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Scientists And Fundamentalists

I was shocked by some of the attitudes expressed in your article on the growth of anti-science sentiments (F. Hoke, The Scientist, July 10, 1995). Most striking, and disturbing, was the close resemblance of the indignant scientist to the self-righteous fundamentalist Christian. They clearly have the same capacity for tolerance and open-mindedness. While the influence of fundamentalist Christian groups is both frightening and incomprehensible, I find no reassurance in the flight from rational di

James Jontes
I was shocked by some of the attitudes expressed in your article on the growth of anti-science sentiments (F. Hoke, The Scientist, July 10, 1995). Most striking, and disturbing, was the close resemblance of the indignant scientist to the self-righteous fundamentalist Christian. They clearly have the same capacity for tolerance and open-mindedness. While the influence of fundamentalist Christian groups is both frightening and incomprehensible, I find no reassurance in the flight from rational discourse taken by members of the scientific community. Having the same longing for absolutes as their radical religious counterparts, they abandon all semblance of the objectivity on which they place so much value. They immediately seek to "quarantine the anti-science brigades," like the United States interning Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. This reactionary mentality dismisses postmodernist ideas by resorting to name-calling, without regard for the arguments presented.

The basic assumption of science is that there...

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