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Enlightenment

Submission + - Are we in the Age of Endarkenment? 3

An anonymous reader writes: British pharmacologist David Colquhoun was interviewed on CBC radio this morning. He was making the point that we are entering/in the age of endarkenment.

The enlightenment was a beautiful thing. People cast aside dogma and authority. They started to think for themselves. Natural science flourished. Understanding of the real world increased. The hegemony of religion slowly declined. Real universities were created and eventually democracy took hold. The modern world was born. Until recently we were making good progress. So what went wrong?

The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable.
Dr. Colquhoun points at all kinds of liars and lies: alternative medicine, big drug companies, weapons of mass destruction, Enron style accounting ... the list is very long. The one that gets up my nose is the replacement of academics by professional managers at the head of university departments.

To roughly quote Dr. Colquhoun, "Truth has become less important than the sincere desire that something shoule be true." It sounds bad. How much trouble are we really in?

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