Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The "New Doctors'" fundamentalism on display

I was reading a post over on Pharyngula discussing an article by a Christian at Salon, where she apparently expresses some embarrassment about her beliefs. This paragraph, which PZ also mocked, made me think of something:

Writers like Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Victor J. Stenger -- and, of course, performers like Bill Maher -- get loads of press mocking the dummies gullible enough to believe some guy a couple thousand years ago was God's son. But come on. It's like shooting Christian fish car magnets in a barrel.

Hmmm, interesting... so some 40% of Americans and a disturbing number of leading politicans are "gullible dummies," and this is so obvious that it shouldn't even be pointed out?

Well, maybe she has a point. I've noticed the same thing about these "New Doctors", who, unlike their counterparts from sixty years ago who had the decency, tolerance, and respect to keep their mouth shut about the dangers of smoking, feel the need to go preaching to everybody that smoking can cause cancer. Like people don't already know.

Surgeons general like Elders, Satcher, Carmona, and Benjamin -- and of course droids like C3PO -- get loads of press warning the dummies gullible enough to pay upwards of $5 for a pack of addictive carcinogens. But come on. It's like shooting diseased lungs in a barrel.

Of course, there are some differences here... Most smokers know cigarettes are bad for their health; smokers comprise about 12% or so of the US population, as opposed to more like 40% who take the Bible literally; and despite the efforts of the Tobacco Vatican, the smoking lobby no longer has a stranglehold on American politics...

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