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Science at War

Entry 1137, on 2010-01-02 at 16:46:47 (Rating 3, Science)

I've commented a bit recently on how various groups in society seem to be determined to undermine rationality and science wherever possible. Actually, its not that simple because they will use the benefits of science when it suits them but totally reject the process (and even the worldview) of science when it fits their own political and religious agendas.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm ranting on about my old favourites again: global warming denial and creationism. And yes, I have already in this new year been exposed to the lies these groups deal in.

In the past science has mostly stayed out of the debates around these subjects. Religion in particular has been off the list of subjects it is considered OK to criticise. This means that religious people have been able to present as many anti-science lies and propaganda as they like but science has not replied. The same has happened to a lesser extent in the political areas such as global warming.

I think its time this changed.

Religion has certainly been treated with a lot less respect by many of the "new atheists" such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. The situation hasn't been quite as successful with the political aspects of climate change where the "ClimateGate" fiasco has increased suspicion of science (and rightly so although its far from being a genuine reason to doubt climate change).

The "There's probably no God" bus campaign has been run in several countries now and I think is a brilliant form of publicity for atheism: its low key, honest, and has a positive message.

If this trend continues I hope to see religion (and science denial in various forms) attacked more in the next ten years. I'm not saying religion should be singled out for a continuous onslaught, its more that it should be criticised just like everything else instead of being protected.

And science should go on the attack against its enemies. It should take every opportunity to ridicule creationism and it should attack other deniers (but not in the secretive and vaguely dishonest way associated with the debacle at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit). Its a difficult thing to get just right but just ignoring the problem hasn't worked in the past so I think now that the best form of defence is attack!

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Comment 1 (2572) by OJB on 2010-01-02 at 17:47:38:

Coincidentally I just found this which agrees with my opinion.

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