Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Scientific Method, The Detriment Of Dogmatic Presumption And The Swamp Of Superstition

Alan: For several centuries The Scientific Method -- vigorously advocated by America's Founding Fathers (under aegis of The European Enlightenment) -- has been humankind's  only tool for exiting The Swamp of Superstition in order to reside on newly-formed "Islands of Rationality."

At the heart of Science is the need to test ideas with an eye to proving them wrong. 

At the heart of all belief systems other than Science is the compulsion to prove oneself right.

However, the process by which non-scientific beliefs are "proven" right is not by testing Truth but by "accumulating data, anecdotes and opinions" whose aggregate purpose is to "prove" the rightness of a given belief or ideology. (Consider, for example, the neverending arguments between "liberals" and "conservatives." Supportive "data, facts and information" are marshaled on both sides of the aisle but rarely do ideologues examine "the proof" (or "disproof") that is actually "in the pudding." Consider the recent Republican revolt against Kansas governor Sam Brownbach's "ideologically pure" tax cuts:

Arguing against those who said that natural philosophy was contrary to the Christian faith, (Aquinas) writes in his treatise "Faith, Reason and Theology that "even though the natural light of the human mind is inadequate to make known what is revealed by faith, nevertheless what is divinely taught to us by faith cannot be contrary to what we are endowed with by nature. One or the other would have to be false, and since we have both of them from God, he would be the cause of our error, which is impossible." 
"Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World" by John Freely

Despite theocrats' belief that God will "usher in The Kingdom" (as soon as we all agree that "the wisdom of the world is folly before God"" the actual outcome of every theocratic impulse is swift descent into epistemological chaos.

"I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious?" He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist" "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.   

The Essence of Religious Fanaticism
(Emo Philips cuts to the quick of religious mania)

The lion's share of "science denial" is to invalidate "proven" facts that contradict belief.

For conservative Christians (and secular Trumpistas), belief trumps truth every time. 

Image result for asimov cult of ignorance

White House Science Division Left Empty As Lasat Staffers Depart

Image result for pax on both houses, pascal

Needed: A New Christian Science

"The Danger Of Science Denial"
TED Talk by Michael Specter

Pro-Science Pontiff: Pope Francis On Climate Change, Evolution And The Big Bang

A Meanspirited But Accurate Attack On Creationists - And The Larger Meaning Of Science Denial

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