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Objectivity lacking among secular scientists?

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, January 07, 2014

 

"If ideas are just patterns of nerve impulses, then how can one say that any idea (including the idea of materialism itself) is superior to any other? One pattern of nerve impulses cannot be truer or less true than another pattern, any more than a toothache can be truer or less true than another toothache.”--Stephen M. Barr (From here.)

 

The following article is posted to stimulate conversation. The failure of the writer to define terms like "creationist" and "tradition" is problematic and provides a clue as to why many doubt journalistic claims on science. People often fail to distinguish popular science and true science and do not detect ideological bias. At the end of the blog post are links to articles that I believe provide balance to Adam Frank's perspective. -- Alice C. Linsley

 

The Age of Denial: Our society no longer values the integrity of scientific fact

New York Times

By ADAM FRANK

August 21, 2013


ROCHESTER — IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the population who are creationists is 46 percent.


In 1989, when "climate change” had just entered the public lexicon, 63 percent of Americans understood it was a problem. Almost 25 years later, that proportion is actually a bit lower, at 58 percent.


The timeline of these polls defines my career in science. In 1982 I was an undergraduate physics major. In 1989 I was a graduate student. My dream was that, in a quarter-century, I would be a professor of astrophysics, introducing a new generation of students to the powerful yet delicate craft of scientific research.


This is not a world the scientists I trained with would recognize. Many of them served on the Manhattan Project. Afterward, they helped create the technologies that drove America’s postwar prosperity. In that era of the mid-20th century, politicians were expected to support science financially but otherwise leave it alone. The disaster of Lysenkoism, in which Communist ideology distorted scientific truth and all but destroyed Russian biological science, was still a fresh memory.


Read it all here.

Related reading: Kansas Bill Calling for Objectivity in Science FailsScientists Against ScientismThe Trouble with ScientismScientism's Irrational Attack on Religion

Tags:  science education 

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