Jeff Schweitzer’s post bemoaning the problems in society caused by religion is getting a lot of attention around the web. Schweitzer blames religion for the battles on teaching evolution in schools, the denial of climate change, and the anti-vaccine movement. I thought I’d reproduce the comment I left at his post here:
I’m not religious, and I share many of these frustrations. However while religion (particularly biblical literalism) is indeed the reason many people resist the teaching of evolution, blaming religion uniquely for climate change denial and the vaccine scare isn’t accurate, and is probably counter-productive.
To be sure, conservatives may evoke religion as part of their justification, but the actual causes come from somewhere else. In the case of climate change, moneyed interests have mounted a campaign to convince people that climate change is a fraud. From what I know of the anti-vaccine scare, it was more of an tragic grassroots movement.
It’s also worth noting that irreligion is no guarantee of evidence based thinking. I’ve encountered too many nonbelievers who buy into UFOs, Bigfoot, GMO scares, and other related notions.
I’m all for people making decisions based on evidence. But that includes those advocating evidence stick to it themselves. Using hyperbole in an attempt to sell evidence based thinking, aside from being ironic, accomplishes little, except to throw red meat to those who already agree.
- Some Light Reading for Saturday [EvolutionBlog] (scienceblogs.com)
- Jeff Schweitzer: The GOP Mines an Endless Vein of Hypocrisy; An Historic Bottomless Pit of Inconsistency (huffingtonpost.com)