The New Priests: 3

An interesting graphic (click to enlarge) from a good article in the American: Science Turns Authoritarian

Though I am not a fan of right-wing or left-wing sources, this article does make a very good point.

In a Wired article published at the end of May, writer Erin Biba bemoans the fact that “science” is losing its credibility with the public. The plunge in the public’s belief in catastrophic climate change is her primary example. Biba wonders whether the loss of credibility might be due to the malfeasance unearthed by the leak of emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, but comes to the conclusion that malfeasance isn’t the cause of the public’s disaffection. No, people have turned against science simply because it lacks a good public relations outfit. Biba quotes Kelly Bush, head of a major PR firm, on the point.

I see..

“They need to make people answer the questions, What’s in it for me? How does it affect my daily life? What can I do that will make a difference? Answering these questions is what’s going to start a conversation,” Bush says. “The messaging up to this point has been ‘Here are our findings. Read it and believe.’ The deniers are convincing people that the science is propaganda.”

Pushing “science” in that manner crosses over into the realm of propaganda- with serious religious overtones.

In the past, scientists were generally neutral on questions of what to do. Instead, they just told people what they found, such as “we have discovered that smoking vastly increases your risk of lung cancer” or “we have discovered that some people will have adverse health effects from consuming high levels of salt.” Or “we have found that obesity increases your risk of coronary heart disease.” Those were simply neutral observations that people could find empowering, useful, interesting, etc., but did not place demands on them. In fact, this kind of objectivity was the entire basis for trusting scientific claims.

Science used to be objective, unlike religions.

To see if our suspicions were correct, we decided to do a bit of informal research, checking Lexis Nexis for growth in the use of what we would categorize as “authoritarian” phrasing when it comes to scientific findings. We searched Nexis for the following phrases to see how their use has changed over the last 30 years: “science says we must,” “science says we should,” “science tells us we must,” “science tells us we should,” “science commands,” “science requires,” “science dictates,” and “science compels.”

Compare this to a part from the catholic prayer for exorcism.

The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you, as does also the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith.

The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you; she who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head.

The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of the other Apostles commands you.

The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you.

So what exactly are we trying to exorcise? certainly not ignorance or stupidity? The current aim of ‘science’ is exorcising free-thought and inquiry. That is not a typo.. yes, I said-

The current aim of ‘science’ is exorcising free-thought and inquiry.

Comments?

  1. August 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    “he glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you; she who by her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head.”

    I’m crushing your head! I’m crushing your head! ~Mary

    Onto a more serious note. “Scientist” is a rather strange term. There’s no such person as a scientist: there are physicists, chemists, mathematicians, astronomers, and so on, and all these people tend to be quite objective and honest. When someone in a bow tie goes on TV with the title “scientist” (or “expert”), that’s the signal to beware…

  2. Wald
    August 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Science has been hijacked by politics (excluding the hard sciences)

    It is of no use to use anymore.

  3. The Plague Doctor
    August 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    The graph needs to control for the total number of publications.

  4. almost 40 year old virgin
    August 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    OF COURSE there are people erroneously called scientists.
    They are people that are supposed to apply the scientific principle to problems and come to truth-full discoveries.

    When was the last time you heard of an independent scientist?

    Exactly, follow the money and it becomes clear that science is the actual new state (daresay world) religion. Complete with dogmas and heretics.
    Who get punished for their heresy by loosing their government grants and professional acumen. So the only thing they can do after the system is finished with them is turning burgers.

    Here´s an example for an actual independent scientist: http://www.jmccsci.com

  5. almost 40 year old virgin
    August 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Don´t fool yourself Wald.
    Your so called hard sciences are the most controlled of all. Every single on of them is working on government grants!

    The current critics of the MAN MADE climate change theory are systematically loosing their grants and are finding themselves under increasing pressure to conform.

  1. August 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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