Archive for July, 2012

David Berlinsky in his book ‘The Devils Delusion Atheism and its scientific pretensions’ says this regarding belief:

‘In Six impossible things before breakfast, the biologist Lewis Wolpert , who is resolutely prepared to dismiss religious thought as superstition, writes that “scientific beliefs are special , and different from any other kind of thinking,” inasmuch as scientific beliefs “are not programmed into our brains.To say that scientific beliefs are special is to suggest, of course, that only specialists may assess them. To say that religious beliefs are programmed into our brains is to say that like a gag reflex, they cannot be controlled. But if scientific beliefs are not programmed into our brains, why assume that religious beliefs are ? And if they are not, why assume that “scientific beliefs are special”?These questions are rhetorical. No one is disposed to ask them within the scientific community, and the scientific community is not disposed to acknowledge answers to questions it is not disposed to ask.’

Of course the belief that science is unadulterated and unfettered,value free by the brains that seeks to generate knowledge by its method as if this pursuit was purely objective and so distinctive from other ideas is a matter not of…objectivity,empirical evidence, peer review or double blind trials but in fact is an article of faith, and perhaps as such is actually hard wired like a gag reflex ?

Apart from the empirical glut that Wolperts claim suffers from, the just so stories that underpin his epistemology the elitists exclusive claims of scientists -the tyranny of experts and rise of an authoritative elite -I see no problems.