Questionable Motives

April 13, 2010

Why is denying science the same as denying freedom?

Filed under: Argument,belief,fear,Freedom,Science,Skepticim,TED,Truth — tildeb @ 8:53 am

Michael Specter explains why: because denying science is denying truth, and we need the truth to set us free.


  1. I take it this has to do with that Creationist we are spatting with?

    Comment by krissmith777 — April 13, 2010 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

    • Hey, 777, thanks for stopping by.

      The reference is to some commenting over at The Mystery of Life, attempting to break through the ever-present misunderstandings, distortions, misrepresentations, and lies about the science of evolution prevalent throughout the creationist community.

      As for this post of mine, I am always attempting to expose unjustified beliefs because they are not benign. They carry with their acceptance and respect a cost that must be paid. Specter mentions many, like dying from mumps or contracting polio when simple vaccines are available with proven efficacy.

      Specter relates why unjustified beliefs are necessarily so hostile to science and, thus, hostile to what is true and how that distrust can be skewed. His example is that distrusting Big Pharma – for many good reasons – does not mean we should therefore place belief in the efficacy of Big Placebo. It means remaining critically skeptical of claims until they are justified no matter who or what makes them. And our best tool to do that – our best overall method – is science. Scientific literacy, therefore, is very important not just for the people in lab coats but especially for every citizen to be able to inform his or her beliefs and the conclusions we draw with valid justifications.

      Comment by tildeb — April 13, 2010 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  2. Yeah, well. I think I’ll give up on that Creationist. I may as well go talk to a brick wall. . . Reading some of his responces made me want to go bash my head.

    Comment by krissmith777 — April 19, 2010 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  3. “Scientific literacy, therefore, is very important not just for the people in lab coats but especially for every citizen to be able to inform his or her beliefs and the conclusions we draw with valid justifications.”

    What also concerns me a great a deal is why the Churches of the world will do there uttermost to prevent people from being scientifically informed about anything – this is very worrying, considering how many people entrust their children to be educated by them.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — April 21, 2010 @ 11:54 am | Reply

    • Because there is this assumption within the more liberal religious communities that science answers one kind of question (specifically the ‘how’ questions) while religion answers another (the ‘why’ questions) is there any wonder that when the answer to ‘why’ questions is dependent on ‘how’ the answer is informed, there is conflict? And when science and religion do collide in truth claims about the world, is it any wonder that churches feel under attack? After all, their epistemology is useless. Asking why unicorn wings are hollow is the same epistemological basis as asking why does god hate women and homosexuals? It’s empty of meaning even if the source of so much bigotry and hate. So the separate magesteria argument is true only so far as to say that science is informed by knowledge whereas religion is informed by imagination.

      So I understand the bind that religion finds itself in: because religious belief has no basis in knowledge but science does (to great effect), it sees that trust in knowledge as the enemy. So if a parent wants his or her child to learn – to gain knowledge – then a religious education (as I have said) really is an oxymoron.

      Comment by tildeb — April 21, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  4. As always, I understand what you are saying – but I just can not comprehend the mentality of the religious – they are barking mad – if it wasn’t so disturbing it would be funny.

    I find it deeply frustrating when debating with religious that they seem to blame the world’s ills on knowledge. It is like the condom debate, totally lacking in any common sense what so ever. You know some religious people actually think AIDS is a good thing, because it stops people from having sex outside of marriage – I mean how twisted is that?

    Utterly frustrating that religious people can not see that the lack of knowledge is what causes people to be fearful of science and other people, spreads diseases and causes suffering on an unimaginable scale. Utterly shameful that religious people refuse to see that humans will have sex regardless of their beliefs, and some of those people will contract AIDs and pass it on to others unintentionally whether in a loving marriage or not – factoring the disease. You know the Church actually said that the HIV virus is too small to be blacked by a condom… grrr the stupidity.

    After the debates today (which I found utterly abusive and offensive – such were their deceit) – I am going to relax for a while – I always turn to Hitchens when I feel like this, because the man just restores my sanity.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — April 21, 2010 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

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