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Gloom or boom?: Prominent scientists on U.S. election

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From Andrea Gawrylewski at Scientific American:

Richard Dawkins, we are informed, wants all prominent scientists to move to New Zealand:

The two largest nations in the English-speaking world have just suffered catastrophes at the hands of voters—in both cases the uneducated, anti-intellectual portion of voters. Science in both countries will be hit extremely hard: In the one case, by the xenophobically inspired severing of painstakingly built-up relationships with European partners; in the other case by the election of an unqualified, narcissistic, misogynistic sick joke as president. In neither case is the disaster going to be short-lived: in America because of the nonretirement rule of the Supreme Court; in Britain because Brexit is irreversible.

No, we are not making this up but it’s a symptom of internal decay in the science community, not external problems, that anyone cares what Richard Dawkins think at this point.* (On the other hand, they probably need lots of people to help with post-quake cleanup just now. )

Larry Krauss, no stranger to these pages and sometimes mooted as Dawkins’ successor, worries about, oh, all kinds of things:

Fundamental research, dealing with climate change and the environment, nuclear weapons treaties, international relations, women’s rights, health and welfare, and more generally, public policy based on empirical reality, all have been dealt a blow.

Michael Shermer,also known to many readers, sounded sensible:

Stay calm everyone. We have a strong republic that will continue growing stronger. We have lots of checks and balances in place to prevent any extreme actions taken by anyone, and as Pres. Obama has been reiterating this past year to those pessimists who think things are bad and getting worse, this is and will continue to be the best time there has ever been to be alive.  More.

Also, moving to Canada was hinted in one response. Please check local weather conditions before showing up in a bathing suit and flippers. On behalf of EMS, thank you.

com.linkedin.stickers.coffee_11.png * On the bright side, that shows how well the ID AI team’s recently retooled Dawkinsbot is performing, at least in the short term.

See also: New Scientist offers a psychological analysis of Trump’s election. Odd. For the last eight months, I (O’Leary for News) helped out as a volunteer at a Canadian blog, covering the American election for a Canadian audience. Reading the stuff at New Scientist, I can honestly say that they just do not seem to be describing the same election.

Nature: Scientists “stunned” by Trump win Why? Doesn’t that speak poorly of the powers of the scientific method?

Rob Sheldon on science and the US election Sheldon: Tell your European colleagues not to flee America, but instead emigrate here, because there probably will be a lot of job openings available.

and O’Leary for News at MercatorNet: Why the mainstream media was doomed to call the US election wrong. The traditional gatekeepers are rapidly losing viewers, advertisers, and staff and fading into irrelevance

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4 Replies to “Gloom or boom?: Prominent scientists on U.S. election

  1. 1
    OldArmy94 says:

    There used to be a time when scientists weren’t so overtly political. Their wild gesticulations are costing them credibility.

  2. 2

    OldArmy94: Absolutely true.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Richard Dawkins claims that “Science in both countries will be hit extremely hard”

    Contrary to what Dickie D. may prefer to believe, science does not equate to his atheistic materialism. In fact, let us be VERY clear to the fact that ALL of science, every discipline within science, is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility. Modern science was born, and continues to be dependent on, those basic Theistic presuppositions:

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Moreover, if we cast aside those basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility, and try to use naturalism, i.e. methodological naturalism, as our basis for understanding the universe, and for practicing science, then everything within that atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy
    Excerpt: Thus, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.
    It would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general have turned out to be.
    Scientists should definitely stick with the worldview that brought them to the dance! i.e Christianity!
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit

    Indeed to reiterate, because of such catastrophic epistemological failure inherent to Atheistic Materialism. it would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general have turned out to be.

    And although Shermer’s hopeful optimism in the face of adversity is a good thing, such optimism is actually contrary to his atheistic materialism and, in fact, is a sure sign he has not thought through the implications of his atheistic worldview. Simply put, Shermer is living in denial as to what his atheistic worldview actually entails. If he closely examined what his worldview actually entails he would never be overly optimistic:

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Conclusion
    Now I want to make it clear that I have not yet shown biblical Christianity to be true. But what I have done is clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of these two alternatives enables us to live happily and consistently. Therefore, it seems to me that even if the evidence for these two options were absolutely equal, a rational person ought to choose biblical Christianity. It seems to me positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction to life, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....ithout-god

    Verse:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    News, if one politicises science, then one ought not to be surprised that its claims will be suspect and controversial agendas dressed up in lab coats will be just as subject to dismissal by the ordinary voter if sufficiently riled up as any other. Where, people who feel they are being systematically indoctrinated — lied to by the powerful — will be particularly riled up. A spot more humility about the powers of science to build knowledge should be exerted on matters of controversy. It is also high time to send inherently self-falsifying evolutionary materialism dressed up in a lab coat to the showers. KF

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