Richard Dawkins: The insidious attacks on scientific truth

Richard Dawkins in The Spectator:

For, whether we like it or not, it is a true fact that we are cousins of kangaroos, that we share an ancestor with starfish, and that we and the starfish and kangaroo share a more remote ancestor with jellyfish. The DNA code is a digital code, differing from computer codes only in being quaternary instead of binary. We know the precise details of the intermediate stages by which the code is read in our cells, and its four-letter alphabet translated, by molecular assembly-line machines called ribosomes, into a 20-letter alphabet of amino acids, the building blocks of protein chains and so of bodies.

If your philosophy dismisses all that as patriarchal domination, so much the worse for your philosophy. Perhaps you should stay away from doctors with their experimentally tested medicines, and go to a shaman or witch doctor instead. If you need to travel to a conference of like-minded philosophers, you’d better not go by air. Planes fly because a lot of scientifically trained mathematicians and engineers got their sums right. They did not use ‘intuitive ways of knowing’. Whether they happened to be white and male or sky-blue-pink and hermaphrodite is supremely, triumphantly irrelevant. Logic is logic is logic, no matter if the individual who wields it also happens to wield a penis. A mathematical proof reveals a definite truth, no matter whether the mathematician ‘identifies as’ female, male or hippopotamus. If you decide to fly to that conference, Newton’s laws and Bernoulli’s principle will see you safe. And no, Newton’s Principia is not a ‘rape manual’, as was ludicrously said by the noted feminist philosopher Sandra Harding. It is a supreme work of genius by one of Homo sapiens’s most sapient specimens — who also happened to be a not very nice man.

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