scientists and citizens, to say nothing of moderate Muslims (who, incidentally, usually believe in intelligent design), and whichever scientists, educators, politicians have any sense left.  Outrageous positions deserve a broad-based and cogent response.    This is not the first time Nature (and Science, too, for that matter) have cast America and Israel in a bad light, and have polished the image of the Holocaust-deniers.  But this piece shows their true colors.  If they hate the democratic West and its Judeo-Christian, Darwin-doubting heritage so much, let them move to the Muslim utopias.  Let their women scientists don burqas and enjoy the time-honored traditions, like honor killings.  Let them subject themselves to daily disruption of peace and quiet from minaret loudspeakers blaring wails of men who can’t sing any better than crybabies.  Let them experience for themselves the torture prisons reserved for those who say a word against Allah or the tyrant in power.  Let them watch their little boys trained to hate from their earliest years, and taught to view, as the noblest ideal, the suicide bombing of as many Jews as possible on a bus or in a shopping mall.  Let them witness their science subverted to the goal of destroying the one small democratic safe haven in the Middle East that grants freedom to all scientists.     These minor inconveniences would apparently be tolerable to the editors of Nature in exchange for the sheer ecstasy of envisioning a Beulah land with uninhibited Darwinist preaching and unencumbered access to embryonic stem cells (08/13/2006).  If they long for such a promised land, it’s all there waiting for them in Tehran.  Let them kiss the face of Mahmoud, their favored patron of science, who is certainly relishing this vote of confidence from the leading scientific journal in the world.  How did it ever come to this?Update 09/20/2006: Nature got an earful from readers in three letters to the editor in the Sept. 20 issue.  The president of Tel Aviv university was “horrified” at the editorial.  He quickly reminded Nature of Iran’s abuses of human rights, denial of the Holocaust, and support of terrorism at home and abroad.  A scientist at the National Cancer Institute corrected the editorial’s mischaracterization of Iran as second in scientific productivity in the Middle East; in reality, it is sixth, when weighted for population.  A third letter from Oxford thought the editorial was an April Fool joke.  Speaking of Iran’s nuclear program, he quipped, “Perhaps when the fruit of this programme explodes in London, you will be writing an explanation of the humanistic ethics involved.”(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img