Antiscience kills, part n

Antiscience kills, part n

Antiscience kills, part n

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 6 2007 8:00 PM

Antiscience kills, part n

Why do I fight bad thinking?

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - An elderly husband and wife were burnt to death in Andhra Pradesh after villagers accused them of practising black magic, tied them together on a pyre and set them on fire, police said on Thursday.

"The aged couple died screaming for help," said police superintendent P.V. Sunil Kumar.

In many cases, it's pretty easy to connect uncritical thinking to murdering innocent people.

Ironically, the article goes on:

Belief in black magic is common in some parts of rural India, despite the country's robust economic growth and cutting-edge high-technology industries.

Why is that ironic? Because I know a lot of Americans will read that and think, "stupid bumpkins" or some such derogatory term, and they forget that just a few nights ago, three out of ten people on stage vying to become President of these United States raised their hands to affirm that they, too, have no qualms dumping centuries of scientific reasoning to embrace fantasy. And the consequences are just as grave.

We are all savage animals, and thinking clearly is hard, very hard. But not thinking clearly comes with a very dear price. Let's hope soon that everyone gets tired of paying it.