Saturday, March 1, 2008

Unlikely Allies

In this week's Guardian science podcast, physicist Alan Sokal rails against the difficulties of reasoning in a post-modern world. The interview excerpt begins 1:50 into the program.

I find it fascinating that serious scientists find post-modernism just as exasperating as devout Christians.

1 comment:

  1. I would hope that the non rational nature of the French postmodernists would become obvious to all. However, the young students are easily enamored of such craziness.

    Unfortunately, Mr Sokal espouses a similar disdain for faith and religion. He advocates a scientific worldview where all knowledge is of the scientific kind. What a bleak world devoid of aesthetics that would be.

    While I support the appeal to evidence for ascertaining facts Sokal ultimately goes much further. He says his scientific worldview "ultimately comes into conflict with all non-scientific modes of thought that make purportedly factual claims about the world."

    That conflict would come against any and all factual claims of Christianity since it is based on historical testimony and makes numerous claims about the world. Sokal would reject any belief not supported by his science. That is the dogma of the new atheism.

    He also seems to support the institutional hegemony of accepted scientific dogmas such as Darwinian evolution and man made global warming. Contrary opinions are not welcome in Sokal version of evidence based policy since he is satisfied with the evidence as presented. Dissent is a crucial factor in new scientific discoveries. Sokal's vision would preclude new freedom of thought and that will destroy science.