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No science for you!

Heh. Nature has published an amusing bit of fiction. If only it were true…I have a long list of creationists from whom all their science ought to be taken.

Comments

  1. says

    “This is outrageous!” snarled Sacha. “How can this happen?”

    “Oh, that’s easy,” said James. “Magic.”

    “Magic?” said Sacha, her eyes suddenly shining. “You mean there’s really such a thing?”

    “Of course not. But I can’t explain to you how it’s really done because you’re not allowed science any more.”

    Utter brilliance.

  2. says

    Thanks, PZ, this is brilliant. Have shared it around as widely as I can; it deserves a wide audience. (no doubt the anti-vaxx brigade will cherrypick from it where they can.)

  3. w00dview says

    If I ran the world, that’d be aimed not only at the woo suckers and creationists, but at wingnuts who lie about things like the effectiveness of condoms, and peddlers of evo-psych.

    QFT. That’s the great thing about this essay, it can apply to any group of willfully ignorant anti-science kooks.

  4. dami says

    I wish that the doctor was female as well. Because what Ms NoClue could have answered is “I was told to flaunt my ignorance to get boys to look at me”, during teenager years a powerful incentive to ignore science and concentrate on make up and sexy clothing (which the author would know, had he been raised a female).

  5. scrutationaryarchivist says

    The bit about being proud about being bad at math reminded me of XKCD number 1050.

  6. JohnnieCanuck says

    Thats quite good, but no science anymore? That’s actually a lot more extreme than made out here.

    Science started when people learned how to control fire and shape sticks and rocks as tools. It continued when we learned how to use animal skins as clothing and bedding. Then it happened as we learned to save and plant the best seeds from the plants we liked.

    She isn’t just going to be denied the use of a car, she’s going to be barefoot and naked. Not just no refrigerator, but none of the food currently in it. Water from the nearest stream, untreated. Even a dry cave involves simple observation to reach a conclusion but maybe we can giver her that one. Wolves and bears can make the connection.

    No access to the benefits of science is close enough to a death sentence, especially for someone not in the habit of thinking clearly. At the very least, life expectancy will be very short.

  7. eigenperson says

    Of course it just HAD to be a male scientist and a female ignoramus. I mean, out of the four combinations of male and female, did he have to choose that one?

  8. says

    Of course it just HAD to be a male scientist and a female ignoramus. I mean, out of the four combinations of male and female, did he have to choose that one?

    Perhaps because the prominent non-scientist anti-vaxxers are female?

  9. Nightjar says

    Not just no refrigerator, but none of the food currently in it. Water from the nearest stream, untreated.

    Hm, no, I think you’re missing the point of the story. She’s not being denied things where science is involved, she’s just not allowed to decide whether or how to use them (because she refuses to make informed decisions about it). See:

    “You’re not allowed science any more,” repeated James.

    Sacha’s lips moved as she tried to process what he had said.

    “You’re saying that you’re refusing my children treatment?”

    “No,” said James. “Quite the opposite. You and your children will always be entitled to the best medical care. It’s just that you, Sacha, no longer have a say in it. I shall administer the vaccination immediately.”

    “What?” Sacha sat up, eyes burning with indignation. “How dare you? I, and my husband, are the only ones who say how my family is run.”

    “Well, yes,” said James. “But you no longer have a say in things where science is involved. You’re not allowed science any more.”

    ***

    Perhaps because the prominent non-scientist anti-vaxxers are female?

    OK, so why not make the physician female to avoid playing into the harmful and self-perpetuating “women don’t like/aren’t good at science and maths” stereotype?

    (Gah, I can’t believe this thread is going to be derailed into that kind of thread. Just… gah.)

  10. wcorvi says

    Yea, no science for you. I got into an argument once, with an English professor, who said that all scientists were narrow-minded and never looked at anything but their own field. I challenged him to a contest. We would ask each other questions about our own field, and also both answer questions from a musician in our midst.

    He asked about Shakespeare, I asked about conservation of energy. His were mostly factual recall – which play was this dialog from? Mine were mostly about concepts and understanding. It didn’t take long to realize that I was reasonably versed in literature, he knew NOTHING about physics. We both knew something about music, but I edged him slightly. Then came the kicker – he claimed that English was much more interesting than physics, so the result wasn’t surprising. I reminded him this was NOT a contest of which was more interesting, but rather, who was more versed in the other’s field.

  11. jimmauch says

    This piece is so funny and so true. The basic attitude that we have on the street is that science is only for those college PhD’s. Those very same individuals our religious leaders have taught us to despise.

  12. Barkeron says

    Not that I want to disturb this intellectual circle jerk, but may I point out that this dude is a Robot Cultist?

    Hell, he even wrote a whole novel trilogy about that Singularity crap. Seeing this guy preach about the “right” use of Science!(TM) is like Mr. Robot God Builder himself, Eliezer Yudkowsky, preaching about how to do rationality right…

    Given that fact, I do think the previous commenters were right to attest misogyny here. The Robot Cultists have internalized it, after all.

  13. tychabrahe says

    @wcorvi

    Some of the most amazing science is done by people working outside of their field. Remember that Alfred Wegener was primarily a meteorologist.

  14. shouldbeworking says

    Wow, I wish I could show this to one of classes. But very few would read it. I hate self- fulfilling prophecies.

  15. unclefrogy says

    I was reminded of Jeeves of Jeeves and Wooster as played by Steven Fry as the doctor

    uncle frogy

  16. Holms says

    Did anyone else think the story was entirely too self absorbed to be entertaining? The ‘fatherly doctor’ and ‘hysterical, ignorant mother’ seem to be symptomatic.

    Science started when people learned how to control fire and shape sticks and rocks as tools. It continued when we learned how to use animal skins as clothing and bedding. Then it happened as we learned to save and plant the best seeds from the plants we liked.

    I guess it depends on how you interpret the term ‘science’, which really only arose somewhat after Galileo. Exactly where is a matter for philosophical debate (Bacon? Popper? Newton? etc. etc.), but I would disagree with your interpretation that includes any and all forms of learning as scientific.

    (Gah, I can’t believe this thread is going to be derailed into that kind of thread. Just… gah.)

    SECONDED!

  17. Louis says

    Cue: ZOMG YOU WANT US DEAD OVER A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION LIKE THE NAZIS!!!!!!!!

    From the wooists.

    {future facepalm}

    No. Just no. We don’t. This is what we call SATIRE. There is no legitimate reason for you to claim persecution. Please grow up.

    Louis

  18. Reginald Selkirk says

    “Report me to who you like,” said James.

    A grammatical error, his entire point is invalidated.

  19. marko says

    It drives me up the wall that being stupid and ignorant is worn as such a badge of pride. I really identify with the “…you’ve proudly admitted to not being good at maths.” bit, I’ve been involved in many arguments with these people.
    @scrutationaryarchivist, I looked up the XKCD strip, the annoying thing about it is that people solve things for x all the sodding time. It’s like telling your English teacher you’ve never used a verb just because you’ve never formally considered that that was what you were doing.