Two Kinds of Beauty

A beautiful photograph which appeared on Facebook yesterday:

The Magnificent Interior of The New Mosque, Rüstempasa Istanbul, Turkey
(photo by: Klaus Hermann)
The Yeni Cami, The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the Golden Horn at the southern end of the Galata Bridge. It is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.

What kind of devotion to one over-arching ideal, and what knid of energy to overcome the countless problems standing in the way, would be called for in order to see such a project through?  I think when someone builds such a beautiful temple to atheism, I would like to see it: although if they did, I feel sure that somewhere along the way the beauty of spiritual experience would overwhelm them.

Equal Time

Mindful of the Science and Religion umbrella, it seems fair to post something about the latest scientific debates.  Recently some advances were made in finding that “junk DNA” (the “mountains of protein coding regions that never worked properly” is actually a bank of about two millions switches which control the expression of the protein coding areas, and pointed to like the backwards facing retina as proof that nature is mindless, wasteful and random.

But more timely still is the recent anti-GM-labelling scramble by Monsanto to make sure American consumers never realise they are buying poison.  So herewith a combination of two images posted to our Twitter feed, which show how science becomes a tool of greed remarkably easily and bringing, due to the entrenched idea that anything scientific represents infallible truth, devastating consquences:

The problem on the left, and the cause on the right: politics is easily bought, and science eagerly joins in the hoopla to get a paycheque.  Remember also that 200,000 Indian cotton farmers recently committed suicide when their highly expensive Monsanto crop – for which they were urged (by salesmen dressed in white lab coats) to go into debt with a promise if a tenfold return, completely failed, making them destitute. Ironically some committed suicide by drinking other Monsanto products

About iain carstairs

I have a great interest in both scientific advances and the beauty of religion, and created www.scienceandreligion.com about 15 years ago with the aim of finding common ground between the scientist and the believer, and to encourage debate between the two sides.
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2 Responses to Two Kinds of Beauty

  1. 100swallows says:

    The decoration of that mosque reminds me of the design on the wings of some moths and I find it a little spooky. Its richness and elaborateness here surely awe (like those pictures of galaxies and exploding stars), but I miss a human component in it.

    • Perhaps it’s easy to get carried away building these things – the Sagrada Familia in BCN is going to end up being a 140 year project, I think!

      At times I’ve had to sit in government buildings and they are so depressing. They probably cost about the same to put together but without any love or devotion. Wall, ceiling. Wall, ceiling, wall, ceiling.

      Sometimes the lack of planning is just pathetic. The CAA building down near Covent Garden was put up 15 years ago or so, amidst tumultuous applause, and they installed a glass staircase. Oooh! Aaah! I bet it looked good on paper. But for very obvious reasons after a few weeks of use, the women demanded it be thrown out – which they did – at a cost of another £2m of our money. Thanks, brilliant whizz-kid money-is-no-object government contract designers!

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