Ken Miller on “Unscientific America” v. PZ Myers

unsciam“While Myers and others may advance the argument that religious faith is the arch-enemy of scientific rationalism, this doesn’t imply that insult and ridicule are appropriate tools with which to defend science. Similarly, the blunt tactics of such folks are no reason to reject the “new atheists” as advocates for science, as Unscientific America seems to do, and as others have explicitly suggested. Scientific rationality is too important a cause to limit participation in its defense. We need each and every voice in our society to speak up for science, no exceptions,” biologist Ken Miller writes in an essay he’s posted about the new book Unscientific America, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, and its critics (especially over the chapter on science and religion).
“Mooney and Kirshenbaum are right that the tactics of bloggers like Myers have surely reinforced creationist claims about the nature of the scientific enterprise. It is for that reason that the producers of Ben Stein’s notorious anti-evolution movie Expelled were delighted to feature PZ Myers in that film. Myers’ anti-religious views made a perfect foil for the scientific and historical nonsense dished up by Expelled, and that’s the unremarkable point highlighted by Mooney and Kirshenbaum. They had the nerve to point that out, and that’s why we’ve got a brawl in the scientific blogosphere. It’s a brawl, unfortunately, that will only serve to weaken the public case for science, no matter who hangs in there for the last word.”

Category: On the Record


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