Conservatives, especially in the United States, love to pretend that science is a religion — largely because it provides them with an excuse to push for the teaching of “competing theories” like creationism in schools. Science denial in all its forms are prevalent among our friends on the Right, even to the point that they are willing to ignore what 97 percent of scientists agree upon: that Earth’s climate is getting warmer.
Monty Python’s John Cleese is known for eloquently shutting down stupid people, and he continued that tradition on Twitter Sunday when he expressed his wishes for this year. “I would like 2016 to be the year when people remembered that science is a method of investigation,and NOT a belief system,” Cleese wrote.
“This realisation would enable scientific progress to advance smoothly,” he added, “and not,as Max Planck put it,’one funeral at a time.'”
Cleese reminded people that “literal-mindedness” among religious folks is the “killer” when one thinks about religion and science. When someone challenged him on his assertion that those who take the Bible too literally allow that belief to get in the way of scientific understanding, asking, “Exactly how many people have died from literal-mindedness,” Cleese really drove his point home.
“None.It’s their victims who died,” he answered. “This happens when you take literally teaching that was meant metaphorically.”
Literal-mindedness among religious people has had quite a few victims — like every single child who died because people chose prayer over medicine, believing that God will heal everything with magic and that no earthly potions and baubles are needed.
Cleese’s message is one to which we should all pay attention: Let’s make 2016 the year we, as Americans, elect people to office who believe that global warming is real, that medicine is preferable to prayer, and that the world has been around for more than 10,000 years. Let’s elect scientifically-literate people who will make policy based on reason and fact, not a book of magic.
Religion has a place in the world, sure, but that place is a.) houses of worship and b.) the home. When mixed with public policy, it creates nothing but disaster — something we are seeing with our current Republican-controlled Congress.
As Cleese said years ago, Fox News People are “so stupid that they have no idea how stupid they are.” Watch him deliver that smackdown, below:
Featured image via The Mirror/screengrab