Crichton on Reason

Crichton on Willy.

The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda.

Although only just now in the blogdex, Crichton’s 3-month-old scathing indictment of the pop-environmentalism movement in… [TeledyN]

I finally got around to this item in my aggregator over the Chrismas holiday. In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in September, Crichton makes an interesting argument that today’s environmental movement is best thought of as a secular religion that operates on the basis of faith instead of evidence.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There’s a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. It isn’t that these “facts” are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all—what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

I think Crichton is making an even broader argument about the role of reason and evidence in coping with today’s world. Let’s hope he gets heard here as widely as he does with his fiction.