Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Science makes leap of Faith"

An anonymous reader pointed to me an article in The Daily Breeze called Science makes leap of faith. Time for a bit of fisking, yes?

The article is talking about Nobel winning James Watson's recent racist comments. I seem to recall that the ScienceBlogs were chatting about this (exampes: PZ, Zuska). In brief, James Watson has made it clear that he's a dangerous fool (and misogynist!).

Some quotes from the article:
Why is Watson quelled in pursuing his theory that "There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically"?
Yes there is. The timescale is too short. They are not completely isolated. The environments are not significantly different. And if I recall, the usual racial "divisions" often don't match the populations that were actually genetically isolated.
Why all the outrage? All the epithets? All the accusations of racism? All the canceled lectures?
Maybe because he's wrong and he's spreading particularly harmful misinformation.
Since I'm not an evolutionist, I need not stick my feet in the muddy waters of this emotionally charged issue - the Bible asserts that all men (regardless of DNA structure) are made in the image of God, and that's enough for me.
I get the feeling that "DNA structure" constitutes the totality of this writer's scientific knowledge.
[Naturalists] are generally so quick to point out how Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin took rank against the tide of their day and how we are all better off for it.
Galileo Fallacy
Watson is seeking to live this maxim ["No Heaven. No Hell. Just Science."] out to its logical conclusion and what a mess!
All this reveals the vacuum formed with the efforts to oust an ultimate and absolute immaterial being - I think the common term is "God" - from any venue in life.
What?! Is this, like, surrealist performance art? Because all I see are non sequiturs.
The scientific community's cannibalization of Watson demonstrates that they have a system of ethics that trumps their academics. But their unwillingness to acknowledge an ultimate and supreme source of ethics naturally results in their divided house where Watson currently sits surrounded by vacancy signs.
He is assuming that Watson's comments are academically sound, which they're not. So, garbage in, garbage out, right? But is it just me, or is there more garbage coming out than going in? Let's break this down. He says that there is confusion because scientists are putting ideologies before truth. But it's not the ideology-before-truth thing that's the problem. The problem is that they're going by their own separate ideologies rather than the one supreme ideology (aka Jesus). Oooookay. Someone has not thought this through very clearly.