I've loved science since I was a child.
Way back when (late 1950s) I crammed a card table into my bedroom closet, hung a light over the clothes rod, and happily conducted science experiments via chemistry sets and science kits delivered every month, thanks to my mother, who also deeply admired science.
(I wrote about this in a 2007 post, "Thanks for the chlorine gas, Mom (cough, cough).")
Since, I've retained my love of science, even though I ended up getting a B.A. in Psychology and a Master's degree in Social Work. But then I completed the course requirements for a doctorate in Systems Science before becoming a Ph.D. dropout.
So it pains me when I see commenters on this blog denying scientific truth. Well, it more than pains me. it also irritates me. That's what led to me adding a note to a new Open Thread post this morning, addressing it to the commenter who has been doing the most frequent denying.
I put it in red for emphasis.
Here's a new Open Thread.
Remember, off-topic comments should go in an Open Thread. Also, anti-science comments. [Note to Spence Tepper, a noted anti-science commenter on this blog: your comments denying scientific reality about consciousness or any other subject should go in an Open Thread from now on or they'll be deleted. I can't tolerate your comment spam any more than I'd tolerate someone arguing that global warming isn't human caused or that the Holocaust never happened.]
Look, I realize that scientific truths are constantly changing. Old truths are modified, improved upon, sometimes discarded entirely.
However, at any given moment, there are certain core truths in science. We know that the Earth is round, not flat. We know that gravity is the result of curved space, in accord with relativity theory. And we know that consciousness arises due to goings-on in the human brain, even though how this happens is largely unknown.
So when Tepper left comments saying that neuroscience isn't certain that consciousness arises in the brain, that is so flat-out wrong, I was amazed that someone as obviously intelligent and well-read as Tepper could say such a thing.
The only reason I could find is that because Tepper believes in supernatural stuff, he is purposely making false statements about science in order to "preach" his religiosity in a backdoor manner, rather than expressing it directly.
I prefer honest proselytizing rather than sneaky proselytizing. Well, actually I prefer no proselytizing at all, since I'm not a fan of religious dogmatism in any form. But I don't mind people stating their beliefs in a simple "I" form. As in, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and redeems sinners."
OK, I don't share that belief, but thanks for letting me know what you believe. Now, maybe, we can have a conversation about our differing world views.
However, when someone like Tepper tries to overlay their subjective religious/supernatural beliefs over objective scientific truth in an attempt to make science into something other than it is, that's when I get irritated at a sneaky approach to proselytizing.
If you're a religious believer, fine. Most humans are, billions of them.
I'm also fine with you leaving comments on this blog. All I ask is that you try to stay within the bounds of the topic of a post I've written, or if you want to go outside those bounds, share your thoughts in an Open Thread post, otherwise known as free speech for comments.
But if you're a denier of scientific truths, keep your falsehoods to yourself, or share them in an Open Thread. The United States, along with much of the rest of the world, is experiencing a surge of anti-science.
I don't want this blog to be a part of that. It's highly destructive to the health of societies. Science is a wonderful way, maybe the only way, to bring people together via commonly held truths. If this blog can help attain that common understanding of reality in some small ways, I'll be really happy.