Anti-science, grr…

One of the key aspects of Mr. Crankypants’s religion is that his religion is compatible with science. Call him pro-science and pro-religious — in fact, Mr. Crankypants would be proud if you called him pro-science.

Politics is not usually a topic for this blog, but there is little doubt that the current administration in Washington is anti-science. Mr. Crankypants likes to read “Bad Astronomy,” a blog written by an astronomer named Phil Plait who writes periodically about what he has come to call White House tampering of science. For example, Mr. Plait has written on White House attempts to legislate against evolution, and about how the White House distorts the science around global warming. Recently Plait wrote about how the White House has managed to slash NASA’s budget, despite what Congress had budgeted for NASA. Why slash NASA’s budget? –follow the link to the article by James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and you’ll discover that the White House doesn’t like the fact that some of NASA’s research has been providing additional confirmation to the fact of global warming.

Hansen’s article includes a great quote by Richard Feynman:

The only way to have real success in science… is to describe the evidence very carefully without regard to the way you feel it should be.

Mr. Crankypants can’t help thinking that at least part of the reason the current inhabitants of the White House are anti-science is due to their self-professed religious viewpoint, that of Christian literalism — a religious viewpoint that dismisses solid science like evolution, atmospheric science, psychology,* and the Big Bang — because the evidence conflicts with the way the White House feels the world should be.

Religion need not be anti-science. Mr. Crankypants’s religion is compatible with science. What about yours?

* Psychology is on the short list, because psychologists have long since determined that homosexuality is not a form of mental illness, i.e., it is not aberrant behavior — a determination which conflicts with the way the White House feels about the world.

3 thoughts on “Anti-science, grr…

  1. ck

    The funny thing about the* Christian approach to science is that it is ambivalent. On one hand, as you point out, they will toss out empirical research if it doesn’t jive with revelation. On the other hand, they like empirical research if they think it can be shown to fit revelation.

    Hence NARTH–a group of psychologists and ‘scientists’ promoting reparative therapy and bullying as a way of changing gender identity/sexuality. Hence the Creation Science Institutes, the voyages to find Noah’s ark and evidence of seismic activity around the area where the walls of Jericho fell.

    It’s very interesting to watch their hermeneutic. Scripture is definitely a lens for many of them, like Calvin’s analogy.

    *Okay, I mean “a” Christian approach. There is no “the” approach, since that would put Roman Catholicism, the Orthodox, the Pentecostals, etc. under the same methodology.

  2. Z


    I just wanted to point out that you may want to look at your “Recently” link because it begins with budgethttp:// rather than just the http://

    Otherwise, great post.



  3. Administrator

    Thanks Z, link fixed.

    ck — What you describe doesn’t sound the least bit ambivalent to me — it sounds anti-science. As Feynman said, you don’t get to choose which results you’re going to use, because to do so is bad science. I’d say the folks you’re describing are simply being manipulative, and using science-like methods to appear legitimate. More kindly, perhaps they are just too ignorant to understand how science really works. Either way (to quote Mr. Crankypants) — grr….

Comments are closed.