It is fashionable these days to accuse scientists of being dogmatic. If a scientist expresses confidence in some scientific conclusion, and acts as though opposition to that viewpoint is simply wrong, the opposition promptly denounces him for not having an open mind.
The opposition, of course, is fanatically convinced of the truth of their views and will not, under any circumstances, modify them in the slightest, but they are not scientists, you see, and they are not compelled to have open minds.
The result is that many scientists hesitate to attack the various kinds of nonsense that flood American society today, for fear of putting themselves in a bad light and of appearing dogmatic and close-minded.They therefore tend to keep quiet in the face of astrological fancies, pyramid fairytales, Bermuda Triangle myths, UFO mania, Velikovskian fables, creationist lunacy, and all the rest.
Since I am among those scientists who attack nonsense without hesitation, and as strongly as I can, I am sometimes accused of "overreacting," and of "overstating" my case.My usual response to these fainthearts is to ask whether they have the guts to say the same to the opposition.
I don't for one minute expect that my defense of rationalism is going to make any difference to the many unsophisticated people who enjoy believing the nonsense they read and hear, and who have no way of separating folly from sense, but I do have my own self-respect to consider. However hopeless the fight, I cannot simply surrender.
See here! The earth is not flat!
That is a scientific conclusion, based on careful observation and reasoning, and that conclusion is older than Aristotle.Ever since his time, enormous