Extraordinary claims require extraordinary research
Every now and then Richard Dawkins turns up in my Twitter feed. I don’t follow him but people I know retweet him so occasionally I see his words. I think as a scientist he, and scientists like him, have lost their way.
Science is a process, not a position of belief. Results based on evidence provide an insight into how things appear to be based on our current understanding and scientific ability, but holding on to that position as the utter truth ironically makes Dawkins appear closer to a religious zealot, than an open-minded scientist and academic.
I’ve heard him say “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. They might indeed. But extraordinary claims also require extraordinary research and exploration. I love science, but I also despair at its current position. Dawkins and his like have managed to convince many other scientists that we are all just intelligent monkeys spinning pointlessly through space. That life has no meaning other than to live, earn money, get married, have kids, and die. Even Stephen Hawking the other day said that science has now replaced philosophy. I disagree. Philosophers were often the catalyst for scientific research and now these scientists are barracking the doors and digging in their heels in a desperate attempt to prevent any real research being done into the questions that many people look to science to answer. If they will not even look into the subject of consciousness, for instance, don’t be surprised then if people look towards religion and spirituality for the answers that modern science refuses to explore.
There are of course scientists that want to explore these topics, but they are often met with ridicule for not towing the party line and labelled as pseudo-scientists for even considering an open-minded scientific approach to these subjects.
I’ll say again, science is a process, not a position of belief. For instance, not so long ago it was stated categorically that there was no water on the moon. Categorically. No question. Now it appears there is. The scientific process needs to continue. Sadly I think it won’t until the likes of Dawkins remember that.
I have read The God Delusion and The Ancestors Tale. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about and in truth I loved aspects of the latter book. The God Delusion was ok, but I found many of the arguments quite lame.
I don’t want any of you reading this to think that this post that is in any way anti-Atheism. It isn’t. Someone’s personal belief, or lack of it, is not my concern here. It’s more about how science seems to be holding onto a position and acting more like a religion, and somehow the main protagonists can’t seem to see that. Imagine what we might learn if we returned to the process, with an open mind.
So to lighten the mood, here’s a nice picture of a sleeping puppy.