Sunday, 28 September 2008

Why Critical Thinking is Dangerous

The Ancients were not as ignorant as Secular Humanists suppose. Image of the Antikythera Mechanism, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Massimo Pigliucci, who is known for his anti-ID views, wrote a comment on Sarah Palin’s views on science education. His piece was mostly full of rhetoric and empty of facts. Pigliucci, a professor of ecology and evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, seems to be afraid that opposing Darwinism raises “a nation of ignorant bigots whose understanding of the world is no better than that of a tribe of ancient middle eastern people wandering around the desert thousands of years ago.”

What Pigliucci has failed to sees is that archaeology and historical finds have shown that ancient people were no ignoramuses. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, for instance, already knew that the earth was round.

Recent research on the Antikythera Mechanicm revealed that the Greeks were more advanced than we thought. A few weeks ago I visited the ruins of Ephesus and saw that the Romans were no simpletons either.

Pigliucci admits that he is not sure whether Sarah Palin is a creationist but has dug up a two-year old interview in which she advocated open discussion on origin issues in class. She later explained that this would not mean including creationism as part of the curriculum.

Open debate is one thing the Darwinists are afraid of. As Eugenie Scott put it, “In my opinion, using creation and evolution as topics for critical-thinking exercises in primary and secondary schools is virtually guaranteed to confuse students about evolution and may lead them to reject one of the major themes in science.”

Ergo, allowing students to think critically might cause them to doubt Darwinian evolution.

Pigliucci writes that open debate would probably make kids conclude that the earth is flat. In his view, a belief in creation is “superstitious nonsense that harks back to an earlier era of ignorance about how the world works.

Just how objective is this view? Professor Pigliucci writes for Skeptical Inquirer and has for instance taken part in a conference called One Nation Without God? The others speakers included Christopher Hitchens, Paul Kurtz and Eugenie Scott, who are all atheists.

This might say something about the objectivity of his approach, not forgetting the fact that this conference was arranged by the Council for Secular Humanism.

In a survey of the basic tenets of secular humanism, Fred Edwords says that belief in a transcendent God involves “arbitrarily taking a leap of faith and… abandoning reason and the senses.”

This, of course, is a deeply philosophical stance and cannot be supported by science, history or even evidence.

On the contrary, there is much that speaks for the presence of a transcendent God who has revealed Himself in history as Jesus Christ.

In the Soviet Union, science was seen to support the claims of Marxism. Open political discussion was suppressed. Dissenters were often sent to mental asylums. The attitude of some Darwinists is beginning to sound like the approach of the Soviet comrades who definitely knew they were right and all others were wrong.


The Cowtown Humanist. April 2003 Volume 5, No. 1

Edwords, Fred. 1984. Humanism in Perspective. American Humanist Association. Leaflet reprint from the Humanist, Jan/Feb 1984.

Pigliucci, Massimo. 2008. LiveScience. Is Sarah Palin a Creationist? (1 September)

Witham Larry. 2002. Where Darwin Meets the Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press.