About Me

My photo
Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blake Stacey sets the record straight

There's nothing I can really add to this post by Blake over at his Sunclipse blog. It tells, in great detail, who are the real victims of intellectual suppression in the United States and elsewhere - and I'll hint that it's not the supposed martyrs to ID thinking who are portrayed misleadingly in Expelled.

At least in America, teaching well-corroborated science is more likely to lose you your job or your career or your quiet enjoyment of your home than trying to propose ID-idiocy. People have suffered death threats for no more. And of course, products like Expelled contribute to this poisonous atmosphere. While I'm busy defending the right of its producers to make the travesty that they have, and to express their views, let's remember the folk who have really been expelled, or worse, because of their intellectual honesty and commitment to science. As Blake reminds us, many of them are strong Christians whose faith is reasonable enough to be compatible with the facts of biological evolution.


Blake Stacey said...

Thanks much for the link and the kind words. All this fuss came at a bad time for my personal schedule: Expelled had to come out right when I was wanting to take a week's vacation from the science blogosphere, get my affairs in order and get back to writing technical essays of modest audience appeal. The next few days look busy enough in my non-blogging life that I turned off comments on that thread, even though I felt like a jerk for doing it (I directed everybody back to Pharyngula, where at least the commenter base is active enough to deal with whatever nasty arguments may unfold). I've also contacted the NCSE and RichardDawkins.net about hosting this material, so I don't have to worry about my server crashing. The NCSE says that they're planning a new section of Expelled Exposed to deal with stories like these, so hopefully my little effort might speed their work along.

Gilles said...

I don't understand all that hostility towards science in a country that has earned more Nobel prizes in science than any other, the country of NASA, CalTech, the MIT, etc. Can you explain that?

Russell Blackford said...

You probably need to ask the people who are hostile ... but even if some version of Christianity turns out to be true, the literal-minded kind that says we were created by God 6000 years ago (and so did not evolve from other animals over millions of years) is blatantly incompatible with well-corroborated scientific findings. If you believe in that sort of Christianity, you may well have a good reason to reject science.

I actually argue that all more or less orthodox kinds of Christianity are in some tension, at least, with science, but that's a much more subtle argument, and clearly some non-fundamentalist Christians have no problems with evolutionary theory.

Blake Stacey said...

Late at night, when sleep refuses to come — at times like right now, in other words — I worry that near-future advances in scientific fields like cosmology and most particularly neuroscience will push the people who are moderate and pro-science today into the camp of darkness. With its position of "ensoulment", for example, mainstream Catholic doctrine seems to be in a "ghost of the gaps" situation. Is it altogether too pessimistic of me to think that those tensions will increase beyond the breaking point?

Gilles said...

I actually argue that all more or less orthodox kinds of Christianity are in some tension, at least, with science […]
Yes, I understand that religious people see all too well that scientific findings contradict their sacred books. I should have asked my question this way : How do sociologists explain that scientific culture is not more widespread in the US (and some other countries), why do so many people cling to mythical explanations of the world ?


Anonymous said...

Oh come on. You cannot seriously claim that it is in this direction that intellectual suppression comes from and too? Thats just silly.

The real lockdown is with people like Blake himself. Blake is a mindless partisan in his support of the global warming fraud for example. And he's a bigot in favour of special relativity. A theory that is wrong, dead from the neck up, contradictory and idiotic.

This is just leftist projection on the part of Blake.