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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Feb > Feb 12

Re: Stupidity In The New Age Of Anti-Science -

From: Larry Hatch <larryhatch.nul>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 01:07:16 -0800
Fwd Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 13:56:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Stupidity In The New Age Of Anti-Science -


>From: Tim Shell <tshell.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 16:12:54 -0600
>Subject: Re: Stupidity In The New Age Of Anti-Science

>>From: Frank Warren <frank-warren.nul>
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 05:48:54 -0800
>>Subject: Stupidity In The New Age Of Anti-Science

>>Source: The Scotsman
>>http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=160812004
>>10 February 2004

>>Stupidity in the new age of anti-science
>>Gillian Bowditich

>>SOME 3.7 million people claim to have been abducted by aliens.
>>Only 11 per cent of Americans believe in evolution. Type "Flat
>>Earth Society" into the Google search engine on the internet and
>>you will have a choice of 466,000 sites. How did we get this
>>stupid?

>We started getting stupider when we hauled out the broadest
>brush we could find and then started painting with it. Could we
>have a breakdown as to what percentage of abductees believe in
>evolution? Or how many "Flat Earthers" claim to have been
>abducted?

>You know, I've never read an article like this mention that a
>majority - a BIG majority - of real, live, rational scientists
>believe in God. This fact is not offered as any kind of
>refutation of the suggestion that people are getting stupider. I
>personally don't believe in God, but I don't claim that to prove
>I'm more intelligent than someone who does. I'm only suggesting
>that rationality and intelligence are only tangentially linked,
>and that some of the world's greatest minds believe and have
>believed some of the most irrational, stupid things.

>Why? Because reality is complex and subtle, and remains mostly
>unexplored and unexplained. Because we're creatures of our time,
>and can only work and think within existing frameworks. And
>because the smartest people on the planet are those who
>understand how little they really know.


Hello Tim:

Ah yes, the broad brush, then the brush-off.

Point to a gaggle of idiots, then you can dismiss the entire UFO
mess with one neat flush of the toilet.

If I may seize on one side issue however:

I was surprised when you wrote that a BIG majority of scientists
believe in God! I would have guessed a sizable minority, maybe
30% or so.

I was wrong. Here is a quote from an Atheist site:

"... surveys typically find that around 40% of scientists
believe in god; so believers are in the minority. (The most
recent survey was by Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham, was
carried out in 1996, and was reported in the journal 'Nature'.)"

http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/intro.html

One thoughtful Deist website apparently refers to the same or
similar study:

"According to a 1997 survey published in 'Nature', four out of
ten scientists believe in God. A slightly higher proportion,
just over 45%, said they did not believe in God, while 14.5%
considered themselves agnostics. The surprising truth is that
the proportion of believers to atheists has not changed in the
last 80 years."

http://www.protestantedigital.com/hemeroteca/004/international.htm

That last factoid also surprised me! I would have expected the
ratio of (athiests+agnostics)/deists to have increased notably,
if slowly, over 8 decades as the older generations leave the
scene.

One more interesting factoid from that same second page: The
very term "scientists" wasn't used before 1833! Science history
is full of genuine scientists before then, but they simply
didn't use that term. What was Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) if not
a scientist? I understand he considered himself a "natural
philosopher" and mathematician.

Maybe the term 'scientist' was coined to differentiate chemists,
physicists, naturalists etc. from others kinds of philosophers.
I'm on very weak ground here.

My main point remains that the majority of scientists,
presumably all types, do not profess a belief in God. I'm
surprised to find that about 40% actually do!

I hope the figures do not include "bible science" types.


Best wishes

- Larry Hatch





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