October 22, 2014

The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism

pin it button The Magicians Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism

More than a half century ago, famed writer C.S. Lewis warned about how science (a good thing) could be twisted in order to attack religion, undermine ethics, and limit human freedom. In this documentary “The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism,” leading scholars explore Lewis’s prophetic warnings about the abuse of science and how Lewis’s concerns are increasingly relevant for us today.

Quote from C.S. Lewis:

“I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in.”

Editor’s note: Marxism and Nazism (along with eugenics) are examples of tyranny from the past that were based on “science.” Will vaccines and “healthcare,” which today is defined by pharmaceutical products, be the tyranny of  the future with “science” being used as the vehicle?

 

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Does Modern Science Hinder Skepticism? The Eugenics Example

Does Modern Science Hinder Skepticism? The Eugenics Example

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One of the important and counterintuitive insights that C.S. Lewis offered was his observation that far from encouraging skepticism, the mention of “science” can call forth a perilous gullibility, not least from educated, intelligent people who should know better.

Healthy skepticism is a cornerstone of the scientific process. Knowledge is advanced and new discoveries are made by challenging scientific results and testing alternative hypotheses.

Lewis recognized, though, that science can also promote an uncritical acceptance of views that are said to be backed by science or wrapped in science-y language. In Lewis’s time, most scientists supported eugenics, or the belief that the gene pool of humans should be improved, and they argued that their views were supported by science. These views led to policies such as forced sterilization of those deemed to be of less worth, such as criminals and the handicapped. These policies were not only popular in authoritarian regimes like Nazi Germany, but in democracies such as the United States and England. Anyone who opposed what the vast majority of scientists were saying must be “anti-science,” it was argued.

So what has changed since then? Are we supposed to believe that just a century ago, elite opinion in science and in the culture at large was so terribly fallible and vulnerable to being misled by prejudice — yet today, it cannot err?

Dr. Offit Wants to Eliminate Religious and Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions

Dr. Offit Wants to Eliminate Religious and Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions

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We have previously reported how Dr. Paul Offit, the mainstream media’s go-to doctor to support vaccines, has huge conflicts of interest, and is a very dangerous man. We mentioned how Paul Offit wants mandatory vaccines for every single child in the United States, and he feels his voice in the matter should over-rule parental choice.

So with the mainstream media giving him basically a free pass to preach his message, Offit has attacked anyone who dares to question his view on vaccines. Earlier this year, he publicly stated at the Health Journalism 2014 meeting that journalists should NOT be balanced in their reporting about vaccines. He wants only one side reported, his side, and he stated publicly that journalists who publish the other side should go to “journalism jail.”

Offit thinks that only medical exemptions should be issued for vaccines, and has campaigned for ending religious and philosophical exemptions. Allowing only medical exemptions would give complete control of America’s school-age children to the medical system in regards to vaccines.

So should doctors like Offit be considered authorities on religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines? He claims science trumps philosophy or religion. So if you object to things in vaccines such as cells from aborted human embryos, monkey kidneys, aborted calf fetus blood, mouse brains, etc. – too bad. According to Offit, only doctors should make those decisions.

For a response to Dr. Offit by another doctor, Dr. Suzanne Humphries, we republish with her consent a previous rebuttal she wrote to Dr. Offit below. Turns out that not all doctors agree with Offit after all…

When Biologists Think Like Engineers: How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design

When Biologists Think Like Engineers: How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design

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Opponents of the intelligent design (ID) approach to biology have sometimes argued that the ID perspective discourages scientific investigation. To the contrary, it can be argued that the most productive new paradigm in systems biology is actually much more compatible with a belief in the intelligent design of life than with a belief in neo-Darwinian evolution. This new paradigm in system biology, which has arisen in the past ten years or so, analyzes living systems in terms of systems engineering concepts such as design, information processing, optimization, and other explicitly teleological concepts. This new paradigm offers a successful, quantitative, predictive theory for biology. Although the main practitioners of the field attribute the presence of such things to the outworking of natural selection, they cannot avoid using design language and design concepts in their research, and a straightforward look at the field indicates it is really a design approach altogether.

Researchers Ran a Massive Yearlong Experiment to Get Bacteria to Evolve. Guess What Happened?

Researchers Ran a Massive Yearlong Experiment to Get Bacteria to Evolve. Guess What Happened?

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It’s a struggle out there. You have to be fit to survive. When the pressure is on, nature favors the ones who can take the heat.

It’s a theme that has been drummed into our heads since school. It’s a cultural meme. Social Darwinists used it to justify atrocities. Today’s kinder, gentler Darwinists downplay the violence in the struggle for existence, yet the fact as they see it is inescapable: environmental circumstances select random genetic mutations that confer fitness, i.e., survival, by allowing organisms to adapt.

That in a nutshell explains the development of complex life forms. We’re assured there are gobs of evidence for it, too.

Looking into a recent paper in PNAS about evolutionary fitness tradeoffs, you have to feel sorry for a team of five evolutionists from UC Irvine who did their level best to produce clear evidence for the favored story.

What Can We Responsibly Believe About Human Evolution?

What Can We Responsibly Believe About Human Evolution?

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The evolution of consciousness is presently inexplicable: Can we really understand a transition from the excrement-throwing ape to the early cave paintings as a long, slow series?

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