Facepalm #56,751,331

From today's NY Times headlines email:


"Science is like a compass. It can tell us where north is, but it can't tell us if we want to go north. That's where our morality comes in."

NATHANIEL P. HITT, a fisheries biologist, on religion's role in addressing climate change.

How many ways does a biologist manage to get THIS wrong?  I am going to point to just two.

  1. Climate change is nothing but a question of the continued survival of the human species - as well as a few thousand other species we'll likely take down with us.  Do you need an appeal to extra-scientific concepts of morality for this?  Do you think there's a difficult philosophical debate here?  Hmmm... should we choose a course that allows our species to continue to exist longer than two or three more generations? 
  2. If that question is your struggle how do you possibly think religion will help with it?  Name one moral question religion has ever gotten right.  Slavery?  Nope.  Treating women as if they were human?  Nope.   But a Pope gets on the bandwagon thirty years too late and everyone swoons.  
That's not dealing with the question.  That's abdicating it to "the mystery of the universe."  To me the greatest mystery of the universe is this:  Year after year, these fuzz-brained faith-based lunatics, who obviously don't give a damn about evidence as a way to answer important questions, get awarded science degrees.  How do they continue to fake it long enough to pull that off?

And if you think I am being harsh on Hitt and the quote might be taken out of context, the full article is much, much worse.  It's as if a NY Times editor said, You know what this major USA newspaper really needs?  An article sucking up to Christianity!  Yeah, baby!  That's courage!  Oh, Pulitzer committee....