Paul doing Science on Mars Hill

“Science is not truth; it is, instead, a method for diminishing ignorance”From “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” by J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page.

Whether or not the above definition is accurate or not is an argument which I don’t necessarily intend with this here post. It could be perhaps if I knew the context of the phrase.

I haven’t read the book but I did manage to get the quote from reading a review of the book in the journal Nature, 447, pp.34-35 (2007) during lunch a couple of days ago.

The authors’ contention did get me thinking though: If science is a “method for diminishing ignorance” then can Paul’s outstanding sermon on Mars Hill be counted as science, so-called?

According to Luke,

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ‘ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. — Acts 17:22-23

He sought to liberate the members of the Areopagus from their ignorance, did he not?

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Ignorance is Bliss to Philip Pullman

Caught this quote from Brent Bozell’s most recent column, “The Christmas-Crushing Movie”,

But buyer beware: Narnia it’s not. It’s the anti-Narnia. Instead of a Christian allegory, it’s an anti-Christian allegory. The author of “The Golden Compass,” Philip Pullman, is an atheist who despises C. S. Lewis and his much-beloved Narnia series. “I thought they were loathsome,” he said of those books, “full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself.”

As someone who immensely enjoys reading Lewis’ works (to my detriment I’ve had little exposure to the Narnia series), I might be just get a bit biased when my literary hero gets lambasted like that.

What is odd about Pullman’s words is his erroneous description of Christianity. I want to believe that his false impression is a result of ignorance (not having examined the claims of Christ) instead of a willful misrepresentation or interpretation of Christ’s teachings.

Dr. James Watson Makes Regrettable Comments

Dr. James Watson, who along with Francis Crick, “discovered” the double helical structure of DNA, with a little help from one of their friends, X-Ray Crystallographer Rosalind Franklin.

Watson and Crick won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their groundbreaking work as well as worldwide acclaim.

Dr. Watson was to speak to an audience at the Science Museum, but his speech was canceled due to some ill-advised comments he made.

According to this story,

DNA pioneer Dr Watson, who discovered the double helix with Briton Francis Crick, has been roundly condemned for saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

Also,

Dr. Watson was also quoted as saying that while he hoped all races were equal, “people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true.”

He also added,

there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of people geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically.

Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so

Then of course, a statement to avoid the inevitable conclusion of his statements,

However, he said people should not discriminate racially, because “there are many people of colour who are very talented.”

These statements seem to be a racist’s dreams come true. One can almost see a collective “I told you so” from white supremacist groups.

I wonder if Watson realizes the import of what he allegedly said, and if he’s going to get Carleton Coon(ed) for said comments.  Probably not since Watson’s words will probably be dismissed as the ramblings of an old man.

Watson has also made other brow raising comments, according to this story,

In 1997, he told a British newspaper that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be a homosexual.

Wonder what Joel Ginsberg would say to that?