Greetings, Barry! Here's a +quot;letter to the editor+quot; -- I don't know if email messa
Here's a "letter to the editor" -- I don't know if email messages
are routinely used to submit such things yet I have had a message
from Bill Cote sitting in my "do something about this" list for a
long time and thought I would drop it on you and mark it off. If
not, if you let me know I'll drop it onto paper and send it in.
Like any "modern day Galileo," Mr. Cote has repeatedly ignored my
requests for further elaborations which, I must admit, might easily
be due to my, um, well, "somewhat" rude way of asking. Yes, there
is no denial that the man makes me angry.
Here's a letter I sent to Mr. Cote and his response, and a follow-
up letter which was never answered. I've reformatted it into what
might be suitable as a letter to the editor for Skeptical Inquirer.
If it appears interesting enough for the "letters" section, you
might need to cut it down somewhat.
Annoyingly enough I've been finding that there are still a large
number of people who continue to believe that Bill Cote's "Mysterious
Origins of Man" actually contains scientifically valid facts that are
being suppressed by so-called "mainstream science" regardless of the
fact that each and every outrageous claim perpetuated by Cote and his
friends have been utterly demolished as claptrap.
On June 4'th of this year I wrote a letter to Mr. Cote complaining
about his perpetuation of ignorance and I demanded to know what his
motivations were. I figured I could elicit a response with hostile
insinuations and I wasn't disappointed:
Fredric Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org):
The perpetuation of ignorance and superstition for monetary
gain is, I would think, unethical as well as eventually self-
destructive. The "Mysterious Origins of Man" is certainly
not science -- it is claptrap.
Do you guys and gals:
1: honestly think you're doing America a favor by
contributing to its growing lack of science education
by airing claptrap and pretending it's science?
2: suffering from that very same affliction and are
collectively too ignorant to understand what science
actually is and what it is not?
3: suffer from the total lack of ethics?
What _is_ your problem?
Bill Cote (email@example.com) responded that same day:
My only problem is that certain folks in the scientific community
appear to have so little faith in their brand of "scientism" that
they are fearful of anyone even questioning their authority. If
education is in trouble in America, it would behoove those who
teach to re-examine what they are teaching and get off their
Science is failing to explain many of the mysteries of our world
and the average man does not like to be told these mysteries do
not exist simply because no scientific theory can explain them.
It's time for science to broaden it's view and focus on new
answers instead of fighting to defend it's sacred traditions.
Notice how science is relegated to a religion kept pure by the elite
priesthood? Also notice the near-Creationist dishonesty of being
vague, unspecific, and unwilling to name who these fearful priests
are who are in authority? Mr. Cote seems to think that the validity
of claims is dictated by those who _do_ science and not by examining
the results of _applying_ science. He would have been more accurate
in his vague accusations if he had stated outright that he believed
_all_ scientists were suppressing his "truth" rather than just "certain
folks" since scientific method finds his religious beliefs just that:
It seems Mr. Cote is upset about his religious beliefs being unveiled
as wishful thinking by scientific method and blames scientists for
his discomfort. He also doesn't give a damn about the damage he and
his friends do to the science education of the populace; no, he crows
about how it's time to set aside science in favor of "new answers."
The next day I reviewed his outrageous accusations again and composed
a follow-up letter. Hardly surprising, this one was never replied to.
Fredric Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org):
That's one way to continue to pretend you're not perpetuating
ignorance and pseudo-science, true. And yet when science is
employed and your "sadly mistaken" religious beliefs are easily
debunked, the only defense is to pretend there's some huge, dark,
sinister cabal of evil pretenders trying to maintain the status
quo out of greed... And you won't even attempt to defend your
undefendable religious beliefs in public; no, your methodology is
to broadcast and pretend that those who easily correct your
"mistakes" are part of some huge conspiracy, thus allowing you to
dismiss the truth without regard.
Amazing really. But then you're not interested in the damage you
do or the fact that wishful thinking will never replace science,
are you? No, my guess is that the only thing you are really
interested in is bilking the ignorant for all it's worth and
maintaining the low standard of education in the country. It's
legal, right? So why not, right?
Have you no shame? You might as well open up a "Psychic Hot Line"
and bilk the ignorant honestly rather than try to drag scientific
method down into the mud with you. You might as well start up your
own television ministry and start "faith healing" the ignorant --
that would be more honest.
No wonder the country's educational quality is in the toilet.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank