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Editorial: Turning to the Only One Who Has the True Power

| The Fountain | Issue 157 (Jan - Feb 2024)

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Editorial: Turning to the Only One Who Has the True Power

The tragic events in the last quarter of 2023 have exhausted our hopes for a brighter future. With no power to change the course of events, we would like to start off 2024 with a prayer in the Lead Article, turning to the only One who has power to do so. In this long and heart-rending invocation, Gülen portrays our circumstances as “overshadowed by gloom and sorrow” and that “the obstacles ahead of us appear to be beyond human endurance.” Believers, who one expects to endure more than others, “are in a state of confusion, misery, and anguish,” according to Gülen, and the evidence for this is the fact that their faith reveals itself not as a sincere devotion but as “cultural activity.” When “faith is imprisoned in the narrowness of folklore,” in the words of Gülen, we start chasing after delusions, and “even the widest paths appear to be narrow and unsurpassable.”

Global affairs are not some distant events anymore; in our day and age all the news – especially the bad ones – sneak into our homes instantaneously and settle in our hearts and minds. One major way to detox is to study the marvelous creation around us. In “The Algorithms Behind Complex Animal Behaviors,” Irfan Yilmaz takes us on a journey across the “book of creation.” He introduces the amazing engineering in the web of the golden orb weaver spider; the government-like societal structures of bees and termites; and the navigating skills of black-billed shearwater with perfect precision. Dr. Yilmaz asks readers to ponder whether all these complex algorithms originate in the small brains of these animals? How are they equipped with these skills that baffle the mind?

Due to many domestic and global factors, including Covid-19, the world economy gives fluctuating signals. Nobody would reject if they were offered some extra cash to cover their expenses. Though it would relieve us from some burden temporarily, can money bring permanent happiness? Dr. Oztunc is exploring this question with some fascinating wisdom from the example of the Tower of Hanoi and other research based on surveys.

There are two book reviews in this issue. In Hearts and Minds: Hizmet Schools and Interethnic Relations (Blue Dome Press, 2022) Vincent Parillo and Maboud Ansari (review by Engin Yigit) study Hizmet schools in 7 different countries and reach fascinating overlaps and differences based on ethnic and religious identities. In The Case for Heaven (Zondervan, 2021) (review by Adam Sahin), Lee Strobel, a former award-winning legal journalist, investigates the evidence for an afterlife. In the book, Strobel interviews a spectrum of experts, including scientists, philosophers, and religious leaders, to weigh the evidence and reach a conclusion on the credibility of heaven.


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