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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bash them with a crowbar ... or only a baseball bat?

Further to discussion of American media interest in presidential candidates' views on evolution*: In the Tampa Bay Post, John West of the Discovery Institute argues that
Increasingly, self-proclaimed defenders of science have tried to turn "science" into an ideological weapon to attack any questioning by religious believers of the "consensus view" of scientific elites on embryonic stem-cell research, global warming, Darwinian evolution, and similar issues.

A lot of this seems fuelled by anti-religious fervour, contrary to the stereotype that the scientists in question are objective:
The anti-religious fervor of leading scientists was on clear display last year at a conference on science and religion at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. According to one participant quoted by the New York Times, "with a few notable exceptions, the viewpoints at the conference have run the gamut from A to B. Should we bash religion with a crowbar or only with a baseball bat?"

West, author of Darwin Day in America (ISI Books, 2007), also notes that there is no reason to believe that public policy directed by atheists with science degrees would be any better than the current state of affairs. Citing the eugenics disaster of the twentieth century, he notes that "Traditionalist Catholics and evangelicals were among the handful of voices challenging the validity of the eugenics crusade at a time when scientific dissenters were scant."

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