Saturday, December 22, 2007

On Fatal Conceit & PZ Myers

Pharyngula, a popular "science" blog, was a blog I loved to read a few years back. PZ Myers, a professor of biology, used to make funny remarks about creationists and other religious fools whose small brains couldn't comprehend even the most basic ideas behind evolution (this actually seems a challenge to many atheists as well). Then it turned out that Myers had naive ideas about economics that were no more rational than anti-evolution arguments by creationists. Myers also argues like a child. When someone makes a good point (assuming the discussion is not about creationism; creationism cannot be defended rationally) that conflicts with Myers's ideas on economics, Myers makes a few sarcastic comments that avoid discussing the issue. A common strategy of Myers is to associate all opponents with evil Republicans. Then his loyal fanbase follows with their misguided opinions.

It was particularly entertaining when Climate Audit, a global warming skeptic blog, was about to win (and won) the Best Science Blog 2007 award. PZ Myers instructed his minions to vote for another blog because, well, apparently all material that challenges the so called "consensus" on climate change is right-wing propaganda that should be ignored.

I understand the importance of biology but you cannot dismiss the importance of economics. Professors and intellectuals should take at least some university-level courses on economics before preaching their anti-market rhetoric. It's especially regretful when biologists, who should understand the importance of and mechanisms behind spontaneous order, are guilty of the fatal conceit, the idea that a scientist (or an enlightened intellectual) can guide an economy like God guides evolution.

A country that firmly believes that some biblical version of Jesus actually existed (he did not nor was he a historical person) but that also understands the importance of free markets can thrive. A socialist country cannot thrive whether it's religious or not. Teaching kids creationism is perverted but it cannot destroy a country like bad economic policies can. After all, nearly all Finnish kids are taught that Jesus was the son of God from the moment they hit first grade.

Maybe someone should tell these professors that socialism is to economics what creationism is to biology.

Well, Merry Christmas! (We avoid all controversy on the name by calling the occasion Yule)

Edit: Btw, here's a good entry on why militant atheism is needed and why it's sometimes okay to ridicule religious people.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how how it is now a "science" blog simply because you disagree on a subject as soft as economics.

BTW, the socialism/creationism analogy made me laugh out loud. Thanks [:

December 31, 2007 12:44 AM  
Blogger Mikko Sandt said...

"Science" because of its heavy support for liberal (in the American sense of the word) politics even when discussing strictly scientific issues such as evolution vs. creationism, a subject that can be discussed without the usual "Democrats = good, Republicans = bad" rhetoric.

"the socialism/creationism analogy made me laugh out loud."

I'm happy for you.
You might as well take any university level book on economics and see how many socialist ideas are supported there.

January 01, 2008 7:07 PM  
Anonymous ManIsAnAnimal said...

It's pretty funny, PZ Meyers is a total incompetent when it comes to economics and politics but he is pretty F*cking brilliant on biology and making creationist fools look like F*ck-wits. Unfortunately he is unable to realize that the Human Ape is just as bound the "Laws of the Jungle" as any other animal.

January 12, 2008 11:39 AM  

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