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News The Big Bang Theory a Fairy Tale? So says presidential candidate Ben Carson...

  1. Sep 30, 2015 #1
    So says Ben Carson.

    an entertaining commentary on His beiefs

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/ben-carsons-scientific-ignorance?intcid=mod-most-popular more authoritative critique

    While He seems to have a live and let live philosophy i.e. I believe what I want to and you believe what you want to, if He were president could He in good conscience allocate government funds for "fairy tales" as He believes the Big Bang Theory is. With the growing ranks of fundamentalists might He have enough support to reduce funding for scientific investigations via the NSF budget. Might we see representatives of our community sitting before a congressional committee defending their research. Or more importantly Is he undermining our nations faith in science. With an ever strained federal budget will His beliefs still be able to influence NSF funding?
     
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  3. Sep 30, 2015 #2

    Bystander

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  4. Sep 30, 2015 #3
    Is history repeating? Proxmire was instrumental with senator Richard Bryant in cancelling NASA's SETI program and who also terminated NASA's High Resolution Microwave Survey Program in 1994. Could the James Webb space telescope (due to be deployed in 2018) be in danger particularly since it is to provide data for the study of the origins of the universe.which is currently "controversial" ?
     
  5. Sep 30, 2015 #4

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    If NSF survived Proxmire, it'll survive just about any political climate, just as Russia (not the USSR) survived Lysenko and Beria.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2015 #5
    I'm still amazed at how such an accomplished neurosurgeon can cling to such anti-science views.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2015 #6

    Doc Al

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    I find it quite scary.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2015 #7
    The NSF per se will survive I'm sure but some programs could be significantly affected. Proxmire was an aberration in that most people appreciated the work of NASA and is was fascinated by it. They could understand what it was doing and probably vicariously traveled with the astronauts on their missions and marveled at the Hubble's images of our universe. Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are contrary to many peoples belief.so they are not predisposed to supporting means of extending our knowledge in those areas. With a scientifically challenged president and support in congress (and note that Ted Cruz, an creationist, is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science and Space) it is not a far reach to worry about what could happen. Rubio is also on that committee
     
  9. Sep 30, 2015 #8

    russ_watters

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    And bizarre. Aren't STEMs supposed to trust each other more because they understand each other better than the general public does? I don't get it.
     
  10. Sep 30, 2015 #9

    mheslep

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    Respect for perhaps, surely not faith in?
     
  11. Sep 30, 2015 #10

    Astronuc

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    Yikes - bad scifi.
     
  12. Sep 30, 2015 #11

    Geofleur

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    And here I was thinking that physics was safe from that sort of thing! :frown:
     
  13. Sep 30, 2015 #12

    phinds

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    Religious faith conquers all.
     
  14. Sep 30, 2015 #13
    That's just it. You speak what your audience is begging to hear, and they go away liking you better.
    At what point though does one begin to believe their own rhetoric, which is dangerous.
    I suppose if as president he would have to do some insane things like you mentioned so he doesn't appear as a "fake".
     
  15. Oct 1, 2015 #14
    Not really, for example there are mathematicians who think that the theory of evolution is wrong etc, there is a saying "Nothing is as stupid as an educated man who is taken off the thing he is educated in." ... Something like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  16. Oct 1, 2015 #15

    Ryan_m_b

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    He's a surgeon, not a researcher. I've worked in labs within hospitals and alongside doctors and surgeons trying their hand at research (MScs are a great way to climb the medical career apparently). I was shocked at how bad a lot of them were at basic research. I put the disconnect down to medicine being a very intense field that is the product of science but in joining that field one doesn't necessarily gain a great understanding of science, not even the biological sciences.

    This is a generalisation of course and I'm sure there are plenty of doctors who have a good understanding of what research is all about. But it's important to remember that medicine is not medical science and the practitioners of either field have very different skill- and mindsets.
     
  17. Oct 1, 2015 #16
    Hilarious
     
  18. Oct 1, 2015 #17
    He says Darwin was influenced by the Devil. That is TOO weird.
     
  19. Oct 1, 2015 #18

    phinds

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    Actually that sort of thing is quite common for fundamentalists in the US. I have a nephew who is scholastically brilliant and a very nice fellow, outstanding family man, with a PhD in math and a solid 4.0 throughout Electrical Engineering undergraduate school and he believes that Evolution is nonsense. Religious faith trumps logic every time.
     
  20. Oct 1, 2015 #19
    Reminds of this conversation https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/tyson-dawkins-conversation.833070/
    or
    if you're lazy.

    Around 7:30 minutes they hypothesis about a medical practitioner, excellent within their profession, but, in this case believes that babies come from storks. They pose the question, would you still make use of this doctor’s services?

    So the question here then, even though Dr Carson is a good surgeon, would you want him to operate on you, given his odd personal beliefs have nothing to do with his capabilities as a professional, would you prejudice him purely on his beliefs?
     
  21. Oct 1, 2015 #20

    phinds

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    No, that's not the question at all. The question is would you like to have him be President of the US with the power to make decisions about allocation of federal funding for education, science research, and all kind of things where his ridiculous personal beliefs WOULD get in the way of making good decisions.
     
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