Richard Dawkins with an interesting tweet
Personally I don’t blame Millennials (Generation Y). The rot, if you will, started far earlier. The influence of Marxist/Feminist thought has a long tradition from the pulpit of academia that off the top of my head I can date to circa Ginsberg – at least in popular culture but I know there are far earlier examples swirling around somewhere in the recesses of my mind. It was long established by the time my Generation X arse graced the walls and was seen as something of a rite of passage on the way to middle-aged conservatism (with a small c) rather than a full time vocation. More than one lecturer and student signposted a different pathway to explore, that whilst interesting at the time, is not one I subsequently myself wanting to retread or linger on. It was also too easy for me to make up the narrative to suit their agenda and my feminist lecturer gleefully gobbled the horseshit I made up about the patriarchy in advertising.
So whilst Millenials are in vogue the oppressive push from privileged totalitarian ‘left’ thought far predates them. Millennials just have a platform on social media with social media echo chambers such as YouTube, Twitter and Tumbler (and before that email flak) which unfortunately has afforded them far more influence than they are due. The angriest customer is usually the one with nothing to complain about, they just know if they keep it up they will get what they want. Anyone with genuine original thought and curiosity is more likely to be investigating, observing and communicating their discoveries than dictating or complaining. Screaming children need a time out not a platform. The last thing you should do is reward bad behaviour.
So I don’t have a problem with an analysis of the history, culture and influence of science. But as much as I may enjoy an analysis of a movie or play, I’d rather watch and listen myself to make my own impressions rather than having an opinion rammed down my throat. The skirmishes we may have are sideshows not the matinee.
… the continuation of the science wars has made analysts of science more inclined to defend each other in public. This is because attacks by science warriors often take on the characteristics of a `witch hunt’ instead of an academic debate. For example, `relativism’ – a subtle philosophical idea with a number of meanings – is sometimes treated as synonymous with `anti-science.’ An accusation of relativism is taken as sufficient in itself to render further argument unnecessary. And the arguments and political tactics adopted by the science warriors seem less designed to convince their academic opponents of their errors than to convince an outside audience; the science warriors can rely on the outside audience not reading the original sources and materially misleading descriptions of the original studies…The spokespersons for science often behave and argue as though the only salvation is for science to set itself up as such a pre-eminent form of knowledge as to leave no room for doubt; as a result they also find themselves attacking all other ways of having knowledge or describing science.
Scientists, despite the illusion they are rock stars are human with all the benefits and deficits that entails. But don’t take my word for it 😉
P.S. As for the quote, it’s just that…a quote.