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From The Best Schools: Why do people listen to scientists offering moral advice?




Claiming the authority of science …

James Barham offers us the views of Michael Polanyi, a ungarian chemist and philosopher of science who was a major influence on the ID theorists:

This is the first in a series on overlooked concepts. Today, Michael Polanyi’s notions of “moral inversion” and “spurious moral inversion.”

For example,

“They may disguise themselves as a sociology of ”aggressiveness” or “competitiveness” or of “social stability,” etc., and may advocate in these terms more kindness, generosity, tolerance, and brotherhood among men. The public, taught by the sociologist to distrust its traditional morality, is grateful to receive it back from him in a scientifically branded wrapping. Indeed, a writer who has proved his hard-headed perspicacity by denying the existence of morality will always be listened to with especial respect when he does moralize in spite of this. . . .”

We just saw a good example of this earlier today, when an ape expert is taken seriously in Scientific American as providing a “science perspective” on human mothering styles when she actually has nothing to offer that you might not hear from a well-meaning but misguided social worker.

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