[forthright] In Defense of Science?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 04:01:01 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
Straight to the Cross

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In Defense of Science?
 by John Henson

An article at the online home of National Public Radio
(paid for by you and me) says that "anti-scientifism,"
the idea that science is opposed to religion, is
ruining the United States./1

The central statement of the article is this: "While
many countries are working hard to educate their young
about the values of science and of scientific research,
in the U.S. countless people are teaching them to
mistrust science and scientists, taking every
opportunity to politicize and theologize the scientific
discourse in ways completely incompatible with the
goals and modus operandi of the scientific enterprise."

There are two problems with this proposition. First,
the theology of the Bible does not teach people to
mistrust science or scientists. It is impossible to
mistrust an inanimate object. Science makes no
statements of its own, nor does it have the capacity to
lie. Strictly speaking, science deals with measurements
and observations in the empirical world.

Scientists, however, have earned our mistrust by making
irresponsible statements that cannot be verified or
proven. Whenever a scientist claims that some rock has
been dated to have existed for millions of years, the
very dating systems scientists use to make such a
statement are built upon vast assumptions, not fact.

Look at the remainder of the article's statement.
"...taking every opportunity to politicize and
theologize the scientific discourse in ways completely
incompatible with the goals..." I won't continue it,
because the last part of it makes as little sense as
the first.

But what goals and "modus operandi" of what scientific
enterprise does the statement refer? Evidently, this is
left up to us to suppose. Therefore, I suppose this
means the modus operandi common to many scientists is
to complain and bicker that religion somehow impinges
upon their scientific fiefdom and has no business
asking questions or requesting proof.

Since there is no objective definition of the "modus
operandi," the statement must mean that religion should
be relegated to the dark ages where it belongs: "A
country that distrusts science is condemned to move
straight back to medieval obscurantism," the article

Trust must be earned, my scientist friends. This you
have not done. 
1/ http://tinyurl.com/62hfgxx

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