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keratinous cortices?

Reader comment on item: Canada's Muslims, Not of One Mind
in response to reader comment: A new Scientific fact in the Quran

Submitted by the Grand Infidel of Kaffiristan (Australia), Nov 26, 2011 at 20:33

Mr Slayhy of the UAE , slightly confused about the meaning of words, writes:

"There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock [prefrontal cortex]. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth)."

I wonder if Mr Slayhy has taken into account the fact that most of the readers of this blog are reasonably well-educated and native English speakers . Most would have a reasonable grasp of comparative anatomy and would know that the word 'forelock' has NOTHING to do with the pre-frontal cortex.

'Forelock' is more usually used in reference to horses - and therefore could applicable to Al Burak (BTW, Mr Slayhy has not yet provided any further information about Al Burak's genus, species, daily habits etc.)

'............The UK newspaper Telegraph "Brain only fully 'matures' in middle age"

Hopefully Mr Slayhy does not take everything he reads in newspapers (especially British tabloids) to be true - but in this case the statement is probably correct - although it begs the question - is the brain more 'mature' at 75?

"...Allah has facilitated for us the work of others to prove the Quran is authentic and from GOD..."

No - fantasy-prone muslims , clutching at any straw that comes along to make their beliefs seem slightly plausible, have made fanciful pronouncements not at all based on fact .

In all cases the result has made them look even more absurd in the eyes of the bulk of the world's population - i.e. non-muslims.

But to be fair, Mr. Slayhy might be forgiven for his confusion as there are several references in the islamic ;'scriptures' to creatures which seem to suggest they did indeed have pre-frontal cortexes and exhibited associated behaviour such as speech. Creatures such as trees and ants:

"....Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985:

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews."

Clearly very intelligent trees - but sadly their ethical development is not in line with the development of their prefrontal cortex. Trees that exhibit such treachery and a sociopathic lack of compassion , despite being a scientific marvel - have no place in anyone's garden.

Talking ants:

"At length, when they came to a valley of ants, one of the ants said: "O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it."

So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: "O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which Thou has bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by They Grace to the ranks of Thy Righteous Servants."
-- Sura An-Naml [The Ant] (27):18-19"

So again - especially evolved ants - with minute but clearly very evolved pre-frontal cortexes.

Mr Slayhy continues..

"........How did Muhammad know that maturity is in the forties, and how did he know that the development of the forelock continue until late and in middle age?"

Well - for many men with receding hair starting in the forties or earlier - the development of a forelock DOES continue till middle age. In answer to the question - Mo had a pair of eyes and used them to make an observation a 10 year old could make..

But this then presents another problem - there is no forelock in bald men or men with receding hair - does this mean they are beyond 'control'?.

"...Can you give me your stupid answer..."

Can someone please respond to Mr Slayhy's request - after all - he's gone to the trouble of giving an even more stupid suppostion.

" I am sure that scientists will discover that every creature on earth have a forelock [prefrontal cortex] "

Yes - as sure as Mr Slayhy can be about Islamic science. Bacteria, Sponges, jellyfish, seasquirts , starfish contain no brain at all. Many invertebrates have a collection of ganglia which form a very primitive 'brain' - no cortex let alone a pre-frontal cortex. Non-mammalian vertebrates have not developed a prefrontal cortex. The only animals in which the pre-frontal cortex is massively enlarged are the primates and cetaceans.

But all this is aside from the point that a 'forelock' - a lock of hair - is not part of the brain (at least in western science).

But could this be the reason for the muslim fondness for beards? A mistaken belief that hair is an extension of the brain?

Hopefully Mr Slayhy can inform us of even more great scientific insights from islam such as:

The Prophet said "If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease." (Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537)


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