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SciAm counter Scientism

March 8, 2006


25 April 2004       Dov, to Scientific American.

"Questioning the Delphic Oracle",Scientific American,Aug 2003,pp 57-63.

In my opinion this article is a representative example of a scientifically sick and sickening treatment of a religious subject, published by a pseudoscientific editor who strives to be on the right side of the fashionable trend of "profound respect to religion".

For brevity I shall refrain from comments on the pseudoscientific verbiage of the presentation and go directly to its conclusion, quote:

" An Unexpected Inspiration

Two thousand years ago Plutarch was interested in reconciling religion and science. As priest of Apollo, he had to respond to religious conservatives who objected to the notion that a god might use a fluctuating natural gas to perform a miracle. Why not enter the woman's body directly? Plutarch believed that the gods had to rely on the materials of this corrupt and transitory world to accomplish their works. God though he was, Apollo had to speak his prophecies through the voices of mortals, and he had to inspire them with stimuli that were part of the natural world. Plutarch's careful observations and reporting of data about the gaseous emissions at Delphi show that the ancients did not try to exclude scientific inquiry from religious understanding.

The primary lesson we took away from our Delphic oracle project is not the well-worn message that modern science can elucidate ancient curiosities. Perhaps more important is how much we have to gain if we approach problems with the same broad-minded and interdisciplinary attitude that the Greeks themselves displayed".

Fortunately my English is too poor to coin the phrases and the words evoked on the tip of my tongue at the sight of the above verbiage…and the most polite exclamation I can coin, with a pseudoreligious flavor, is that this is a scientific blasphemy.

And to think that such confused fashionable ignorance is published in a supposedly scientific periodical, on a subject that involves religion, which scientifically is for humans a virtual biological factor, that functions for them as real life intra- or inter-cell biological subsystems function…


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