From Science and Religion Aren't Friends

"In contrast, scientists don't kill each other over matters such as continental drift. We have better ways to settle our differences. There is no Catholic science, no Hindu science, no Muslim science — just science, a multicultural search for truth."

At best disingenuous, at worst an out-and-out lie.  Science has its camps that could be considered outposts--Catholic science and Hindu science.  The methods are supposed to be the same--but I will just say Lysenko--and we can understand that science is not a monolithic entity that stands outside of the society in which it operates and therefore science is subject to those same pressures with much the same results--science differs based on the politics, agenda, and personalities of the scientist.  It isn't just one great big multicultural love-fest.  I have been in the belly of the beast and know the truth of what it is--it is neither more nor less than a human institution and subject to all of the foibles thereof.  To intimate that is is more seems simple romantic nonsense.

Scientists are not the new monks, nor are they the knights in white armor always seeking the truth.  Some scientists, very reputable ones, are right now working on things that could conceivably destroy much of life as we know it.  They are working on these things knowingly and willingly, and occasionally willfully--not seeking to prevent them, but in some cases (not many) to cause them to happen to some ideological end.  And that end need not be religious in nature.  Tell me that the gentle realm of Dear Leader wouldn't like to see their neighbor to the south subdued.

So to see such frightfully misguided and misleading piffle promulgated gives a distinctly misleading impression of the world of real scientific work.  Not the world of the theory of science--but its practice.  And Orthodoxy is seldom orthopraxy.

Comments

  1. What you said, but also: ruining another scientist's career by making sure that he never publishes his findings anywhere, or even squashing his chances of getting tenure is not exactly declaring a crusade on someone, but it is certainly a regular part of science and it certainly seeks to accomplish the same end.

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  2. Dear Brandon,

    Absolutely agreed in a great many cases. Of course there are some breaches of protocol and method that really call for extradition--fake cold fusion, faking, altering, or otherwise skewing warming data (although this will not happen to those involved), offenses against the bases require response. But all too often I have seen senior members of the community go after junior members for nothing more than a difference in belief. I have seen arguments wherein if the two sides had shotguns, we'd see Hatfields and McCoys. And I don't think we should underestimate the numbers of Copes and Marshes in the world.

    shalom,

    Steven

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  3. Do you mean that if a Catholic scientist analyzes something and a Hindu scientist analyzes the same substance that their religious beliefs will influence their analysis?

    or influence the results of an experiment?

    Amazing! I never knew that.

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  4. Dear Fred,

    No, it was a metaphor.

    shalom,

    Steven

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  5. Reminds me of the big debate over Newton and Leibniz and the invention of calculus. British mathematicians were segregated from mainline European mathematicians for nearly a century over the issue.

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