Thomas Adams discusses the latest jihad against the infidels:
. . .Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in physics, warned that “the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief. . .”
Somewhere along the way, a forum this month at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., which might have been one more polite dialogue between science and religion, began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told.
Carolyn Porco, a senior research scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., called, half in jest, for the establishment of an alternative church, with Dr. Tyson, whose powerful celebration of scientific discovery had the force and cadence of a good sermon, as its first minister. [“A Free-for-All on Science and Religion,” The New York Times, 21 November 2006]
Perhaps if they knew more about history, they would know that this is not a new idea. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) tried it 150 years ago:
He proposed replacing priests with a new class of scientists and industrialists and offered a catechism based on the cult of reason and humanity, and a new calendar replete with positivist saints. While this line of thought was implicit in the aim of sociology to synthesize order and progress in the service of humanity, the farcical elements of Comte’s mysticism has damaged his philosophical reputation. He died in obscurity in 1857. [“Auguste Comte.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.]
The “scientific rationalists” know fully the details of their own theories, but little else. This leads to some magical thinking:
“There are six billion people in the world,” said Francisco J. Ayala, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Irvine, and a former Roman Catholic priest. “If we think that we are going to persuade them to live a rational life based on scientific knowledge, we are not only dreaming — it is like believing in the fairy godmother.” [“A Free-for-All on Science and Religion”]
Obviously, the only way to make their dreams come true is to impose order on the chaotic irrationalism of human life. Complete, worldwide scientific order, rigidly enforced, with vicious penalties for irrational behavior. Until this new world order can be instituted, however, there may be some bloodshed. . .watch out for a cabal of suicidal atheists who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the Truth. Or not.