14 May 2011

The Pope is more influential than any scientist

"Like it or not, the Pope is more influential than any scientist", says the New Scientist (December 2010).

In an article about the Pope's tacit approval of condom use to prevent the spread of HIV, it is also mentioned that prominent scientists have urged the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences to endorse genetically modified (GM) crops.
The Catholic Church has yet to officially back GM. But if it does, it would be a welcome shift away from a gimlet-eyed obsession with sexual morality into areas that could genuinely improve the lives of billions. Like it or not, the Pope is more influential than any scientist. Supporters of GM should hope he sees the light.
 A quick search in New Scientist's archives shows how often scientists try to get the Pope's endorsement:
  • Three prominent US scientists have asked Pope Benedict XVI to clarify the Roman Catholic church's view on Darwinism.
  • Could it be that the Vatican is about to enter the age of enlightenment?  
  • Will the papacy ever come to terms with progress in reproductive science, or will the new pope follow in his predecessors footsteps?
  • The Catholic church's demonising of the technologies that facilitate test-tube babies is making it look out of touch and irrelevant.
The Pope's opinion matters for millions of people in the world. They would rather listen to him, a scientifically-illiterate individual, about all kinds of important things, rather than listen to scientists. Religion is interfering with so many important things in this world and this is a really sad state of affairs.

1 comment:


What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant