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What motivates the claim that the United States is anti-science?

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The editors of Britain’s New Scientist have frequently dealt with the  productivity deficit of their approved ideas by spitting at the “anti-science” US.

Which, it turns out, does not collectively care.

That’s just a measure of the great gulf fixed between people who rattle on, Oxbridge style, about whether we are living in a giant sim and people who venture into real live outer space.

In “Spin or Sin?”, Creation-Evolution Headlines unpacks (November 01, 2011) a bit of the underlying mentality, as represented by the NS‘s US bureau chief Peter Aldhous:

The bulk of his article was how to communicate the truth of science to the masses. For this, he reluctantly had to reach into the “soft sciences” for help: how to “frame” the evidence from the scientific consensus for the anti-science elements in the population (“framing” is roughly equivalent to “spinning,” but with a more dignified touch of classical rhetoric to it). To set up the argument, Aldhous began his article with the counter-intuitive idea that more information can actually harden people’s biases. He told how John Holdren thought he would convince congressional Republicans of the truth of global warming by coming to “explain very clearly what we know and how we know it”. Result: it only inflamed their skepticism.

For researchers who study how people form their opinions, and how we are influenced by the messages we receive, it was all too predictable. Holdren’s prescription was a classic example of the “deficit model” of science communication, which assumes that mistrust of unwelcome scientific findings stems from a lack of knowledge. Ergo, if you provide more facts, scepticism should melt away. This approach appeals to people trained to treat evidence as the ultimate arbiter of truth. The problem is that in many cases, it just doesn’t work.

Facts and evidence don’t help? One can’t help, when reading such screeds, getting the uncomfortable feeling that what they really want is a government that just cracks dissenters’ heads and declares what the evidence is. To finally replace science (always full of uncertainties*) with “science,” which is whatever they say it is and beyond contradiction. Or, as some say, “incontrovertible.”

Consistent with his scientism, Aldhous did not consider the possibility that the scientific consensus is wrong, and failed to reaffirm skepticism as a good thing in science. Instead, he turned reluctantly to the “dark art of spin”: how to “frame” the truth of science (particularly, climate change and evolution) to the doubters, both in Congress and in segments of the public that are not yet “pro-science.” Not that he believes that the “US is in the thrall of a coherent anti-science movement” – he quotes a Yale professor who praises America’s scientific record, “You can’t find a society that’s more pro-science” …

In the end, in order to stay in contact with reality, Aldhous has to admit the truth.

Which is wise. Some day his life may depend on American medical research. Maybe his doctor will be a woman who doubts Darwin (as many doctors do).

* Not so many uncertainties that one can’t make a morally justifiable decision. But always enough to leave the door open.

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3 Replies to “What motivates the claim that the United States is anti-science?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Notes: It is very ironic that the ones who claim that belief in God is ‘anti-science’, (which is their code word for anyone not believing in their religious viewpoint of atheistic materialism), do not realize that ‘science’, which they believe they are the valiant defenders of, is not even possible without God!;

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

    RC Sproul Interviews Stephen Meyer – Presuppositional Apologetics (and Scientific Argument for ID from presently acting cause known to produce effect in question)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM5J2zTBIzI

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

    Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? – Joe Carter
    Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....onkey-mind

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth he is giving in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
    CS Lewis – Mere Christianity

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” J. B. S. Haldane [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    This following video humorously reveals the bankruptcy that atheists have in trying to ground beliefs within a materialistic worldview;

    John Cleese – The Scientists – humorous video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M-vnmejwXo

    It is also interesting to point out that this ‘inconsistent identity’, pointed out by Plantinga, which leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to make absolute truth claims for their beliefs, is what also leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to be able to account for objective morality, in that neo-Darwinists cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a stable, unchanging, cause for objective morality;

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvDyLs_cReE

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines

    John Lennox – Science Is Impossible Without God – Quotes – video remix
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6287271/

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    further notes: Little known by most people is the fact that almost every, if not every, major branch of modern science has been founded by a scientist who believed in Christ:

    Christianity and The Birth of Science – Michael Bumbulis, Ph.D
    Excerpt: Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived at a time when others publicly expressed views quite contrary to Christianity – Hume, Hobbes, Darwin, etc. When Boyle argues against Hobbe’s materialism or Kelvin argues against Darwin’s assumptions, you don’t have a case of “closet atheists.”
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    The following is a good essay, by Robert C. Koons, in which the popular misconception of a war between science and religion, that neo-Darwinists often use in public to defend their, ironically, pseudo-scientific position, is in fact a gross misrepresentation of the facts. For not only does Robert Koons find Theism, particularly Chistian Theism, absolutely vital to the founding of modern science, but also argues that the Theistic worldview is necessary for the long term continued success of science into the future:

    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

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany – October 2011
    Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?
    http://charltonteaching.blogsp.....-wife.html

    further notes:

    It is also very interesting to note that among all the ‘holy’ books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Holy Bible was correct in its claim for a transcendent origin of the universe. Some later ‘holy’ books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact. (Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

    “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
    George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

    “,,,the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world,,, the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same.”
    Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

    ,,, ‘And if your curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events’
    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere; video

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer

    The Uniqueness of Genesis 1:1 – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBXdQCkISo0

    This discovery, of a beginning for the universe, has simply completely crushed the atheist’s materialistic belief that postulated the universe has always existed and had no transcendent beginning.

    Verse and Music

    Genesis 1:1-3
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    Third Day – God of Wonders
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CBNE25rtnE

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    The people are persuaded, rightly or wrongly, by the quality and quantity of evidence.
    This is what we see in our lives.
    Yet we can’t investigate things this well so a lot of our beliefs are based on our trust in authority behind assertions.
    Thinkers always conclude this I have noted.

    Evolution says BELIEVE me because I’m scientificly proven.
    YEC creationism says believe me because of the witness of God through the bible and so the “science” of evolution fails because the authority fails.
    The evolutionist must use high evidence to persuade.
    they don’t and can’t.
    This because evolutionism is not true and so the high evidence ain’t there.

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