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The hostility to science rears its head

Some see the rampant anti-scientism of the last twenty years as an ominous sign even for the very existence of humanity. The cinema cooperates when it makes the scientists the ultimate villains

Mad Scientist, from Wikipedia (CC license)
Mad Scientist, from Wikipedia (CC license)

The most intelligent broadcaster in the Israeli media, Oren Nahari, recently opened the 'All Talk' channel by presenting an interesting insight into the superhero scene of American cinema.

"Science is the cause of the disaster from which the hero or superhero will save humanity. If you see in a movie that a certain character has a large library, he reads, he is educated, he speaks with a well-groomed accent, he will be the villain. Why actually? When did this happen? After all, science at its best is the one that extended our lives, deciphers the secrets of the atom and the universe, the molecules that make up the materials, caused the green revolution thanks to which hundreds of millions do not die of hunger and all the technology - computers, satellites, smartphones - all the other things we have become addicted to. And one more thing, anti-scientism goes hand in hand with anti-rationality, with vain beliefs of all kinds, some of which also try to penetrate, and unfortunately sometimes succeed, into the education systems. This is not the way to a better future."

Carl Sagan said in the last television interview he gave in 1996 shortly before his death about ignorance in the field of science, precisely at a time when we depend on science and technology at every step of our lives. "This explosive mixture of ignorance and power will sooner or later blow up in our faces. Who will manage science and technology in a democracy if no one knows anything about them?

"And the second reason I'm concerned is that science is more than a body of knowledge. Science is a way of thinking, a way of skeptical exploration of the universe with a good understanding of human vulnerability. If we cannot ask skeptical questions, investigate those who claim that something is real, be skeptical of those in authority, then we will be vulnerable to any political or religious charlatan that emerges."

I didn't believe how great the hatred for science was until I heard the words of Robin Williams, a radio broadcaster from Australia who had a science program hosted about a year ago at the National Academy of Sciences in October 2010. that the scientific findings do not correspond to a religious, economic or other agenda." Williams said in a meeting with Israeli science journalists held at the Academy's offices. Among other things, Williams listed the areas in which scientists are simply not believed: global warming, evolution, genetic engineering in plants, cloning, embryonic stem cells.

Each of these issues has a suspicious public that apparently has a reason. Global warming violates the status quo according to which the tycoons hoard the natural resources, but avoid paying for the damage they cause, however, since there is cognitive dissonance in acting against them to save the planet, the gurus of the American right, with the support of the oil gods, decided instead to go and convince the scientists To change their minds through facts, they decided to change the public's mind through the construction of an alternative (and imaginary) scientific system in which man has no influence on the drowning, and then what's wonderful, there is no problem, and therefore there is no need to fight against it.

Much has already been written about the religious opposition to evolution, but even though all the evidence on the subject is unequivocal, pressure is still being exerted on education systems all over the world, and in Israel, for example, the existence of evolution is simply not taught unless you have chosen 5 biology units (even then It's permission). This is equivalent to, for example, learning English with skipping the part of learning the letters.

Genetic engineering in plants is taboo in Europe, as part of some kind of regression to the horrors of the Nazis in World War II, the fact that in the XNUMXs they didn't know about DNA at all is not important to the debate, so they prefer to throw away genetically modified corn that comes from the USA than to face the psychological fear. Not that there aren't many problems with genetic engineering - one of them is the control of individual companies in the field that legally fight any farmer who doesn't buy from them on the grounds that he is allegedly stealing from them and all kinds of other problems that originate in the greedy economy and not in science, and that the regulator should intervene.

Human cloning is banned almost all over the world due to protests, although it is clear that if a twin is born identical in his genes to some adult lake he will not inherit any social traits, living in a different time, under a modern education system, there is no reason for him to be similar to his adult double even if it is Hitler Or Stalin. But again, scientific ignorance among the public does not allow scientists to even explain this.

Embryonic stem cells might not be a problem if it weren't for the inexplicable sanctity that fundamentalist Christians hold for the living embryo even once it is a single cell. By the way, in Israel they manage with it not bad, because according to Jewish law, a fetus receives a human likeness at the age of 40 days.

And of course in Britain especially, but from there the phenomenon spread to the whole world - resistance to vaccines. After a doctor named Andrew Wakefield decided to legally help the parents of autistic children who paid him for it, and claimed through an extremely weak study that the journal Lentz regretted publishing, the link between the triple vaccine and autism.

To these examples we will add the delusional ideas of conspiracy enthusiasts, who in the last decade have especially celebrated and who made it their goal to attack every truth as if someone from above decided to work on them. And so they came up with stories such as that the participants of the Bilderberg conference - those world leaders who appointed themselves a kind of world government, decided to reduce the world's population to only half a billion people, and they do this by introducing fluoride into the water (in reality, the fluoride is introduced to maintain dental health), through vaccines, And they even call the World Health Organization the World Homicide Organization.

All of these stakeholders, some of whom, such as the oil gods and the church, are backed by endless money, have very powerful allies who increase ignorance - the American media, whose treatment of science is generally disgraceful (recommends going to The science and environment section of the Media Matters website ) and of course the film industry, even in the latest superhero movies - Spider-Man out and Superman on the way, treat scientists as villains and evil. In my estimation, Nahari touched on the subject only on the tip of the fork. Many studies have referred to this, especially the myth of the mad scientist who woke up one day, entered his laboratory and took out a weapon of mass destruction. The writer Michael Creighton made it so that each of his books was dedicated to a different catastrophe in which science gets out of control, whether these are dinosaurs that were brought back to life and take over an island that was supposed to be used as a place to entertain tourists, or gray matter that fills entire towns and kills their inhabitants. He was not content with literature and in 2004 he wrote a non-imaginary opinion book, in which he went against the scientific convention regarding global warming.

If we return to Williams, he provided examples of the great hostility, one of which is that so that there would be no claim that the things (which are publicly disputed - not scientifically) are as strong as the effect of smoking on health, there are those who claim today, after all these things have been proven, that there is really no connection between smoking For cancer, the main thing is to be able to claim the same thing about the connection between human activity and global warming or to justify evolution.

A response I recently received from a commenter who identified himself only by the letter M, criticizing the science site's attitude to global warming explains the point: "It's not that the site and the green religion are any less limiting and brainwashing the people with lies and ignorance. I have yet to see even one serious real discussion here that gives a platform to everyone, Except for the slander. I used to have blind faith in science, but since the green lie, I'm starting to doubt evolution as well, maybe the religious people are really right and are feeding us lies."

It's worth concluding with Nahari's words: I also know that everything that man devised or invented in the end he also misused. But man at his best, humanity at its best, can also touch the sky with spaceships, telescopes, with sublime art, that's where we should aspire. verify. In science, in faith in philosophy, not to run away from it."

The character of the mad scientist laughs all the way and on the movie screen he enjoys seeing how the scientific enterprise is destroyed by ignorant people.

To the article by Prof. Yuval Neman: Towards the end of the second scientific age

The article was first published on the Davidson Online Science Database website.

24 תגובות

  1. It is not true that science does not try to answer essential questions. He actually is, and his main task is not to invent new technologies, but to understand the universe we are in. In recent years, we have made significant steps in this direction. In physics with the big bang theories we understood that the universe did not always exist and started at a certain point. Isn't this a fundamental question? In astronomy we started to discover planets around distant stars, which says a lot about our place in the universe. We have just finished (or almost finished) mapping the human genome, which is the design of man... sounds like big steps towards understanding the universe and our place in it.
    Although progress is sometimes slow and tedious, there is progress!

  2. "Scientific research should present itself as not at all related to the debate on the question of whether there is or is not God and who sent him on earth.
    Probably impossible as long as there are contradictions that cannot be reconciled between religion and science: such as the age of the world, the existence of a common ancestor between man and chimpanzee, etc.

  3. Science by definition is not a religion as it does not make assumptions that cannot be challenged or investigated.
    There are many scientists who are also religious. Of course the best known is Prof. Yeshayahu Leibovitz who never tried to explain why he is religious and claimed that religion is a personal matter.
    Indeed, billions of people in the world consider themselves religious and therefore, the scientists would not act wisely if they chose to go against religion.
    Scientific research should present itself as not at all related to the debate on the question of whether or not there is a God and who sent him on earth.
    In order to do scientific research, you need money from taxpayers all over the world and there should not be such great enmity to rational thinking - you need to convey the message that rational thinking promotes the whole of humanity and raises the quality of life.

  4. someone,
    I agree with you and am not trying to beautify any of them.
    During the short history (of the Western world) there has never been peace between religion and science,
    Worse, they didn't even know each other. The whole story may be a matter of prestige, influence, and power.
    In any case, I do not justify any of them, because the motives to exclude one from the other are not kosher in my opinion.

    The secularism of the last centuries led to the "liberation of science" similar to the liberation of women, and since then the forces have been equal
    More or less, but the conflict still exists. And what is so puzzling to me that the science that suffered so much
    From the church he took some similar elements of suppressing anyone who claims differently from him (scientists who dared to think
    outside the box and researchers who are not scientists). Just look at how many Nobel laureates have suffered from lack of recognition and disdain
    at the beginning of their journey.

    Another similarity between the two is that each of them behaves as if God or knowledge belongs to him, and only he is allowed
    To decide on it, to represent it, to change it, to develop it, to determine who is a tenant and who is not... as if it were their private property.

    I think one of the problems with this conflict is that one comes from emotion and the other from intellect and both
    They don't want to see the connection between them, which is possible and real.

  5. Questionnaire, one might think that religion has no dark sides... Remind you of the biblical story about two bears that in the name of God came out of the forest and tore 42 little children to pieces just because they dared to tease one of the prophets? Remind you of all the massacres and murders committed by the Israelites in other nations in the name of the divine order?

    Really, you don't want us to go into this corner.

  6. Baruch, who determined that a person has any vocation or purpose in life? You make a completely arbitrary claim that has no hold on reality and you expect science to give you answers about it? Tell me what purpose the ant has, why did it come into the world? What purpose does a lion, a tiger or a hippopotamus have?

    Where did religion advance us during the thousands of years it existed before science appeared? Look at what an advanced world you live in today only thanks to science!

    Do you really expect the world of science to treat fairy tales at the level of Ganon with respect and seriousness? For fantastic stories about a whole person who was created like he is from a lump of mud? They talk about snakes, about a 6000-year-old world, and about a man who lived 3 days inside the belly of a Leviathan and survived?

    The contempt expressed in your words towards science is really outrageous, without science you would still be living in a cave and lighting a fire with flint stones, and of course you would not have had the opportunity to write this message.

  7. Science is supposed to investigate the divine creation and there should be no contradiction between them
    As long as one respects the other, even if there is no agreement - and that is the problematic point.

  8. Science does not reveal to man his destiny.
    Science does not reveal to man what is the purpose of life and the purpose of existence on earth.
    Science does not provide answers to basic questions.
    Science does not satisfy all human needs.

    In the name of the religion of science, it is sometimes claimed that science will crack all the world's riddles.
    In the name of the religion of science, we sometimes claim that science is the only means of understanding the world.

    Religion is a means that is used to control other people (and especially the women).
    Every religion, whatever it is, presents one facet (or individual faces) out of the many faces.

    It is appropriate to use the name of science with due humility.

    On the one hand, it is very important not to be exalted above science and to teach science in all schools.
    And on the other hand, it is important that teachers and science teachers do not rise above faith, whatever it may be.

    The level of science studies has been increasing in recent years, but,
    Very interesting - what is the proportion of believers among the science teachers and how many of them are tolerant of faith.
    My impression is that the rate of non-belief is high and they teach children who believe differently, and in quite a few cases the young believers (and non-religious ones) encounter a stubborn and arrogant wall. This is one of the reasons, in my opinion, for distrust in 'science'.

  9. After many debates on this topic, my conclusion is that at the heart of the issue is the very human feeling that our existence and awareness of the existential situation are special phenomena, and must have some reason or purpose.

    Science teaches us that everything is accidental, there is no destiny, no destiny and no reason for existence.
    There is only mathematical regularity that can be investigated, but it is completely blind to concepts such as good, bad, etc. We and the stone in the yard operate according to exactly the same physical laws at the final point.

    This truth, that reality has no opinion or will regarding our existence as individuals (and as a species), is very difficult for people to deal with. In the end, giving up the desire to be special is the most difficult obstacle to accepting science, and it is the one that ultimately underlies all religions and mystical beliefs. I think this is the heart of the matter.

  10. It seems that the author of the article is horrified by low-risk threats to science.
    First, it is healthy that there are skeptics in a certain scientific field that has been proven or not
    by science. Especially if the attempts to explain are serious (if the scientists themselves
    There were no skeptics by nature, there was no technological development…..).

    Secondly, there are also faults in the conduct of science, for example "what we have not discovered - does not exist",
    or mathematicians and physicists who look down on psychologists and behavioral scientists,
    who look down on "people with problems".

    Another example is Nikola Tesla, who was not a scientist and inhibited the taboo of "just
    Physicists are allowed to change what other physicists have discovered", he endured quite a few jokes.
    There is also a certain analogy between the church and the tear in that the "knowledge" that has been accumulated so far is
    The Holy of Holies and woe to the wicked who claims otherwise, and if he finds such, it is necessary to excommunicate and confiscate it,
    Or at least mock him. Or as many physicists like to say "It's awkward…."

    There are also many scientists who have the disease of fame and there is competition that is healthy
    But there is an ugly division between scientists, about "who will discover first", like in kindergarten.

    Science is also very strongly linked to big money and there are cases where "money corrupts" there as well.
    There are economic interests, technological competitions, rich and demanding financiers and more.

    The ancient Greeks (fathers of modern science) tried to make order in the world, which is a bad idea
    Fundamentally bad, but the way is no less important.

    Science has indeed contributed and contributes a lot in the last 300 years and its honor is in its place for improving our lives
    in many areas, but it also has dark sides that can be talked about.

  11. As a comic book lover, I was actually offended by Oren Nahari's conclusions. I'm pretty sure he's not really familiar with the "superheroes" scene, because the comic actually supports science, liberalism and democracy. The point he makes is correct, but the example is not.
    The comic books sent their heroes to fight Nazi Germany and defend democracy, even before the US joined the war.
    The heroes of the comics over the years were of different races and cultures, and even presented diverse sexual orientations, even though it was not acceptable.
    Many superheroes are scientists themselves and use science to give them superpowers and save humanity.
    If we take the movie "The Avengers" for example, IRONMAN's power comes from technology, and he is a talented engineer (he started as a weapons manufacturer, but stopped the production of weapons, and moved to the defense of the world). Captain America is the result of a scientific experiment, by a kind scientist, who wanted to protect freedom and democracy. Bruce Banner the Green Giant, is a physicist who studied gamma radiation (if the Green Giant is not against science but against its use for military purposes)...
    In the movie Spider-Man, although the villain is the result of a scientific experiment that got out of control, the scientist was a scientist who wanted to act for the benefit of humanity and develop a cure for amputees...
    Spider-Man himself is a gifted science student, and developed the spider web thanks to his chemistry skills...
    In short, I know many people who today are engineers and scientists thanks to the comics and the "superheroes" when they presented the scientists and science as a thing. COOL

  12. God is an invention of men and exists only in the imagination of believers.

    What is there to philosophize about so much?

    It is not good to believe nonsense.

  13. For some reason many of the responses to the articles end up turning into a dialogue about faith, and not for nothing that this is our very essence and deep within us there is a "cry for the truth" to know about what and why and what our destiny is, if we look at faith is an experience that stems from inner conviction, is faith also true?? Apparently it is difficult to decide for the simple reason that there is no person who can say that he is not infected in order to testify, (just as the author of the article out of love for science about his findings today does not look for an author not for a moment to check and doubt, to see if there is any place for their claims, and to understand that the motives are not always money and faith) But in 12 we witness that, for example, Judaism requires every 13-year-old female and XNUMX-year-old male to come to the conclusion that great intellectuals of wisdom and discernment such as Aristotle did not understand, this in my opinion is the beauty and power of faith (yes and no) that does not depend on a complex education but on a small point of truth Simple, which is found in every person regardless of who he is. When the simple person asks himself the simple question, he soon arrives at the simple answer. (And if you still don't get an answer, you probably don't want an answer. And you'll find enough excuses somehow to try and calm that "cry for the truth" inside you to no avail.)

  14. After the studies, those who know whether eating eggs is good or bad - rehabilitation, those who know whether dairy products are good - rehabilitation, those who know that pharmaceutical companies are not corrupt - as above rehabilitation, those who have not heard of studies on behalf of - rehabilitation, those who know that animal abuse is good or Bad for the development of our health - as above, the science, i.e. the scientists - before they accuse others of suspicion and hostility they will conduct an internal and legal house inspection and eliminate the real scourge that has been inflicted on them - research on behalf, observations and fictitious publications - for a fee. The hostility to science does not stem from the activities of quantum researchers - but from statisticians who pretend to be researchers and who have a relevant opinion in any discussed field that involves telling and in a fog of disclosure and greed will recommend to the public to consume cancer-causing Gedila hormone in milk (XNUMX percent tested) under the pretext that it is not absorbed through the digestive system. Neither do iron marbles.

  15. Seriously, what are you actually claiming? Do people hate science because it tells the truth??

    What to do that spirit, souls and life after death is delusional and baseless nonsense, do you really expect science to tell you "it's true there are souls", just so you'll be satisfied?

    Does that make sense to you?

  16. There is a simple and basic reason for hating and fighting science and it doesn't matter what its contribution to humanity is.
    Science claims that death is the absolute end of life and there is no eternal spirit or soul.

    Thus he automatically became a threatening factor and an enemy of billions of people in the entire world.
    The believers in the future and eternity of their souls, through reincarnation, resurrection of the dead and more.

    It seems to me that as science and research develop, more and more questions arise that science has no answers to
    Which gives more power in the hands of his opponents.

  17. The article for the most part shows a supposed hatred for those ignorant non-intellectuals, just as they hate the science that contradicts their faith. Sentences like - these stakeholders, some of whom such as the oil gods and the church are backed by endless money, have very powerful allies who increase the ignorance, delusional ideas of conspiracy enthusiasts, etc., etc. Sounds like they're coming from the same mouths you defined as idiots and not from an article titled skepticism. In almost every move in the world around us (and if Bibi goes with Lieberman) there will be opponents, supporters, believers, haters and skeptics. Science in part is not pure goodness, and from time to time progress and enlightenment cause regression, and science does not always make us better/happier/more satisfied.

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