Rafil Elyas: Malaise in Space


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24 Responses

  1. Mikhail says:

    You are right and daring my brother. This is one of the best article i ever read in Ricecooker. Malaysian(including myself) are too busy balancing themselves. We were born with a limp dick.

    Asal ada duit, semua boleh jalan. That’s the reason, people in Malaysia who worked in the lower chain of business ( waiter, garbage collector, and even musician, local band??!! ) will never get the same appreciation as our doctor/astronaut.

    This is a very good reading!

  2. LL says:

    He might be of the correct race and religion, but what about sexual orientation?

  3. Zv says:

    totally agree with wat u hav to say.

    those many fans of the angkasawan program should open their eyes n realise that any tom dick n harry can be flown to space as a space flight participant provided healthy n has USD$30million.nothing much to shout about.

    anyway i’d like to add bout harun yahya n maurice bucaille.these two dudes r craps, pseudo-scientist with hardly concrete credentials….shoving polemics only.

    chek out a book by francis collins, head of the human genome project ‘Language of God’. he has real scintific substance n was formerly an atheist turned christian.

  4. lyana says:


    thanks for the enlightening post. I’ve never really understood why they wanted to send ppl into space (besides the whole ‘malaysia boleh’ thing) in the first place anyway. Unless those they are sending are aeronautical engineering researchers (which we DO have btw..just most of them are unemployed in the correct field)…but, hey, these medical doctor/dentist duo might be of some relevance (space-inspired medicine perhaps?)

    Having said that, we do have people working towards the betterment of science and technology in Malaysia…they just don’t get as much coverage as mawi. Hitherto, laymen may not have heard of them. We have yet to win a nobel prize, or get a paper in Nature…but we DO have Malaysians (both in the country and abroad) playing in the field.

    And yes, the more you learn science, the more you would realise that science and atheism doesn’t actually go together. *this coming from a person doing molecular biology research*. As concrete as science actually is, with its obsession of facts and figures, there is just always some underlying power that we can not get hold of, and that is putting ‘life’ into things. even understanding how a ‘soul’ works. hence the need to believe that there is a more supreme being out/up there. What we should really do, is to both question the system of which things work and try to find answers for them, and yet have a morality understanding on the teachings of God.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

  5. Panda Head Curry says:

    lyana said:

    “there is just always some underlying power that we can not get hold of, and that is putting ‚Äòlife‚Äô into things. even understanding how a ‚Äôsoul‚Äô works. hence the need to believe that there is a more supreme being out/up there. What we should really do, is to both question the system of which things work and try to find answers for them, and yet have a morality understanding on the teachings of God.”

    I’m afraid to say that the above is an example of why religion and science simply don’t mix.

    Just because a particular mechanism or phenomena has not YET been discovered or described, a real scientist never attributes that to the supernatural, i.e., supreme being/entity/large turtle that supports this planet.

    There are things that would be considered “miraculous” or “divine” namely quantum mechanics, genetic engineering, general relativity at some point in time. If scientists were to invoke god every time they didn’t understand something, nothing would progress. If we had stopped when the Greeks described the “atom” as being the smallest denomination of matter, and was indivisible, we wouldn’t have those wonderful and sometimes evil nuclear matter-energy based products.

    Just because we haven’t gotten our heads around the concepts of consciousness and sentience, doesn’t mean we never will. This is a burgeoning area of study, taking concepts from Mathematics, Physics and Biology.

    I’m afraid it is a lazy/cheap cop out to say “we don’t understand it, god made it that way”.

    It is OK for a scientist to say “I don’t know” or “No one knows, YET”. But he/she needs to keep god out of the list of variables while he/she’s in workplace.

    And Atheism has nothing to do with Science.

    Atheism is a belief/lifestyle choice.

    Science is the methodology and process of defining, analyzing and communicating facts.

    One can be an atheist and scientist.

    One can be a Muslim/Christian/Jew/LaVeyan Satanist/ Straight-Edge Punk-Rocker and scientist.

    As long as they keep the religion out of the scientific workplace and refrain from attributing things they don’t understand to divine or supernatural sources.

    They are free to practice their faith in their homes / mosques / churches / synagogues / covens / mosh pits.

  6. Panda Head Curry says:

    Note: Panda Head Curry? perished in a building fire, saving orphans and wretched people last week. How can you see this posting?

    The exciting answer to this question coming soon!

  7. phil says:

    right on bruvva!

  8. lyana says:

    panda head curry:

    i’m not saying that scientists should make ‘god creates everything’ as an excuse to our unsusccessful research into things (no journal would ever publish THAT), I meant that we, as people who only live up to an average of 80 years of age, can only do as much. and seeing such amazing, fantamorgiscal mechanisms of being through research makes us realise that there is a higher being. A God. Hence, the more we know about science, especially biology-related stuffs, the closer we are to our faiths. be it islam, catholic, hindu, jew, everything under the sun.

    off course scientists would never stop questioning and if we are hindered by the answer ‘God creates everything”, we would never have been scientists in the first place. We are continually in the pursuit of how a certain thing happen, how to harness it for the betterment of the whole human race, etc etc. But we only live up to a certain age (not to forget the other influencing factors: family, money, the whole reason for living..and yes, limited project funding),we are inclined to do as our forefathers before us, only to record what we have found for the next generations to continue the search. without really finding the answers.

  9. Panda Head Curry says:

    Nice response Lyana. My response was inspired by my interpretation of your statement that ALL SCIENTISTS (or all people) ultimately a face boundary of their current understanding and have to or are compelled to believe in god. And you repeat it again in the next response:

    “seeing such amazing, fantamorgiscal mechanisms of being through research makes us realise that there is a higher being. A God. ”

    which as a scientist, you should say:

    “seeing such amazing, fantamorgiscal mechanisms of being through research makes SOME OF us realise that there is a higher being. A God. ”

    While this may only be semantic, but both carry different meanings.

    Firstly, as the gods of metal (to some, at least), Led Zepplin pointed out “Yes, there are two paths you can go by”, I have observed that extensive study into the secrets of nature, namely biology, physics and chemistry, often yield different results from “spiritual” perspective.

    Whilst there are people like Francis Collins who have been able to make science and his religion compatible or even complementary, there are those who experience an opposite effect, like, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins etc.

    Research, analysis, and intense contemplation over mysteries does not make all turn to god or supernatural solutions. Thus, it is incorrect to generalize.

    Your comment also implied a certain component of “morality” associated with being a deist. My definition of morality is based on how one conducts themselves whilst interacting with others, be it managing a family, business or simply living. Belief in form of god doesn’t and shouldn’t enter the equation for this definition.

    Anyways, I certainly hope you successfully complete your PhD, excel and make your mark in molecular biology. May the curiosity and wonderment when you encounter a new problem, and excitement and rush you get when approach and achieve a solution, always be with you. And drive you.

    While you’re at it, please come up with some sort of gene/anti senescence technology to make sold out, old, flabby punk rockers, young, trim, fit and virile again.

  10. Yuen says:

    Seeing such great creations, once again, shouldn’t be a hint or a credit for the”higher being”. Time and time again that we found that throughout the history new discoveries being made and how we understand earth now as a spherical planet rather than flat plane- we did come a long way from there. Everybody nowadays knows how hurricane, rain and thunderstorms happen, and it was so different in the past that people just think of it as the “will of the higher being”. No sacrifices ala-Apocalypto is needed to end the dry spell, we could perform cloud-seeding instead.

    We know that it was static electricity, and not Thor, who causes Thunder. What we know now is only valid..till the next discovery disapproving it. And by no means that by the mean time, we rest the explanation to God.

    The limit of the “average years of 80” doesn’t mean that we feel content with what we know so far- that since we are going to die anyway, lets accept it till here, that the rest we haven’t find out are simply, God’s creation and that there is NO WAY that we could research further. True, there is a general responsibilities for the present scientists to continue to search- but the objectives were not as quoted, but I believe that they are doing it with the objective “to solve the mystery here and now” in mind, rather than just “continuing the work of our forefathers for the next generation”-the passing of baton of some sort.

    “…without really finding the answers..” very pessimistic there don’t you think? As a member of science, there should be a more ambitious spirit whenever a study is done, you would never know, if suddenly tomorrow a cognitive scientist came out with the explanation of what the “soul” really is- I know a guy who are working on that right now. Or may be you, Lyana, and who know, you MIGHT be the one winning a Nobel prize for your findings- surely it is something you won’t achieve if you are thinking of just “passing the baton” to the next generation?

  11. Vicodin says:

    Boss, while you’re at the topic of Harun Yahya, you might want to check out the work done by the late Muhammad al’Mahdi. His work can be found here: islamic-world dot net. Do download the free e-book titled Unified Theory of Existence, the one he wrote. I find it a good read and feel that it will supplement your interest (and concern).

    Religious R&D? Wow, I think you’ve just coined a term.

  12. lyana says:

    panda head: will do. i need an anti-ageing miracle too.

  13. mika says:

    “Perhaps this is why relevant Malaysians‚Äô (of the correct race, religion) contribution to any field of science, technology or engineering is essentially nil.”

    So what about you. What have you contributed?


  14. Yuen says:

    Apa depa merepek ni?

  15. Munmon says:

    Space Flight Participant or Astronaut? Buang duit sahaja. Many things could be done with that money. I wonder what has happen to our Ministers. They ever want to produce panduan Sembahyang in space. What the hell?

  16. Panda Head Curry says:

    “What have you contributed?”

    I formed a punk rock band.

  17. kudokudi says:

    sumo pandei cakap….habukk tarakk…org dah ke bulan….kito kemano?….kito duk kutuk org lg yo….

  18. alind says:

    oit ko nak habuk nak buat apa?
    bulan adalah tempat tinggal dewi kami, so jgn pegi kat situ. nanti dorang cucuk bendera, buat menyemak jer.

  19. alind says:

    oit comments here sound like academic one ony. erm Yuen, Eratosthenes, in 240 BC, was able to prove the sphericity of the earth and estimate its size to a reasonable margin of error, by comparing the angle of the sun at two distant locations simultaneously. Aristotle knew that the earth was spherical, citing the horizon, the Earth’s circular shadow during lunar eclipses, and other phenomena. Many educated people knew about the spherical earth from late antiquity on. However, most Europeans believed that the earth was flat until the explorations of the renaissance. but to me, putting the world in such scientific view would only kill the chance of all the possible world we could have.

    -psycho-geography now-

  20. leklu says:

    “He might be of the correct race and religion, but what about sexual orientation?”

    yes i heard this one too,
    at least some good can come of this. first gay in space! msian and of the ‘correct’ race, religion nonetheless

  21. Yuen says:


    Thank you for correcting me O Wise (read:um, associated with experienced usually calculated in years) One.

    Putting things in scientific view does not end the “possibilities” you (we) wished for. It should never be seen as an end, as “Ha, itulah penjelasannya kenapa xxx,yyy and bagaimana xxx,yyy. It u je. Habis.)” as lest you forget, the more we know, the more we don’t know. The search have to go on to lead to more. It opens up to more possibility actually then to end all of it.

    I always see that the seek for the whole “truth” and the strive for “perfection” is analogous to exponential function curve illustrated with the asymptote as the the “Truth”/”Perfect”/”Utopia”: where although that we could be nearer to the asymptote, we would never reach the asymptote value. The “Truth” is only a concept, as an end of a continuum that we would never reach, but only could come closer to.

    There, academic enough? Haha.

    I am pretty annoyed by the habuk guy too…

  22. Yuen says:

    …but which without, we are loss for direction and orientation.

  23. ujeng says:

    alind.. jom kite main bola di angkasaraya

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