Science is still winning. God is losing. The score differential just keeps getting bigger.
For those of you who have been following the comments in my previous post, Ormond advanced an energetic argument that this was a stupid blog, and that my observations were an embarrassment to doubters.
Basically my whole contention is that the inquisitor is wrong to use the Ivin’s story as an example of the superiority of science over “God”. This story is actually a better example of the dangers of science or the potential dangers of its application. I kindly ask the inquisitor to remove the tags “critical thinking” and “reason”. I see none of those things here.
Of course, I feel he was tilting at windmills, windmills that seemed to be working just fine, thank you, with no threat to anyone. He (I assume the male gender for sake of argument) seemed to be under the impression that I was making an argument that I didn’t feel I was making, and that was not present in my post – that science was inherently good, and that we should all abandon the worship of gods in favor of a certain respectful worship of science. As I said, I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe that was the point of the last post. If you found that in what I wrote, then consider it retracted, and explained as inelegant rhetoric.
My point was that science, which has a long unbroken history of explaining various aspects of the real world (i.e reality), is dismissed by people who claim they are intelligent, yet continue to rely on magical thinking to explain reality. With regard to the Ivins/anthrax case, I used that as an example of people turning not to religion and faith to help them solve a real-world problem, but to Science. Yes, the science they turned to is just a tool used by critical thinkers, but it is the only tool that has been used by mankind that has ever produced consistent results. Religion can’t make that claim.
Sure, you will get “mad scientists” who will misuse science, but those people are few and far between. For the most part, science is used to increase human knowledge for the ultimate betterment of mankind. Even when you have people who misuse science for evil, like an antibody on a virus, good scientists swarm to destroy it.
Ormond should enjoy this follow-up story to the anthrax case. Especially this quote:
“Science is a wonderful thing but it is, at the end of the day, a tool,” said Dr. Gigi Gronvall of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity. “The question is how that was used.”
It’s not the science that is bad, and it’s not science we should fear. It’s people who close their minds to science, instead relying on belief in what amounts to silly superstition and misplaced magic that should concern us. Don’t forget, science done correctly will almost always work, even if it is applied to nefarious purposes. If everybody understood that science is neutral, and has no purpose, either good or evil, we would have a better educated populace that would be able to recognize the misuse of science, and better able to counteract it quickly. For instance, a person well grounded in science would easily recognize that man and dinosaurs did not live together at the same time.
The newly created field of microbial forensics, spurred past its own infancy by the urgency of the Ivins case, is just another example of the potential application of science for bettering mankind and increasing human knowledge.
Don’t forget. Even mad scientists who misuse science get the correct results when they apply the science correctly. You may not like those results, but you can rely on them.
Can you say that about god?