Posts Tagged 'Michael Faraday'

Why science in Britain is in decline

To read the rantings of fellows of the Royal Society recently, one would certainly think that the institution has been taken over by fools and bigots.

Well, it has. It is no wonder that interest in science is declining rapidly, and that physics and chemistry departments at universities are being wound up – who wants to be in a ship of fools? The issue over Professor Michael Reiss (see the post ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’) brings the matter into sharp focus. Reiss was not teaching that creationism be taught in the schools (he is an evolutionist), but that if the subject of creation is raised by a student, the teacher should engage the student and bring scientific principles to bear on the matter. One way to put pupils off science forever is to tell them to shut up and sit down if they so much as utter the C-word in class. Richard Dawkins would have them humiliated. Ring any bells? Animal Farm? That student, and many other observers in the class, will likely be lost to science forever, for asking a genuine question.

Let’s make ourselves clear. Reiss wasn’t suggesting that creationism be put on the science syllabus, he was merely suggesting that there are benefits in discussing the topic if a student raises the matter, and the fellows of the Royal Society know that’s the case. Thus Sir Richard Roberts, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine:

I think it outrageous that this man is suggesting that creationism should be discussed in a science classroom. It is an incredible idea and I am drafting a letter to other Nobel laureates – which would be sent to the Royal Society – to ask that Reiss be made to stand down.

Well, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

Sir Harry Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is even more forthright. He argued that Reiss didn’t have the intellectual integrity to teach science because he believed in God. What a daft assertion: there would be no Royal Society, and there would be precious little ‘modern science’, without the Christian worldview. It was Christianity that gave the motivation (the glory of God) and the theological framework (that God is rational, so his creation can be searched rationally; and that time/history is linear, not cyclical) for modern science. I will be dealing with this in some later posts. With atheistic science, the motivation is money, prestige and power (especially power – that involves keeping others out), and the framework is borrowed (without credit) and secularized for convenience. TRUE science turns to dust in the hands of atheists.

Continue reading ‘Why science in Britain is in decline’

Disgrace at the Royal Society

Last July, I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the President of the Royal Society, Martin Rees, using the logical fallacy petitio principii, a ‘begging the question’ argument. He, with the Royal Society, was trying to gag and censure a television programme that had taken a position against a so-called consensus position on man-made climate change. The regulator, Ofcom, had pretty much rubbished the Royal Society’s objections, it has to be said, and rightly so as they were drivel. Several thoughts went through my mind – how can the President of the Royal Society be so ignorant as to use an illogical argument? But then I thought – maybe he isn’t so ignorant after all, maybe he’s using this as a rhetorical device to bamboozle the hearers, knowing that few in his audience would pick it up. Appalling, either way, and we’re seeing more and more anti-scientific behaviour from this erstwhile paragon of scientific endeavour, the Royal Society.

The latest disgrace to come from that quarter is the forced departure of Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s Director of Education. The reason? Reiss, a thorough-going evolutionist, had dared to suggest that objections against evolution should be dealt with in the classroom, if the matter was raised by the students themselves. He said

There is much to be said for allowing students to raise any doubts they have – hardly a revolutionary idea in science teaching – and doing one’s best to have a genuine discussion

Worthy though this is, Reiss has been drummed out by pressure and bullying from prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins. Reiss, you see, also happens to be an ordained minister, so he should not be permitted to sit in the cathedral of atheism, the Royal Society. Continue reading ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’