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Nuclear NonProliferation, a NonKilling Index, and Nobel Prize Demographics — 2 Comments

  1. I am responding to the query on why best brains who excelled in scientific and cultural advances have been emerging from Europe, which signifies that there is a glaring density of brain drains in other geographical zones. In my opinion, the frameworks and yardsticks to qualify as candidates for the Nobel prizes solely reflect the socio-intellectual realities of their designers and anything outside that may not enjoy deserved recognition. In other words, there are thousands of cultural advances and ground breakings elsewhere but which to the satisfaction of the Nobel prize institution may not appear as extraordinary achievements. Therefore, except if there is insistence on global unification and in this context the European culture being the central model, there should be a system where each culture should be the one to determine what it holds dear and from which then it is determined that so and so advances deserve to be candidates for not only Nobel prizes but whatever solid personal achievement. For instance, there is something in Muslim tradition that enjoys a relatively insignificant attention. I am referring to Quran, their holy scripture. For centuries this has been a book that is subjected to an incomparably rigorous study both within and outside the milieu of religious adherents. In more specific terms, you find in Muslim societies, thousands of young men and women, children and old people alike committing the whole 114 chapters of the book which constitute more than 600 pages to memory. Most of them are not Arabs and may not even understand what the Qur’an is saying but can read it offhand from A-Z without error. Thousands of them have even written the whole Qur’an from their memory. If such cultural genius is considered, imagine how many persons will emerge as winners of such awards from other non-European quarters.

  2. The Nobel Prizes were set up by Albert Nobel who wanted to provide awards to recognize scientific advancement. The nominations for these awards can come from people anywhere in the world, Muslim countries are not excluded. In fact, 12 Nobel Prizes have been given to Muslims:

    Peace
    • Anwar Sadat, 1978
    • Yasser Arafat, 1994
    • Shirin Ebadi, 2003
    • Mohamed El Baradei, 2005
    • Muhammed Yunus, 2006
    • Rawakel Karman, 2011
    • Malala Yousafzai, 2014

    Literature
    • Naguib Mahfouz, 1988
    • Orhan Pamuk, 1952

    Sciences
    • Mohammad Abdus Salam, 1979
    • Ahmed Zewail, 1999
    • Aziz Sancar, 2015

    Other awards could be set up, like for memorizing the Quran, by people who would want to leave a legacy for that. I would be surprised if students in Muslim schools are not already recognized for such feats of memorization. However, I am not aware of any studies that correlate such memorization with scientific or peacemaking achievements.

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