Higher Superstition: Anti-Science in the Academy

Summary of talk to Atheist Sociey, Tuesday, 9 May 2006

The higher superstition is postmodernism as presented by philosophers such as Foucault and Derrida. It proclaims that there is no knowledge only understandings based on the social values and language of the period. Because these values come from a patriarchal society then our understandings are not true but are what the patriarchs want us to believe.

Many of the academic left have taken up postmodernism as a means of attacking science, largely now accepted as the means of obtaining knowledge.These leftics attack science prinipally because they see capitalism taking over globally through its use of science and its application, technology.They endeavour to deconstruct science with some success in the non-experimental sciences such as anthroplology where if you don't agree with a finding you can readily dismiss it as based on the writer's values. Deconstruction is more difficult in the experimental sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine where experiments can be carried out to test the truths.

Many of the world's problems such as overpopulation, poverty, tribalism and global warning, are complex requiring a scientific understanding. for their solution. If we are to retain democratic government then the community must be scientifically literate to make informed judgements. But with the developing antiscience attitude then the community will be influenced by emotional appeals which the modern mass media is so skilful in using.

James Gerrand.
Life Member Australian Skeptics
Committee Member of Victorian Humanist Society
Member of Australian Rationalists.

Back to Atheist Society