About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Evangelicals help with global warming... thank God?
Of course, not all evangelicals are going along with this. Some are disturbed, for example, by what ecologist Calvin DeWitt (one of the promoters of ECI) calls science's “connection with evolution.” In fact, climate-contrarian Roy Spencer (a meteorologist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville) said that “manmade global warming is a theory and not a scientific observation.” Sounds familiar?
Critics notwithstanding, from a purely pragmatic perspective this is certainly a welcome development. Given the considerable political muscle of Christian fundamentalists in the United States, and the fact that this country is the single major contributor to global warming, scientists and the world's citizenry can only benefit from ECI and similar initiatives.
On the other hand, it is pretty sad that we live in a society where science is taken seriously only if it is Bible-approved. Religion is a powerful force in society, and simply cannot be ignored. But the very idea that religious leaders can dictate to politicians when to heed the advice of experts in a particular field is disturbing, and brings immediately to mind religious vetting of almost everything in theocratic societies like Iran. What's next? A major scientific theory been challenged in public schools because it goes against someone's idea of what God meant when he was talking about the origin of the world? Oh, right, that's already happened...