Richard Dawkins who has been described as Darwins Rotweiler has started a foundation for reason and science, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
. I have tremendous admiraton for Dawkins, he is outspoken on the value of reason and rational thinking over religion and superstition particularly in the current climate of religious and sectarian violence.
His 2 part BBC Tv Series the root of all evil
was a fantastic demonstration of how dogmatic and unthinking many of these religious institutions are.
His new foundation has surprisingly clear goals, all laid out in a neat video
. The site also has lots of fresh content and good discussions in the comment threads well worth checking out.
He points out the rise of pseudo science, something that probably upsets me more than anything else. If people took this much interest in real science the world would probably be a much better place.
I have just visited my local branch of Britain’s biggest bookshop chain, and this is what I found: six books on astronomy and nineteen books on astrology. The real science is outnumbered three to one by the pseudoscience. There were twenty books on angels, which means that angels and astrology together (39) outnumber the totality of books on all the sciences (33). When you add in the books on fairies, crystal healing, fortune telling, faith healing, Nostradamus, psychics and dream interpretation, it is no contest. Pseudoscience outnumbers science by at least three to one, and I didn’t even begin to count the far larger number of books on religion
Is all this pseudo science just harmless fun or does it usurp the power of science to fool people into spending their money on complete rubbish. People seem to want to believe from crystal healers to psychics, with no evidence at all, they are willing to part with hard earned cash for what? A fuzzy feeling that the world can be easily understood through vibrational harmonics and talking to the dead. I can't see how many of these things are essentially scams, do the practitioners/authors genuinely believe in their powers? James Randi
can't find anyone who believes that they really have powers, and are prepared to prove them. He offers a one million dollar prize
to anyone who can prove their powers under a controlled experiment. So far there have been no takers....