So. Apparently, a bunch of fanatics in Saudi Arabia have decided thatGMT needs to be superceded by Arabia Standard Time. And what passes for logic with these guys is really, really appalling.
Really, check this out.
As Mohammed al-Arkubi, manager of one of the hotels in the complex, put it: “Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time. This is the goal.”
According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric known around the Muslim world for his popular television show “Sharia and Life”, Mecca has a greater claim to being the prime meridian because it is “in perfect alignment with the magnetic north.”
This claim that the holy city is a “zero magnetism zone” has won support from some Arab scientists like Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed of the Egyptian National Research Centre who says that there is no magnetic force in Mecca.
“That’s why if someone travels to Mecca or lives there, he lives longer, is healthier and is less affected by the earth’s gravity,” he said. “You get charged with energy.”
Western scientists have challenged such assertions, noting that the Magnetic North Pole is in actual fact on a line of longitude that passes through Canada, the United States, Mexico and Antarctica.
What in the hell is that all about? These dolts need to team up with the Institute for Creation Research and the Insane Clown Posse. They’re all just as ignorant and proud of it.
To begin with–every single point on earth is in perfect alignment with the magnetic north. If you take any two points anywhere on this little rock, you can draw a straight line between them. Really. Try it some time.
Also–how, exactly, would a lack of magnetism, even if such a thing existed in Mecca, mean that you’re less affected by gravity? Gravity is, of course, not completely understood, but, you know, F=GMm/r2 and all. It affects people in Mecca just as it does everywhere else at that altitude (minor variations due to topography and geology aside). You don’t see a term for magnetism in that equation, do you? I didn’t think so.
Additionally, someone might want to tell Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed that, if there’s no magnetic force in Mecca, you’ll probably want to stay away from there. Holes in the magnetosphere would lead to bad outcomes for organic beings, seeing as how the solar wind would, you know, kill everything there if the magnetosphere weren’t protecting us–even those of us who are willfully stupid.
GMT is an arbitrary standard. It wasn’t chosen because Greenwich is in line with the magnetic pole, or because there’s no magnetism there, or because the Druids liked it. It was chosen because England was the dominant maritime power when the standard was set, and that’s where the Royal Observatory was, which was where they measured longitude relative to that giant hot gas ball we circle every year. It’s not even the standard anymore; UTC is, and that’s determined by International Atomic Time–and that’s a weighted average of the time on a network of hundreds of atomic clocks in dozens of locations around the world. Which, to be fair, is a far more accurate way to do the task at hand than worrying about where a spot on earth is relative to the apparent position of said giant hot gas ball. You’re not even bitching about the right thing here, morons.
I’m not picking on them because they’re Muslim–as stated, I think that these dolts and the ICR people and, well, all of the blind faith yo-yos around the world are all cut from the same cloth. (Get it? Man, my jokes are wasted on you people.)