I am teaching a summer program at a local community college and one of the
other instructors is working on her Dr's. degree. The paper she has to
write asks the question: Why are we/people afraid of science/scienists?
Would anyone like to comment on this? I will give her all the serious
answers or remarks that any one would like to post before 9 pm Thursday
evening. I thought that this might be a fun thing to vent about rather then
the usual whose the worst candiate stuff going around.
I didn't know "we" are afraid of science/scientists!
Some, not all, are deserving of fear because they can be so involved in
their pet project that they get involved in promoting it regardless of the
consequences that the pet project can cause or result in, whether social,
environmental, or financial to others, now or in the future.
It isn't berestricted to scientists, but scientists are expected to be
impartial, and to be led only by the facts. Unfortunately, they are only
human, and big pharma, research funding, promotions etc, they all influence
I'm of course totally unbiased in my (our) research, but still hope that
CD39 will fulfill its promises as an antithrombotic modality.
My best guess would boil down to contradictions between some religious
beliefs and science, the fear of the unknown, and the inability or
unwillingness of many to open the mind and ask questions.
Many religions tend to discourage questions and gaining understanding of
the "why" outside of the accepted religious teachings. To ask questions
in such a setting is blasphemous and unfaithful.
Non-religious folks might be truly afraid of things, so they don't want
to know. For instance, extra terrestrial life, or the potential for
large scale natural disaster or disease. It's much more relaxing not
to think about this stuff!
Still others be afraid of looking stupid when they can't immediately
understand a concept. Further pursuit of knowledge, which also requires
effort, is too easy not to do.
I tend to lean towards the Buddhist view of science with religion, which
is we are a delicate part of the big picture. We MUST question "why?"
in order to try and understand it all and move forward.
Then there's the way science has become politicized...
Actually, IMO, it is the way religion has been politicized. Scientists
don't object to anyone's belief in a god. Religionists do object to
anyone believing in scientific findings. It has been that way
Well now Charlie, that's one of the worst things I've ever seen you post.
Of course scientists object to people's belief in a god. That happens on a
daily basis, among an outspoken segment of the scientific community. You
hear all sorts of slanderous comments associated with the beliefs of
"religious" people - things like "fear", "irrational", "uneducated", etc.
Likewise, Religionists can often do the same. Either camp is equally guilty
of the same behaviors and either camp is equally populated with those who
don't succumb to that type of behavior. It's not a science vs. religion
thing - it's a human nature thing. There are those who can be comfortable
with ideas outside of their own beliefs and understandings, and there are
those who can't. The former recognizes that they don't and can't know
everything, the latter hasn't figured that out yet. Both science and
religion can be found fighting within their own little camps. It's the
human nature at work - not the issue of science vs. anything else.
As someone who lives amongst the fundamentalists, I guess my point is
influenced by their proximity. There are scientists around here, too,
of course, but mostly they keep a low profile.
You want a religious fight? Put three Southern Baptists together and
get them to discuss theology. Hide the weapons first.
You want a *real* religious fight? Put three scientists in a room
and ask them to demonstrate why their particular areas of research
are more worthy of funding than the other two. You're kidding yourself.
Science has been elevated as a secular religion and the moronic
and ill-educated public continues to buy into it.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Agreed. As one who holds what I call fundamental beliefs (though that is
not to be confused with what the term fundamentalist has become today), and
one who has plenty of room for the findings of the sciences, the ironclad
ideology of both sides frustrates me. I have a keen appreciation for a good
argument and the inclusive point, counter point of good discussion - when
either side slides into their own form of intellectual dishonesty I just
hate it. A good argument stands on its own and does not need bolstering.
If it doesn't - it ain't a good argument. It's just a cat-fight. Now
that's something else all together - well worth the watching, just not to be
taken seriously. Swingman - that's your cue to enter, stage left...
I have only one ironclad belief, and that is that everyone and anyone
should believe what he/she/they want, with the only proviso that
subscribing to this notion is a precondition for my respect. This
includes automatically that I won't bother you with my beliefs, and you
should not bother me with yours. Discussing beliefs is a totally
different matter that is completely up to the consent of all discussants.
I'm not sure whether I subscribe totally to that. I believe <grin> that
catfights may have losers who physically get hurt, and that is not my
idea of a good argument <big grin>.
You know how the theomarketing scammers go on about how the Big Bang
is contrary to the Bible? Well the guy who came up with it was a
priest, and not some mail order priest either, a Roman Catholic priest
who later became head of the Vatican's Academy of Science. Newton was
more interested in theology than physics--he always saw physics as a
sideline. Darwin was studying for the priesthood, however it seems
that he couldn't reconcile what he observed on the Beagle expedition
with the views that were held by the Anglican dogma at the time, so he
bailed on religion.
I am pretty well educated in both theology and science. I know of
no/few people of faith that deny the Big Bang theory and most I know
defer to scientists. If you want to see a major scam, take a look
at the people peddling Global Warming as a huge threat to humanity.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
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