Farah: Scientists are the New Priests

Joseph Farah fired up his computer and wrote yet another profoundly ridiculous column, this time claiming that because scientists dare to say that a given explanation is true that he thinks is false, they have now turned into the priests who persecuted Galileo.

Why am I proclaiming the death of National Geographic?

Because of its latest cover story: “The War on Science: Climate Change Does not Exist, Evolution Never Happened, The Moon Landing Was a Fake, Vaccinations Can Lead to Autism, Genetically Modified Food Is Evil.”

Sadly, I don’t have the time or space to refute and rebut every aspect of this full-throated endorsement of modern “science” as the new priesthood, whose conclusions are questioned at the threat of excommunication, not to mention humiliation in rational circles.

In short, if you doubt any conclusions of the modern scientific establishment, you’re not only a rube, but you are dangerous.

Apparently, in the 20th or 21st centuries, “science” finally worked out all the bugs of the past and is now certain about all the big and little questions of life. There are no more mysteries. There is no more ambiguity. There are no more unknowns.

That is a lovely straw man you’re burning at the stake there, Joe. That is, of course, not what is being argued at all. What is being argued is that on issues like global warming, evolution and vaccines, the evidence is so overwhelming that only an ignoramus would question them. And since you are, in fact, an ignoramus who questions those claims without any evidence to back up your position, you’re proving them right. Nice work!

I don’t know about the moon landing, but I do know that the kind of man-made, catastrophic climate change the scientific-government complex is selling is a total hoax – a not-so-clever ruse to sell doom-and-gloom for more control of the people and their purses.

Yes, of course you know that. I’m sure you spend your days pouring over climatology journals, reviewing the data and showing why those scientists who actually study the question are wrong. It’s just a coincidence that you don’t actually mention any of that evidence or even make a coherent argument for your position, just boldly assert that you know it to be true.

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  • John Pieret

    you don’t actually mention any of that evidence or even make a coherent argument for your position, just boldly assert that you know it to be true.

    But … but … that’s how you do Bible-based science!

  • John Pieret

    BTW:

    I don’t know about the moon landing

    Thanks for confirming what we already knew, Joe … calling you a “moron” is being charitable.

  • John Pieret

    Heh. The actual title of the article (Joe’s link doesn’t work) is … wait for it … “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?”

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/achenbach-text

    That left Joe out from the start.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Farah accusing someone else of using doom and gloom to sell something for profit is amusing. That’s the entire rationale of WND, story after story about how the evil Them are out to get WND’s readers, who’d better vote Republican and buy this book/survival food/how to shoot video to save themselves.

  • D. C. Sessions

    the new priesthood, whose conclusions are questioned at the threat of excommunication, not to mention humiliation in rational circles.

    Interesting priority reversal there. Humiliation now outranks excommunication as a threat.

  • Michael Heath

    Joseph Farah writes:

    . . .the kind of man-made, catastrophic climate change the scientific-government complex is selling is a total hoax – a not-so-clever ruse to sell doom-and-gloom for more control of the people and their purses.

    It would be interesting to see a study to see what motivates people more to believe falsehoods, their religious beliefs or their political ideology. That while also considering the level of their commitment to each.

    When I was a young adult in the late-1970s and ‘1980s I would have speculated that people’s religious beliefs was a bigger motivator then their politics. Now I think it’s just the opposite. I could be correct on both counts. That conservative Christians have evolved from being more committed to their theology several decades ago to now being more committed to political conservatism. Especially given how influential conservative media has become since the 1990s where I see no such major change in conservative Christianity to promote its beliefs – in fact even their colleges’ influence appears increasingly impotent.

  • thebookofdave

    Come on, Joe! Don’t pretend that science claims absolute knowledge. There are still plenty of questions that remain unanswered, like: Why can’t 95% of the mass/energy of the universe be detected directly? Is there life on other planets? Does rerouting of the colon through the cranium prohibit one from writing a column?[resolved]

  • raven

    I would have speculated that people’s religious beliefs was a bigger motivator then their politics. Now I think it’s just the opposite.

    Almost certainly the politics is dominant.

    1. Fundie xianity is just right wing extremist politics with a few crosses stuck on for show. The important part is the right wing politics.

    2. It makes sense. While gods and souls might exist, they probably don’t and they certainly don’t do anything.

    Power and money certainly do exist and they are quite useful.

    3. I’m seeing faint hints that the fundies are realizing that you can still hate without being a…xian. If that happens, that would be the end of their cults. Just cut out the middleperson.

  • raven

    For most fundie leaders, It is what Gibbon and/or Epicurus said.

    The masses believe religion is true.

    The educated believe religion is false.

    The rulers believe religion is…useful.

    Farah has been a greedy bottom feeder forever. He might pretend to be in it to save your soul but he seems far more interested in his bank accounts.

  • D. C. Sessions

    It would be interesting to see a study to see what motivates people more to believe falsehoods, their religious beliefs or their political ideology.

    Especially in light of the Falwell revolution in the 70s and 80s, I will suggest that their politics dictate their religion. And it’s not political ideology, but political identity.

  • matty1

    It’s tribalism all the way down, there don’t seem to be any political or theological arguments linking, for example support for low taxes and opposition to abortion but someone has decided these are markers of a particular set so people who identify with that group say they support them.

  • 4ozofreason

    I’d say the fact that he ranks humiliation above excommunication is that he knows the latter doesn’t actually happen.

  • Nemo

    Let us know when the scientists burn a denier at the stake, or even just confine him to house arrest.

  • jockmcdock

    I’m lost. What advantage would a scientist gain by claiming climate change is real and dangerous? There’s no cheque in the mail. we know climate change denialists are often attached to organisations that have no connection to climatology and get paid for expressing nonsense, but all scientists get is their salary.

  • raven

    What advantage would a scientist gain by claiming climate change is real and dangerous?

    To be fair, they do get huge numbers of death threats and frequently live in undisclosed but easily defended places. And there is always the thrill of the witch hunts. You haven’t lived until mobs with torches and elected officials demonize you.

  • howardhershey

    When one makes claims in clear contradiction to empirical reality, what should one expect but “humiliation in rational circles” and praise in irrational circles?

  • kantalope

    I would have to agree with howardhershey@16

    If you are getting humiliated in rational circles whatever it is you are doing it wrong.

  • colnago80

    Re jockmcdock @ #14

    Fucktards like Farah prate on about how climate scientists are taking tht position to make money. The fact is that people like Michael Mann and James Hanson could make a lot more money shilling for the Koch brothers like Willie Soon does.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Raven, you are right and Gibbon’s actual words are so wonderful, I learned them by heart:

    “The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate as, equally useful.”

  • scienceavenger

    I do know that the kind of man-made, catastrophic climate change the scientific-government complex is selling is a total hoax…

    So many of us jump on the science side of this argument that we miss the glaring problems with the hoax side. Who in their right mind decides the best hoax is one that makes an enemy out of the most powerful corporations on earth (oil companies), AND requires people to change their behavior beyond buying whatever trinket you are selling? The clijmate hoaxers are pikers compared to the guys selling magnetic bracelets. And since when are government and science such close buds that they could pull this off, not to mention managing to get practically every scientist in the world, including the Chinese, in on the gig? As logistically unweildy as it is, faking the moon landings would be a piece of cake compared to this.

    And finally, what’s with the scare quotes around “science”? Is Farah claiming it isn’t science? Then what is it?

  • jba55

    Science isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with reality.

  • sinned34

    Science isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with reality.

    Finally, somebody manages to out-Modus Modus. Congratulations, jba55. That was hilarious.

  • blf

    It would be interesting to see a study to see what motivates people more to believe falsehoods, their religious beliefs or their political ideology.

    “Follow the money.”

  • abb3w

    Oooh, bonus — the article indicates Farah is also opposing the Fiendish Fluoridators.