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Stick To The Motherfucking Science, Holmes!

ScienceBlogs has enlisted a new blogger who is an accomplished and well-respected evolutionary biologist, David Sloan Wilson. Unfortunately, however, the dude can’t seem to resist the urge to engage in blithering wackaloon fuckwittitude concerning the relative epistemic status of religion and science.

In one post, he writes the following:

Science can even be regarded as a religion that worships truth as its god. It might seem provocative to put it this way, but I find the comparison compelling and challenge my readers to show what’s wrong with it.

As was pointed out very clearly and in detail by a number of commenters to that post, this analogy is pathetically stupid (and mind-numbingly boring). Science doesn’t “worship” anyfuckingthing in the sense of “worship” that applies to religion. Yeah, this analogy might be “provocative”, but only because grotesque conflation and word-twisting tends to piss people off.

Science is nothing more than organized systematic doubt; religion is based exactly on the rejection of doubt.

In another post, he argues that science and religion are each “meaning systems”, as if that provides a useful common framework for understanding both science and religion:

Once we focus on meaning systems as the main object of study, then we can study the elements associated with religion and science in the context of meaning systems.

Of course, the difference between religion and science as symbolic meaning systems is that every single bit of evidence that has been amassed over the millenia of human experience indicates that the referents of religious symbols don’t exist, while every single bit of evidence that has been amassed over the millenia of human experience indicates that the referents of scientific symbols do exist. Seems like an important difference to me. I wonder why he doesn’t point this out?

Dude, do yourself and all of us a favor, and stick to the motherfucking science. Lay off the smarmy inane gibbering, bogus analogies, and whiny apologetics.

Comments

  1. Larry H. says

    Why I quit blogging.

    In a half-way rational world, Wilson would have completely ruined his scientific reputation for promulgating this pathetic bullshit. Scientists are supposed to care deeply about the truth.

    There will always be idiots like Wilson. What matters is the institutional response to this sort of idiocy. Rather than being laughed off the stage, scientific institutions are giving him the spotlight. Moral: to advance in the sciences, make vague, unfalsifiable statements that irritate an unpopular minority, flatter the masses and prop up the ruling class.

    When did the scientific establishment turn into the Republican party?

  2. says

    Rather than being laughed off the stage, scientific institutions are giving him the spotlight.

    Scientific institutions are not giving him the spotlight. Blogging platforms like ScienceBlogs are no closer to “scientific institutions” than a festering boil on my ass.

  3. says

    —“Scientific institutions are not giving him the spotlight.”—
    Ok, maybe not him. But how about the current director of the NIH?
    There is a disturbing trend here, one that feels the need to entertain wackaloon mutherfucking bullshit under the guise of intelligent discourse.

  4. agasaya says

    Peeking in from Twisty’s blog. Nice room, PP.

    This entry? A bit weak since science deal in facts while the concept of ‘truth’ has many overlays of belief stuck to it. The origin of the word is rooted in religion (fidelity to a concept) and later associated with one’s opinions being in accord with facts.

    Truth for some is not equivalent to facts for others.

  5. says

    Another SB manufacturversy. Pass.

    I think DSW specialises in manufacturversy. He’s been keeping the group selection one going since the mid 70s.

  6. Anonymous says

    Thank you for writing this, PP. I hate this guy’s work and was appalled to see he has a blog. He has been light on science for a long time now. And incidentally, I’ve been in two academic biology departments that have fawned all over him because of his ideas in science education. Evolution for everyone? More like sociobiology for everyone.

  7. says

    Dude, do yourself and all of us a favor, and stick to the motherfucking science.

    Yes, because we all know that everyone on SB “sticks to the motherfucking science”. What a crock of shit.

    Another case of “Do what I say, not what I do.”

  8. says

    The Science Blogs interbloggers strike me as mostly leftist elitists promulgating the fascist gay homosexual/butch feminist lifestyle and liberal interlopism, with commentators disproportionately afflicted by Asperger syndrome compared to the normal population. It is as if God created the Daily Kos for the slide ruler crowd.

    -RPTH

  9. says

    I liked it.

    Science is nothing more than organized systematic doubt; religion is based exactly on the rejection of doubt.

    Huh? Who says? I don’t reject doubt.

    If you’re allowed to pronounce on what religion is and what religious people think, why can’t this guy?

    has been amassed over the millenia of human experience indicates that the referents of religious symbols don’t exist

    I have three religious symbols tattooed on me. The symbols exist and I exist. Obviously, these symbols have meaning in how these concepts manifest in my life, and how they have historically manifested. If someone else sees the symbols, they will ‘read’ the symbols, like words. (“In the beginning was the Word”) Are words real? Are thoughts real? Do thoughts (requiring faith in a system of reality to have coherence) have no connection to actions? If not, why bother to try to convince anyone to do the right thing?

    Of course, symbols are real–Stop signs and green lights are real. One does not have to believe in a religion or anything else, to understand that the symbols have real meanings and consequences in this world for REAL PEOPLE.

  10. says

    are you high daisy? religious symbols refer only to the fact that a bunch of crazy people like them? not to the actual beliefs of those crazy people? not to the house of cards belief systems? just another accidental group identifier like tweed jackets with elbow patches?

  11. says

    religious symbols refer only to the fact that a bunch of crazy people like them?

    Crazy? Ableist much?

    I see you aren’t very progressive.

    not to the actual beliefs of those crazy people? not to the house of cards belief systems? just another accidental group identifier like tweed jackets with elbow patches?

    Speak English.

    So, you think several billion people throughout the world are “crazy”? Quite arrogant, as well as ableist.

    Um, just wondering: do you have any problem with setting yourself up as superior and smarter than the vast majority of people in the world?

    Again, I see you are not very progressive, but then, I’ve noticed most of these “new atheists” (who follow proudly-elitist snobs like Hitchens and Dawkins), usually are not.

    Too bad, we can use all the help we can get.

  12. Sven DIMilo says

    Um, just wondering: do you have any problem with setting yourself up as superior and smarter than the vast majority of people in the world?

    Speaking only for myself, I know for a fact that I am smarter than the vast majority of people in the world. (I don’t know how to meaningfully judge “superiority.”) I also think their religious beliefs (whatever such may be) are extremely likely to be false. If it’s “ableist” to call them “crazy” then I’ll just go with “irrational.”

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