I have received many comments on my article about the Faculty of Medicine breeding terrorism, including a letter from Dawoud Rophail Khashaba in which he said the following:
I believe Khaled Montasser has diagnosed the matter well when he said this faculty breeds terrorism and when he attributed it to flaws in our educational system, for I am convinced that the fundamentalist thought has grown in the system in recent decades, especially the last few years.
Our educational system produces two categories of graduates, the ignorant who have not learned a thing and the smart who have learned by heart without fully understanding.
Have they ever read a poem or a novel? Have they ever heard any of their professors questioning a presumption that is taken for granted?
I read an article about Albert Einstein, the scientist who revolutionized physics, that was published on the centennial of his theory of relativity he declared in November 1915.
Einstein was a school dropout who attended lectures in university as an auditor. Reading the books of Immanuel Kant, Einstein found out that space and time are relative to the observer, not absolutes as Newton thought. This was the first step in his theory of relativity. He then studied physics and published three research papers in 1905, which became the basis of his theory that took him another 10 years of work to arrive at.
I cite this story to make the point that advancing in science requires us to emancipate ourselves from given presumptions and even question axioms.
Clerics like to call themselves scientists, which I see as a distortion of the very definition of science because their knowledge is based on what is learned by the heart without questioning. Let them believe they are scientists as long as they are away from the real scientists who question everything in order to advance.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm