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Saturday, September 20, 2008

CFI: It's Time for Science and Reason

The blurb for this video says:

The methods and values of scientific thinking have expanded our knowledge of life and our place in the universe. This modern knowledge—based on experience and evidence—has brought enormous benefit to humanity, yet many people still choose to rely on ancient texts and beliefs to guide their lives and their nations.

The Center for Inquiry exists to change this situation. We are here to promote the scientific outlook—to expand the methods and values of science into all areas of human endeavor.

We invite you to learn more about the ways we are using research, outreach, and activism to advance reason and human values around the world. Then, if these values are as important to you as they are to us, we ask you to join CFI.

Let your voice be heard. With your help, we can ensure that our time—your time—will be a time of science and reason.

In a cultural climate that has become so hostile to science and secularism, the work of CFI is more important than ever. If you cherish rational thinking, science, and secular values, please join CFI today.

In this video are:Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Pinker, Susan Jacoby, Damon Linker, E.O. Wilson, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Ann Druyan, Daniel Dennett and Paul Kurtz.

Find out more about the centre for inquiry here


  1. I have to point out something about the first paragraph.

    The promo would've been much better served if they didn't include the statement "yet many people still choose to rely on ancient texts and beliefs to guide their lives and their nations."

    The majority of "ancient documents" do not present as, or even claim to be, "scientific documents", so on a very basic level the comparison is an error of category.

    I love the way they plead for members:

    "In a cultural climate that has become so hostile to science and secularism, the work of CFI is more important than ever."

    The cultural climate has no impact on the progress of science, whatsoever! Compared to places around the world like Turkey, where Dawkins books was recently banned. America is a place of free speech, and a place where science is at the cutting edge. If they could actually provide any legitimate examples of any supposed hostility holding back the progress of science, I'd love to see them. The fact is, playing the underdog card like that is a pretty poor trick to employ, and it immediately throws some of the credibility of this "center" out the window when they make debateable pleas like that in their advertising.

    It's pretty obvious that the Center for Inquiry is a vehicle to promote a worldview- naturalism. This is evidenced by the constant references against "ancient documents". So why pretend you're doing this in the name of "science"? The first two paragraphs crap on about science. It's about worldviews, not science.

    If anyone is pondering the whole question of science and worldviews, I suggest you review the first few chapters of John Lennox's "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?". He goes into the history of science, what science means and what it does, and evaluates the supposed conflict between worldviews and science. A fascinating read.

  2. Actually Trav, many people DO rely on ancient texts and beliefs to guide their lives and their nations. That sentence is not claiming that they are claiming them to be scientific, but often they do. The cultural climate IS hostile to science and secularism. Yes America (where this blog is NOT based from) is a place of free speech, but fundamentalist religion constantly is a threat to the progression of science and secularism. The Center for Inquiry promotes reason and freedom from religion. I would also suggest you read John Lennox's books and watch him debate to get a prime example of poor and outdated arguments that are full of logical fallacies.

  3. OK, now that I've read you doing a rehash of the CFI promo, let me repeat the challange I laid out in my first reply.

    Please provide me with an example of cultural hostility in American holding back the progress of science.

    When I say the progress of science, I am NOT referring to whether or not people in society commonly accept the scientific beliefs of the scientific community. That's a completely unrelated issue to scientific research itself. I am asking for an example of scientific discoveries or research itself, being held back by any supposed cultural hostility.

    Also, I have read John Lennox's book- have you? I found it to be a very well balanced read, without a hint of arrogance or rhetoric which is evident from guys like Dawkins.

  4. And not only was it a well balanced read, but it's very hard to escape the conclusion that Science has not buried God at all.

    It's also very hard to escape the reality that there is a lot of scientific evidence which strongly points towards an intelligent designer. Or in other words, it's very hard to escape the idea that intelligent origins of both the universe and life itself, provide a better explanation that any naturalistic explanation.