08 January 2012

Such a lame argument, even a cat can refute it

Religionists have a thing for projection. They try to oppress others with their backward ideology, but then claim to be the oppressed ones when they meet fierce resistance. They accuse non-believers of immorality, wickedness and sin, but then commit immoral, wicked and – by their own lights – sinful acts. They promote prejudice and bigotry, but then whine that their opponents are the ones being prejudiced and bigoted. Finally, they cling to their unsubstantiated beliefs for no other reason than faith, but then charge scientists with ‘scientism’ – of having blind faith in science.

One Rabbi Moshe Averick, certified creationist, took leave of his rational faculties and made this last all-too-common fallacious argument. He thinks that a scientist’s “belief” in a naturalistic explanation for reality has “no rational basis”, just like Averick’s own belief in a supernatural explanation for reality has no rational basis. Ergo, scientists are just like religionists.

Higgs the cat aptly demonstrates the epicness of the rabbi’s argument fail (bold emphasis mine):

I’d also like to call attention to your misleading use of the word “faith” to describe the thinking of [biologist and Nobel Laureate Dr. Jack Szostak] as well as [biologist] Dr. Jerry Coyne. Neither of them ever said they believed science would answer everything. We don’t know which questions will be answered by science in our lifetimes, which will be answered in the future, and which will never be answered. The physicist Richard Feynman has remarked that we don’t know if science will ever get to the bottom of things or just keep peeling back layers of an endless onion. That didn’t stop him from peeling back a quite substantial layer.

Furthermore, science works because scientists don’t apply a religions-type faith to their theories. They get in big trouble when they do. Scientists either change their minds when the evidence turns against them or they risk going down in history as defenders of a wrong or outdated idea. Think of cold fusion.

Some people argue that scientists have faith in the process of science, but this type of faith is not a religious leap but a logical extension of our experience. The scientific method has worked in the past many times. Therefore it’s quite rational to think it will continue to work in the future.

Rabbi Averick just got pussy-whipped.

Your argoomint iz invalid.

HT: Jerry Coyne


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