THE ISLAND OF DOUBT
An irregular exploration of the ongoing struggle between the power of rational discourse and the scientific method on one hand, and the forces of superstition and dogma on the other.
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
by Carl Sagan
The Doubter's Companion:
Skeptic Magazine: www.skeptic.com
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal: www.csicop.org
A poem by Yehuda Amichai:
The Meaning of
the Island of
More Doubtful Blogs
Chris C. Mooney
Other Worthy Blogs
Random Douglas Adams quote
By doubting we come to inquiry;
and through inquiry we perceive truth.
Undisguised clarity is easily mistaken for arrogance.
MIRACLE? WHAT MIRACLE?
I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the designers, Engineers, and mechanics at Airbus SAS, the flight crew of Flight 358, and the emergency personnel at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
The fact that not one of the 309 people aboard died Tuesday when an A340 skidded off the end of runway 2-4, despite the subsequent disintegration and conflagration of the aircraft, can be traced to the professionalism and high-quality training of everyone involved.
I make this point because it seems to have been have lost on a great many editors, television news anchors and radio hosts. Instead, what we heard and saw came down to one word: "miracle."
"It's incredible, it's a miracle," Canada's Transport Minister Jean Lapierre said. (Reuters)Curious how the supreme being gets the credit for billions of dollars of investment, reams of government regulations, and thousands of hours of drills and emergency preparedness training, but if everyone aboard had died, fingers would instead be pointing every which way in search of a negligent, lazy or profit-hungry mortal down here on the Earth.
Curious, and pathetic.
I did find one notable exception to the trend, a report carried by a several publications, including the Globe and Mail, quoting Air France chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta:
“I want to pay homage to the crew,” Mr. Spinetta said at a news conference at Air France headquarters. “I don't know if we should speak of a miracle ... but above all the professionalism of the crew.”---
Now that I've got that off my chest, I draw you attention to an unrelated column of mine, Of Guns and Gods, now available through the CBC Online Viewpoint site. --