Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 19:38:11 EDT
Subject: Re: Scientism: a killer meme
In a message dated 4/8/99 3:42:12 PM Central Daylight Time,
>>> No Chris, I am not interested in searching the web for sites on scientism.
> I am interested in your definition because I am attempting to maintain a
> communication with you and so I am particularly interested in your use of
> the term. Thank you for your clarification (below).
I was under the impression that you wanted to know about scientism.
I think it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the matter, and
not my responsibility to instruct you on it. I use the word to gather
together a package of attitudes, which I mentioned - inadequately I admit -
the previous post. If I'd have used the term 'socialism' would you really
expect me to lay out a comprehensive background to the subject on this list
I wouldn't waste my time looking for stuff on the web. I did a few searches
and it pulled up a whole hodgepodge of different things, with very little
overall coherency. The overarching theme in the use of this word seems to be
a desire for the speaker to cast dispersions on whatever scientific knowlege
they happen to be in denial about and the scientists that would treat it as
legitimate. The biggest users of it seem to be creationists but there were
significant uses by believers in the paranormal.
I am sure that Chris Lees can provide URL's for uses of "scientism" to
disparange the debunking of paranormal claims. But here are a few that
mentioned it in the disparaging of evolution and the debunkers of "creation
<A HREF="http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/sagan.htm">Carl Sagan: Prophet of
<A HREF="http://www.misslink.net/chofgod/factfict.html">Evolution: Fact or
<A HREF="http://www.firinn.org/trueorigin/glossary.htm">- True.Origin
<A HREF="http://www.trufax.org/avoid/species.html">Key Figures, Philosophies
in the rise of Materialistic Scientism & Church of Scientism
BTW, I don't see how Chris invented the notion that it is "your
responsibility" to educate yourself on the matter. The way I see it, we all
have to budget our time, attention, and resources, according to our own
values, not what somebody else claims that our values ought to be. But for
what it is worth, I don't think there is much educating to be done on the
issue, and if you think it is a valuable undertaking I certainly hope you
will do so and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.
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