Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Jinns invade campuses

Updated Oct 01, 2016 09:57am


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.
The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Last week, a workshop titled ‘Jinns and Black Magic’ was organised in Islamabad by the department of humanities at the COMSATS Institute of Technology (CIIT), one of Pakistan’s largest universities. The invited speaker, Raja Zia-ul-Haq, introduced as a ‘spiritual cardiologist’ is reputedly an expert on demonic possessions and evil spirits. He is popular: a press photograph shows no standing room left in the university’s main auditorium.

Interesting logic was used to prove the existence of jinns and black magic. The speaker first categorised all unseen creatures into three types: those that fly; those that change shape and appearance depending upon circumstance; and those that find abode in garbage or dark places. Why, he asked, would Hollywood invest in horror movies and paranormal phenomena if these didn’t actually exist?

But hang on! Doesn’t his argument force you to accept that Hollywood’s popular vampires, werewolves, and zombies are also real, not mere fiction? Surely this nonsensical claim could have been challenged by a single bold person in the audience. But, as at all such events, the organisers ensured that the preacher’s three-hour monologue would be uninterruptable.

What lies next is to be seen. Perhaps CIIT could go for creating a jinn-based telecommunications network. Another promising direction could be radar-evading jinn-powered cruise missiles. Jinn chemistry, a research subject activated in the Ziaul Haq era, could be another growth point. CIIT could also pursue a proposal from the 1970s, initiated by a senior director of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, to replace fossil and nuclear fuels with jinn power.

‘Motivational speakers’ claiming paranormal knowledge are today’s rage in educational institutions here.

Actually, last week’s event was unexceptional. In schools, colleges, and universities similar ‘motivational speakers’ claiming paranormal knowledge are today’s rage. The Institute for Business Management (Karachi), for example, organised a meeting on ‘The last moments of a man’. The poster showed the grayed hulk of a man slouching through a graveyard. Students (again a full auditorium, I’m told) were given graphic glimpses into life in the next world. The source of this information, probably secretly SMS’ed from inside the grave, was not revealed by the speaker.

One might have thought that Pakistan’s super-elite universities would be different. Lums, the country’s most expensive private university, has a school of science and engineering built with American dollars. It appeared to have a serious mission but several Lums professors now openly deride scientific reasoning.

Quite accidentally, earlier this year I happened to attend a public lecture given by a professor of humanities at Lums whose specialty is science-bashing. While admitting he knew no physics, he went through the usual stale post-modernist critiques of science and then claimed that the Nobel Prize for physics, awarded to American physicist Robert Millikan in 1923, was undeserved since it was based upon a selective choice of data.

The distortions were clear to me, but when the professor poured a ton of scorn on Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc squared, my eyes nearly popped out and my heart stopped beating. What else could make an atom bomb explode, or a nuclear reactor produce electricity? Jinns, surely! But he is not alone in making such claims. The head of the biology department, in an email to the entire Lums faculty, excitedly claimed that reciting or listening to certain holy verses “can control genes and metabolites” and suggested that specially equipped audio-visual rooms be made in hospitals to treat terminally ill patients.

Perhaps to underscore its determination to shift away from Western science, last month Lums ousted Pakistan’s most highly regarded and respected mathematical physicist from his tenured position. Fortunately, he loses nothing since Harvard, Princeton, or MIT (from where he received his PhD) will welcome him with open arms.

Paranormal and conspiratorial ways of thinking dovetail well with each other. Hence it should not surprise that the current vice chancellor of Punjab University, Pakistan’s largest public university, has written a book asserting that 9/11 was an inside job. Further, according to a newspaper interview, he says that the world’s entire economic system is controlled by Jews huddled together in the town of Monte Carlo.

Conspiracy buffs can expect even more delights now that the famous Zaid Hamid, having successfully dodged his sentence of 1,000 lashes, is back from his months of incarceration in Saudi Arabia. This fiery orator is expected to soon resume his popular campus speaking tours across Pakistan.

The all-pervasive anti-reason, anti-science attitude on our campuses might seem difficult to understand. No, it’s not hard, just think for a moment. To spit venom at science and pillory its epistemological basis is easier than falling off a broken chair. Rejecting science means you are spared the required toil, effort, and exacting mental discipline needed for learning hard stuff like math and physics. Besides, you might not even have the talent for it. It’s far easier to curse science than to woo it.

Consider the advantages: mental disorders like epilepsy can be understood and cured without bringing in neurosurgeons or clinical psychologists since, of course, it’s the jinns at work. A good resident pir or exorcist would do fine. You don’t have to learn the messy science of meteorology because jinns make winds. And seismology is useless since earthquakes happen because of our bad deeds.

As for toys and trinkets like computers and cellphones we can, like our Saudi brothers, always buy the best from Apple or Nokia. Some money-hungry Zing-Zang-Zong company will happily run the cellphone networks for Pakistan. The dirty business of technology and inventing things can be safely left to the Chinese, Americans, and Europeans. Their jinns know their job so well.

Pakistan’s universities should have been beacons of enlightenment, open inquiry, and bold new thinking. Instead they are sheep farms. A legion of intellectually lazy and ignorant professors wants a breed of students who will submit to authority, not question or challenge. Knowing that an invented bogeyman subdues five-year-olds effectively, they hope the spectre of unworldly creatures and fear of death will suitably frighten 20-25-year-olds. The newly launched jinn invasion of campuses means that Pakistan’s cultural and intellectual decline will accelerate.

The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, October 10th , 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (235) Closed

MullahDoPiazza Oct 10, 2015 01:37am

Jinns have invaded Pakistani society since 1947 and they are here to stay, LOL.

a_writer Oct 10, 2015 01:41am

Wow! Brilliant!

Irfan Ullah Oct 10, 2015 02:17am

funny but sad! how irrational. why these people try to merge relegion into science although these two are non-overlapping magisteria. we have bundles of other example of how science is being done here, like the car fraud. Sir I am indebted to u for ur sincere contribution in awakening thousands of minds which otherwise may go astray. But one thing is that please write more, here is a dearth of reasons. I wish i could meet my source of inspiration and the only sensible person here, I mean Dr Hoodbhoy!

IFTIKHAR KHAN Oct 10, 2015 02:21am

What else can you expect from a society that is obsessed with the infallibility of dogma? Some reject science as nonsense and others try to make it a concubine of infallible dogma. Pulpit is the playground of first kind, whereas educational institution and social media are playgrounds for second kind.

Ajay Parghi Oct 10, 2015 02:53am

There is a similar regressive argument going on in India accusing the westerners of stealing technology from hindu mythology! Rational educated academicians like the author should join cause with Indian rationalists to prevent a return to the dark ages in the subcontinent.Ancient mythology be it hindu islamic or greek can be equally harmful to enlightenment and progress.

S. Haider Oct 10, 2015 03:50am

These University "jinns" are preparing the downfall of Muslim countries in 21st century. They should be stopped. Thank you, Prof. Hoodbhoy, for keen observations, and the diagnosis of an absolutely irrational and harmful development in the campuses. Thank you Dawn for the struggle for reasoning and scientific thinking.

SUNIL Oct 10, 2015 05:44am

Pseudo science is a real challenge where the masses are not used to rational thinking. The proponents of pseudo science mainly hail from the third world developing countries and can be quite charismatic speakers.

DrTK Oct 10, 2015 06:01am

If someone tested some psychological parameters in the sub-continent we could (the majority of us that is) be classified as clinically mad!

Jamal Oct 10, 2015 06:46am

I wonder what ever happened to that Engineer who invented water kit for cars a few years back?

Indialover Oct 10, 2015 06:51am

Sir, RESPECT FROM INDIA. Please come and teach our children. We also have our fair share of idiots and lunatics but they do not count. Come permanently.

Ali Abbasi Oct 10, 2015 07:10am

It's a sad day indeed when one of Hoodbhoys factual pieces reads like an NFP satire. How utterly ridiculous a state of affairs.

m.m.amin Oct 10, 2015 07:39am

"it's far easier to curse science than to woo it. " Prof Hoodbhy after reading your article I cannot believe such lectures were delivered .I am shocked . Have the events organisers taken leave of their senses ( plz pardon me) . Where are we headed?

shankares Oct 10, 2015 08:04am

Seriously?? Whenever religion has come out to the public sphere it has destroyed everything on its path. Pakistan seems way ahead of India but India is battling this only on the political arena.

Seher Hassany Oct 10, 2015 08:19am

@DrTK yes Agreed!

Keti Zilgish Oct 10, 2015 08:20am

The hollywood portrayal of the paranormal is a complete lie designed only to maximize profits. Reality and science can speak for themselves.

ivehadit Oct 10, 2015 08:24am

Disappointed with LUMS.

shereen Oct 10, 2015 08:33am

In a country of bans, strangely no one thought of banning spiritual healers from academic circles.

Rastogi Oct 10, 2015 08:35am

The author's argument rests on the pre-supposed fact that all activities relating to the spiritual and metaphysical are dogma, and should therefore be discarded. While it is true that such matters and activities need to be re-thought out and explained for the 21st century, they are part of reality.

Be it African voodoo, native American rituals or practicing higher modes of spiritual consciousness in major world religions including Islam, all are an aspect of reality and very much internally "rational". You can't discard these as a drama. Neither should they perceived as threats to science if science truly is the study of reality.

Muhammad Shoaib Oct 10, 2015 08:42am

Can you please make me understand why should we study and promote science? In short, what's the purpose?

Is it just for sake of the Science or something? The countries who have worked and prospered in Science, they are still pathetic nations with lot of poverty, crime, no family structure, suicides etc.

Don't tell me about Nuclear Bombs, Nuclear Energy, Smart Phones and Technology: We don't need them. There people in this world who are living very happily without any of these!

Siva D Oct 10, 2015 08:56am

"Rejecting science means you are spared the required toil, effort, and exacting mental discipline needed for learning hard stuff like math and physics. Besides, you might not even have the talent for it."Well said.

Intrepid Oct 10, 2015 09:00am

@Ajay Parghi: But ancient India did make significant developments in maths and science, but these have never been understood by Indians or acknowledged by the west. Here I am talking about discoveries by for instance the Kerala school of mathematics, the numeral system, algebra, astrophysics, etc. and not anything fanciful related to transplants or flying machines.

QB Oct 10, 2015 09:14am

Very relevant article. However, as a scientist Mr. Hoodbhoy should have proven through an experiment that Jinns don't exist. Without such experimental proofs to refute those misguided intellectuals, unfortunately, he stands in the same league of very people whom he criticizes. All juggling with words but without any substance.

I m Serious Oct 10, 2015 09:21am

Top Class...well written ...and i m 100% supporting hoodbai article...

Krishna Oct 10, 2015 09:25am

Friends, you may find this funny - especially, coming from a person who has studied the highest in Science, traveled the globe, is based in one of the super richest countries in the world and is working in a senior position in one of the top global technical companies.

The fact is that black magic exists. A person with these negative skills can cause harm to another person, if he /she so wishes. But, there are remedies too. If you are a seeker of divine help at all times, are always righteous & truthful, and importantly, have a genuine spiritual Guru, nobody can cause harm to you.

Believe it or not, the above are based on practical experience.

Arifq Oct 10, 2015 09:48am

Karachi University expels students for showing poor judgement by inviting "accused" not yet "convicted" Ayyan Ali and Punjab University gets away by officially inviting ghost chasers! Only in the land of pure

Akhlesh Oct 10, 2015 09:52am

@QB "However, as a scientist Mr. Hoodbhoy should have proven through an experiment that Jinns don't exist." Tells me right away that you are unaware of a significant issue: Non-existence is unprovable.

AppliedPhysicist Oct 10, 2015 09:58am

The writer is a physicist how come he never writes about Physics?

Mr. Anderson Oct 10, 2015 09:59am

@QB, my friend, you need a lesson on the subject of burden of proof. Professor hoodbhoy doesn't need to disprove anything.

Osama Oct 10, 2015 10:04am

So good - my eyes are watering

afridi fan Oct 10, 2015 10:08am

so they think what i have been taught about Einstein, newton, Faraday, Thompson was nothing but jinns!

noman Oct 10, 2015 10:17am

awesome piece of writing. surely the breed pockets of irrationality are madrasas

Waqar Khan Oct 10, 2015 10:20am


Ahmed Khasru Oct 10, 2015 10:21am

@QB Hoodbhoy really is not making any point. Understandably those people engaged in Jinn seminar are aberrant. Nevertheless, paranormal things do exist and it is often inexplicable. Countries like Indonesia have formal law against practice of black magic and there is no reason to suggest that Indonesian scientists or intellectuals are any less smart than Mr. Hoodbhoy. However, it is very true that paranormals are not science and does not perfectly fit in academic or scientific institutions. To what extent such things can be accommodated in the academia needs to be carefully planned.

Amir Oct 10, 2015 10:26am

Very good article! This guy is so great because mere mortals would have given up on Pakistani society years ago and stopped writing such articles.

Afnan Ahmed Oct 10, 2015 10:27am

Well written sattire. Sad but true, however!

N.Sid Oct 10, 2015 10:35am

If you mix and match spiritual with physical...than actually it can be a good thing. All physicist believes in the physical presence of matter and not its non-material presence, with a few exceptions.

talat haque Oct 10, 2015 10:46am

Perfect commentary on our society

Saleem Oct 10, 2015 10:53am

Why not? This is another big area for science to explore

Karthik Oct 10, 2015 10:57am

@QB Burden of proof on him???? Next youll say Loch Ness monsters, mermaids, fairies (or anything else that you can think of) also exist cos they havent been disproved... If something has never been seen or observed before, it is your responsibility to prove its existence, not the other way around!!

Shaukat Ali chughtai Oct 10, 2015 10:58am

Dr. sahib has written an historical article for all intellectuals, academicians, scientists and students . Undoubtedly, an excellent summary of pathetic affairs at the campuses.I could never believe that our top institutions have been raided by rotten mindset rejecting modern sciences and invisibles of the universe to help us conquer the universe........making this pyramidical society into an inorga nic and decadent kingdom ruled By Jins.

Azeem Raza Oct 10, 2015 10:59am

On what basis the writer claimed that Punjab University is the country's largest public university? I think and am sure that Karachi University is the largest varsity in public sector.

kanwarch Oct 10, 2015 11:03am

Sane voice in a desert of ignorance and mediocrity

M. Jamil Aslam Oct 10, 2015 11:03am

I am not sure if Jinns have invaded the campus but one thing is certain, this kind of university acts show that they have invaded the rational thinking.

Ayer Oct 10, 2015 11:04am

@QB I wonder how one proves something does not exist.??? Incredible logic

Hasan Sharif Manj Oct 10, 2015 11:06am

Era of science and technology not epoch of supernatural theories.

Dr. Azam Gill Oct 10, 2015 11:18am

Rather than viewing this latest phenomenon from a lofty perch and crying havoc, Jinns might be an appropriate topic for paranormal studies.

Confuscious Oct 10, 2015 11:21am

Brilliant as always. Dr. Hoodbhoy never ceases to inspire.

Imtiaz Oct 10, 2015 11:28am


Russel's Chinese teapot in orbit cannot be disproved.

Imtiaz Oct 10, 2015 11:33am


Supernatural was invented when first conman met a fool.

LazyLeopard Oct 10, 2015 11:36am

Disappointing, not just the state of affairs but also that the title suggested it was one of those intriguing stories about freaking experiences with jinn inhabiting some area of a large building.

Mansoor Ahmed Oct 10, 2015 11:42am

We'll said Mr. Hoodbhoy. I am a psychiatrist working in Manchester .even here many patient of South Asian background especially Pakistanis and Banglis refuse to accept that they have psychotic illness and blame it on Jinns. It results in non compliance with treatment and lifelong disablity in some cases.

Akbar Sait Oct 10, 2015 11:42am

@Ajay Parghi Dear Sir , I have felt for a long time the south asian society is a little bit more likely to bend fact to fit prejudice. This affects every aspect of life simply because consequently actions are not based on reality. You may find this strange that it is tangentially related to the fact that powerful forces in obstruct people to people contact in the sub-continent. After all you can much more easily cultivate the perception that the 'other people across the border are somehow fundamentally your enemies'. This conveniently justifies commandeering the huge resources going into 'defence'. against the 'enemy'. Sadly the true enemy,poverty and exploitation of the poor can be conveniently neglected.

Hamde Ali Bogra Oct 10, 2015 11:44am

@QB How would you prove, experimentally, that the Hobbit doesn't exist?

Irfan Chourbati Oct 10, 2015 11:48am

Scholars like HoodBhoy are ray of Renaissance in Pakistan.

N. Oct 10, 2015 11:56am

@Ayer By process of elimination, if you care to figure what that is.

Ali Shahid Oct 10, 2015 11:57am

Dear Professor, Although your core point is valid regarding the tendency to accept simplistic & 'escapist' explanations to issues facing us in our daily lives; however, you present it as if this is the only tendency that exists. Please bear in mind that there are many people in our universities, reputable madressas, and in all walks of life, that would not appreciate conspiracy theories or other sweeping 'Jinn logics' you have derided in your article here. Also, as saleem has also mentioned here, Jinn can be an area for scientific exploration rather than being used as an explanation of last resort for incomprehensible phenomena.

SAH Oct 10, 2015 11:59am

Doctor Sahib has pointed towards a phenomenon introduced in institutions which we Pakistanis were proud once. The research carried out few years back showed the Madressah mindset is prevailing in the leading institutes of Pakistan and this article substantiate it. The education is always at the back burner in Pakistan and deterioration of this sort was never expected

AZ Oct 10, 2015 12:03pm

Its now clear, why our universities aren't even in top 500 institution of the world. The whole society only looks for shortcuts, so do the teachers and researchers.

rafe Oct 10, 2015 12:04pm

Article bears the stamp of adept and sharp minded Pervez hoodboy but why it is necessary to grant such a huge functions to Jinns, pervez hoodboy is suggesting in order to believe in them. We can believe in them without proposing such functions to them. The critique is frivolous.

Farooq Jawed Oct 10, 2015 12:09pm

@Ajay Parghi actually they do have a point. The God particle research has many references and similarities that have been promoted in Hindu spiritual text for centuries.

Akbar Sait Oct 10, 2015 12:10pm

@AppliedPhysicist . The subjects Mr Hoodbhoy writes about have a very wide potential audience. It is obvious he writes as a concerned citizen of Pakistan. We need many more like him.

James Oct 10, 2015 12:10pm

Brilliant article -

Shakeel Ahmed Oct 10, 2015 12:19pm

No wonder A Salam never had a place among the greats in Pakistan. Cranks believe he belonged to the Jewish lobby.

This is a very sad state of affairs. Soon I guess all universities here will be named Maximum Miracle Centres whereby by paying a donation, the professors will be capable to "de-jinn" ones body and guarantee employment and make you fit for life here and hereafter.

Asma Tanoli Oct 10, 2015 12:28pm

@QB You should make this suggestion to Dr A Q Khan or any of those scientists who were convinced of Agha Waqar's water car. They have the time and resources to prove or disprove the capability of jinns.

Uncommon common sense Oct 10, 2015 12:33pm

"If you wish to be heard in the noise of this world, let your soul be dominated by a single idea. It is the man with a single idea who creates political and social revolutions, establishes empires and gives law to the world. Allama Iqbal (RA)"

Asma Tanoli Oct 10, 2015 12:33pm

A great article. It seems that ZiaulHaq ideology is still flourishing in Pakistani universities. It is time Raheel Sharif also looks at launching a parallel Zarb-Azm at educational institutions.

Hafeez kumbhar Oct 10, 2015 12:34pm

Legacy of zia regime in universities ....

Tayyab Shahid Oct 10, 2015 12:37pm

Thank you sir for listing out the Jinns in our society..

Last time i heard, a 110% efficient jinn can run on pure water and can break the laws of thermodynamics to proceed with the combustion cycle. The smoke contains fragrance of love and peace, originated from the organic farms of marijuana. The jinn is contained in a water kit and can only be activated by the touch of either Dr. Agha Waqar or by Darth Vader. This Jinn would bring world peace, end hunger, end discrimination and bring Donald Trump to Justice.

Parvez Oct 10, 2015 12:44pm

Our educational standards have fallen is a fact......but the crowd one sees at such events is more out of curiosity because of the subject.....the onus of responsibility must fall on the speaker to make it an intelligent discourse.....and that does not seem to be the case.

Islamabad Calling Oct 10, 2015 12:44pm

@AppliedPhysicist Just Google. He has more than 60 publications in physics in world renown scientific journals. He has also given invited talks and lectures in dozens of prestigious universities around the world.

Hussain Marri Oct 10, 2015 12:46pm

Excellent and thought-provoking article sir... i think there should be jinn departments in our universities in order to sort out our problems.

Sandeep Oct 10, 2015 12:49pm

Brilliant article!! While reading Dawn,I always look for an article from Dr.Pervez Hoodbhoy (plus also from Irfan Hussain) and if it is there I eagerly on top priority go through it. He should be invited to India as an honorary guest. Well we have our fair share of blind faith and beliefs, but on a University level I have never seen this type of reasoning during my time in college and till recently anywhere. I am wondering what makes Pakistani university students to get attracted to these unscientific theories. Someone may please enlighten me.

Salman Oct 10, 2015 01:26pm

Wonderful Analysis "Pakistan’s universities should have been beacons of enlightenment, open inquiry, and bold new thinking. Instead they are sheep farms. A legion of intellectually lazy and ignorant professors wants a breed of students who will submit to authority, not question or challenge" though unfortunate yet true

Qamer Oct 10, 2015 01:31pm

I don't deny science, it's real. I can't imagine life without science and technology in today's world. At the same time reality is that Jin exists and paranormal activities in some cases are also true , I believe because I have some personal experience.

Atheroth Oct 10, 2015 01:38pm

That's why I dropped out of the university. Irrational behavior is rampant among students and faculty alike.

Irfan UK Oct 10, 2015 01:44pm

I am well and truly shocked to read this article. Firstly I think they should not invite these jin and ghosts promoters into schools ,colleges and universities and secondly when I started reading this I really thought that they would have some scientists to counter attack these jin gurus but that did not happen. I don't know what their game plan is but I really don't care please just keep them away from centres of education.

Munir Ahmad Kakar Oct 10, 2015 01:48pm

The intellectual struggle of the learned author is praiseworthy and laudable. Challenging the well-entrenched narrative, serving the interests of ruling and traditional elites is a formidable task and anyone who consciously tread this arduous path will encounter constraints. I still remember when in one TV program he was dubbed as jahil. The fact of the matter is that we all love to play to gallery. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court take Suo moto notice of possession of one bottle of whisky despite being well aware that million of bottles can be found. The scientists are also prone to populism putting forward scientific theories as alluded to by the author. The quacks are active more than everyone else exploiting the ignorance of people. We have all seen the incredible reception accorded to impostor of water driven cars. In our area hundreds of thousands flocked to consult Bottle-Baba who claimed to cure all disease from cancer to diabetes simply by drinking his divine water.

Vijay Dinanath Oct 10, 2015 01:48pm

Where rational thinking is discouraged for whatever reason this kind of things are bound to happen. The base is weak. Very weak.

Andy Oct 10, 2015 01:56pm

What a hilarious piece about the state of science education in Pakistan. There are lunatics everywhere and in every society and country but when universities are taken over by lunatics even God can be of little help for the future of the nation.

Mullahdewana Oct 10, 2015 01:58pm

@Mr. Anderson ..Exacting mental discipline needed for learning & Understanding hard stuff like math and physics. Besides, you might not even have the talent for it.When u have no talent to understand physics y would he write about it. I hope u got the point

S. NAV Oct 10, 2015 02:02pm

I am sure that our Indian friends will agree that both India and Pakistan are victim to this problem. While in Pakistan, science is ignored as nonsense or is merged with religion and spirituality; in India a perception is being created that today's Western innovations were borrowed from ancient Indian mythology. Both countries will suffer extremely negatively if these perceptions become embedded in the fabric of their societies.

A Pakistani Oct 10, 2015 02:03pm

@Muhammad Shoaib

You and your family are alive because of medicine (science) You are using the internet and computer (science) You are being fed from crops (science) The only reason why you are alive today is because of science

Pravin Oct 10, 2015 02:08pm

Believing something without experiencing is disastrous. The present religious system in the world encourages the person to believe everything without experiencing it. The present war in the world is not between good and evil but between two beliefs. The world will be much safer if we learn to say "I don't know" rather than "I Know".

A Pakistani Oct 10, 2015 02:11pm


Here are a few of the scientific papers and articles by Dr Hoodbhoy. It took me 30 seconds to gets this information. Happy reading (if you have the scientific background)

• Two-Photon Effects in Lepton-AntiLepton Pair Photoproduction from a Nucleon Target using Real Photons, Authors: Pervez Hoodbhoy, Phys.Rev. • Probing Quark Distribution Amplitudes Through Generalized Parton Distributions at Large Momentum Transfer, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Feng Yuan, Phys.Rev.Lett. • Explicit Proof that Electroproduction of Transversely Polarized Vector Mesons Vanishes in Perturbative QCD, Pervez Hoodbhoy (University of Maryland and Quaid-e-Azam University), • Does the Gluon Spin Contribute in A Gauge Invariant Way to Nucleon Spin? Pervez Hoodbhoy, Xiangdong Ji, Phys.

Concerned Citizen Oct 10, 2015 02:22pm

Mr. Hoodbhoy being a believer in science and a respected physicist may be kind enough to explain how did the twin towers defy the 3rd law of motion and came down at free fall speed and how can a fire bring down Tower 7 at free fall speed.

JP Oct 10, 2015 02:22pm

@Rastogi The article is precisely about people like you... people who think that there is something deeper to the fairly tales invented in dark minds.

clean Oct 10, 2015 02:27pm

@Indialover you are one of them, sir

Archer Oct 10, 2015 02:28pm

Great article. Similar things happen in India too.

JP Oct 10, 2015 02:29pm

@Muhammad Shoaib Which scientific society has more poverty and crime rate than unscientific societies? Nordic countries, several European countries like Germany and France, Asian countries like Japan and Korea are great examples of scientifically advanced countries. US only partly fits the bill because it is still a religious society. In any case, science isn't just about industrialization. It is about enlightenment. A fully scientific mind is a spiritual mind (not in the sense of souls and spirits) in its own right.

Javed I. Kaiser Oct 10, 2015 02:30pm

Agree with the writer. During my interaction with my colleagues who are graduates of prestigious institutions like LUM, COMSATS, FAST, NUST etc , I wonder to note that their spiritual beliefs alike to an uneducated common villager. Now reading this article I came to know the reasons of this dilemma. When such nonsense lecturers are delivered and listened, then standard of compatible education can be assessed. No wonder why our universities are mediocre in world ranking.

dshuman Oct 10, 2015 02:31pm

great as usual

JP Oct 10, 2015 02:34pm

@Krishna Thank you for showing that we in India are not that much better, when it comes to irrationality. Your "highest" science education shows when you make appeals based on "personal experience", like it means anything, rather than by studies and evidence.

turbo Oct 10, 2015 02:42pm

well thats great...we can use jins to create energy for us :)

JP Oct 10, 2015 02:42pm

India and Bangladesh have inadequate, but identifiable rationalist communities, blogs and forums that discuss common dogma and superstitions, where science educated citizens write articles dissecting irrational beliefs. Does Pakistan have similar communities, or is all the burden on the shoulders of Dr. Hoodbhoy?

Harmony-1 Oct 10, 2015 02:49pm

Really good one this time as apolitical, by not finding similarities between Trump and Khan. How do we get the type of professors at LUMS who poured a ton of scorn on Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc squared is beyond me.

Javed I. Kaiser Oct 10, 2015 02:49pm

Logic of Hollywood horror movies is funny for proving the existence of jinns and black magic but I wonder why jinns/ghosts wear western dresses and speak English in their movies whereas eastern dresses with local languages in Asian/Indian movies? . Are jinns/ghosts belonging to particular nationalities, regions i.e. French, Indian, Arabic???.

Arun Oct 10, 2015 02:51pm

Dear Prof.Hoodbhoy, Thanks for your article sharing your distress at the state of the so called pillars of science! Looking at some of the responses even here - eg. from Rastogi, Krishna, Mohammed Shoaib, etc - it looks like this effort is going to be uphill for a much longer time! I am reminded of a book written by Bill Bryson titled 'A short history of nearly everything'. It summarizes what science has helped humanity achieve in terms of understanding our world and the numerous benefits made possible for everyday life by Science. And yet we have people refusing to acknowledge that science is worth consideration! Well of luck!

Pushpa Oct 10, 2015 02:54pm

On reading Hoodbhoy's revelations and conclusions, I realize that Indian academics and society are being led down a similar path! In time, India will be rendered science free after all Rationalists and Logical scientific minds have been eliminated by the vested interests of the lumpen, illiterate and violent sections who are becoming more vociferous, emboldened and ambitious here.After claims of Vedic planes and transplants, the next steps are to debunk all the strides in cutting edge technology and advanced Scientific Research in favour of herbs, potions and black magic!? I, for one, do credit that there are forces beyond the normally percieved ones, and these should be studied as paranormal or psychic Sciences, as is being done in some countries. But, I fear for the Progress versus Regress of our Society in light of recent resurgence of obscurantism! I fear, I fear...

ashutosh mishra Oct 10, 2015 02:57pm

This is the first time that I have seen the venerable professor's funny side!!!

Akram Oct 10, 2015 03:02pm

the question is why are such absurd topics being given time in Universities. Someone's head should roll for wasting what is education time on stupid topics.

javed iqbal Oct 10, 2015 03:08pm

Agree with the writer. During my interaction with my colleagues who are graduates of prestigious institutions like LUM, COMSATS, FAST, NUST etc , I wonder to note that their spiritual beliefs alike to an uneducated common villager. Now reading this article I came to know the reasons of this dilemma. When such nonsense lecturers are delivered and listened, then standard of compatible education can be assessed. No wonder why our universities are mediocre in world ranking.

Akram Oct 10, 2015 03:09pm

@Muhammad Shoaib

if you don't need technology what are you doing on an online newspaper bhai?

Other needs for science: Food! You do need food don't you? Many people in india and Pakistan go hungry every night to bed. Without controlling the environment around you how are we going to feed everyone? house them? provide decennt health care? Provide education so that they are better able to understand the world around them. Only with this education can they then seek to solve the problems in the lives.

I find your assertion that the world does not need science completely absurd. You obviously have no idea what science has done for you already.

Akram Oct 10, 2015 03:11pm

@JP Most Pakistanis don't follow this non science rubbish, they are a vocal uneducated minority. To be honest I had barely even heard of them till today.

ali Oct 10, 2015 03:25pm

Hoodhbhoy a voice of sanity and reason. Alas, he rides against a tide of institutionalised ignorance and dogma.

Dr. Ahmed Oct 10, 2015 03:29pm

I am not surprised on a spiritual cardiologist getting attraction of a youth audience in Pakistan. They way we have taught science or ignored it at all from lower levels of education explains it all. Also these sort of thugs mushroomed since we do not have a responsive health care system under which the cardiac illnesses are treated scientifically. Cardiologists themselves come down to loot people in the name of patient care so where else you will expect people to look for. There are now all sorts of alternatives that people attend to depending on their level of illness, education and affordability: complementary and alternative (CAM) medicine, spiritual healers, homeopaths, hakeems, traditional healers, quacks to name a few. As a muslim i also believe in jinns (Stephen Hawking also believes that we may not be alone in the universe) but i don't think they have anything to do with our everyday lives. Neither do i think that our medical illnesses can be treated with spiritual ways.

Nasiroski Oct 10, 2015 03:33pm

If this is the situation of our universities, than we can kiss progress good bye

Hilal Oct 10, 2015 03:39pm

A nice reflect on our society. In actual, we are in dark age at the moment.

Aamir Raz Oct 10, 2015 04:05pm

Hats off, sir! As usual, a powerful slap on the face of the 'Enemies of the Reason'.

syed Oct 10, 2015 04:06pm

master piece....PU VC including all professor are such irrational.

AJ Oct 10, 2015 04:06pm

Almost a brilliant article but you needed to check some facts before penning them. Epilepsy is the domain of neurophysicists and neurophysiologists. Neurosurgeons have a very limited role and psychologists have got nothing to do with

The Saint Oct 10, 2015 04:19pm

There are so many lunatics... but dont stop science to look into spirituality... science is evolving, there is no absolutely final word, theories come and go, principles get corrected and updated... Spirituality is something real, yet needs to be explained through scientific way of reasoning... dont shut the doors of exploration!

Faisal Rehman Oct 10, 2015 04:28pm

Questioning and challenging everything shall be encouraged including jinn stuff. Because there are many weird daily life experiences that people link with paranormal and spirituality. The good thing about science is that it gives logical reason and results can be reproduced unlike claims of jali pir and aamils. Examining jinn and weird stuffs in important and we need myth-busters because: 1. Dr. John Snow plotted ghost map and found that cholera is caused by contaminated drinking water not by haunting ghost. 2. Sleep paralysis is not caused by some nightmare ghost, it is sleeping disorder explained fully by science. 3. Pineal Gland is not a third eye. It is a biological clock that regulates the activity of the sex glands 4. Our brain trick us in believing out-of-body experience (OBE) in fact it is work of ketamine and angular gyrus. 5. Psychologist Ian Wallace has interpreted all common dreams. 6. Levitation yoga is a miss-belief in which the subject hop like a frog.


Mehmood Oct 10, 2015 04:42pm

Illogical thoughts by the Professor Hoodbhoy because I always think the Jinn world is a natural phenomenon, part of the structure of the universe, though not (consistently) observable. Like….hey, quantum physics – which may or may not be connected. Not being observable leaves the field wide open for theories.

Azhar Oct 10, 2015 04:49pm

@Muhammad Shoaib You ask why science should be studied. If you or anyone close to you ever had to have even a minor operation, you can thank science for the fact that the doctor washed and disinfected his hands and instruments It was through science that humans got knowledge about germs. Or if you ever used an electric fan, or drank clean water or took an antibiotic or wore eye glasses, you could thank science for enabling the needed technology.

M.Saeed Oct 10, 2015 05:00pm

In this fight between science and spiritualism, winner would decide the course of our future! Let us see if we can have a Nobel winner in vindicated spiritualism!

Arshad Oct 10, 2015 05:07pm

Science never claims to know the absolute truth. It deals with facts verifiable by reproducible experiments or observation . Scientists change their minds about even an established theory if contrary facts come to light. Dogma, on the other hand, is belief without evidence, or even when there may be evidence to the contrary. Whenever dogma met science results were sad. Believers kill for their dogma. No scientist need to kill anyone to have his theory accepted. As long as it explains the facts it'll be accepted.

zafar Iqbal Oct 10, 2015 05:09pm

Quite interesting. I knew the problem of jinns existed amongst the general population but I wasn't aware that the professionals are making a living out of it. The jinns of course do exist as mentioned in the Holy Qur,aan(sura Jinn). No muslim can question that. But to suggest that they have the power to alter the course human lives is receiving. There is no harm holding seminars on the existence of paranormal and hold discussions.

M.Saeed Oct 10, 2015 05:11pm

@Mehmood : Cattle will not die dead on mere calling by hungry crows. Prof Dr. Hoodbhoy is a world renowned and highly educated scientist that you whimsically brush aside as illogical merely because of your biased thinking. This a real topic that needs a very thorough study before making any judgement in a hurry.

last island Oct 10, 2015 05:23pm

sir you are always brilliant . completely agreed to your thoughts

Faraz Oct 10, 2015 05:29pm

An interesting observation by the author. But still I dont understand that why any theory can not be presented at any educational platform. If it is so bogus and isnt in unison with science, it would be rejected anyways by the people. Why not let students or people decide whats rational or not. Secondly as for the conspiracy theories, even Proff Chomsky is quite vocal about them and so are many intellectuals around the world. Why not instigate an intellectual debate than totally shunning any doctrine?

Sindhi Oct 10, 2015 05:31pm

Well written. Pakistan’s schools and universities are sheep farms, which, instead of liberating, make the innocent children, students slave.

Awaisnasir Oct 10, 2015 05:33pm

Could not agree more sir ...

dinesh Oct 10, 2015 05:41pm

Why are not there more people like Dr. Hoodboy in Pakistan???? What is the reason?

Azhar Ali Oct 10, 2015 05:44pm

Agree with the writer

Maria Oct 10, 2015 05:49pm

I agree that the above mentioned people shouldnt bash science but it should be considered that modern science is moving towards metaphysics which is explaining that the soul exists and there is an afterworld and other worlds and that only physical physics is not enough to explain everything. This is not said by a local person but by foreign doctors. Two books i would like to mention here by author Dr. Eben Alexander "Proof of Heaven" and "The Map of Heaven" Also a very interesting triology on metaphysics by Dr. Campbell is "My Big Toe". Please do read them.

Oct 10, 2015 05:55pm

@Krishna well i agree magic exist brother but there is no hoqwartz here they are science universities so to attending and arranging subjects on irrrelevant subjects must be ban so ppl believe in their skills and hardwork rather using magic wands to learn

JP Oct 10, 2015 05:56pm

@Maria Modern Physics does not do metaphysics. Metaphysics is part of philosophy, not science. Science does not deal with souls or afterworlds. The West also has peddlers of pseudoscience with doctoral degrees. Please don't be confused by them.

Kap Oct 10, 2015 06:03pm

@Muhammad Shoaib then live happily without planes, pacemakers, ventilators, anti biotics, internet, radios, tractors, pesticides. These are products of science too.

JP Oct 10, 2015 06:03pm

@Mehmood There is nothing illiogical about what Dr. Hoodbhoy said. No one ever recorded any evidence for Jinns. So it cannot be claimed that it is a "natural phenomenon". Quantum Physics is very poorly understood by almost everyone, except by a select few like Dr. Hoodbhoy himself. It does not say what you think it says. It does not leave the field wide open. It is based on rigorous mathematical theory, not fairy tales.

Shaukat Hayat Khan Oct 10, 2015 06:38pm

This is a tragic fact and as far as its rejection or speaking against this menace is concerned I think we have left this job to Dr.Hoodbhoy. Hoodbhoy is the only an who openly talks against these lunatic elements others men of reason and science have preferred to shut their mouths.This is high time to speak.It is said in English,"if gold rusts what shall the iron do".No miracle will happen only reason will prevail.

JP Oct 10, 2015 06:49pm

@Faraz There is already a consensus that we don't do mysticism (which is what Jinns are) in science. In science, a theory isn't a mere "what if they existed?". Someone who puts forward a theory is expected to put forth evidence (none exists for Jinns) before being considered. It is also considered unethical and wrong to go to the general public or students (who do not have the ability to critically appraise), with a theory that has not been evaluated by the scientific community. Chomsky is not a conspiracy theorist. His linguistic theories are accepted by expert consensus and revolutionalized the field. His political theories are presented with long and detailed arguments with countless references to non-controversial scholarship, not hand-waving or pseudo-science.

Ahsan Oct 10, 2015 06:52pm

Such a sad and painful read! As an academic, I wish I did not know any of this. Alas, I cannot unknow or unread.

Arshad Oct 10, 2015 06:52pm

With universities like these, who needs madrassahs?

Haider Oct 10, 2015 07:05pm

It is through education and research that west is ruling the world. Unfortunately we Muslims are very good in conspiracy theories but fail to do our part in the betterment of mankind. Like Dr. Hoodbhoy mentioned, we only know how to use the technology for our convenience and comfort but we fail to give anything back. Even Muslim refugees are accepted by Europeans not other Muslim countries. There was a time when Muslims were great scholars. Father of modern Chemistry Jabir Bin Hayyan was a student of Imam Jafar Sadiq. Many years ago a thesis was published by The Research Committee of Strasbourg, France, about the contributions made by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) to science, philosophy, literature and irfan (gnosticism) titled "The Great Muslim Scientist and Philosopher. People like Dr. Hoodbhoy who put great emphasis on learning and being unbiased, make us proud.

Sanjoy Sankar Guha Oct 10, 2015 07:14pm

@Rastogi I agree with you. The scientific method has to be followed, but there are many interconnections in reality of which the world is not aware. Knowledge had to always retain an opening. For example, efficacy of prayer has been the subject of scientific enquiry in USA. But then, of course, there has to be a balance.

UKumar Oct 10, 2015 07:23pm

@QB Proving negative is impossible

haider Oct 10, 2015 07:27pm

@QB : I standby your opinion. In this modern world of science and enlightenment how one can outrightly rejects paranormal activities and supernatural happenings. Nobody can deny the utility and effectiveness of science and we must always promote science because it is also a product of nature, but at the same time it is also necessary to study deeply paranormal and supernatural activities and try to solve the mysteries behind them for the betterment of humanity.

Ali Ahmad Oct 10, 2015 07:34pm

Salute and thanks to Dr. Hoodbhoy's endeavor to take out Jinns from our society. Unless we do it there is no way to catch technological race of the world.

Ali Oct 10, 2015 07:40pm

I am shocked ... was not expecting from COMSAT to organize such nonsense workshop ... the indians are chasing digital dreams via silicon valley and what we are doing ?
Pursuing Digital Jinns Technology ?????????

Joe Oct 10, 2015 07:45pm

@Muhammad Shoaib Well if there was no science a mere flu would kill you in a matter of days. Think about how science has made our lives so much easier.

C MNaim Oct 10, 2015 07:46pm

Thanks for this most informative and most saddening essay. What amazes and saddens me most is the fact that such anti-intellectualism was not found among educated Muslims of South Asia in 1900. Go back to the journals of the time, look into old book catalogs, and you will find endless articles and translations and essays endorsing sciences and rejecting blind faith and superstition. The writers were far better educated in Arabic and Persian than most people are now, and were probably more devout in their faith

faridullah Oct 10, 2015 08:12pm

@Rastogi Wake up. Do you know it is 2015?

R S Chakravarti Oct 10, 2015 08:12pm

@Muhammad Shoaib What about electricity and motor vehicles? Telephones?

zee Oct 10, 2015 08:23pm

Good article, but not great one, reason, its happening all over the world, we shouldn't be surprised by this. It is more prevalent in third world countries then the west. Although I was surprised how universities/schools are encouraging this.

Ashfaq Khan Oct 10, 2015 08:24pm

Thank you Dr. Hoodbhoy.

Raj Patel Oct 10, 2015 08:27pm

@Concerned Citizen Are you civil engineer ?? The design of twin tower is such that it falls perpendicularly on it's foundation and not spreading around. All the big towers are built like that.

Mohammad Afsar Oct 10, 2015 08:36pm

Thanks Prof Hoodbhoy for your reporting of what's new in the so called places of higher learning in Pakistan.

The world would now know a a new attribute of Pakistan, in addition to the acclaimed attributes of #1 in: -religious extremism and terrorism & -corruption By the way, we saw the screening of the documentary "Among the Believers" also showing the segment on your personal role in standing up to the religious extremism earning Pakistan the title of #1 in terrorism. Best wishes to you

Mohammad Afsar

Rashid Oct 10, 2015 09:00pm

Even though jinn can see us, we cannot see them. But there is nothing strange about this. For example, someone looking through binoculars can see someone far from where he is standing, but that person, the object of his view, cannot see who is looking at him. Scientists have also invented equipment such as television which reflects the image of the speaker in TV studio to us, hence we can see the people in studio but they can’t see us. So it is therefore not beyond Divine power to create beings that can see us without us seeing them. Our inability to perceive them is similar to our not being able to see ultraviolet or infra-red rays, or hear sound waves or perceive flow of electricity. This special species, mentioned in earlier chapters, are known as Jinn.

Django Oct 10, 2015 09:04pm

@A Pakistani How many citations does he have.

Mahesh Oct 10, 2015 09:16pm

@Rastogi Crap. such practices are not science and should not be confused as such is his argument. Problem comes when these activities are brought in as something suitable to scientific temper, which is wrong. Prof. Hoodbhoy's article is bang on the target.

Mahesh Oct 10, 2015 09:17pm

@QB Since all experiments to prove their existence have failed, proving their non existence doesnt make any sense.

Jammy Jan Oct 10, 2015 09:31pm

Thank You Dr Hoodbhoy for speaking up and challenging the mindset of the our so called elite intelligentsia.

JP Oct 10, 2015 09:49pm

@haider Can you name one paranormal and supernatural claim that was proven as an actual phenomenon, in the last 100 years?

Arvind Ajimal Oct 10, 2015 09:54pm

I am an engineer and I am into Software Development and IT Systems. All my life I was rational and non-believer in jaadoo-Tona and paranormal stuff till I found a strange logic in my friend's house. I lived as a paying-guest in his house in New Hyde park and they had a small 6 month baby. Baby would sometime cry a lot and won't calm down even after all type of efforts by mother and others too. Then the mother-in-law would wave red dried chillies around him and put them on fire. The baby would stop crying immediately. "Nazar utaarana" as it is known in Desi culture is very effective and I have understood no scientific reason. I even tried waving other stuff/colors/items, or waved chillies but not burnt, nothing else worked.

sa Oct 10, 2015 10:01pm

OH MY JINNS , Pervez hoodbhoy guts and glory to you

Wajahat Oct 10, 2015 10:14pm

You are also not an expert of biology so you are not in a position to comment whether reciting holy verses does or does not make change to a person.

Also, you talk about scientific reasoning being necessary and many of your arguments are correct in this article. But be consistent with your advice and when you say stuff like 9 11 was not an inside job then you should be reasoning about that not making mockery out of the proposition. The truth is you are so opinionated about the logic that comes to your head that everything else is blurry to you.

A. Ali Oct 10, 2015 10:15pm

quite amazing from above article, excerpts are:

"" Interesting logic was used to prove the existence of jinns and black magic. "".

what does Pervez Hood you mean by this ?.

Syed Hussain Oct 10, 2015 10:20pm

@Muhammad Shoaib are saying we can all live in ignorant bliss while the rest of the world invents new technologies and innovations...wonderful !

Mudasir Oct 10, 2015 10:26pm

This article reminds me of a roommate in Lahore who was M.Phil in Physics. Once he denied to criticize the then PM Yusuf Raza Gillani for the corruption of his sons only because they are Syed and cannot commit wrong. This is one of the typical products of Pakistani universities. Education in Pakistan in its highest form produces clerks and confused people. When it comes to relating religion with science, you will find no difference between our JI and India's RSS and their cadres in bureaucracy and administration of their respective countries. And as far as proof of non-existence of Jinns is concerned, a rational approach is that until their presence is not proved scientifically, we can say for the sake of argument that they may or may not exist; we don't know.

Indian Oct 10, 2015 11:08pm


@QB "However, as a scientist Mr. Hoodbhoy should have proven through an experiment that Jinns don't exist." Tells me right away that you are unaware of a significant issue: Non-existence is unprovable.

You are WRONG and QB is RIGHT.

Oxygen is non-exist in outer space but provable. If you have doubt, just go to outer space and try to breath; you will get the proof!

Salman Tariq Oct 10, 2015 11:10pm

Increasingly Hoodbhoy is giving up, and the tone in his articles is reflective of his despondency in the system. Pervez Hoodbhoy is to academics what Hassan Nisar is to journalism. Speaks the truth that noone wants to listen to.

ansari Oct 10, 2015 11:34pm

tomorrow you would say that Hoodbhoy should do an experiment to refute the spaghetti monster... @QB

Haider Agha Oct 10, 2015 11:50pm

@QB hello darkness my friend. What experiment do you suggest for measuring the amount of jinness in the air? it's your claim, not mine. So go ahead, let me know what experiment to perform and I'll do it. It's a very convenient way of explaining things, or rather describing things without any explanation. If your jinns are so powerful why can't they go chase obama. or Israel. And why are they always here man? why can't we let our jinns go travel the world. Put them on a plane to see new york.

Harmony-1 Oct 11, 2015 12:04am

@JP - Very good comments...logical!

Krishna Oct 11, 2015 01:06am

@ Friends, I saw the comments.

We can all have different opinions and beliefs. Am sure you understood that am not suggesting that Universities should teach these. Neither am I saying we need to get into these by neglecting the hard work.

I told you what I saw and experienced practically.

Rashid Sultan Oct 11, 2015 01:17am

Brave effort Prof but it would seem you are flogging a dead horse. Our mental backwardness is beyond repair. Obsessed as we are with money making, ostentatious display of power and wealth sans thirst for knowledge, impossible and arcane political and military thought & causes that keeps are population engaged in hate mongering and intolerance what chance do we have to get out of this quagmire?

Hammad Afzal Oct 11, 2015 01:46am

The writer does make sense more often than not in this article, but really, who buys Nokia cellphones anymore? "/

kyle Oct 11, 2015 02:04am

Pervez Hoodbhoy has a remarkable in sight. You are doing great service to mankind. I am born in India but I can relate to you easily. I always watch your TV Shows. Please come to USA share your thoughts with us.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 02:45am

Why the surprise? It is but a short route from man-made supernatural religion to creation of other supernatural creatures like jinns. As irrational religions get the boost from the politicians and the states, can jinns be far behind? Rationality and science do not mix with irrationality and magical thinking. A state can only choose one or the other.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 02:57am

@Rastogi If you can keep the two spheres separate, then fine. But mixing or blurring them - not fine.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 03:02am

@Intrepid Never been acknowledged by the Wesy? So how did you find out that they were contributions to maths and science that we share as inheritors of that common knowledge? Unlike faith, myths, stories, which can be unique to different groups, maths and science are universal basics for knowledge generation.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 03:10am

@Krishna Experience of one cannot be generalizable to the many.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 03:25am

@Dr. Azam Gill Realm of ethnography or anthropology perhaps which have a much lower threshold for evidence? Conclusions can only be about subject groups among whom these beliefs exist, but not about the existence and morphology of jinns. Modern psychology has already developed a rich set of theories of supernatural thinking among groups, but not bout the nature of such creations.

Adam K Oct 11, 2015 03:29am

@Irfan Chourbati Akasm you need a critical mass of them ands perhaps leaders whop are champions (like the Medicis).

Ajay Parghi Oct 11, 2015 05:07am

@Akbar Sait Agree completely! I had the pleasure of visiting Pakistan and was taken aback by the friendship and hospitality shown to me. Indeed pakistanis are the brothers of indians and there should be many visits friendships and contacts between them. That is why I would like Prof. Hoodbhoy to visit and meet indian rationalists and scientists.Decades ago when I was in India there used to be a Rationalist Society headquartered in Bangaluru.The burden of proving that djins exist rests on the shoulders of the speakers at LUMS.

M Jamal Oct 11, 2015 06:51am

Instead of acquiring scientific knowledge for the betterment of the society we prefer jinns to solve our problems.Those responsible for the short cuts thru jinn technology must be barred from visiting educational institutes in polluting students mind.

Score Oct 11, 2015 06:57am

Dear Dr. Hoodbhoy,

Great article. Personally I feel COMSATS is a DRAMA university. Its reactor Junaid Zeaida was a close friend of GEN Musharaf. The school is good only in signing MOUs with other universities. There is also a scandal of DUAL degree in Lahore and how students are suffering. At the end of the day, the CRAP CIIT arranges such spiritual worskshops to be in News :)

illawarrior Oct 11, 2015 07:03am

Hollywood depicts many situations, including extra terrestials and time travel .... it doesn't make them real.

illawarrior Oct 11, 2015 07:14am

@Muhammad Shoaib Studying science gives us a better understanding of our world, but I would never be so foolish as to try to convince you of that. Through science and engineering we have achieved dams and mains water supplies, electricity - with all that it brings - refrigeration, air conditioning etc, planes, trains, cars, the printing press, televisions, computers, phones, combine harvesters, vaccinations against fatal diseases, advanced surgical techniques - the list is endless.

Rohhajh Oct 11, 2015 07:51am

@Ajay Parghi... Hindus mythology has strict scientific basis.... I will touch only a few points as this space is too less... In next few months, Surgeons in Italy are planning a total head Transplant on a Russian software engineer suffering from Duchhene muscular Dystrophy after successfully conducting animal hand Transplant... It's published in journals... Hindu God Ganesh is said to have a head Transplant by his father Shiva... Day is not far when it wil be a routine procedure. About Hindu ancient nuclear Bomb please watch the YouTube video of Dr Robert J. Oppenheimer, the Head of Manhattan project which developed world's first atom bomb.He said and I quote "this is the first atomic explosion in modern times" and then he talks of Arjuna, Krishna, Mahabharat and The Geeta. The video interview is immediately after the test explosion in New Mexico desert and tears can be seen in his eyes as he talks of Krishna and arjunAnd do you think Oppenheimer is a fool??Astronomy,Maths in Vedas?

Rohhajh Oct 11, 2015 07:51am

Hindus mythology has strict scientific basis.... I will touch only a few points as this space is too less... In next few months, Surgeons in Italy are planning a total head Transplant on a Russian software engineer suffering from Duchhene muscular Dystrophy after successfully conducting animal hand Transplant... It's published in journals... Hindu God Ganesh is said to have a head Transplant by his father Shiva... Day is not far when it wil be a routine procedure. About Hindu ancient nuclear Bomb please watch the YouTube video of Dr Robert J. Oppenheimer, the Head of Manhattan project which developed world's first atom bomb.He said and I quote "this is the first atomic explosion in modern times" and then he talks of Arjuna, Krishna, Mahabharat and The Geeta. The video interview is immediately after the test explosion in New Mexico desert and tears can be seen in his eyes as he talks of Krishna and arjunAnd do you think Oppenheimer is a fool??Astronomy,Maths in Vedas?

Ahmed Oct 11, 2015 08:06am

@Muhammad Shoaib brother, you aren't viewing the things properly. please revisit your statement

Keti Zilgish Oct 11, 2015 09:34am

In our intoxication with our infatuation with science must we be forced to deny our recognition of magic?

Who are Jinns Oct 11, 2015 09:54am

Who are Jinns??

Sumit Mazumdar Oct 11, 2015 09:55am

@QB You cannot prove the nonexistence of anything. LOL! The onus is on the proponents of jinns to prove their existence.

dr ayesha Oct 11, 2015 09:58am

Almost everyday in the ER where I work ,I come across men ,women and children afflicted with the ASARAT SYNDROME! Surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly majority of the females are unmarried.In my opinion the human mind and body reacts poorly to stress and depression.As a society we have been fairly unsuccessful in acknowledging and recognizing depression,bipolar disorders or even something as uncomplicated as stress.Even as a physician my scariest moments are when dealing with depression and stress disorders.Give me a heart failure or a respiratory failure any day.Glad these jinns are there to save us from the stress of trying to understand the human mind .

ahmed Oct 11, 2015 10:06am

This is the result of the glorification of "blind faith" and utter disregard of the scientific method in Pakistan even by those who should know better.

sh.jamil Oct 11, 2015 10:15am

Stupidity has no limits which the writer has amply highlighted.The organizers of the workshop need to be prosecuted for teaching bigotry.

Ansar Oct 11, 2015 11:05am

@Muhammad Shoaib "what purpose does science serve?". Good question!

Why don't you try working out the answer yourself and in the meantime why don't you stop using a computer to post such questions here? and while you are at it you can also throw away your cellphone and sell your car. You can keep them if you believe they are powered by jinns tho'

Ansar Oct 11, 2015 11:11am

@Akhlesh The biggest proof of the existence of 'intelligent' life forms out there in the Universe is that nobody has contacted us.

Kala Ingrez - کالا انگریز - काला अंग्रेज - কালো ইংরাজি Oct 11, 2015 11:13am

Need to find more constructive and enlightening topics, all this about Zia and beating up the right wing parties is getting old, for what you and your comrades have accomplish for Pakistan except for misery and division - ask yourself?

JP Oct 11, 2015 12:15pm

@Krishna Science isn't an opinion or belief. That personal experiences are extremely flawed when it comes to making general statements about the world is one of the first things one needs to learn when understanding science. Arguments from authority also have very low value. Perhaps you are a skilled technical craftsman. You are confusing that with an actual science education.

Citizen. Oct 11, 2015 12:20pm

If that is the way we are, so be it.

Mahesh Oct 11, 2015 12:52pm

@Pushpa You are creating paranoia about Indians studying vedic sciences as if there was no critical technology developed in vedic sciences.There are hundreds of examples of technology being studied & practised during vedic times.metallurgy for instance was a highly developed science .Rust free iron column in Delhi is an example. We in India have a habit to downplay our ancient achievements ,just to show ourselves being progressive as it is fashionable.In India no ones saying that you go back & study vedic sciences & disregard modern science.But study your own past & be proud of your own legacy.If you explore Vedas ,there are still areas unclear to modern scientific thought processes , pointers to show path.

Talha Oct 11, 2015 12:57pm

@Muhammad Shoaib just like yourself who has used a laptop or a smartphone to read the article and then comment on it.

Nayat Karim Bahor Oct 11, 2015 01:26pm

The article written by Dr. Hoodbhoy is an eye opener and show picture of a sick society; where the renowned academic institutions have started influencing students with Jinns, black magic and unseen creatures instead of teaching science, logic and reasoning – where are we going; wake-up the nation please!

Syed Saifuddin Oct 11, 2015 01:31pm

if the university is trying to give a scientific side to the existence of jinns then I feel it should be supported rather ridicule as in the article.

sja ja Oct 11, 2015 01:38pm

@Akhlesh : in the system of human thinking where there is religions, philosophy and science, all the knowledge thus far accumulated cannot ignore any of these pillars of knowledge, RPS, so religion tells the existence of the JINNS we do not want to recognize scientifically and philosophically, does not mean or make their existence a mere non existence--- if you do not believe in the CREATOR you cannot understand the creations including the jinns like the INS or insaan

Nayat Karim Bahor Oct 11, 2015 01:39pm

My daughter was unable to get admission in the CIIT, as she was unable to meet their percentage requirement; but I am happy now that she will not be attending those rubbish lectures on unseen creatures and jinns that is taught to science students; I think those organised the lecture at CIIT must be out of mind or sick!

JP Oct 11, 2015 02:39pm

@Rohhajh Dr. Hoodbhoy is writing about people just like you. Are you aware of a literary genre called fiction? And that every major culture had it in their myths, including us? Mythical literature isn't science. Every culture has them - Greeks, Romans, Norse, Hindus, Chinese, Arabs, Persians etc, etc. One of the reasons why people in poor countries fall for irrationality like this is that we don't study humanities properly (not just treating science as bread winning technical skill set) and understand our culture in context of world cultures. If we did, we would understand that our myths weren't special.

Sanjoy Sankar Guha Oct 11, 2015 02:41pm

@JP yes. Telekinesis has been photographed. A Russian woman, Nina Kuligana if I am not not mistaken her name was, could move objects using mind force,ie. telekinesis. Telekinesis has been demonstrated but not explained. The Russians have been pursuing mind research way back since the 1970s and possibly 1960s. See 'Psychic Discoveries behind the Iron Curtain' (1974). Cleve Backster's measurements in electrical galvanometers about the responses of plants to human thoughts is documented. The Kirlian effect is demonstrable and captures the energy field of even a missing human limb in a high frequency alternating electrical field.What I am merely saying is that are many unexplained phenomena. Science, if it has to faithfully follow its methods, cannot simply dismiss them. Djinns are creatures permanently in the fire element who are never incarnated. But that of course is not a 'scientific' statement, but one of the realm of belief.

JP Oct 11, 2015 02:42pm

@Kala Ingrez - کالا انگریز - काला अंग्रेज - কালো ইংরাজি What misery and division have rationalists and lefties caused in Pakistan? Those were all gleeful right wing follies. Are rationalists even a recognizable entity in Pakistan? They aren't, even in India.

Ashfaq Ahmed Oct 11, 2015 02:44pm

Author does not have a credible authority over the topic discussed i.e. Scientifically non-provable phenomena, which includes: 1- Existence of Jinns 2- Existence of Angels 3- Existence of Soul and 4- Existence of God

Since he is a physicist so any analysis of non-scientific phenomenon would be biased toward science. Hence this article that ridiculed the whole concept.

Amazingly author mentioned 911 is claimed as an inside job by similar ignorant people. Here is a link where Architects & Engineers from USA are claiming the same.

A Doctorate in Physics surely doesn't give one a license to belittle religious phenomenon.

JP Oct 11, 2015 03:26pm

@Mahesh I suggest that you actually take some time and read the Vedas as I have. There is no "science" in them. It is just fashionable to talk this way in India these days, taking some quotes and yes, facts, out of context. There are plenty of things to be proud of, as ancient Indian accomplishments. But lets leave religious books as religious books. The claims of "vedic science" are patently silly to anyone who actually understands science. This is the same Jinn syndrome, only in a different religious context.

Umair Oct 11, 2015 04:36pm

Bravo! Indeed an Amazing satire. Written out of his wellknown prejudices against meta physics. But I am surprised how a scientific mind like him is ready to use heresay,rhetorics and satire to make his point, rather that an objective critique. How can you label something by just by looking at the title. How can you declare such titles academic untouchables and taboos. I think our liberals need more liberation of thought. If you being trained in physics have liberty to give talks on social and IR topics like " concept of nationstate" and liberal democracies. Then plz let others also share their views, which is obviously open to objective criticism without using situational humor like this.

kamal Oct 11, 2015 04:40pm

Prof Hoodbhoy,

I appreciate your efforts to educate and enlighten the people of your country. I wish you all the best in your efforts. Hope some sanity prevails and society will not go back into dark ages of believing Jinns etc.,

kamal Oct 11, 2015 04:42pm

@Krishna you need some professional help.

Fazil K. Oct 11, 2015 04:48pm

@Ajay Parghi. I think that Europeans have long relegated Greek mythology to their rightly place. So-called intellectuals in this region are light years behind.

JP Oct 11, 2015 05:29pm

@Umair When did Dr. Hoodbhoy criticize metaphysics? Perhaps you are confusing mysticism and pseudo-science with metaphysics, a legitimate part of philosophy and even philosophy of science. Who has complaints against the "concept of nationstate" (sic) and "liberal democracies"? These aren't complicated concepts. He did criticize post-modernism, which was embarrassingly laid bare in the Sokal Affair and the Science Wars. The issue isn't "untouchables and taboos". No, this is about plain-old quackery. If you can't read and write physics equations (which the speaker admitted) in question, it is perhaps better to shutup about it. In science, you can't just hand-wave. You do need to demonstrate replicable results. Has a single one these intellectual imposters accomplished that?

JP Oct 11, 2015 05:32pm

@Ashfaq Ahmed He is not belittling religion. However, as a scientist he has every right to criticize people who insert religion into science.

Azhar jamil Oct 11, 2015 05:42pm

Rational thinking approacch appreciated in research oriented societies.But not in a society which is firmly gripped by the so called religious scholars.How is it possible to understand these articles in a declining society?where a local mullah is the most prestigeous personaity than a science teacher.

Maqsood Ahmed Soomro Oct 11, 2015 08:08pm

I certainly agree with all the readers that jinns have invaded Pakistani Society but only in the shape of non - sensical maulvis.

Umair Oct 11, 2015 08:35pm

@JP yes u r right but his problem goes beyond the equation of physics. Anything that mr hoodboy is not inclined to believe is a potential bashing target. He has issues with that spiritual biology professor, with anti American political analysts. Or anyone who thinks religion has something to do with the collective human experience. It's less about science and more about his self righteousness .where rational is what he thinks . if somehow u dont use the same intelectual spectacles that he does..u r psuodo.I think it's academic dictatorship by liberals with conditional liberty and one-way freedom of expression.

Science serves the truth. Oct 11, 2015 09:58pm
  • At the famous University of Heidelberg in Germany there is a central Building of Auditoriums of the University in the center of the city "Am Markt". This building bears the motto of the University at its top. The English translation of this motto: (it is our duty) to serve the truth.

  • A University is the seat of Science and scientific research. Every scientist strives to serve the truth in his field of specialization. The methods are reasoning, rationally, lab experiments, control checks, and statistical validity. The results should be reproducible in another lab by another scientist. I am writing this, as Science is my profession since 40 years.

  • After reading some comments here, I have the feeling that some readers are not aware of the duties and limitations of a scientist. "The Jinns" can not be the subject of a scientific research project, as it can not be done on objective scientific basis.

  • Some comments writers are trying to misinterpret, that the author is against the religion. This is not true. He has written nothing against the religion. He is trying to prevent the Universities in Pakistan from a wrong development. If you decide for a profession in Science, you have to strictly follow the scientific principles.

Namaste Oct 11, 2015 10:09pm

@Akhlesh To prove a scientist wrong, you need to perform an experiment To prove a "blinded by faith" wrong, you will need a miracle

Azeema Vogeler Oct 11, 2015 10:48pm

At least Hoodbhoy has the guts to point out such nonsense in our academia.

A Pakistani Oct 11, 2015 11:07pm


Use Google. Spend a bit if time researching rather than asking inane questions.

JP Oct 11, 2015 11:36pm

@Umair I have academic credentials in science of my own. Everything I have read Dr. Hoodbhoy say, over several articles, is elementary scientific temper. None of it is even remotely controversial. If anything, I think he is actually holding back, given the more conservative Pakistani society. I am harsher at more mild pseudo-science in India. I didn't see any politics in it. This isn't liberalism, though he might naturally be a liberal. This is simply calling out quackery and pseudo-science. It is the duty of scientists and public intellectuals. Too many scientists in the subcontinent wear their science training like a lab coat, rather than internalize it, rapidly devolving into primitive ideas, beyond their limited work (and in the examples provided in the article, even within work). This is unacceptable, if the region is to develop scientifically. Scientists should behave like scientists. Our countries have enough clerics.

Zuhaib Oct 12, 2015 12:56am

Epic read ..!!

Ayaz Ahmed Oct 12, 2015 01:12am

@Muhammad Shoaib WOW brilliant comment sir..and you're saying all this, may be using your smartphone or computer and enjoying 3G or 4G speed, conveying your "message" to the world through Internet with the help of some Telecom Company's state-of-the-art technology. Really excellent ...Dr. Hoodbhoy must tell you why we need science?.... bravo

Azhar jamil Oct 12, 2015 01:24am

@Arshad Interesting comment in a few words.

Hari Har Oct 12, 2015 01:50am

The existence of Jins have been acknowledged in all religions and cultures. For last 300 years, the scientists have been interested to some extent without achieving any scientific breakthrough. Jin invasions are a common occurrence particularly amoungst co resident female uni students world wide. We should keep an open mind without succumbing to superstitions, yet persist with scientific inquiry.

Ahmed Oct 12, 2015 11:51am

I respect you Sir....

However I've always seen a lot of criticism from you (which is fine) but please also talk about Solutions and how to take the country ahead in Physics and Maths with examples of your contributions.

Tariq Oct 12, 2015 12:16pm

Though I totally agree with author's observations regarding what is going on in some universities is absolutely horrible,

Wajid Oct 12, 2015 01:47pm

It is in fact the belief of majority of our Pakistani people. Why shan't it be... ? When Scientist have become evangelists, Doctors Political analysts, Sportsman Preachers and what not... Hail Doc Cum Political Analyst cum Social reformer

muhammad bashir Oct 12, 2015 02:02pm

yes we have to admit that over way of thinking is purely based on dogma.on 10 october pakistan science foundation had organized interviews of candidates selected for science talent farming scheme at attempt to win nobel prize 1.3 billion rupees project but after talking i came to know that my fellow selected students were unable to simply answer baaic questions like they do not know what vectors are why work is scalar and over interview panel also just checked our root learning and cramming the queation that was Asked by every student was who is biggest scientist of pakistan everyone said qadeer khan no one said abdus salam and when i said abdus salam asker looked stunned

Karachi Oct 12, 2015 02:36pm

@PERVES HOODBHOY, regardless the way the subject is put in the Universities and the observation mentioned in the article. My question is, what can you comment on the real existence of Jinns. This shall be a great help!!!

dL70 Oct 12, 2015 03:57pm

"Fortunately, he loses nothing ... ." And, we as Pakistanis, seem to have no idea what we've lost.

azmat Oct 12, 2015 05:04pm

On a serious note, is he questioning the existence of jinns or the existence of another "intelligent specie" like humans. Science itself is not negating the possibility of such existence. Regardless of what they do and what their capabilities are, Jinns are a reality. This is not to say that we should put in all our efforts to harness the jinn power instead of investing in science but to negate their existence completely is also not right

JP Oct 12, 2015 05:45pm

@azmat Jinns are a reality in the same sense that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are a reality. Can you understand how illogical it is to say that since a negative cannot be proven, it must be considered an open question? Several in this forum have fallen to this common fallacy.

Rex Major Oct 12, 2015 06:33pm

@Hari Har : "... The existence of Jins have been acknowledged in all religions and cultures ..." Isn't this the crux of the matter? Religion - per se demands belief and tolerates no reason. Why wouldn't something as irrational as religion not accept or acknowledge something equally irrational as Jinn or its cultural equivalence?

Fawad Oct 12, 2015 08:23pm

I would just say if hoodbhoy can not prove jinns do not exist , did the speaker prove that jinns exist or merely explain fairy tales to grown ups. And science speaks for itself I don't need to defend it. People saying science is useless should go to dawn's office to tell them that and not use whatever technology they are using to comment . Thank you.

Mohsin Oct 12, 2015 08:55pm

The ancient university of Takshashila was located in modern day's Pakistan. I have no doubt that Pakistan will once again rise to the same level of educational and intellectual excellence with the help of ghosts and vampires.

ObservEr Oct 12, 2015 09:41pm

In the 1980's IBA also showed its students "Faces of Death" in the big auditorium at the university campus!

Concerned Citizen Oct 13, 2015 12:10am

@Raj Patel Did I say they don't fall perpendicularly? how come they came down at free fall speed when the damage was done at 92nd floor. May be New York is another universe having different laws of physics.