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Re: [Phys-l] science, religion, and politics

As the saying goes,
a) you should always keep an open mind ...
b) but not so open that your brain falls out.

And given the Subject: line, perhaps I may be permitted to quote
scripture, with Damon Runyon's postscript:
a) The race is not always to the swift or the battle to the strong,
b) but that's the way to bet.

To say it another way:
a) One should consider all the plausible hypotheses,
b) but not all hypotheses deserve equal weight or deserve equal
time in the discussion.

In particular, when it is time to place a bet or set public policy,
you should not let consideration of implausible or barely-plausible
hypotheses paralyze the decision-making process.

In the real world, sane people make decisions based on less-than-perfect
information. They do it all the time.

I get really tired of people saying "the science is not entirely settled".
I say yeah? So what?
They say "The scientific consensus might be wrong."
I say yeah? OTOH it might be right. We need to make decisions and
take action based on the preponderance of the evidence.

I get really tired of bigots who claim to possess Perfect Truth and who
throw sand in the gears of everyone who does not claim Perfect Truth.

I get really tired of folks who put their thumb on the scale, distorting
public policy for short-term selfish gain.

I get really tired of folks who wrap themselves in the mantle of religion
so they can more effectively bear false witness.