Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why do so many people resist science?

This self-congratulatory essay has been gathering a lot of commentary around the blogosphere. Basically authors Bloom and Weisberg are posing the question (and quite a pose it is) 'why are so many non-scientists so deluded about reality? (of course we scientists have it in the bag)'

From that fundamental misunderstanding of science as a position, not a method, Bloom and Weisberg go on to enumerate their prejudices:

Many believe in the efficacy of unproven medical interventions, the mystical nature of out-of-body experiences, the existence of supernatural entities such as ghosts and fairies, and the legitimacy of astrology, ESP, and divination.

Bloom and Weisberg sneer at these beliefs as "unscientific". But of course what is unscientific is to make a dogmatic judgement for or against the reality of a phenomenon without evidence. Actually, most of their "roll of anti-scientific errors" are in fact supported by scientific research and anecdotal evidence of the highest quality. These two authors seem to feel that all belief systems should be discounted, except their own, which cannot be questioned or examined scientifically because it is a priori true.

The question must be asked, why do people like Bloom and Weisberg resist the scientific inquiry of their materialistic belief system?


Book Surgeon said...

I don' think they resist questioning of their belief system, they simply don't think questioning is possible. They are steeped in academic orthodoxy and assume their views are the correct ones. There's no internal questioning. That's why the Dean Radins and Gary Schwartzes of the world are so rare--it takes a great deal of self-awareness to be able to question the assumptions one is immersed in during a doctoral program at any major university.

Anonymous said...

Talk about a lack of philosophical sophistication.