If you are short of amusement this morning, be sure to check out the spectacle of a Neuroscience PHD student with a BA in Philosophy to his name, lecturing the scientific community on who can and cannot be 'a true scientist'. This would be like me attempting to lecture the academic community of historians on how 'you cannot be a Marxist and a proper historian at the same time'; except of course my MA is actually in the subject I would be addressing. Eric Hobsbawm would still be more than entitled to tell me to 'sod off' though.
Of note is his comment that:
While it is invariably advertised as an expression of “respect” for people of faith, this accommodationism is nothing more than naked condescension, motivated by fear. Mooney and Kirshenbaum assure us that people will choose religion over science, no matter how good a case is made against religion. In certain contexts, this fear is probably warranted. I wouldn’t be eager to spell out the irrationality of Islam while standing in the Great Mosque in Mecca. But let’s be honest about how Mooney and Kirshenbaum view public discourse in the United States: watch what you say, or the Christian mob will burn down the library of Alexandria all over again. By comparison, the “combativeness” of the “New Atheists” seems entirely collegial.
This would be a remarkable achievement, not least because a Christian mob never burned down the Great Library of Alexandria in the first place. See:
The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria - James Hannam
The Foundation and Loss of the Royal and Serapeum Libraries of Alexandria - James Hannam
Tim O' Neil's treatment of the New Hypatia Movie - The Great Library and it's myths
The (rather heated) discussion in the comments here
This discussion by Roger S Bagnall in 'Hellenistic and Roman Egypt'
Interestingly, Roger S Bagnall says that:
Passions still run high on this matter. When Glen Bowerstock first invited me to present this paper, I hesitated because of a traumatic early experience. I wrote an article on the Alexandrian Library on commission for a short lived magazine called 'The Dial', published for Channel 13. The editor did not like my caution about the accounts of the destruction of the library and , without telling me, rewrote the article to blame everything squarely on the Christians. Whether he hated Christianity or just liked a simple storyline I do not know'.
So far, that's all these much vaunted 'secular values' of The Reason Project' appear to consist of. Simple stories, long-winded rants and rapidly disappearing up one's own posterior.
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