Why it is Important to Refute Those Who Wage War on Science

I’ve had many posts criticizing Deepak Chopra, as well as others who attack science. This is actually a reply I made in the comments, but as it is in a discussion in an old blog post I thought I would promote it to a new blog post. The commenter is quoted in this reply, and those who desire to see the full context can find it in the discussion of this post. This is posted to sum up the reasons why it is important to refute writings of people such as Chopra who attack science. As I also noted earlier in that discussion, “The problem with Chopra is that he has a religious system which leads him to reject science.” My last comment in that discussion follows:

This is just one in a series of replies to Chopra. The reason for this is his rejection of science. Science isn’t about “providing meaning for our lives.” It is the means in which we objectively find information about the universe, and test it to verify its validity, as opposed to following faith or claiming to get information from divine revelation. Using the scientific method is also important to protect against coming to the conclusions we would prefer as opposed to what the evidence actually shows.

Chopra is definitely trying to “convince” people of many things in his series of articles which attack the validity of evolution.

“I hardly think mainstream science has much to worry about.”

Untrue. The acceptance or rejection of science and other forms of objective evidence is the major difference underlying the political battles of today. Chopra frequently repeats the exact same arguments against evolution provided by the Discover Institute as it attempts to prevent the teaching of evolution in the schools.

Fortunately they are losing that battle, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to worry about. Besides attacking evolution, which is a major basis of modern biology, fundamentalists (and their Republican lackeys) attack geology if it disagrees with the age of the earth and attack cosmology about the origins of the universe.

Fortunately their is a divide between fundamentalists and conservatives on the science of climate change as many fundamentalists are beginning to question the wisdom of destroying what they see as God’s work, but there is still a divide by party line as to whether the consensus scientific findings are accepted.

I’ve also had posts about people like James Dobson distorting science to attack homosexuals, and to support legislation restricting abortion due to allegedly causing pain in the fetus at a time when the fetus doesn’t even have a central nervous system yet. Conservatives push abstinence based sex education while opposing true sex education ignoring data showing that abstinence based education leads to more teen pregnancies.

The same concept extends beyond science, as we see the alternative reality created by Fox News and the right wing noise machine as people vote based upon falsehoods such as fabricated stories of WMD in Iraq and a connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks.

The Republican war on science is a serious problem and is fueled by the general lack of understanding of science in the general population. That is why people like Chopra, as well as the conservatives who do it more frequently, should be refuted when they attack science.

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