Thursday, January 24, 2013

Amusements from Saudi Arabia to Louisiana state senate

by Salman Hameed

This is for your entertainment purposes only. Now we have seen hilarious statements from the likes of Zakir Naik, Harun Yahya, Yusef Estes etc. But they are not alone. Here is a state senator from Louisiana asking a high school teacher about evolution - and wondering if E. Coli turns into a human being. Yup. There are no minimum education limits or any requisite analytical abilities to be a state senator (tip from Farid Alvie and Shahid Saeed).

Not to be ever left behind, the agents of the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice decided to prevent the vices of some dino fossils in Dammam. It is unclear why they  did that - but shutdown they did:
A lady in Dammam, the hub of the oil industry on the kingdom’s Gulf coast, tweeted a complaint from a local shopping mall. Agents of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), she said, were causing an unpleasant scene. The government-salaried vigilantes, a bearded auxiliary police force familiarly known to Saudis as the Hayaa, had marched officiously into an educational exhibit featuring plaster models of dinosaurs, turned off the lights and ordered everyone out, frightening children and alarming their parents. 
It was unclear precisely why the religious police objected to the exhibit, which apparently had been innocently featured at shopping centres across the Gulf for decades. Malls are one of the few public spaces where Saudis mix socially, and so often draw the Hayaa’s attentions. Gone, however, are the days when its agents can go about their business unchallenged.
Remember that dinos are a problem for young earth creationists, like Ken Ham of the Creation Museum. But I don't know if this shutting down has anything to do with science. It could be any number of things. But if they were going after Barney - the purple dinosaur, then I'm all for the Vice- preventing, Virtue-promoting, agents:

But what is more entertaining (and hilarious) is the reaction on Twitter, which is becoming an excellent place to ridicule such actions in the Kingdom (though it also turned ugly for another Saudi, Hamza Kashgari. See this earlier post: This guy is probably going to die because of his tweets). Here is the reaction to the shutting down of dinos:
Within minutes of the incident, a freshly minted Arabic Twitter hashtag, #Dammam-Hayaa-Closes-Dinosaur-Show, was generating scores of theories about their motives. Perhaps, suggested one, there was a danger that citizens might start worshipping dinosaur statues instead of God. Maybe it was just a temporary measure, said another, until the Hayaa can separate male and female dinosaurs and put them in separate rooms. Surely, declared a third, one of the lady dinosaurs had been caught in public without a male guardian. A fourth announced an all-points police alert for Barney the Dinosaur, while another suggested it was too early to judge until it was clear what the dinosaurs were wearing.
Several contributors injected bawdy innuendo into their comments. Noting that one of the displays showed a dinosaur riding on the back of another, one message declared that this was obviously sexually suggestive and possibly could be categorised as a Westernising influence. "I confess," declared one penitent, "I saw a naked dinosaur thigh and felt aroused." Another tweet provided this helpful tip to the suspicious CPVPV: "No, no, that long thing is a tail!" 
But most of the messages singled out the religious police for ridicule. "They worried that people would find the dinosaurs more highly evolved than themselves," explained one. "It’s the Hayaa that should be stuffed and mounted so future generations can learn about extinct animals," quipped another. This message adopted a more pedantic tone: "Dinosaurs are a paleontological life form from an ancient geological era, and our clerics are a paleontological life form from an ancient social era." "Hello? Stone Age? We have some of your people; can you please come and collect them?" pleaded one tweep. Another wrote: "If the dinosaurs were still alive they’d be saying, thank God for extinction."
Read the full article here.


Akbar said...

It is evident from this video that E. Coli perhaps DID evolve into a person.

Salman Hameed said...

But intelligence has been left at the level of E.Coli... :)

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