Friday, April 22, 2011


In recent years a new breed of urban muslim prototype emerged who sometimes call themselves “purists” (eg. “only-koran” movement in Turkey). They refuse late day interpretations of Koran (hadis-i sherif), claim Koran is highly metaphoric and shouldn’t be taken literally in today’s terms.

Rather than questioning validity of their own religious belief system they conjecture and henceforth seek wider acceptance in intellectual and academic circles of urban societies they are part of. Elbow to elbow with intelligent design movement in the West, their retrofitting of god and religions on the facts of evolution should be seen as last minute desperation of saving what has already been lost, religions' credibility.

Living species evolve not as a result of design but via natural selection on random (probabilistic) variations. It does not make sense for a deity to press the button in a stochastic process.

Every human being starts their life with approximately 50 of 3-billion base pairs in their genome mutated randomly. It is preposterous to think that an intelligence could have foreseen, and controlled evolution of 3-billion base pairs of human genome from its single cell origins over billions of years and over entire generations of species they evolved from.

Even if you insist that there lies a super computer that designed "evolution", you should philosophically ask "what for?", "is it you say in order to create us, carbon-obsessed species which emerged from single cell organisms eventually falling into each other's throat for they can't agree on which one of them deserves the never-seen super computer's attention?". And undoubtedly your next question should be "who designed the super computer and why?"

There is nothing remotely special about us humans nor there is a universal reality we can attach our existence onto. There is no evidence that there is more to our physical existence. Believing that we have 'soul' beyond our physical capacity is nothing more than wishful thinking. Our consciousness evolved to make different models, in order to make sense of what is surrounding us. We have not one but many models and related definitions of realities. At times human beings made models of presumed realities -fantasies- that do not exist or cannot exist.

Whereas many of our scientific models, the theory of evolution, special relativity, gravity, quantum mechanics are working, supported and tested by evidence i.e. they allow us to make useful predictions about respective realities, religious models do not propose testable realities but instead they conjecture our existence upon insensible fantasies including the delusion that they can be compatible with science.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Best things in life

Did you know that Steve Killelea is Australia's largest individual donor of overseas aid.

Steve has successfully floated two companies, which he started from zero, and gained international recognition as a global philanthropist.

He is an IT entrepreneur who floated his company, Integrated Research in 2000, picking up $85.9 million. He also placed a good portion of proceeds -$45 million- in a charitable foundation. Unlike some entrepreneurs he didn't name the foundation after him, he simply called it The Charitable Foundation.

Steve has about 30 aid projects under way at any one time, and he donates roughly $5 million a year.

He is a powerful, fit, yet, down to earth, peaceful man.

Literally. As he invented the Global Peace Index.

"Peace is good for business" is his mantra.

The idea is if we can measure peace we can then focus on areas of improvement much easily, plan, channel and prioritise our efforts in a more rational and effective manner. As the peace index improves the economy improves as well. This is I think one of the most innovative ideas of social entrepreneurship.

I don't know you but personally contributing to peace gives my life the most meaningful dimension. And I think this is really where Steve is coming from. As Derek Sivers once said:

"Best things in life aren't things."

On a personal note I am fortunate enough to know Steve as I have been working in Integrated Research for 12 years now.


The Global Piece Index Map

The Global Peace Index Vision

The Charitable Foundation

An interview with Steve Killelea in Diva International