Sunday, June 14, 2015

Well intended but...

Despite having criticized Karl Giberson on numerous occasions and even having questioned his motives in the past I think he does mean well in one of his recent HuffPo pieces, "Fundamentalists Think Science Is Atheism." And, even though he is correct about science and atheism not being synonyms he is wrong about virtually everything else in this short piece. Well meaning intentions are not enough.

The very opening sentences of the piece reveal just how ignorant, biased, and deluded he continues to be.
"Equating science with atheism is one of the most dangerous byproducts of America's culture wars. This strange polarization portends disaster, as the country divides into factions that cannot find common ground on the way the world operates."
Seriously?! This false equivalence is what he sees as the "most dangerous byproducts" of the culture wars. He doesn't see the continued interference of a minority of theocratic minded activists harassing and undermining the rights of everyone else as being more dangerous? He doesn't see religious inspired and/or religiously justified violence as more of a threat? As for finding "common ground on the way the world operates", I'm not convinced that is even remotely possible let alone desirable. If someone's views on the world are not grounded in reality why should I or anyone else give a fuck what they think?

I will not go so far as to say that the wishy-washy-kumbaya-lets-all-get-along approach is completely devoid of merit. This approach seems to be all Giberson relies on. The example he uses to show the type of "controversy" he wants to avoid is also very telling. Using the evangelical debate over the Adam and Eve myth as his primary example shows Giberson's own lack of grounding in reality. It never becomes apparent to him that he does an excellent job demonstrating that mixing the two terms "science" and "atheism" and their associated beliefs are far from being the "most dangerous byproducts." In fact, he unwittingly illustrates that willful ignorance and scientific illiteracy are far more dangerous.

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