Recently Social Media was filled with news of the Saudi cleric Sheikh Bandar al Khobairi explaining his theory that the Earth is stationary and does not revolve around the Sun. I was also tempted to comment and share.
This was what I wanted to comment “It is critical for the well being of our human race to invent a time machine as soon as possible so that we can send such morons back in time so they can learn” But then one question refrained me from doing that.
“What should be the answer to counter him?”
Well we all know that earth revolves around the sun and we know it is not stationary and we know that science has proved it. But how many of us can scientifically answer back in simple terms or in a manner that claims we know exactly what we are talking about?
I know there are many who would know but I realized I was not one among them and I realized I cannot mock him without having a clear answer. I know it might sound absurd and many of you reading will stop reading now and say. What..? Vinod is such an idiot, he does not know how the earth rotates..? he cannot explain it…? Well honestly NO, I have learned it in school, but I just do not remember and if you remember then great… Sometimes we have to be reminded of what we already know than learning new things…
So I refrained my comments and shares and and went to my friend Google and found these few interesting articles and I wanted to share with you all. Of course only if you are like me and don’t have an answer yet think the cleric is wrong because you know that someone (or many) knows the answer 🙂 Or in other words these are the details based on which we should say the sheikh was wrong 🙂
Growing up I was never a big science buff, though I had good grades, I never had that wow feeling as I studied, I am not sure if it was me or how I looked at classroom education in general. But I have witnessed that while I fooled around, sat through class and got grades there were some kids who were immersed in science.
Now why am I thanking this sheikh for saying something that is so absurd? There are two reasons for Thanking him.
First is the importance and relevance of questioning. Science has progressed to where we are now because people in history asked questions that at times seemed improbable and immaterial. Then through experimentation they found answers to many questions and in the process they also proved some questions as absurd in itself. These questions remained absurd from then on and no one asked them. Proving a question is absurd does not make the question invalid in a learning process, because that absurd question is equally important while teaching the answer.
In a learning process kids and adults alike should be filled with questions because that is how they understand answers better, answers become solid and never to forget. We live in a world where we are all being asked for answers and never for questions. Things are changing in the corporate world where the price and value of an important question is becoming more and more prominent and relevant.
In schools I do not know how many kids are being asked to go and find questions instead of answers. In 2014 there was a malayalam movie called “101 Questions” a movie in which the teacher asks the student to find 101 questions about the world we live without worrying about the answer, one question a day and in the process how the kid learns about the world around him.
Questions we ask teach us more than answers we are told. I think Sheikh’s explanation should be added to the school texts and then countered. Not just his, but all absurdity that over time guided mankind to the answers we have today. Kids should be allowed to walk in the footsteps of history and not stand in the present and look back. While writing this I also realized that I was not very inquisitive as a kid and did not have much questions and always accepted what was delivered by the teachers. But no age is late to ask questions and no question is a stupid question 🙂
The second reason for thanking the sheikh is that he was not asking a question but explaining something that showed the world that a grown up cleric who is filled in with his religious texts can be a big embarrassment to his country and the people of his own religion. I think it is important for people like the sheikh to come out and redefine science with their religious understanding so the peopel within and outside the religion and understand the difference between religion and science.
So Thank You sheikh for explaining that earth is stationary with so much conviction and I am sure that should have made many people learn more and find out you were wrong. And I will ask people to give you the first ticket on a time machine when it is invented, of course with a discount 🙂