Education & Religion

3 09 2012


  • Bill Nye : Do Not Mix Religion And Education

  • Hi folks. This is a You Tube of the famous “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. In the 1990s my young sons would hardly miss an episode of  “Bill Nye The Science Guy” on TV. Here he is again  speaking up in favour of Science. Do listen to the video, it is very short.  This is an Islamic video.
  • Bill Nye is worried about the influence of the religious folks on children in the United States. There are still quite a few of them in the US.  The difference (or rather the similarity) is that in the US the religious people are Bible thumpers. There is a ‘christian’ theme park in the US which shows human beings coexisting with the dinosaurs. This is scientifically impossible because dinosaurs lived tens of millions of years before humans.  The human being, homo sapiens, has a history of less than 500,000 years (approx.)
  • Bible thumpers say that is a huge error because (according to their Bible) the earth was created 6,666 years before the current date. So the dinosaurs could not be more than 6,666 years old too. Of course this is another ‘tanpa menggunakan akal‘ situation. If we use logic and thinking we cannot accept such beliefs. But if we indulge in ‘tanpa menggunakan akal‘  then we too can accept that dinosaurs were created not more than 6,666 years ago.  Fruitcakes were invented shortly after that.
  • But Bill Nye is not going into so much detail about religion. He is not arguing about any specific religious beliefs, including creation versus evolution.
  • Bill Nye is simply saying let the kids go through the education system first. Let them learn the physics, the biology and the chemistry and complete their education without being confused by religion. Once they have grown up then they can go and seek their religious knowledge – (on their own time and on their own money – these are my words).
  • Bill Nye also makes a prediction – he says in about 200 years religion will die a complete death. I think this will happen much earlier.  The question is how painful will the process be? Looking at Malaysia for example our Government schools are becoming like PAS religious madrassahs.  (Yo doh, it is PAS that is benefiting the most from the “Islamic-cessation” of school learning ok).  Ours could be a more difficult and painful process.
  • Government school now starts with a baca doa, kids are thought to enter the toilet with their left leg and exit with their right legs. The guru agama can overrule even the headmaster in decision making in the school. Girls cannot play volleyball, they cannot run, school concerts cannot do this, cannot do that and all sorts of religious crap.
  • Sejarah studies are filled with incredible stories about “Islamic history” – which no one can verify whether they really happened in the manner written in the sejarah books. There are only ‘pros’ taught to the kids with no contrarian views or criticism allowed. (Because it is religious lah).
  • And much of the information is not relevant to anyone. Much of the information only seeks to highlight differences between the Muslims and the non Muslims. Or they are designed to make the Muslims feel good that a long, long time ago my great heroes threw dirt in the face of your heroes. Its not history, its just a macho thing.
  • Since we are a Constitutional Monarchy,  I believe it will be more relevant for us to study the history of Oliver Cromwell, with all the pros and cons – he chopped off the King’s head in merry old England – and expedited the idea of ‘Constitutional Monarchy’.  It will also be useful to study in precise detail the nation building and reformation under Meiji Japan, with all the pros and cons.  And maybe the near miraculous rebirth of industrial Germany under Adolf Hitler – also with all the pros and cons.  Then history will be more relevant to us in the modern age.
  • When we were living in the 1960s and 1970s (where api, air tak ada, where emak bapa kita pun tak tahu baca atau menulis, where people still mandi berkemban di tepi sungai) the rest of the world was also not too far advanced. Even the British banks still used huge Ledger Books to record every deposit and withdrawal. There were no computers then.
  • At that time, if you believed that dinosaurs were created just 6,666 years ago you were not much different from your neighbours who believed that once a year, after a full moon, trees would magically bend down on one particular night. Those were all illogical “tanpa menggunakan akal” beliefs.  You can only accept such things when you do not use your akal.
  • What saved us at that time (1960s, 1970s) was that we did NOT teach too much of these illogical beliefs in the Government schools.  During my time there was very little agama taught in school. Before my time, there was almost none. We learnt agama at home on our own time from our parents and from the ‘kelas mengaji Quran’ as well as from the Masjid.
  • School was devoted to learning useful subjects. My fondest recollection was learning at ACS Ipoh (up to Form 1) and Form 4 & 5 Science at the Melaka High School.  At the Melaka High School in 1976/77 Science was taught with military precision. We first had the theory taught in class. Then we would march to the lab and perform Science experiments about what we had learnt in theory. The lab experiments gave us visual confirmation of the theory from the chemistry, biology and physics. It was just so interesting. Those of us who were more inclined would go to the library and read up more about what we were learning.
  • We were not confused about masuk tandas angkat kaki kiri, dinosaurs were created 6,666 years ago and stuff like that. That is why in Malaysia today the generation of the 60s and the 70s are still balanced and more reasonable.  Those who went to school in the 80s and 90s onwards have become something else – especially the Muslims.  They have become Taliban.  The younger generation is becoming even more Taliban.
  • The big difference between the 1960s/1970s and the present time is that the world has changed at light speed. The Internet, Twitter, satellite TV, You Tube, TED Talks, globalisation are here inside our bedrooms.  We are really living in a super modern age. And people of all shades, colours, cultures meet everyday, mix around, do business together, work and play together. In Perth, Australia, Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong and even Kuala Lumpur the mix of human beings is fantastic.
  • Now is the time to teach universal, inclusive values to our kids which will help them mix easily and freely with their fellow human beings of different cultures and races. Not uncommon, ridiculous, backward,  dunggu, false, exclusive and even satanic values that make our kids feel like strange aliens among other human beings.  We are not equipping our kids to survive in the 21st century.  
  • Let the kids go through the education system first. Let them learn the physics, the biology and the chemistry and complete their education without being confused by religion. Once they have grown up then they can go and seek their religious knowledge – on their own time and on their own money.
  • Yet, sadly what we see is that in the 21st century, some people are just getting to warp speed about angkat kaki kiri, kismis ajaib, air jampi, hantu, polong, who-doed, no who-doed, agama this and agama that.  Bila duit minyak habis nanti, nak gembala unta pun dah tak boleh dah. Lagi ramai dunggu dari unta.