God is Dead–Nietchshe; Science is Dead–Noonan

I don’t often bother refuting the more absurd things on right wing blogs since either 1) they typically recite Republican talking points and therefore there is a more prominent conservative to quote and refute or 2) they are so far out that it is really unfair to Republicans to attach a totally absurd view to them. Mark Noonan’s post, The Death of Science at Blogs for Bush, falls in the second category but I will break with usual policy and comment considering the amount of harm being done by the Republican war on science.

Noonan considers the evolution versus intelligent design debate and quickly concludes, “Be that as it may, the whole thing got me thinking, and today ii occured to me: science is dead. We have reached the end of the Age of Science – what will come after, I don’t know, but I don’t think that we’ll ever again have a time when Science is enshrined as some sort of god-like arbiter of right and wrong.” Science strayed from the truth: “Why did science stray from the path of truth? I think it is because we ceased educating the men of science with a knowledge of religion – a knowledge, that is, of genuine truth, genuine reason, and the relationship of man to creation, and his Creator”

Noonan is not the person to write about science. He describes the Discovery Institute as “a Seattle based, non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank.” (Hat tip to Baloon Juice) Science offers a method for discovering the truth based upon objective facts as opposed to personal biases or religious teachings. Scientists may sometimes come up with the wrong conclusion, but this is corrected as theories are challenged and updated as new facts are discovered. Science is required to make accurate predictions about the world, and should a scientific theory fail at this it will be discarded for a more accurate theory. Scientific theories are not maintained if shown to be incorrect, as opposed to fundamentalist religious views which some defend regardless of how irrelevant they may be to the real world.

Jon Swift has a satiric take on this:

I’m glad the Bush Administration has done something about it, fighting the War on Science with the same fervor it has brought to the War on Terror and the War in Iraq and all of the other wars it has declared.

Now that two of my least favorite subjects in school, science and history, are dead, I’m hoping that the Bush Administration will redouble its efforts to kill off two other subjects I didn’t much care for, Math and Geography. While important strides have been made, I still think more can be done to send Math and Geography to the dustbin of History, which, course, has itself been sent to the dustbin of . . . something else, I guess. I’m not ready to declare victory until our schools are teaching only two subjects: Religion and Gym.

The scientific method is not something which can simply die and be replaced by something else. The alternative is interpreting the world based upon superstition and returning to the dark ages.

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29 Comments

  1. 1
    kj says:

    Is Mark Noonan related to Peggy Nooner?

  2. 2
    kj says:

    And as for Jon Swift, I gotta say, I oppose both Religion and Gym as subjects on the principle of relativity… no, not the “everything is relative, man” hippy dippy standpoint or the standpoint that I was subjective to both subjects for twelve, TWELVE years, but because neither subject is relevant to me.

    And it’s all about me. My opinions are based on my feelings and my feelings are never wrong because they are MINE.

    Not even a rant from Dave could change my mind.

  3. 3
    kj says:

    So there.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    “Is Mark Noonan related to Peggy Nooner?”

    I don’t know, but I wouldn’t insult Peggy Noonan in this manner. Even when I disagree with her, I have respect for her writing. I can’t say the same for the lunatic rantings at Blogs for Bush.

  5. 5
    kj says:

    Okay, it was a bad joke. I blame her voice and demeanor. No, it was just an insult. Sorry, Peggy.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    “Not even a rant from Dave could change my mind.”

    I think Dave is still in awe of the picture of Survivor Heidi in another post and is not up to ranting yet. I wonder if he knows she has done a Playboy spread?

  7. 7
    Dave from Princeton says:

    “Not even a rant from Dave could change my mind.”
    🙁 Wah…sniff…sniff.. 🙁

    You can’t blame me, Ron. Heidi is definitely hot.

    BTW, I’ve actually always watched survivor. It’s probably the only show on TV that I still watch regularly now, well when it’s on.

    Otherwise it is just “news”, political shows or cnbc.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dave,

    So do you have Heidi’s Playboy pics up on your wall?

  9. 9
    Dave from Princeton says:

    Nope, I haven’t seen them. No sense torturing myself over something I can’t have 😉

  10. 10
    kj says:

    Dave, you gotta tune into the re-runs of Gilmore Girls. JBK (JimBobKen) is even a big fan.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Forget reruns. Buy the DVD’s from the beginning. Plus no commercials or cuts.

  12. 12
    kj says:

    Good idea. We missed part of the first season and part of 03 and 04. Just up to the episode where Richard and Floyd pulled a fast one on Jason. (I was shocked, SHOCKED!)

    Also need to get the DVD’s for Battlestar before the new season starts.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    All of season one and the first half of season two of Battlestar Gallactica are out on DVD. They divided season 2 into two parts. Of course by the time you finish what is available, the rest of season two might be out. If it was me, I’d record season three and not start watching until I finished watching the first two seasons.

    If you can’t wait to watch season three and if you can’t get caught up in time, they are doing a special recap show. It will even be in HD if you get it. (Regular episodes are availble in HD but not for months after aired in regular definition on Sci Fi therefore I only watch an ocassional episode in HD.)

    As I’ve noted on other threads, two other reasons to get HD are Dan Rather’s upcoming show and Cinemax HD showing all six Star Wars movies. I wonder if they will show them in the order made or in chronological order. Actually it is better to watch them in the order made, otherwise you don’t get the surprise about Darth and Luke in Empire Strikes Back.

  14. 14
    Dave from Princeton says:

    Hey kj,

    My son appears to be a fan of Gilmore Girls. I found out when he was staying at my place while home last year. He was taping it when he was out(and called to ask me to tape it once when he forgot to set it).

    BTW, does your new house have a basement for JBK’s cigar smoking or is he now banished to a garage or outside?

  15. 15
    kj says:

    Dave,

    The new (old) house has a 1/2 finished basement with a walkout. It used to be my writing/painting studio, but I traded with JBK for the smaller office upstairs. His banishment to the basement with his stogies is okay with him. He thinks every man needs a cave. 😉

    Gilmore Girls is great. I’d heard and read good things about the show for years, but just tuned in a few months ago.

  16. 16
    kj says:

    Ps. Dave, how’s your son doing? Is he still in DC?

  17. 17
    kj says:

    Ron,

    Thanks for the heads up re: Battlestar. We can easily tivo season 3 and hold it to watch until we’ve caught up.

    The year before last, we put the entire season of “24” on tivo and then watched it 2 hours every night until it was over. Makes it more like reading a book (with visuals) or watching a long, extended movie.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj

    I didn’t watch the first season of 24 but after hearing about it did want to watch before the second season started. The DVD’s came out about a week before the season started. I got into it so much I finished it that week. That was even more intense than reading a book–almost like watching in real time.

  19. 19
    kj says:

    We don’t have HD. Three tivos, 😉 but still our 20 year old television sets. I’m holding out for a nice plasma. Someday!

  20. 20
    kj says:

    Ron,

    Oh yeah, if there is ever a show to watch all at once, it’s “24.”

    BTW, for old La Femme Nikita fans, watching 24 is great. Almost all of the LFN producers, creators and writers ended up on 24. There were/are all sorts of nods to LFN in the show.

    We messed up last season and ended up not watching it at all.

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    How do you wind up messing up and not watching it at all–just one bad day? 🙂

    Next season sounds interesting as it might be a bit different with Jack excaping from the Chinese and being on the run. They must be runnning out of ideas for new terrorist threats to throw at the US every season.

  22. 22
    kj says:

    These days, we’re having many of those bad days. Too much to do, to overwhelmed to do it. And darn, no 24 to give in to.

    Do you think watching next season will be okay, after completely missing this past season? I didn’t even read the spoilers.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    Yes it is ok to watch next year after missing last year. Actually having watched the year before is more important, when Jack got the Chinese after him.

    Before deciding, are you aware that 24 will not be starting until January, so there is a lot of time to catch up? Originally I wrote this post assuming that you were not going to watch and I do have a couple of minor spoilers here to prepare you for the season. Then I thought about the amount of time you have, so you might not want to read the rest of this.

    SPOILERS BELOW:

    I hope you don’t mind one minor spoiler here if you decide to watch last year, which I’ll go ahead with since you don’t seem to be planning to watch. After the main story for the year took place Jack was called away for a phone call, supposedly from Kim (who had a very minor role this year). It was actually a trap and the Chinese got him. The season ended with Jack literally on a slow boat to China. Next season takes place after he has been in captivity for a few months.

    There’s one other thing which maybe you should know. It was a loose end from last year. The President turned out to be a bad guy (sort of like in the real world). The President was ultimately taken down, but during the year he was seen talking with some unidentified dude who sometimes seemed to be calling the shots giving the President the orders. His identity and role were never made clear, so I wonder if that is something which was being saved for this year.

  24. 24
    kj says:

    Ron, I don’t mind the spoilers at all. JBK and I use the 2nd tivo to do things like catch up on entire seasons of shows which we then watch in the summer. So we have plenty of time to catch up on 24, even if we’re not ready by January.

    The 3rd tivo we had planned to take to the lake, but if he ends of in KC, he’ll need one there. Oh, the justifications!

    Is Tony (ie, “Soul Patch”) still on the show? And Michele? I loved it when Alberta Watson (ie, Madaline from LFN) was on, but she only had a 12 edisode gig. I think Gene Glazer (ie. Operations, or Ops, from LFN) was also on last season.

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    More spoilers below so read at your own risk:

    Both Tony and Michelle were on but there was a high morality rate among characters from previoius seasons. Even one of the minor regulars who you wouldn’t expect to get killed got knocked off last season.

    As I mentioned in our email discussion of TV, I’d give higher priority to watching Veronica Mars to watch them in order to avoid spoiling things by finding out how the first season’s mystery is resolved.

  26. 26
    kj says:

    Ron,

    Re: 24 spoilers, I think I already know which minor character got bumped off, and if so, no great loss. Didn’t get the point of his character at all, would have much rather had an LFN Birkoff (brilliant, naive teenager superhacker) type in his place. At least I could have understood his angst.

    I’m going to have to go out again tomorrow, so might as well see about Veronica Mars. JBK says, “I told you we should be watching that show!” Of course, like I said, he would watch anything that was slightly odd, so I usually wait for other reviews to come in. I’ve given up on “Eureka” and the “Stargate” franchise, would rather read a book.

  27. 27
    Ron Chusid says:

    I never watched either Eureka or Stargate. My opinion was therefore that the time was better spent reading a book, but it might not be a fair judgement as I haven’t seen enough of them to review them fairly.

    Veronic Mars is definately worth the time. Someone started commenting on it in response to some of my posts mentioning Gilmore Girls. When I mentioned it to my wife as a show to consider adding, she then mentioned others that had recommended it to her. The show seems to have a big following despite being on a small network.

    With shows like Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Seventh Heaven, and others it actually looks like CW might give the established networks some real competition. There was a time when I rarely paid any attention to shows other than SF which weren’t on what was then the three established networks, but those days are long past.

  28. 28
    Ron Chusid says:

    You’re also right that Edgar wasn’t a big loss. The main loss was due to the relationship he had in the office with Chloe (who, by the way, has had a couple guest spots on Gilmore Girls). Another connection between shows is that the actor who plays Logan on Gilmore Girls will have a role on Veronica Mars as the brother of an established character on that show who happens to be named Logan.

  29. 29
    Antonio says:

    Nietzsche tem razão toda religião nega a vida,não se pode sentir nada e quem não sente nada esta realmente morto.

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