Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sandefur on Kaplinski

Over at The Panda's Thumb, Tim Sandefur offers some further thoughts on the Kaplinski article. He writes:

I would certainly agree that there is just as much quackery and hoodooism on the left as on the right—I live in Northern California, so I should know—and I agree that the tendency to ignore what a person says on the grounds that “he’s funded by so-and-so” is an illogical and childish attitude that is all too common. But the problem isn’t just hostility to people who claim authority. Such hostility can actually be pretty helpful; I understand the motto of the Royal Society is “On the Words of No One,” which is a pretty anti-authoritarian sentiment. Rather, the problem (other than simple ignorance) is hostility to reason and objective science. That hostility takes the form of both traditional fundamentalism (by which reason and science subvert the unquestioning faith demanded of us by God and society) and newfangled Pomo tergiversation (by which science is exploitative, inherently racist, and part of an intellectual scheme to oppress the proletariat and deprive them of their health insurance coverage).

Go to the original post for additional links.

Sorry, but there is far more quackery and hoodooism on the right than on the left. And the Christian right has far more power, and is far more active, than the anti-science left.

And while there may be a handful of postmodern academics trumpeting the “science is exploitative and racist” line, they are not the ones lobbying school boards to include creationism in science classes. In every state where this has become an issue it is the Republicans who have made it so. It is always and everywhere conservatives who try to influence public policy on this issue. That is why, in the context of evolution and creationism, it is mostly a red herring to discuss postmodernism.


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