Why so much hostility against science?

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Why so much hostility against science?

Postby DjVortex » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:47 pm

It's quite common that when scientists publish results that some people don't like (or are later deluded by others into not liking them), they have this strange notion that they can tell why the science is wrong, without even understanding the science in question nor having any kind of experience or background on it. This is really common with all kinds of denialists and conspiracy theorists. Take this guy, for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uPXUC6uiVo

This guy has probably zero knowledge and experience on climatology, or even physics. He studied history and law in college, and later became a politician. He probably has read no actual papers published on the subject of climate change, has no idea how the climate change and its effects are measured, nor how the process of peer reviewing and publication of the results is performed, yet he seems quite confident that he can tell others why the science of climatology is wrong.

It really is true that confidence on one's statements is inversely proportional to how much of an expert on the subject one is.

What I wonder is why people are so eager to believe a few dissenters rather than the scientific community. Why is there such a huge mistrust and hostility towards science? The few dissenters always get people to listen to them, for no obvious good reason, other than that they are dissenting with the "official" explanations. It seems that's enough to get people's attention and agreement. (Of course it helps if the dissenter is charismatic and good at spouting BS convincingly.)
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Re: Why so much hostility against science?

Postby Apate » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:14 am

DjVortex wrote:It's quite common that when scientists publish results that some people don't like (or are later deluded by others into not liking them), they have this strange notion that they can tell why the science is wrong, without even understanding the science in question nor having any kind of experience or background on it. This is really common with all kinds of denialists and conspiracy theorists. Take this guy, for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uPXUC6uiVo

This guy has probably zero knowledge and experience on climatology, or even physics. He studied history and law in college, and later became a politician. He probably has read no actual papers published on the subject of climate change, has no idea how the climate change and its effects are measured, nor how the process of peer reviewing and publication of the results is performed, yet he seems quite confident that he can tell others why the science of climatology is wrong.

It really is true that confidence on one's statements is inversely proportional to how much of an expert on the subject one is.

What I wonder is why people are so eager to believe a few dissenters rather than the scientific community. Why is there such a huge mistrust and hostility towards science? The few dissenters always get people to listen to them, for no obvious good reason, other than that they are dissenting with the "official" explanations. It seems that's enough to get people's attention and agreement. (Of course it helps if the dissenter is charismatic and good at spouting BS convincingly.)


The answer to your question is easy , as my militant atheist neighbor says " science and reason are not enemies of the religious , but when tyrannical governments use them as weapons to try and perfect society and fail , the scientists will always get the blame . "

Christianity was nothing until Rome perfected it as a weapon .
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby DjVortex » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:38 pm

potholer54 makes a good point about this in his latest video. He argues that many people, especially the media, seem to consider science in the same light as politics: "Both sides" of the "issue" should be given equal airtime (regardless of what the "issue" might be).

In other words, science is simply on the same level as any charismatic dissenter who has a conspiracy theory against some scientific theory, and hence, from the point of view of the media, both sides should get equal airtime. As if it was a question of opinion.
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Postby Apate » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:23 pm

Actually every theist I know has no problem with science , they do however have a problem with Disney science .

Believing there are possible super enlightened aliens living in the multiverse is no different than believing in gods .

Every chance I get , I hand out copies of Inside Natures Giants and every theist will say now that is real science .
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby DjVortex » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:00 am

Apate wrote:Actually every theist I know has no problem with science


At least not with the parts that suggest that humans might not have been created, or the parts that suggest that many of the things claimed in the Bible are impossible or at the very least extremely dubious.

But yes, the majority of Christians (and other theists) do not have a problem with science. It's just that the minority who does tends to be the most vocal bunch, the ones who make engaging speeches to big audiences, who appear on TV and who make YouTube videos watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

Some of them outright despise science. On the other hand, some of them have a very contradictory opinion on science: They claim that they don't have anything against science (the "proper" science) and that they love science, but still end up mocking it.

Take Kent Hovind, for instance, who is (well, was) a posterboy of the latter kind. He really liked to emphasize in his presentations how he likes science, how he likes to teach science and so on. Then he immediately proceeds to mock and ridicule many of the scientific theories that are backed up by plenty of evidence and are not even considered in any way controversial by any scientist. (The expansion of the universe being a good example: He doesn't actually present any argument whatsoever why it's wrong, the only one he presents is an argument from personal incredulity, and he tries to make the audience laugh at the idea by acting all incredulous.)
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Postby Lausten » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:56 pm

DjVortex wrote:But yes, the majority of Christians (and other theists) do not have a problem with science. It's just that the minority who does tends to be the most vocal bunch, the ones who make engaging speeches to big audiences, who appear on TV and who make YouTube videos watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

I agree that minority is a problem, but the majority, the less vocal, might be worse. The ones who have regular jobs and influence over their children and believe there is a consciousness behind the physical world. They buy books like "The Secret" and watch Oprah. They tell their friends that they are praying for them. Seems harmless, but what actions are they not taking to fix this messed up world because they think it will all magically work out?
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Postby Apate » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:10 pm

Lausten wrote:
DjVortex wrote:But yes, the majority of Christians (and other theists) do not have a problem with science. It's just that the minority who does tends to be the most vocal bunch, the ones who make engaging speeches to big audiences, who appear on TV and who make YouTube videos watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

I agree that minority is a problem, but the majority, the less vocal, might be worse. The ones who have regular jobs and influence over their children and believe there is a consciousness behind the physical world. They buy books like "The Secret" and watch Oprah. They tell their friends that they are praying for them. Seems harmless, but what actions are they not taking to fix this messed up world because they think it will all magically work out?


Joseph Campbell opined that we are not seeking our creator or utopia but instead are seeking the experience of living , this I agree with . The biggest problem we seem to have are those of us who think we understand the world will many times forget that our neighbor may not and may be to embarrased to admit it . At times we are no different than the white man who told non whites they were stupid and meant to be slaves .

I believe there is a great silent majority of atheists / agnostics who want to come out but when they hear some of the celebrity atheists using words such as fools and delusional they just cringe and step back into the shadows .

I don't know goes alot further than I know there is no god because science says so .
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby Lausten » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:16 am

I believe there is a great silent majority of atheists / agnostics who want to come out but when they hear some of the celebrity atheists using words such as fools and delusional they just cringe and step back into the shadows .

I don't know goes alot further than I know there is no god because science says so .

You're an odd duck Apate. There is plenty of room for your brand of spirituality though. I just watched a Michael Dowd video today. Basically he says, "reality equals god" in other words, "god is everything", but he takes an hour to get there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqfvb4Mvaqk

"I don't know" is exactly what science says. It then says, "let's try to figure it out", instead of saying "therefore god". Granted, there are know-it-alls in the world who say they know things that can't be proven. They are at the other end of the bell curve from fundamentalists.

The old "silent majority" belief won't get you much love at forums like this. Do you think there are more people not coming out due to celebrity atheists or due to wanting to fit in with their social network, or not make waves on bowling night or keep peace at their job or be accepted by the Rotary club or any of those more local and personal reasons?
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Postby Lausten » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:20 pm

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Postby Apate » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:47 am

I agree with Granny in the comments section . Just because one labels themselves as either atheist or believer does not mean you can define them which is the real problem in these debates .

As for Michael Dowd , I have seen him before and like his message but he loses me when he starts using the word God , God for me is an insult when used as an answer for the unknown aspects of our existence same as when people assume that nothing existed before the Big Bang or that there was a singularity that contained everything that now exists .

I remember when Tom Snyder asked Ayn Rand about her atheism and he asked if she was offended by the phrase God Bless You , she said of course not because it was meant as a greeting or good luck and nobody could be against that .

Science in partnership with atheism is no different than science in partnership with religion , it can only lead to intolerance and crimes against humanity as proven by our past .
Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth .
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Postby DjVortex » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:24 am

Apate wrote:God for me is an insult when used as an answer for the unknown aspects of our existence same as when people assume that nothing existed before the Big Bang or that there was a singularity that contained everything that now exists .


I'm not completely sure that I understand perfectly what you are saying there, as your wording is a bit confusing, but I think you are saying that believing in a God as the answer to an unknown (such as where did the universe come from) is at the same level of credibility as believing that the entire universe was at one point compressed into a singularity.

Do you understand that there's actual good physical evidence for the latter? That it's not just a question of belief, but actually something that can be deduced from actual physical evidence and measurements? We have both physical laws describing the phenomenon and physical measurements and observations to corroborate the predictions of the hypothesis.

This is very unlike the hypothetical "God", who we cannot measure in any way, shape or form, have no evidence for, nor can describe with any known physics.

The two concepts are definitely not at the same level of credibility.

Science in partnership with atheism is no different than science in partnership with religion , it can only lead to intolerance and crimes against humanity as proven by our past .


Care to explain why that would be so?
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