RE: virus: Scientists and Philosophers

carlw (
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 11:56:50 -0600

Umm, no. Children seldom influence business or politics to the extent that adults do. Think of the consequences of the policies and actions of the United States being determined by an "astrologer". While maybe not as bad as it being determined by a charletan, crook and coward as it currently seems to be, that was exactly the situation under President Reagan. I can name a business, listed on NASDAQ, that is about to enter receivership, partly as a consequence of that business being run by people who relied on astrologers instead of business sense.

This can only happen in an environment where this kind of rubbish is not only tolerated but provided with a platform by people who should know better. According to a recent Time Magazine on-line poll, more than 65% of Americans believe that astrology can predict the future. The only way that this can be counteracted is through education and the correction of the error any time it becomes apparent.

Having spent over 2,000 years developing reason and logic, to the point where astrology was largely perceived as a ridiculous joke one hundred years ago, it seems that at least in the USA, people are determined to discard reason in an orgy of touchy-feelism. How did this happen? Perhaps it was because rational people ignored the inclusion of the "horoscope" as an amusement in newspapers and seeing it ignored, the hoi polloi took this not only as accepted but as having some authority and approval.

I would suggest that anybody who cares about reason should use humour, use logic, use sarcasm, use ridicule, use bathos to fight this meme.


-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of David McFadzean
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 9:49 AM To:
Subject: Re: virus: Scientists and Philosophers

At 12:23 AM 2/10/99 -0800, Tim Rhodes wrote:
>David wrote:
>>Skeptics emphatically do not hold truth above everything else. When is the
>>last time you heard of a group of skeptics descending on an amusement park
>>to debunk the rides, proving to the poor deluded thrill seekers that the
>>roller coaster is in fact not nearly as dangerous as they had believed?
>Can you see, however, how some might view skeptics as descending on their
>mental and emotional amusement parks in just such a manner?

Like astrology or iridology or facilitated communication? What possible harm could result in letting people believe what they want? It's just like kids and Santa Claus, right?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus