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Neurotic Text: February 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

The future looks bright. Ted Haggard doesn't.

Contrast and compare time. Here, by way of Harper's, is disgraced Christianist scumbag Ted Haggard, attempting to justify his own personal sectarian hair-splitting and ill-concealed bigotry through an appeal to modernism and science:
"And the nations dominated by Catholicism look back. They don't tend to create our greatest entrepreneurs, inventors, research and development. Typically, Catholic nations aren't shooting people into space. Protestantism, though, always looks to the future. A typical kid raised in Protestantism dreams about the future. A typical kid raised in Catholicism values and relishes the past, the saints, the history. That is one of the changes that is happening in America. In America the descendants of the Protestants, the Puritan descendants, we want to create a better future, and our speakers say that sort of thing. But with the influx of people from Mexico, they don't tend to be the ones that go to universities and become our research-and-development people. And so in that way I see a little clash of civilizations."
Thanks, crosslicker. Now, what do the real scientists have to say about your faith after exposure to the fruits of all that research and development you value you so highly? Here's Richard Dawkins in "The god delusion" (published, incidentally, about the same time last year that bastion of morality Haggard was being exposed as a shameless liar with a meth habit and a penchant for male prostitutes):
"A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences only about 7% believe in a personal God. This overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost the exact opposite of of the profile of the American population at large, of whom more than 90% believe in some sort of supernatural being. The figure for less eminent scientists , not elected to the National Academy, is intermediate. As with the more distinguished sample, religious believers are in a minority, but a less dramatic minority of about 40%. It is completely as I would expect that American scientists are less religious than the American public generally, and that the most distinguished scientists are the least religious of all."
So yeah, maybe appeals to rationality and the advance of scientific knowledge aren't exactly the best way to ensure the continued strength of archaic theology after all, huh? Idiots.