On some anti-religion & anti-science noises


1. We live in an age when science has sometimes been transformed into metaphysics, portrayed as an enemy of religion, and become a matter for debate via media propaganda. In such a context, using quantum mechanics to prove the existence of God, writing scientific-sounding popular books to bash religions, and producing sensational movies to disprove Darwin have become the order of the day.

2. Just as the anti-religion folk are fond of reminding us of the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Caste system, and the Jihad to show how rotten religions are, the standard refrain for the anti-science folk is that scientists have a closed mind because they don’t accept astrology, the possibility of miracles, and fossils being delusions created by God to fool inquisitive humans, etc.

3. Given that Darwinian evolution has become incontrovertible at the empirical level, and the more ancient scriptural theories of anthropogenesis can’t find a place in the rational framework, some anti-science people try to dig into the dirt in the past of their opponents (as is the norm nowadays in political campaigning). This leads to the discovery that indeed at one time some ardent disciples of Darwinism tried to justify their racism and exploitation of Non-European peoples on the slogan of <survival of the fittest,> and worked on eugenics.

4. Instead of arguing that we need to be careful about how we apply the knowledge acquired through science, the anti-science crowd revels in the misuse of science to attack science itself. Often they do this because they are unable to see the difference between scientifically acquired knowledge, and its appropriate and inappropriate uses by humans. Inappropriate applications can occur in the absence of an ethical framework which science does not always (some think it can never) provide.

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About Varadaraja V. Raman

Physicist, philosopher, explorer of ideas, bridge-builder, devotee of Modern Science and Enlightenment, respecter of whatever is good and noble in religious traditions as well as in secular humanism,versifier and humorist, public speaker, dreamer of inter-cultural,international,inter-religious peace.
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