Friday, December 09, 2005

For your reading pleasure


India’s rationalists are on the frontline of the battle between science and superstition. Caspar Melville reports on their fight to debunk ‘holy men’

An Atheist Manifesto:

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle. The obvious must be observed and re-observed and argued for. This is a thankless job. It carries with it an aura of petulance and insensitivity. It is, moreover, a job that the atheist does not want.
What is science? First, magnetise your wine ...

People often ask me [pulls pensively on pipe] "what is science?" And I reply thusly: science is exactly what we do in this column. We take a claim, and we pull it apart to extract a clear scientific hypothesis, like "homeopathy makes people better faster than placebo" or "the Chemsol lab correctly identifies MRSA"; then we examine the experimental evidence for that hypothesis; and lastly, if there is no evidence, we devise new experiments. Science.

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 8:47 AM | permalink | (1 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink