Re: [asa] Cosmological Evolution?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Dec 28 2006 - 16:52:56 EST

Michael Crichton is not an environmental scientist - which isn't the same thing as medicine or anthropology. & even in those fields he's not a noted scientist - he gets attention only because of his reputation as a novelist. That doesn't qualify him to pontificate about every scientific field under the sun. His blunders when he does so are illustrated nicely by his statement below about the Drake equation. Far from there being anything wrong with the equation itself, it's almost a tautology. The problem with it is just that we don't know the numbers to put into it.

& what's preposterous about your environmental views is not just bad science but bad theology.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Janice Matchett
  To: George L. ; George Murphy ; Gregory Arago ;
  Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 3:33 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Cosmological Evolution?

  At 02:12 PM 12/28/2006, George L. wrote:

  "...At this point I'm not particularly interested in getting into extended debate about the environment __with someone whose views__ about such matters I would still characterize as "preposterous." ~ George L. Murphy

  @ Forget me and "my views".

  The fact is, that those whose beliefs about the environment you consider to be preposterous are held by the scholars I cite. I can understand why you wouldn't be interested in debating these people on the subject.

  Those I cite point out who the dooms-day false prophets in the various "sciences" are. When people make life decisions (or pass legislation) based on their prophecies, and they don't come to pass, they just move on to the next one without any embarrassment at all. Like all "true believers" who follow other false prophets like Pat Robertson and help to spread "the message", they act as if they don't notice when the prophecy fails.

  Michael Crichton knows this: "Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. ... Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science-namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy. ..

   "...even as a child I believed that science represented the best and greatest hope for mankind. Even to a child, the contrast was clear between the world of politics-a world of hate and danger, of irrational beliefs and fears, of mass manipulation and disgraceful blots on human history. In contrast, science held different values-international in scope, forging friendships and working relationships across national boundaries and political systems, encouraging a dispassionate habit of thought, and ultimately leading to fresh knowledge and technology that would benefit all mankind. ...
  But I did not expect science merely to extend lifespan, feed the hungry, cure disease, and shrink the world with jets and cell phones. I also expected science to banish the evils of human thought---prejudice and superstition, irrational beliefs and false fears. ....Rather than serving as a cleansing force, science has in some instances been seduced by the more ancient lures of politics and publicity. Some of the demons that haunt our world in recent years are invented by scientists. The world has not benefited from permitting these demons to escape free.

  "..The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage-similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example-meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks. ..." Michael Crichton "Aliens Cause Global Warming" January 17, 2003

  ~ Janice .......Bio: CRICHTON, (John) Michael. American. Born in Chicago, Illinois, October 23, 1942. Educated at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.B. (summa cum laude) 1964 (Phi Beta Kappa). Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellow, 1964-65. Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at Cambridge University, England, 1965. Graduated Harvard Medical School, M.D. 1969; post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, La Jolla, California 1969-1970. Visiting Writer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.

  "Therefore, he has as much credential as I do to discuss environment." ~ Wayne Sat, 30 Sep 2006 18:28:47 EDT Re: [asa] Edward O. Wilson shares Dawkins' basic views

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Received on Thu Dec 28 16:53:59 2006

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