I was at a friend’s birthday party at the weekend, and as I intended to enjoy some VERY nice Whisky, we called a taxi for the journey home.
The taxi driver was quite chatty, talking about going for a walk during the day – we made polite chit chat, despite being quite pleasantly gassed… until it took a rather unpleasant turn.
We discussed being up north at the top of Scotland – Dunnet Head, one of the most beautiful parts of the country. He asked if we had ever seen the Northern Lights (I have – it’s a wonderful thing). Then he asked “Have you seen a shooting star?”.
One of our late night expeditions last year was to go and watch the Leonid shower in November – not the best year, but we saw a few… I answered yes, with a sudden sense of where this was going.
Sure enough, he asked “do you know what that is?”.
My hackles went up… and so would anyone else who has ever “debated” with this strange breed of Muslim who considers themselves a “scholar” whilst really doing little more than regurgitating the same old nonsense. Jen asked him “well that depends – most of them are just bits of rock or old space hardware burning up.”
“no, those are demons trying to enter our atmosphere and being hit with a rock”.
It only went downhill from there. He asserted that the quran was flawless and everything in it had been scientifically proven (I insisted that this was absolutely not the case).
He then launched off on another wackjob explanation – again involving “djinns” – before I really had heard too much. I came up with the argument which got him to shut up – which I was quite pleased with considering how much fine Islay malt I had consumed…
Those explanations are obviously just the people of the first and second century trying to explain the world around them in a way that made sense to them. Now that we have tools like science to examine the world, we don’t need books of old myths any more.
He didn’t speak again until we made it home…