Daily Archives: November 30, 2010

The Daily Mail knows ‘Why suicide bombers are Muslim’

I haven’t had time to post much recently as I’ve been busy with a project that should be finished at some point this week/end. I’m perhaps also running out of patience with a media that will repeat any rubbish as long as it pushes a few buttons or causes a bit of controversy. If it’s about Muslims then any kind of conjecture will happily be published, case in point this article currently on the Mail website:

Muslims

Seriously. That is the headline: ‘Why suicide bombers are Muslim (lack of sex)’.

How can anyone explain how a newspaper in a supposedly regulated, responsible industry could publish that?

The controversial psychologist in question is Satoshi Kanazawa who – from what I have read – seems to exist to talk absolute shit simply to sell books. His theory is explained by the Daily Mail as follows:

The linking of suicide bombers with sex made this one of his most controversial theories.

But while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim, says Kanazawa.

Kanazawa states that in societies where polygyny is allowed – taking more than one wife, such as in Islam – there is a necessary number of men who are unable to mate because of the simple mathematics involved.

He says this is what makes men more violent or aggressive – they are competing for a mate.

According to his theory, his increased competitive pressure on men ‘increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates because they have little to lose and much to gain by doing so, compared to men who already have wives.’

This is why, across all societies, polygyny increases violent crimes, such as murder and rape, even after controlling for such obvious factors like economic development, economic inequality, population density, the level of democracy and world regions.’

He goes on to say that the idea that 72 virgins await a martyr can inspire young men in this situation to go on to become suicide bombers.

He writes: ‘For young, low-status Muslim men who are excluded from any mating opportunities because of polygyny among older, higher-status men, even such a vague promise in the afterlife begins to be appealing in light of their bleak reproductive prospect on earth.’

I’ll be honest I haven’t the patience to even begin to pick through this rubbish, I’ll simply cheat by nicking a comment from the Independent website that also covers the claims (without the Daily Mail headline about Muslims):

Note to Dr K, and any other ‘evolutionary psychologists’.

There’s this thing called scientific method. It goes something like this:

1. Make observation
2. Formulate hypothesis to explain observation
3. Design experiment to test hypothesis

Take careful note of stage 3. It really doesn’t work nearly so well if we go:

1. Make observation
2. Formulate hypothesis to explain observation
3. Sell book touting untested hypothesis as ‘science’.

Well ok, I guess it works for you and Gillian McKeith if by ‘works’ you mean ‘generates cash for very little effort’. But it’s still cheating.