Re: [asa] Re: (Santa?) [christians_in_science] Brilliant article by Dawkins

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Thu Aug 27 2009 - 00:17:54 EDT

Hi Schwarzwald,

You wrote:
> If Coyne, Harris, or Dawkins were for whatever reason being considered
> to head up an important scientific research team, would their
> attitude/words in this case serve as reason to believe they weren't fit
> for the task?

Yeah, IF they were being considered... ROTFLMHO!

> To put it more bluntly: Would you trust a manager who obviously and
> unapologetically demonstrated that he would be willing to block the
> addition of a team member, *even if this team member had a long and
> established track record the manager himself admitted he could not
> dispute*, because he disliked this prospective team member's beliefs
> and/or thought they were silly?

Unequivocally: No.

Thankfully the person(s) responsible for Collins' appointment also did not trust the claims of those who opposed Collins' appointment simply on religious/ideological grounds.

> Wouldn't that sort of attitude, frankly, be one of those "threats to
> science" I hear so much about?

Speaking theoretically: one would want to be careful to be clear what one was saying. The argument would not be that those who share the bias of Dawkins et al are themselves incapable of scientific competence (this would be merely to fall into precisely the same fallacy). Rather the argument would be that science is harmed when people who are (actually or potentially) scientifically competent are disqualified from practising science on the basis of a belief which has no demonstrable impact on scientific competence.

Speaking more concretely: I think it obvious that science IS harmed by the efforts of those who seek to further the warfare model. So one need not put things the least tentatively: Dawkins attitude is very much, in my opinion, a threat to science. I'm just thankful that science is such an extraordinarily robust enterprise.


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Received on Thu Aug 27 00:18:49 2009

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