“Moon *Not* Made of Cheese, Physicist Explains”

Just in case you were wondering. 😉

I don’t know the context of that quote, but I’m very concerned about the science deniers in the US. It seems that, despite mandatory science classes in high school, most people still don’t understand science. Conservatives seem to think that science is like religion: convince enough people of something and science will have to follow. It doesn’t work like that… if all the evidence goes against your Intelligent Design theory (code-words for creationism), then your theory is thrown out. Regardless of what you might want to be true, or how nice it sounds, or how many people might agree with you.

If you claim that humans did not evolve from other creatures, as a pointed for-instance, then you’re denying the very basis of the medical knowledge that allows people — including you! — to live more than thirty years today. It’s only due to the belief that we did, and thus that we’re very biologically similar to other creatures, that we can progress on the assumption that things that help other creatures should also help us. Would you rather we had to assume the opposite, that other creatures are entirely unrelated to us, and test everything out on people from the very beginning? The death rate would be appalling. No one would stand for that, so medical science would never be able to develop anything. Which, by the way, was the state of things when the world was ruled by religion — it was actually illegal to dissect a human corpse, so there was no way would-be doctors could legally learn about the human body.

Worse, if a large enough minority of people deny science (which is where we seem to be headed right now), then science can’t continue and will actually be pushed back. Do you really want to turn the clock back to medieval lifespans? Vocal science deniers do, though some might not realize that that would be a consequence. Not that it would matter to them, they preach one thing and do the opposite, and see no problem with it so long as they’re not caught.

Science is about being able to explain the physical world so that we can predict things about it. It has sharply-defined limits — it can only address the physical world, and can’t be applied to everything even there. But for those things that it can be applied to, you’d have to be a flaming idiot to deny its evidence.

Unfortunately the world — and especially the US — is full of flaming idiots, and they’ve been given far too much authority in recent decades.


  1. What I find interesting is that, if they were to stop and think about it, science actually supports the theory of intelligent design. The universe is bound by strict laws, and everything seems to follow them exactly. That then prompts the question as to how these laws were formed, what set them up and what enforces them? That is something science cannot explain, and therein lies a role for philosophy, including theology. The theory that the universe was designed and created by an intelligent designer is one plausible theory, and is supported by the fact that science can make reliable predictions on events in this universe. In other words, evolution and intelligent design are not incompatible if one considers evolution to have been intelligently designed.

    • That has been pointed out, many times and by many people. I’m sure some people accept it — it’s exactly what I believe, for instance — but the vocal ones insist that, since that’s not what their holy book’s creation myth says, they have to reject it out of hand.

    • I’ll point out that Intelligent Design is not the same as the idea described above. Intelligent Design, capitalized, is pure creationism — the idea that “some Intelligent Designer” could have created everything exactly the way the book of Genesis says. The only difference is that it doesn’t claim to be the truth, only that it could be the truth, and therefore should be taught in all schools alongside evolution.

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