Monday, May 14, 2007

Are You Willing to Defend Science?

Over the past several years, scientific progress has been hindered somewhat by a concerted attempt to hide scientific results that don't conform to some person's or group's religious ideology. For example, NASA public affairs official George Deutsch attracted much heat (and eventually lost his job) after ordering that NASA websites be amended to change all references to the Big Bang to include the word "theory". Deutsch's reason for ordering the change was pretty simple: it did not mesh with his religious views of Intelligent Design.

Also notable in this debate was the 1999 vote by the Kansas State Board of Education to remove any mention of "biological macroevolution, the age of the Earth, or the origin and early development of the Universe", so that evolutionary theory no longer appeared in state-wide standardized tests.

Over the past decade, these attempts to force religion on people by attacking science (in clear violation of the First Amendment prohibition against the government establishing a national religion) have increased dramatically. Worse, the perpetrators of these actions have tried to argue that their religious beliefs are science (even though there are no testable hypotheses, and their "science" relies entirely upon faith). They argue that much of established science is only theory that cannot be proven to be true (ignoring the fact that it is virtually impossible to prove that anything is true, but rather easy to prove something false). They make their arguments in the face of (and fully ignoring) and observable evidence that argues in favor of the scientific theories.

If, like me, these kinds of things bother you, good. They should. But, you may be asking yourself, what can I do about it?

I'm glad you asked! (Even if it was only me putting words in your mouths).

You can sign the petition at or donate money to their cause in order to help make people more aware of the assault on science that is going on in this country every day.

As Brian Granz (one of the petition's signers) wrote: "All people must employ critical thinking, must understand thescientific method, and discern clearly between fact and opinion, between truth andtheory, and between understanding and belief. It is essential for the progress andtruly for the life of humanity that we educate and inspire with science. It is ourresponsibility to do so, as scientific and educated and motivated people. This fireis not a mystical gift we were given, rather it is of our making and in it humanityshould take its greatest pride. The fire of science as a gift will also not be givento others supernaturally, rather we must share the warmth, force, and light of it.When threatened by mass fear of the unknown, we must stand up with courage anddefend the bravery of discovery, the human will to demystify, to know, and tounderstand."

Do your part, please.

No comments: