Jessa Crispin at Bookslut has this complaint:
Can someone write a book about science without the snobby bullshit included? I would be much more willing to finish reading The Canon if Natalie Angier had not kept including constant swipes at people who believe in god, the superstitious, and people who read fortune cookies. I’ve always believed that the best way to convince someone they’re wrong is to call them an idiot.
I agree that you’re not going to win people over by calling them idiots.
Even though I’m not sure what else to call people who actually believe what cookies tell them… well, I can think of some words, but “idiot” might be the nicer way of putting it.
Richard Dawkins made slight jabs at religion and pseudoscience in his science books, too, but I never heard complaints about it. It seemed to go hand in hand with what he was talking about. Science is all about evidence and proof and logic. God, superstitious beliefs, and fortune cookies fly in the face of all that.
I’m not sure what Angier’s context was, but if she said that belief in God is not based on any scientific evidence (and as a result, in her opinion, we should not put faith in God as we would put faith in other things), there shouldn’t be a problem with that. That statement would fit perfectly well in a book about science.
If it was an unnecessary attack, then at least Crispin’s point could be argued.
Angier, incidentally, wrote a great piece a while back for the New York Times called “Confessions of a Lonely Atheist.” She knows how to write. Without reading the book, I’d find it hard to believe she would take superfluous swipes at religion.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Bible, God, superstition, The Canon, Natalie Angier, New York Times, Jessa Crispin, Bookslut, Richard Dawkins, Science[/tags]
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