Buy Lady R some ribbons

Sometimes – in fact often – the sheer vulgarity is surprising.

Brilliant scientists at some of our great seats of learning, men whose lives are devoted to the rational pursuit of knowledge, turn out to be capable of as much intolerance and stupidity as the rest of us.What have they done this time? They’ve hurled abuse and reproach on Lord Rees of Ludlow…a meteor shower of abuse descends upon his head.

I’m more puzzled by this kind of abusive behaviour than I am surprised. Deep down, we all know that great men of science can be as petty and spiteful…as politicians, footballers or captains of industry.

He seems to think all scientists are men, which is clueless and inattentive as well as vulgar, and the rest of it is just…well, abuse. It’s the usual: some atheists dissent from theophilic orthodoxy, and that is translated into a long list of boo-words like intolerant, stupid, petty, and spiteful.

What upsets part of the scientific community – needless to say, Oxford’s most militant atheist, Richard Dawkins, is part of the chorus – is their belief that Templeton, an enthusiastic Presbyterian, tries to blur the boundary between science and religion, making a virtue of belief without evidence.

That’s right. And? Why is it intolerant and stupid and abusive and militant to think that’s a problem? Michael White doesn’t say, he just says we all do it don’t we, like people who think Chelsea will win. That’s not a very cogent or reasoned explanation.

He says Harry Kroto wants Rees to give the money to the BHA.

I hope he doesn’t. What a waste! Take Lady R on a nice cruise, at the very least take her on a shopping spree in that nice new Cambridge mall before you do that, Marty.

That’s attractive, isn’t it? Lady R is a woman, therefore she is so hopelessly trivial and stupid that all she can want is a cruise or a shopping spree at a nice new mall. I think Michael White is what the astronomer Phil Plait would call (in the technical jargon) a dick.

In any case, many of our greatest scientists – Darwin, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton – were men of faith.

Ah yes, Darwin the man of faith. Good one.

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