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View Diary: Rick Santorum does not know what 'science' is (241 comments)

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  •  But can there be intellectual dishonesty in the (17+ / 0-)

    absence of intellect?

    That's actually not just a snarky question, it's a real one. Listening to Santorum, one gets the impression that he is not being cynically dishonest (although that of course is always more than possible), but rather that this is a profoundly small-minded individual, in the literal sense of the word. His brain is utterly incapable of wrapping itself around formulations that require anything other than simplistic, magical explanations that provide a world view that an average salamander could understand.

    "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

    by flitedocnm on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 10:27:59 AM PST

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    •  As hunter said, intellectual laziness. . . (9+ / 0-)

      and a lack of intellectual curiousity.

      Scientists can easily admit it when they don't know. That leads to setting up a series of hypotheses and testing them.

      Fundamentalists on the other hand cop out when they bump up against something that they don't know. They then say because it's unknown and hard to figure out, it's proof of God. They also have trouble acknowledging that they don't know something. They have to have a ready answer for eveything. Again as hunter said, adolescent know-it-alls.

      •  Science minded folk don't mind (12+ / 0-)

        not knowing something.  It's perfectly ok to admit that we don't know the answers to the "big" questions like what happens after we die.  
        Fundamentalists are so fear ridden that they can't live with that type of uncertainty.  They must have an answer.  They can't deal with anxiety.  They failed the developmental milestone of "self-soothing" that the rest of us got as infants.  

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 11:18:34 AM PST

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        •  I honestly believe a 'God' gene exists (3+ / 0-)
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          fayea, GDbot, Matt Z

          and I don't have it.  I'm waiting for science to prove it one way or another.  But I still BELIEVE it and that's enough for me.  Aptly and succinctly summed up by the bumper sticker I see around here...'God said it, I believe it, that ends it'.

      •  Exactly: (9+ / 0-)
        Scientists can easily admit it when they don't know. That leads to setting up a series of hypotheses and testing them.

        Science says, "We don't know, so let's watch and see what happens." Religion says, "We already know, and anyone who says otherwise is a threat to our power structure."

        "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

        by CFAmick on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 12:55:30 PM PST

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      •  Can we reclaim the word hypothesis, please? (1+ / 0-)
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        What Santorum is advocating, if he could express a thought clearly, is that we put guessing into the science class.  

        There is a difference between a guess and a hypothesis.  If I'm out in nature and I look at a flower, I can guess that it comes from God, or I can guess that if has something to do with the plants reproduction.  It's totally okay to make either guess.  Guessing may lead to science, but it's not yet part of the Scientific Method.  Until I am able to design an experiment to test my guess, it may not be called a hypothesis.  

        I would think that framing the conversation around these semantics would save some time in explaining to the Santorums of the world why faith is not part of science.

        •  Yes, we should reclaim the language. (0+ / 0-)

          It is really tiresome to have to deal with all of the ways that words have been co-opted.

          But testing hypotheses takes thought and time. It's easier to just give it all to God.

          I've always been puzzled by fundamentalists' sense of peace. But I think that is the beauty of it for them - they don't have to think, or puzzle, or wonder, or figure anything out. Hunter had a recent diary in which he bemoaned the laziness.

          Reminds me of that wonderful Tom Stoppard dialogue in Shakespeare in Love,

          Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
           Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
          Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
          Hugh Fennyman: How?
          Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.
    •  Dishonesty doesn't imply cynicism (6+ / 0-)

      I assume Santorum is more than sound bites and YouTube clips. That he has a life outside the public eye, and that life proceeds pretty much like anyone's. He puts his pants on one leg at a time, he reads the morning paper, and so on.  

      Santorum has not got a cognitive development deficiency, so his intellect is not questioned. His profound small mindedness has, at some point in his life, been challenged by someone providing actual facts.

      His brain is capable of wrapping itself around complex thought, but he chooses to reject such thought for his simple "god did it and that's good enough for me" explanations for everything he didn't understand when he was six years old.  

      His rejection of thought is what I call dishonest. An honest but intellectually lazy person would say, "oh, I can't be bothered to think about that," and an honest but intellectually incurious one would say, "I don't think that is worth questioning." Santorum says neither of these things, so I rule them out.

      Intellectual dishonesty remains.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 11:59:26 AM PST

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