Thursday, December 01, 2005

Embracing the Darkness of Fundamentalist Unreason

A brief break from pyschic wonders to congratulate Lord May.

Lord May of Oxford is ending his five year presidency of the Royal Society and, in a valedictory speech, doesn't hold back in his contempt for the forces trying to destroy the principles of the Enlightenment, and to drag society back to the Dark Ages.

Climate Change revisionists, the tobacco lobby, Greens, the Catholic Church, Creationism (I'm sure he means the entirely different and not at all similar Unintelligent Design) and fundamentalism of all sorts all get a lambasting from him.

Part of his speech is quoted:

All ideas should be open to questioning, and the merit of ideas should be assessed on the strength of evidence that supports them and not on the credentials or affiliations of the individuals proposing them. It is not a recipe for a comfortable life, but it is demonstrably a powerful engine for understanding how the world actually works and for applying this understanding. [...] Sadly, for many, the response is to retreat from complexity and difficulty by embracing the darkness of fundamentalist unreason.

EoR wishes he was halfway around the world so he could go along and cheer loudly.

View the press release which also includes a link to the webcast.

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