Sunday, August 25, 2013

"...hurting science."?!

Once again Connor Wood has proven just how misnamed his Patheos blog is. His recent Science on Religion post, Steven Pinker: Stop bashing religion. You’re hurting science, is nearly as hypocritical as it is full of shit. He doesn't understand science and he certainly doesn't seem to know much about Steven Pinker either. The piece is so chock full of misrepresentations, conflations, logical fallacies, and errors its hard to know where to start. I will stick to just a few points.

One big mistake, though common enough, is Wood's insistence on using the largely bogus term Scientism. Any time a religious person doesn't like what a legitimate scientist, experiment, observation... has to say they tend to slap the label scientism on it. Either you support the scientific method and therefore science or you don't. If you pick and choose when you accept verifiable results you do not have any respect for the process so stop pretending you do.

This is where another major flaw with this post, and the blog as whole, comes in. Science on religion really should be renamed "Bullshit excuses labeled Science". I have read very few posts that did not include various double standards and a considerable amount of hypocrisy as a result. It is not unusual for Wood to hold science to a high standard, which it should be, but utterly fail to do the same when it comes to religion. The title above is absurd to the point of being funny. Religion, when it isn't directly attacking and disrespecting, degrades and belittles science by it's very nature. The whole notion that there are aspects of life that should be accepted on faith is antithetical to the scientific method. Religious people never demand that religion play nice with science so why should the reverse be automatically assumed. Fuck that. Of course, the idea that science goes out of its way to assault religion, which religion certainly does to science, is a myth. It isn't our fault religion and many of the religious are whiny cry-babies who can't handle where critical thinking leads.

Science and religion really are not compatible. I've written about this numerous times (Science Vs. Religion 11/6/11, among others) and have yet to see evidence to the contrary. If someone can explain how these two institutions are not polar opposites or what legitimate reasons science should take religion into account in any way I would love to read it.

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