Sunday Meeting - Joe Chuman: "If We Reject Science, It's Over"

Date: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 11:00am
Location: 
Ceremonial Hall - 4th floor

The refutation of science is not a function of a poor science education (though that is part of it). It is part and parcel of a much broader and more pernicious phenomenon — that of the utter relativization of knowledge: you have your “truth” and I have mine, and it is subjectivity all the way down. If we continue down that road, the career of humankind may well be veering toward its end. How have we gotten to this point?

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There probably has never been a time when the contradictions have been greater. We have created the wizardry of digital technology, and billions of people are happy to exploit it. We have sent the Cassini spacecraft to explore Saturn, almost a billion miles away, and other probes to investigate the outer planets. We have unlocked the secrets of the human genome and perfected micro-surgeries that perform miracles almost unimaginable a few decades ago. These and countless marvels of science are probably the most dramatic and successful achievements in the career of humankind.

Yet the same folks who vigorously support a military armed with sophisticated weaponry built on the deliverance of science, at the same time deny the reality of evolution, the linchpin on which all modern biology hangs. The same people who depend on their iPhones, air-conditioners, and microwave ovens profess that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old. And the millions who take for granted that modern science can predict a solar eclipse down to a scintilla of a second deny the reality of global warming.

The refutation of science is not a function of a poor science education (though that is part of it). It is part and parcel of a much broader and more pernicious phenomenon — that of the utter relativization of knowledge: you have your “truth” and I have mine, and it is subjectivity all the way down. If we continue down that road, the career of humankind may well be veering toward its end. How have we gotten to this point?

This week’s shared charity: Hispanic Federation