Tag Archives: Ben Stein

Monckton requires religious certification for scientists?

Lord Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley - Chief Policy Adviser of the SPPI

Christopher Monckton is one of the leading lights in the movement to discredit the International Panel on Climate Change, climate science and its findings on the human contribution to current climate change. Local climate change sceptics and deniers like Ian Wishart, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, The Climate Coversation Group and bloggers pro0moting a denier platform eagerly promote his statements and videos.

Monckton is the Chief Policy Adviser of the Science & Public Policy Institute (SPPI) which disseminates propaganda aimed at discrediting climate science and scientists. So it’s worth considering what his ideological approach to science is.

Science gives us nothing!

Monckton has a rather revealing article, What is science without religion?, on the SPPI blog. Much of the article attempts to discredit science and scientists, often associating science with the worst aspects of humanity – similar to Ben Stein‘s approach in his creationist Expelled film. But the last two paragraphs hint at a very objectionable policy towards science. He says

“Precisely because the worst sort of scientists are prone to say, intolerantly, that religion is not a legitimate pastime for any scientist, many scientists have come to the view that they no longer need to adhere to any moral precept at all. Morality, they say, is the province of religion and not of science. We, they say, can do what we like as long as we can get away with it, and there is no such distinction any more as true or false, right or wrong, just or unjust.

Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing.”

So what can we take from this. He is saying without religion, specifically Christianity, one has no morality or concept of truth. Really he is proposing that science should be subordinate to relgion, to its concept of truth and morality. Instead of scientists determining the accuracy of their ideas by testing against reality they must test them against religious “truth” and “morals.”

Climate change denial similar to intelligent design

This is exactly the approach taken by the anti-science activists of the intelligent design movement. While I don’t by any means wish to equate very climate change sceptic with intelligent design, Monckton’s position does give some ideological explanation to the observation that many climate change deniers are also Christian apologists and intelligent design/creationism proponents.

So just imagine of Mockton had his way. Scientists would have to have religious certification, capable of being withdrawn anytime their findings contradict the religious “truth” promulgated by the Church.

Imagined lining up every six moths for your “scientific warrant of fitness.” Being examined by the local Bishop, Priest, Parson, Iman, Monk, etc., and, depending on how they thought you did in their test, relying on their accreditation, their stamp of approval.

I guess that’s one way of eliminating climate change!

What a silly man.

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The wedge undermines Christianity

phillip-johnsonBecause of the summer solstice/New Year holidays I am reposting some older articles. This one from last May.

Back in 1999 Phillip E. Johnson, the godfather of intelligent design (ID), declared a strategy of labeling evolutionary science, and therefore by implication all of science, as atheistic.

“The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs evolution to the existence of God vs the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to ‘the truth’ of the Bible and then ‘the question of sin’ and finally ‘introduced to Jesus.’”

200px-wedge_document_coverIn essence this is the same strategy as that outlined in the Wedge Strategy document.

ID spokespeople have constantly pushed this argument. Recently their efforts have become more extreme. For example, the message in ‘that silly movie’ Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed that “Darwinism” led directly to Nazism and the holocaust. And these spokespeople have become more open in widening their attacks from “Darwinism” to all of science.

Ben Stein declared during a recent TV interview that “science leads to killing people.” David Berlinski in The Scientific Embrace of Atheism also attacks science in a manner John Derbyshire shows to be ridiculous (see Getting It Wrong about Atheism and Science). Denys O’Leary has written in similar nasty way with her references to “Darwinist” thugs (see Expelled: “Denormalizing” the Darwin thugs and Expelled: “Denormalizing” the Darwin thugs 2 – PZ Myers and friends).

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Expelled – the movies

Intelligent design proponents are currently promoting Ben Stein’s film Expelled. There are campaigns in the USA offering financial inducements to get the film shown to students. And many religious web sites are advertising the film, even in New Zealand where 75% of the population accept evolutionary science.

While the film has not yet been officially released it is being shown to specially selected audience in the USA, usually at Churches. Anybody likely to review the film has to sign a non-disclosure “statement of confidentiality”. However, have a read of the review by Roger Moore who was invited to a showing by mistake and managed to avoid signing the agreement.

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