Thought of the day

One of the biggest whines I hear about science blogs is that they are not enough about science. Of course, this whine only arises when the focus of the blog is pro-atheism. This leads me to conclude two things:

  • This is just another way for people tell atheists to shut; it’s disingenuous.
  • People do not understand any of the arguments being put forth by these pro-atheist blogs.

The reason a lot of pro-atheist science blogs focus on issues which, at least at first glance, do not appear to be very science-y is that conveying the latest research is not the only way to defend and promote science. For instance, having a wider appeal is going to gain a wider audience. If PZ only wrote about research like this, how many people would read about it? The reason more than a handful of individuals even know it exists is that they are already reading Pharyngula for a lot of the other content.

Another way to defend and therefore promote science is to attack religion. It is a fact that religious thinking harms science on the whole. (Please note “on the whole”. I have little doubt that something like “A-ha! But what about Excellent Scientist X? He’s religious!” just popped through at least a couple heads.) We have people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. We have those who deny the fact of evolution. We have parents who believe faith healing is okay. We have restrictions on research for bogus ethical concerns. All these things are a direct result of religion. For anyone who believes science deserves the highest mantle, talking about the harms of religion is one extremely effective method towards bringing science up to its proper place.

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8 Responses

  1. Some of the whiners just feel threatened because the world doesn’t work the way they were brainwashed, so they whine.

  2. Well I don’t know. You cover a lot of science here, but you also cover other things as well and you’re little blurb says you do.

    You’re saying that promoting science is equivalent attacking religion. I don’t really think so. Promoting science is equivalent to promoting science and nothing else.

    You often make posts saying that scientific point A is undermined by religious belief B. That’s a perfectly valid science-y thing to do.

    If you were to just make a post about how you disagree with religious belief B than that doesn’t really have any bearing on science does it? You want to write an anti-religion blog than do that.

    If people complain that a self avowed science blog hardly touches on scientific things than just be prepared for whining.

  3. You often make posts saying that scientific point A is undermined by religious belief B. That’s a perfectly valid science-y thing to do.

    Actually, the science undermines the belief, not the other way around.

  4. I’m not sure it matters.

    “Contrary to popular (but not scientific) belief, science is undermined by religion, alternative medicine, the U.S. education system, and most science journalists.”

    That’s from Michaels “profile widget”

  5. Yes, science is undermined by religion (and all those other things). A lot of people don’t believe that, but it’s something easy to see once anyone learns anything about science. Parting of a sea? Undermines science. Faith healing? Undermines science. Raised from the dead three days after death? Undermines science. Virgin birth? Undermines science. More to the point, 64% of Americans say they would not believe a new scientific finding if it conflicted with an important religious belief.

  6. All those things are undermined by science. The evidence shows that the faith beliefs are wrong. It doesn’t matter how many ignorant people think otherwise.

  7. Not all of those things are even unexplainable in the natural world. Not even assuming that there is a potentially, all powerful being.

    Even a male virgin birth (human) is more probable than life erupting of its own accord, I’m assuming you believe that happened.

  8. Nonsense.

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