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Hudsonblick 09

In der mittlerweile neunten Ausgabe von Hudsonblick, der exklusiven NYC-Kolumne von Charles für Spreeblick, geht es eigentlich wieder um einen Kampf.

Diesmal: Wissenschaft gegen Gott. In true hypertext style!

Labyrinth

Wer wissen will, wie es ausgeht, sollte weiterlesen!

I Have Seen the Future

Welcome to the future, welcome to the 21st Century. Did you expect it to be more … futuristic? Yeah, me too. We must have nodded off sometime during the last couple of decades. I blame this fiasco, as I blame most disappointments in life, on the end of the Cold War.

Once upon a time, America loved science. We wrote odes to Science. Science was our buddy, our team-mate against The Evil Communists. They were bigger, but we had shinier rockets and cleverer ways to split atoms. We had unwaveringly rational men and women in horn-rimmed glasses hypothesizing and experimenting and tabulating. Americans slept better knowing that these living logic boards had forsaken emotion, companionship and sunlight to keep our country on the bleeding edge of scientific progress. As long as Science was in the house, there was hope that we could stand up to our implacable enemy. There had to be something to hang the hat of optimism upon, and „science“ did the trick.

But what has science given us lately? DNA manipulation? Fetal stem cell research? Global warming? Et tu, Science! Why have you turned on us? Why do you recklessly discover these things, when they just confuse us? We used to suffer your flights of fancy when we just needed faster jets and more accurate missiles, but no longer! We used to tolerate your softer side; your psychology and sociology, but only because all that loco math impressed us. Now we have a better friend. Now we have a friend who doesn“™t fuck with our heads so much. Now we have a friend who can kick Science“™s ASS. Who“™s going to justify our optimism now, you ask? GOD, that“™s who.

Now, instead of being depressed by those (scientific!) statistics about the economy or the war or whatever, just remember: God says it“™ll be OK. We know, because he speaks to our president sometimes. So you can trot out your boring old numbers and statistically validated conclusions all you want because we just don“™t care anymore. Your petty complaints about ballooning deficits, mounting body counts, rising oil prices, you just don“™t get it. We never cared about the math or the logic. We just wanted the optimism. And now America can sleep easy knowing that instead of those fickle scientists, God will take care of everything.

You might have noticed that our alliance with supernatural forces has required us to change a few things: Our language has changed. Our method of discourse has changed. In some cases, the past has changed. But no matter, the upside is so up (God! On OUR SIDE!), that these are minor sacrifices.

And if you“™re wondering why he hasn“™t shown up yet, look to yourself. Why should He help us out, why should He protect us, while we continue to flout His wishes? We must show God that we“™re on board with Him! If we want His divine solution to dwindling natural resources, national security, and economic recovery, we must reshape our society in obeisance to Him. Maybe then I“™ll finally get that dark future that I was promised back when Science returned our calls.

Bonus links:
Real science does not use infomercials!
What the hell is that picture?

12 Kommentare

  1. 01
    Der andere Max

    Religion has been the worst thing invented by humans yet. I mean it.

    Da gibt es so verdammt viel zu erzählen, das fing mit „Was ist Was“ und den Opfergaben der Inka an (Ihr findet das vielleicht albern, aber ja, da besteht eine Verbindung), dann die Kreuzzüge, beim Schimmelreiter wurden auch lebende Lebewesen in den Deich gesteckt, heutzutage gibt’s den Jihad und Mr. Bush. Warum?
    Und ich dachte immer, die Religion sei je nach Kultur nur zur Regelung der Ethik vorhanden, sozusagen ein Gesetzesbuch um drei Ecken (incl. Hyghiene etc.). Ich bin selbst überzeugt von der heutigen Naturwissenschaft (ja, auch wenn alles nicht geklärt zu sein scheint), tolleriere auch Ansätze Hawkins und anderer, Teismus (kann man das so sagen?) in dieses Bild mit zu integrieren, kann aber diese Engstirnigkeit nicht verstehen. Seit Zeiten geht das schon über Leichen. Und kein Ende. Nicht einmal in der „modernsten Kultur“ dieses Planeten, aber auch am Gegenpol nicht.

    Welcome to the (unfortunately religious) successor of Cold War. What a pity.

  2. 02

    Whoa, lots of great links there. I’m going to shamelessly point you to a recent post of mine here (sorry, Johnny!) in which I had a mild freak-out over the Creation Museum, only much less eloquently than you.

    Since I got most of my news about the US from The Daily Show, liberal blogs and (relatively) sane friends, I only have a very vague idea of how „bad“ it actually is, with regard to the Science vs. God issue. As in, I haven’t actually talked to anyone who believes (or rather, „knows for a fact“) that God created the earth and mankind and dinosaurs, and I was wondering if you could shed some light on this for me.

    Would the majority of Americans actually take their children to a museum where fossils tell them that science LIES and their school teachers got it all wrong? Are (the majority of) biology teachers actually presenting The Gospel as a valid alternative to evolution, because that’s the only way to keep religious parents from boycotting schools?

    Because that’s what your entry suggests, and it’s a very terrifying thought. Come on, give me some peace of mind here.

  3. 03
    charles

    hahahaha, sorry Andrea, we’re screwed. In a recent survey only about a third of those surveyed believed that creationism had no place in a science class. The other two-thirds accepted creationism as a topic for a science science class to a greater (only creationism) or lesser (mention creationism as a „belief“) extent. I saw a breakdown by political affiliation and more than half of LIBERALS thought that creationism shouldn’t be ignored in science class. It wouldn’t be „fair“.

    This is what really gets me. The idea that we should include some brand of creationism in science because it’s only „fair“ or „democratic“, since so many people (at least so many loud ones) want it included. I’m here to tell you: Science is not „fair“. It does not provide equal time to all points of view. It is not egalitarian. It is ruthless. It is critical. It is discerning. There is room for dissention and discussion, but never room for compromise. Two plus two must always equal four, and if you disagree with that, you have a long uphill climb before anyone is going to give you the time of day.

    The forces arrayed against science in America have taken a strangely post-modernist stance where the only truth is in the mind. As my friend Bill describes it, it appears to be the ultimate triumph of Jacques Derrida.

    I enjoyed your article, too: informative and, yes, creepy. I wish I had better news for you, but ever since Bush got into office, there has been a redefining of what makes truth, and not for the better. You might have noticed.

    Max, thanks for your comments, too. I’m always happy when I can get someone to launch into a tirade in german! ;-)

  4. 04

    That’s a very interesting survey. I just got to the part where it says „Americans who have heard of the term Evolution (95% of the total)„. Waaah. Although, hey, there’s hope! Most people seem to be rather in favor of Evolution, don’t they? Don’t give up just yet. (You’re so screwed.)

    Oh, and before I forget: stumbled upon this just now — „The Theory of Evolution: Just a Theory?“, refuted.

    After skimming through the Wikipedia entry you linked to, as well as the entry on Deconstruction, I think I have a vague idea of what your friend is getting at, but will have to ponder it some more. And I’m making it my mission to ask friends of different religions about their opinions on Evolution, because now I’m intrigued. So thank you! :-)

    (Pratchett quote, out of context: „It occurred to him that it was also a way in which two plus two could be debated and weighed and considered and discussed until it became four-and-a-bit, or possibly an egg.“)

  5. 05
    Charles

    I can empathise with the author of that article; it sometimes surprises me what people think evolution is. Really, you can’t blame them for misconceptions. Evolution is often misrepresented as „survival of the fittest“, and nature programs often describe some animal’s physical train (a beak, a claw) as being „made to“ do something. To an inquisitive viewer, statements like these are bound to mean trouble for evolution.

    I think it’s great that you’re seeking out dialogues on this subject. I’ve often found religious people to be very philosophical and open-minded about topics like this. It’s unfortunate that the puritanical among them hold so much sway.

    (PS: I wouldn’t worry about Derrida regarding this topic. Bill meant it in reference to the reality-bending nature of the arguments often used by Republican pundits, as demonstrated in some of the links in the original post. Prost!)

  6. 06
    Charles

    In today’s news, America’s theocrats march on!
    (read to the tune of Mozart’s Requiem)

    Religious zeal sets U.S. apart from allies, poll finds
    „Nearly all U.S. respondents said faith is important to them and only 2 percent said they do not believe in God. Almost 40 percent said religious leaders should try to sway policymakers, notably higher than in other countries.“

    Governor signs anti-abortion bill at Christian school
    „FORT WORTH, June 5 – Making good on a Republican campaign call to celebrate with „Christian friends,“ Gov. Rick Perry traveled to an evangelical school here on Sunday to put his signature on measures to restrict abortion and prohibit same-sex marriage.“

    Dies irae…!

  7. 07

    Oh, now I’m just depressed.

  8. 08

    I’m just going to keep adding these as I see them. There are a lot of articles like this lately.

    „TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Zoo will add a display featuring the biblical account of creation following complaints to a city board about other displays with religious significance, including a Hindu elephant statue.“

    „I see this as a big victory,“ said Dan Hicks, the Tulsa resident who approached the zoo with the idea. „It’s a matter of fairness. To not include the creationist view would be discrimination.“

    As I’ve said above, equal time is not how science is „fair“. OBJECTIVITY is how it is fair. But since we’ve tossed that out the window, maybe I can get my Sentient Lizards from Space theory displayed, too!!

  9. 09
    Charles

    Other warnings signs of fake science:

    * the „research“ was done by a political think tank
    * the „research“ has not been published in a scientific journal
    * it describes previous, published research as deliberately misleading
    * it includes a recounting of the media outlets and lobbying organizations that reported the previous, published research.

    At least, these are some of the signs that make me think that this might have more to do with politics than science.

  10. 10
    charles

    Some Republicans have now decided that science is best handled by congressional committee. And part of that scientific process requires not only data, but financial records…

  11. 11
    charles

    Today’s statement by the President nudges the theocracy-o-meter up a few points..

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