In TIA, I pointed out that if the New Atheists were consistent, they would be arguing for the elimination of science on the same basis that they argue for the end of religion. After all, it is science that presently poses the only serious dangers to Mankind and while it is science that is presently causing a tremendous number of casualties around the world.
Remember, the worst religious crime of the entire Middle Ages was the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in which King Charles IX of France ordered an estimated 10,000 Huegenots killed. Now Karl Denninger draws our attention to an article in Forbes concerning the estimated consequences of a single case of apparent “research misconduct”:
Last summer British researchers provoked concern when they published a paper raising the possibility that by following an established guideline UK doctors may have caused as many as 10,000 deaths each year. Now they have gone a step further and published an estimate that the same guideline may have led to the deaths of as many as 800,00 people in Europe over the last five years. The finding, they write, “is so large that the only context in the last 50 years comes from the largest scale professional failures in the political sphere.” The 800,000 deaths are comparable in size to the worst cases of genocide and mass murder in recent history. In their new article published in the European Heart Journal, Graham Cole and Darrel Francis continue to explore the extent and implications of the damage caused by the Don Poldermans research misconduct case.
This isn’t to say there are not benefits to science, of course, but the problem is that virtually no one ever pays any attention to its risks, which is precisely why this sort of human tragedy is possible. Moreover, the reason it can happen is because science as it is actually practiced falls very far short of the ideal Science that exists only in the minds of its fetishists.
Perhaps it would be wise for doctors to return to the pre-scientific concept of: First, Do No Harm.
It’s also worth noting that no priest or cleric has ever exploded a nuclear bomb in the name of Allah, Jesus Christ, or Damballah Wedo. There have been at least 2,084 nuclear explosions set off by scientists.