Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A View from the Pulpit; Mainstream experiments | Jim Al-Khalili


Mainstream experiments | Jim Al-Khalili:

"Of course the struggle between the forces of rationalism and irrationalism is age old, and part of what defines us as human. When I hear a moon-landing denier or creationist arguing that the universe is a few thousand years old, or a homeopathy advocate, I smile (not too smugly, I hope), take a deep breath and try to explain how evidence-based, scientific, rational inquiry works. If I cannot convince them, so be it. It was nevertheless a relief to hear British Medical Association leaders recently liken homeopathy to 'witchcraft'.
There will always be those who deny the evidence, no matter how overwhelming, and while a wider public backlash against the harsh realities of climate change is worrying, I do not see this as a new trend of irrationalism. Scientists will just have to make their case with more honesty and clarity. As well as telling the inspiring stories of scientificadvances, the wonders of the cosmos or the mysteries of the atom, we also have a responsibility to explain how science works as a process."

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