Religion vs Science (the new religion)

The launch of The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has really wound things up in blogs, science versus religion (chapter MMMCMMDLXXXVIII) with the usual boy scientists claiming that science is the one true religion (they don’t actually realise they are doing that because their education is too narrow) and asking anybody who challenges their view if they have submitted their ideas in an article to scientific journals for peer review. If not, apparently you are not allowed to have an opinion.

Most recently they have turned their righteous fury on Robert Winston, populariser of science and all round nice bloke because he has correctly pointed out that religious faith and commitment to science are not mutually exclusive.

Follow this link to read the article and comments. Robert Winston challenges “science delusion.”

Or read Little Nicky Machiavelli’s response here.

And finally a message for any young people passing. If you read the thread of the linked article just see how stupid the scientists are and take heed, choosing a career in science can turn you into an ignorant, narrow-minded billy-no-mates nerd with bad ance and personal odour issues.

Follow Little Nicky around the web at our blogindex where you will find links to everything he has commented on.

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14 thoughts on “Religion vs Science (the new religion)

  1. Ooo-er, does the existence of some stupid scientists mean they are all stupid? I thought not.

    While it is true that religious faith and commitment to science are not mutually exclusive, that doesn’t make religion true, either.

    Anyway, never mind that, have you counted how many articles the Google search for “large hardon collider” brings up?

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    1. No need to count, Google will tell me.

      I don’t think all scientists are stupid, but a group of stupid scientists who thing anybody not concurring with their view that anyone who does not think all science is utterly cool is obviously stupid deserve to be wound up.

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  2. I see what you mean about their stupid comments.

    They just call him something he’s not – a Creationist’ – (I have never actually met one, I think thy are the scientigfic world’s version of the peaedohpile) and then attack him for it.

    Its something sneaky old trial lawyers used to do – but it only works when playing the odds that there is a moron on a jury and they can convince him to think he has a ‘reasonable doubt’, when all he’s done is not noticed that he’s been distracted from the real issues.

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  3. This isn’t the first time Winston’s done this, he did some TV programme as well a while back which demonstrated nicely just how boneheaded Richard Dawkins is (by meeting with him in person, no he can’t back his opinions up but he has an iron grip on them). But then, Dawkins is yet another man who thinks being qualified in one small field of science somehow qualifies him to make broad unattributable pronouncements on areas he hasn’t the faintest clue about like sociology, psychology, religion and physics.

    Biologists do tend to get sneered at by other scientists should they ever start thinking they know it all which happens unnervingly often. In the same programme Winston talked to physicists working at (what was) the world’s largest particle accelerator. Now, there’s a bunch of people who’d know a lot more about whether the universe could have been created and they refused to have an opinion either way because they’re smart enough to be Socratic about it and admit when something is not known to them. Pretty much why a lot of physicists think Dawkins needs a good slapping.

    Funny how all the scientists I get on with are physicists, probably because you have to have a certain level of competence in any given field before you’re even capable of judging whether you’re competent at all or, to put it another way, some people know so little they don’t even know how little they know. As the saying goes, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. So given that their domain is the fundament of the universe I do find physicists have less of a tendency to disappear up their own arses believing themselves omniscient.

    If some of this doesn’t make sense, I blame the insomnia.

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    1. Hi Paul,
      I haven’t been around much because I’m moving to my own webspace.

      Your comments are spot on, when wound up sufficiently the boy scientists who hijack Guardian threads reveal themselves to be biologists. But because they think of themsleves as “scientists” they ssume they are competent to comment on all topics even if they are only borderline scientific.

      I like Winston, I have his book Human Evolution which I found fascinating even though I have little interest in biology beyound the reproductive act. It was pitched at the right level for a lay reader.

      Coincidentally most of the scientists I have got on with have been physicists. Biologists all seem to have a God complex and Chemists seem to exist in closed, semi-monastic communities, I’ve never met any even while on a management project for Glaxo.

      I think Dara O’Briain has it right, with a Masters in theoretical physics he can still say that it is all theory and while fascinating will prove absolutely nothing.

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  4. “choosing a career in science can turn you into an ignorant, narrow-minded billy-no-mates nerd with bad ance and personal odour issues. ”

    on the other hand, it means the field is wide open for some talented passing young people to get into science and kick some arses- do the thing properly, with integrity and intelligence, achieve worldwide fame, women etc?

    the tragic thing is, if you turn all the young dudes off science or engineering they all become lawyers. and then a good proportion of those turn in new labour politicians…

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    1. Matt,
      Love your punchline. Experience suggests your reasoning is somewhat flawed. Young people who might be interested in a career in the sciences (don’t say science, it is an absolutely meaningless generalisation that devaules the disciplines it covers)are turned off by the pedantry and intranigence shown by devotees of “science.”

      Let’s face it, Dawkins is hardly on a par with Bruce Springsteen is he?

      The other probem is most of the scientific breakthroughs have been made. Earning wealth and fame in this field is a receding prospect. Take for example the CERN project to recreate conditions that might have existed just after Big Bang. What Big Bang was that, the one that might or might not have happened eleven or thirteen of fouteen or maybe about twentyish billion years ago.

      Just look at big Bang theory from a strictly philosophical perspective and you see the theory is illogigal. The Universe is infinite, Big Bang is just a frig, a point zero, an artificial constant from which calculations can begin.

      So in our quest for knowledge and understanding we arrive at the end of our journey only to find we know less than we did on setting out, to quote the Rig Veda.

      Scientists should butt out of philosophical questions, abstract equations prove nothing and they only make fools of themselves.

      Winston believes in God. So long as he does not tell me I have to his has a perfect right. There are many definitions of God that cannot be argued against. As the token atheist on a religious discussion show I was once asked how I would describe the divine. I answered, “perhaps it is the component that sometimes enables the whole to be more than the sum of the parts.”

      When the science worshipping followers of Ben Goldacre can argue against that without simply yelling that it is unscientific then they are sufficiently mature to comment on philosophical matters.

      Until then the young dudes with any sense will continue to want to be rock stars, “celebrities,” TV presenters etc. etc.

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      1. Hi Ian

        “Until then the young dudes with any sense will continue to want to be rock stars, “celebrities,” TV presenters etc. etc. ”

        Did you see the news that one of the 1000s of fellows involved in this CERN thing used to be the keyboard palyer in D:ream- that’s the duff band that had the hit “Things can only get better” which was used in Tony Blairs 1997 campaign? after that he turned to theoretical physics..

        I must admit this whole origin of the universe business has always mystified me. I guess the whole edifice stands on the mathematics.. but does that mathematics stand outside of the universe? do we make the mathematics we are (biologically, philosophically) capable of, and therefore derive (only) the answers that our mathematics is capable of? I say this in all ignorance. I’d agree with you as far as saying that at least before physicists start expounding theories of the universe they ought to have a very strong grasp of philosophy.. sadly something i don’t possess..

        to be fair to Dawkins- i thought “the selfish gene” and “the extended phenotype” were pretty good. well communicated with good ideas (apart from the “meme” that was a sh*te idea). The problem came when someone gave him a professorship in something he doesn’t know much about (public understanding of science, i think). after that all this god business.. it’s a mystery to me why the books are so popular.

        “Let’s face it, Dawkins is hardly on a par with Bruce Springsteen is he? ”

        But aye, I have sincere doubts about whether Dawkins can hold a tune. And strongly suspect that Bruce may be the better philosopher.

        By the way, thanks for the always entertaining blog. And I hope you’re keeping well these days (I read your autobiographical pieces when I first came across your blog) [please feel free to delete this if its not appropropriate for your comments section]
        Cheers
        Matt

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      2. “but does that mathematics stand outside of the universe? do we make the mathematics we are (biologically, philosophically) capable of, and therefore derive (only) the answers that our mathematics is capable of?”

        Absolutely – according to supporters of Big Bang. but Big Bang theory states that the entire universe was compressed into a ball the size of a small planet and – get ready for this – when asked what was outside the small planet ball hing they say all the time and space were inside it and there was nothing outside.

        But what is space if not nothing. And they call their critics irrational.

        We were on Brian Cox’s case at Boggart Blog a few days ago ( Not The End Of The World (or is it?)

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and think he does a great job making physics accessible for kids. But although some sientists get very irate when their subject is mocked, no-body should be immune from piss taking.

        Thanks for asking about my wellbeing. I’ve had a rough twelve months due to making the transition from walking with a bad limp to walking slowly but properly but I’m in great health.

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