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Science: Losing our Religion


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At the dawn of the 21st century, we again find an elite, smugly contented scientific establishment. One now endowed with far more public authority and respect than in any prior version. A virtual priesthood of high science controls public and private policymaking, purse-strings, education, and expenditures for research, development, construction, production, and publication throughout the world. It enjoys a cultural trust and pre-ordained reverence that extends far beyond its true and earned merits.

Anyone who’s followed the Climate Change debate already knows about the unsettling increase in not only Climate Deniers, but more importantly the doubtful outlook on Science within the General Public. This sentimental swing has given rise to increasingly opportunistic cynicism among right-winged Journalists that is starting to trickle into the Mainstream Media as well.  Writing recently for the Telegraph, the columnist Gerald Warner easily dismisses the rhetoric of scientists, as somehow self-serving, or fallen from the grace that they once held as intermediaries to a higher truth. He asserts that, “The public is no longer in awe of scientists. Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more.”

> Faith: Science vs Religion
Enormous swaths of our modern demographics have apparently long ago either convinced themselves that God is either a long dead and forgotten artifact from history, or at the most a philosophical relic depending upon on who you ask. After the so-called rationale Age of Reason, Science long ago supplanted Religion as the leading system of Faith.

“God is Dead”          -Freidrich Neitzche

‘Neitzche is Dead’   -God

Original Sin

It’s in the nature of religion to be authoritarian and proscriptive. Essential to this is the concept of Sin – a transgression in thought or deed of theological principles.

Original sin in the older religions derived from one of the founts of life on earth – sex. The new religion goes even further back to the very basis of all life – carbon.  The amazing propensity of carbon to form compounds of unlimited complexity made the existence of life possible, while its dioxide is the primary foodstuff, the very start of the food chain. Every item of nutriment you consume started out as atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is therefore the ideal candidate for original sin, since no one can escape dependence on it. This manna that gave us life is now regularly branded in media headlines as “pollution” and “toxic”: surely one of the most perverse dysphemisms in the history of language. Yet somehow greenhouse gases that are FAR more potent than CO2 (Methane and Nitrous Oxide) have somehow escaped the zealous persecution brought down upon CO2. Perhaps because they are so essential to the de-humanized practices and processes of mass-produced meat and other agriculture, that can no longer be sustained without the methods of modern science.

The Paradox

Specialization has led into deepened niches, where there is less cross-discipline synergy that ever before, and the lines of communication are difficult even for professionals, much less the general Public who are left out in the cold. As the Media long ago forsook the more expensive beat reporter model, in favor of simply rewriting materials from the large central News Wires and Agencies, our Mainstream Media sources of information no longer had onstaff Specialists who could digest and interpret complex subjects, and breaking news in such broad fields such as Science, and thus stories on Environmentalism and Pure Research had to be taken on face value. As the inner workings and finer details of modern science became impenetrably mysterious to most, the public accepted more and more information via a system of Faith, rather than rationale or critical judgment. Yet Science has always taught us to trust nothing that could not be repeatedly and consistently proven with full clarity and disclosure, and supported through rigorous and open peer review. To Public that has been coerced into blind faith in Science through decades of positive re-reinforcement , this subtle, yet fatal contradiction has become an increasingly obvious paradox!

Journals:  Publish or Perish

The modern scientific journals also have a role to play in this crumbling system of trust, since they are now seen as gatekeepers to knowledge that can only be accessed via cost prohibitive fees and subscriptions. Even libraries are required to come of with thousands of dollars just to access copy-protected electronic versions (and tens of thousands for yearly subscriptions to permanently held printed copies). Ironically, the material submitted to these journals was is in most cases the result of publicly funded research in the first place, which the journals need not even pay for. However unless this research can be assimilated and disseminated via alternate media channels, the Scientific Community will be increasingly seen as a self-censuring and elitist group of insiders who have purposely isolated themselves from not only dissenting peer review (via the Editorial slants of journals, and the funding requirements and political pressures of Universities),

A Hippocratic Oath for Science ?

– Don’t hold your breathe
– There is too much money to be made in weaponizing Science, or selling benefits to only the highest bidders

http://www.experiment-resources.com/religion-vs-science.html

http://www.newsweek.com/id/235084

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/geraldwarner/page/2/

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