Kunne det ikke være skægt med nogle forudsigelser om, hvad der vil ske i 2007? Det kunne være inden for alle områder: politik, teknologi, kultur, økonomi, underholdning, you name it, og forudsigelserne kunne være mere eller mindre seriøse. Hvem vinder Nobel-priser? Hvordan vil det gå den danske regering? Vil Irak stabilisere sig? Vil der komme et gennembrud i jagten efter alternativ energi? Kommer der skattelettelser? Får en dansker en Grammy eller Oscar? Kommer der erhvervsskandaler i Danmark à la Enron? Afslører Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil sig selv som værende bagmand bag Ungdomshusets voldelige kamp? Lancerer TV2 en 24-times børnekanal?
Jeg er sikker på, at den danske blogosfæres samlede intelligens kunne føre til nogle kvalificerede bud. Så kunne man til næste år sammenligne forudsigelserne med de egentlige udfald, hvilket om ikke andet nok skal være underholdende…
Jeg kommer måske selv med nogle bud, men jeg føler mig desværre ikke synderlig kvalificeret til at lave mange alvorlige forudsigelser.
*edit: Jeg har d. 12.01 givet en forudsigelse her.*
Scientific thought is under attack these days. Possibly, the threat is the most forceful since modern science developed in the Enlightenment period, but that it is a relatively novel type of attack – composed of strange bedfellows – is a certainty.
Science is being attacked from two nominally detrimental directions, the two assailants being united in their choice of target if not in weaponry. The first source of attack is historically familiar: a variation on a recurrent theme, one could say. Religious dogma has often opposed the progress of science; these days it attempts – in addition – to sow doubt in people’s mind as to the basic efficacy of science. The most visible manifestation of this assault is, of course, the Creationist critique of evolutionary theory, but the implications of the battle between religiosity and science are much wider, at least if the irrational religious doctrine is allowed the slightest success. Here, Christian dogma does not stand alone: in time, the successful spread of hardcore Islamic thought will probably be a yet more serious peril.
The second assailant also attempts to spread doubt in the fundamental makeup of scientific thought. In contrast to the religious attack, this second type relies not on dogma but rather on somewhat the opposite: relativism. The post-modern denial of positivism, of the cumulative progress of knowledge, and of the objective role of the scientist, should be rejected outright by intellectuals engaged in scientific thinking, but is instead often actively encouraged. Taking sprout in the humanities, this way of thinking has not only spread into – colonized – disciplines that otherwise would have had strong scientific potential (such as political science), but has also been seen spreading into disciplines that should stay firmly in the natural sciences (such as nursing).
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, each part of the twin attack on science has distinct geographical strongholds in the West. The religious anti-rationality is mostly an American phenomenon, while the post-modern anti-rationality is mostly European. The assailants differ strongly in political adherence, at least ostensibly so. The first is reactionary, while the second calls itself “progressive”. But make no mistake: they are both exceedingly harmful to scientific progress – and in turn their ascendance could very well spell the defeat of societal progress. We might soon see the return of an intellectual and material Dark Age.