Monday, April 6, 2015

Ideology and National Geographic

The November 2004 issue of National Geographic Cover asked, in huge font: "Was Darwin Wrong?" This dishonest title concealed the fact that there was never any intent to sort through the issues pro and con at all. The article was, in fact, a paean of love and devotion to Darwin, a secular psalm to the god of evolution, in which the author nearly wet himself when he was allowed by a museum to hold one of "Darwin's Finches". There was no attempt, zero, to consider any other possibility than Darwin was NOT wrong.

It turned out that in 2010 Darwin was declared wrong on all counts by respected, elitist evolutionary theorists who called themselves the "Altenberg 16". Their conclusions are published in the compilation of articles edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Muller, "Evolution, The Extended Synthesis". In that year, it was found necessary to reject every postulate and premise made by Darwin; all that remained was the assertion that "evolution is true"... anyway. Evolution marched along without Darwinism, yet still revered him religiously.

Last month, March of 2015, National Geographic was published with its front cover declaring in huge font: "The War on Science", and the pertinent article inside was entitled, "The Age of Disbelief" and a subtitle asked, "What's Causing Reasonable People to Doubt Reason?" And once again, National Geographic has demonstrated that its ideology submerges its rationality. Along with decrying the disbelief in the Leftist Favorites Scientisms, global warming, vaccinations, and evolution, the author goes out of his way to bring up Flat Earth beliefs (two page illustration), and the dinosaur in Eden (two page illustration)... and then veers into the psychology of skepticism.

Naive Beliefs. The author dwells on the concept of naive beliefs, a pscho-sociological excuse for denier-blaming. "Science warns us, however, that we can deceive ourselves". Well, yes, of course; Feynman told us that decades ago. And that is why we demand objective data for support of "scientific" claims, and rationally balk when we don't get it.

To his credit, the author produces an accurate account of what should be expected of scientific declarations:
"But unlike the rest of us, they submit their ideas to formal peer review before publishing them. Once their results are published, if they're important enough, other scientists will try to reproduce them - and, being congenitally skeptical and competitive, will be very happy to announce that they don't hold up. Scientific results are always provisional, susceptible to being overturned by some future experiment or observation. Scientists rarely proclaim an absolute truth or absolute certainty. [Remember this statement as his article winds down] Uncertainty is inevitable at the frontiers of knowledge."
Less than a century ago scientists, including Einstein, believed that the universe always existed; not until Lemaitre published his paper in 1927 did anyone think differently. With such large portions of cosmic understanding still not known (black holes are now thought NOT to exist - a short lived phenomenon indeed) there is no reason to attribute anything other than curiosity to any cosmic claims by scientists, certainly not truth intended for ideological worldviews. The same caveat goes, of course, for evolutionary theorists and their claims which are based solely on their own imaginations. There is absolutely no recognition of this antirational characteristic of evolutionary science methodology in this article.

This recognition would seem to flow from the description of science the author just gave. But despite his obligatory description of science, watch where the author takes us.

After all this, the author stumbles into the intellectual pit of ideological Scientism in the end:
"If you're a rationalist, there's something a little disturbing about all this."
And there is this admission, an intellectual blockage he just can't shake:
"When I mentioned to Kahan that I fully accept evolution, he said, 'Believing in evolution is just a description about you. It's not an account of how you think.'

Maybe - except that evolution actually happened. Biology is incomprehensible without it."
Two emotion-driven, anti-rational fallacies which are completely non-empirical, data-free, and purely ideological. There is zero empirical, experimental evidence that evolution happened, then or now; and modern experimental biology functions very, very well without evolution as a required premise in any deductions. The author has forgotten his own words regarding the limitations of the scientific method, and has allowed his Scientistic ideology to obliterate his vaunted "rationality" and to completely take the reins.

It gets worse:
"There aren't really two sides to all these issues. Climate change is happening. Vaccines really do save lives. Being right does matter - and the science tribe has a long track record of getting things right in the end. Modern society is built on things it got right."
Some blunt questions: would you ride in any of the airplanes invented prior to the Wright Brothers' plane? Would want to be on the Hindenberg? On the NASA flights which exploded, or burnt up on re-entry, or burnt up on the ground at NASA Houston? Science has its problems, as Madame Curie might have told us. The implications of his words here are nothing less than science-worship, a disregarding of his own caveats on the truth-limits of science.

Modern society was built based on the freedom to pursue and fail, and freedoms of all kinds, now being lost as dissent and skepticism are disallowed, at least under Scientism and Classism. Science and technology contributed of course, but so did the freedom to invest in risky ventures (capitalism). Further, the existence of moral western societies contributed to the concept of intellectual honesty, now an endangered trait. The loss of intellectual honesty will bring science to a halt, if the physical boundary horizons do not stop it first.

But let's move along.
"Now we have incredibly fast change, and it's scary sometimes. It's not all progress. Our science has made us the dominant organisms, with all due respect to ants and blue-green algae, and we're changing the whole planet. Of course we're right to ask questions about some of the things science and technology allow us to do. 'Everybody should be questioning', says McNutt. 'That's the hallmark of a scientist. But then they should use the scientific method, to decide which way they fall on these questions.'"
The absurdity of this final statement will not be lost on anyone who believes in, and understands, actual science. The morality of scientific pursuit of human-animal chimeras will not EVER be answered using the scientific method, and anyone suggesting that it could be should have his "scientist" title revoked. And probably his "journalist" card as well. Dr. Mengele has been forgotten by a maleducated and ideological generation. And yet they claim to be "rationalists".

But such intellectual-ist trash is commonly found in National Geographic. Their elitism is obvious by their attachment to skewed, ideological stories like this one and like the 2004 story on Darwin.

These stories are actually part of the Leftist War on Dissent.


Phoenix said...

in which the author nearly wet himself when he was allowed by a museum to hold one of "Darwin's Finches"

What's up with Atheists and their outlandish awe for nature?We are all students of science and nature but these Materialists are trying to depict a type of mysticism in nature which only THEY can detect.

Rikalonius said...

Because when you deny your own divinity, you must replace it with something else, and they have no choice to replace it with the created, rather than the creator.

It all reveals their elitism. Like many cults, they think themselves the preservers of special knowledge only the initiated can properly interpret. They are no better than soothsayers who predict omens.

Russell said...

"science tribe has a long track record of getting things right in the end"

Er, engineering. Science, not so much.

"evolution actually happened." Which version? Certainly not Darwin's version, the main pillars of his theory have been knocked down and ground to a fine powder. So which theory of evolution did happen?