Friday, July 15, 2005

Joe McCarthy and Biochemistry.

The authorities in Cairo have arrested Magdy el Nashar for his involvement in the recent terror attacks in London. El Nashar, a talented biochemist, held a position at Leeds. Another under investigation was a biochemist as well.

Biochemistry must really promote terrorist activities. Let's ignore the millions of peaceful biochemists that are productive members of society. Instead, we should begin focusing on biochemists around the world. We should heavily scrutinize the field of biochemistry. You know, place it under a microscope.

In fact, I'm not hearing enough outrage from the world of biochemistry. Why aren't biochemistry professors at every major institution publicly denouncing these attacks? If these people claim that the field of biochemistry is about discovery and truth, why aren't they standing up for these principles now? I mean, could it be that the biochemists involved in these attacks are simply crazy? Nah. I say we begin a vast witch hunt on all biochemists. C'mon, it'll be fun. "You there, you ever heard of Michaelis and or Menten? Yes? Arrest him!"

Clearly, this line of reasoning is pure foolishness. Even if someone were to kill others in the name of biochemistry, that wouldn't mean that the field is flawed. The same thing goes with Islam. We can denigrate the religion all we'd like as a result of terrorist activity. Please keep in mind, in doing so, we are using the same flawed logic demonstrated above.


Blogger Megan said...

I shoudl probably keep the fact that I have heard of both Michaelis and Menten to myself, huh?

I haven't had much experience in biochemistry (one undergrad and one grad level course). But we never learned anything that would be remotely useful to terrorists.Maybe as you progress you learn more things that are conducive to terrorism?

We always need someone to blame, and too often we don't seem to care if those people actually deserve the blame or not. Those individuals deserved the blame; biochemists everywhere do not.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

It is just the media looking to find fault/blame in whatever it can.
Also I tend to think we classify people according to their jobs.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

When a non-thinking toss 'em all out attitude is adopted, we had all better watch our own butts!

6:46 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I'd actually like to commend you on a great analogy. B) I don't believe it is right asking any leader of any group take blame or apologize for actions that are against what they are founded on unless they themselves were the offender. Although, there are times that I think I would like to see people stand up at a time like this to give society positive examples and better understanding. You are one of those, Vavoom.

7:03 PM  
Blogger RT said...

Whoa... I just had a flashback of Pink Floyd's In The Flesh.


7:03 PM  
Blogger The Disgruntled Chemist said...

Uh oh...I actually have a degree in biochemistry!

I guess I should hide under the bed for a while, huh?

Actually, megan is right - unless you have a lab set up where you can grow large cultures of anthrax or something, biochemistry isn't that useful for terrorism.

Now that I'm doing physical chemistry, I think I'd make a far more effective terrorist than when I was working in biotech. Now I have a decent knowledge of metal fabrication, electronics, and the chemistry of bomb-like materials. It would make more sense to be on the lookout for p-chemists and physicists like me (but not me, DHS agents out there).

Leave the biochemists alone!

7:25 PM  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Vavoom, you know that the idiots on TV have to talk about something. They have 24 hours of space to fill! And you know what the motto for all the news networks is:

"If we have nothing else to say, we make stuff up!"

I am about as concerned about biochemists as I am about getting hurt on a ride at Disney World.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

Everyone knows you have to keep an eye on those biochemists :)

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the answer is focussing on the best of both prejudiced worlds and only worrying about Islamic biochemists????

1:12 AM  
Blogger Meow said...

Vavoom I've seen the movie The Siege and the thought of anything remotly done in that movie freaks me out. Do yuh not think that the FBI/CIA does random checks on biochem professors and scientists anyway (Islamic and non)? Again I don't think real intelligent people will be suspicious of all biochemists, though a watchful eye will be adhered. Anyway we have the Chinese to worry about. They wanna nuke our asses now.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Lost in all this, I think, is the way the authorities over there have been doing such a good job in their investigation.

By extension, I guess all teachers are terrorists, too?

8:21 AM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

All: Great comments. This post was satirical. Of course, I don't think all biochemists should be labeled as such. An80nut nailed it. The analogy presented is intended to demonstrate that when a small percentage of a population does wrong, that does not mean that the entire population should be labeled.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Incidentally, you make a great point, Fred. In short time, British authorities have identified who was behind these heinous crimes and how they did it.

9:29 PM  
Blogger dahvid said...

re meow's post: "Anyway we have the Chinese to worry about. They wanna nuke our asses now."

i'm a chinese. and i don't want to nuke your asses.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Raine said...

V: I hope you don't mind me saying that I think this is a clever analogy, but I don't think it holds out in the end.

If all of the terrorist attacks against the U.S., and now UK, had been done by biochemofascists who had distorted a "biochemist code of ethics" (i.e., the doctrine of biochemistry) to the point of believing suicide bombing of innocent civilians was a righteous act, I think it would be expected that people in the same profession would rise up and heartily denounce the distortion of the doctrine and certainly expel such biochemists from the "Biochemist Association." But we're talking about a religion here, which of course cannot be compared to a profession. It makes it a moral imperative to denounce this evil in every way possible.

As I understand it, while a fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie for his book, Satanic Verses, to date not a single Muslim cleric in the Middle East has issued a fatwa against Osama Bin Laden. Furthermore, the Pew survey that Daniel pointed out shows a whole lot of support for suicide bombings in "support of Islam."

Where is the Gandhi of Islam??

3:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home