Science as a god

Bernard Ortiz De Montellano instructs us on “Evolution and Multiculturalism”:

Science has in fact become the secular religion of the West, but I mean this in a particular sense. Scientific illiteracy is rampant. Jon Miller, the director of the Public Opinion Laboratory at the University of Northern Illinois and a student of the topic, sets the rate of scientific illiteracy in this country at 95%, with similar results in other developed countries (Hively 1988). The net result is that, although many people believe in “science” as an explanatory mechanism of great prestige, because of their scientific illiteracy they believe in science as a religion, i.e. by faith not because they understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of scientific explanations. This has had unfortunate consequences because such people can be victimized (or deluded) by people who take advantage of this and claim the “prestige” of science by using pseudoscience or the language of science to support their claims.   [Hall of Ma’at]

“Yes, yes, you stupid creationist,” the scientific atheist whines, “I’ve heard this before. It has nothing to do with the fact that all science is absolutely and incontrovertibly true. The only reason you can write this claptrap for anyone else is because Science has graciously and unselfishly granted you the gifts of computers and the Internet. Now bow down to your master or shut up.”

Ah, but it is not my purpose here to slander the mighty Scientists. Rather, I want to point to the danger inherent in their campaign to ensure that all humans adhere to The One True Faith. The danger is that without an oppressive, totalitarian hierarchy to enforce compliance with Scientific Truth, the fruits of Science [peace be upon its name] will be used pragmatically to achieve the goals of corrupt politicians, criminal masterminds, capitalist philistines, and con artists. The end result will be a spiritualized naturalism, as in pantheism, shamanism, neo-paganism, the Gaia Hypothesis, or New Age Philosophy. And pantheistic superstition has historically caused massive social injustice, ignorance, scientific illiteracy, and barbarism.

Madison Avenue sells bogus claims (concentrated stomach acid eats its way through metal and therefore will dissolve your stomach lining; 9 of 10 MD’s recommend; much of the gibberish used in advertising for cosmetics). Much of the New Age consists of putting old wine (mediums; chi; chakras) into the new bottles of pseudoscience i.e channeling, energy flows and the laws of thermodynamics and much use of “newspeak”.

Unfortunately, as my colleague Norman Levitt describes in his presentation, these efforts have been aided by the post-modernist view that all explanations of nature are equally valid, that science is the culturally biased product of patriarchal, materialistic white European males, and that native views and opinions should be “privileged” over other views when dealing with matters of their particular concern. . . .

As Perry (1992) points out this is a dangerous position to take:

“The sense of ‘timeless heritage’ of ‘traditional peoples,’ albeit respectful, is just a short step from the ethnic essentialism–and related ideas of inherent cultural qualities–that took a decidedly ugly turn in Germany earlier in this century. At its worst, this romanticism tends to blur the distinction between culture and race–a distinction that anthropologists thought we had established several generations ago.”

Of course we have made it back to the Nazis, in accordance with Godwin’s Law of Internet Losers Who Have Their Own Blog. This is not because I especially favor Nazi Enlightenment ideology as an excuse for human sinfulness, as most liberals do. It’s because the idiots who rant about genocide as the worst human crime and the idiots who rant about Ayn Rand as a great moralist both need their little demons so they can puff up their egos and huff about how evil the Christian “fascists” are. And so the Nazi meme and the Hitler meme will not soon fade away. Get used to it.

Meanwhile, our buddy Montellano, preaching about the use and abuse of evolution, comes to this inevitable conclusion:

There are a number of similarities between the multicultural examples cited here and “scientific creationists.” They both attempt to use the prestige of science to validate myths and mythic charters. None of the various proponents actually conduct research on the topic. Research most often consists of culling the publications of others in the scientific literature for statements that seem to support the desired position. Often, data and results are misquoted or misinterpreted, and take advantage of the general scientific illiteracy of the public to avoid detection.

No, I do not claim the mantle of the prestige of science. Montellano directly states that science is misused to justify ideology, and this is what the scientific atheists do. Because the scientist speaks, his words are going to be repeated against his will and contrary to his intention, even though he believes that they contain a dogmatic, objective truth that cannot ever be effaced even as it cannot ever be communicated. This is his punishment for not using mathematics in all his communications, and for coming down from the mountain to present his laws to us in our own language.

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2 thoughts on “Science as a god

  1. None of the various proponents actually conduct research on the topic. Research most often consists of culling the publications of others in the scientific literature for statements that seem to support the desired position. Often, data and results are misquoted or misinterpreted,

    Now I understand. We can’t interpret your data unless we belong to your club.

  2. And you can’t join the club unless you agree to the Doctrinal Statement of Atheistic Naturalism. Of course, if your mind wasn’t clouded by belief in God, you would be able to understand all that complicated sciencey stuff.

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