Unsubstantiated nonsense spouted on BBC “Thought for the Day”.
“Thought for the Day” is a ring fenced religious slot broadcast on BBC Radio 4 each weekday morning. Mostly it is meaningless platitudes. Every now and again there is some nonsense that is even more stupid than usual. The one broadcast on 11th March 2003 is a good example. A transcript is available on the BBC site.
Some comments on this nonsense.
Mr. Das rehashes the old canard that evolutionary theory is as much of a faith based system as religion. This is just nonsense. Mr Das opines –
processes inside the brain. Often, philosophical ideas involving a “ghost in
the machine” are dismissed as mere fantasy or “untestable hypotheses”. But, I
The reason these “ghost in the machine” ideas are dismissed is because there is no evidence to support them. Mr. Das is free to present supporting evidence that can be tested whenever he feels like it.
Mr. Das continues –
feel there is as much dogmatic belief, some of it quite irrational, in the
fields of neuroscience and evolutionary theory.
He should then be able to present supporting evidence to back up this assertion. Both areas of scientific theory that he mentions are well supported by both direct observation and current theory. Evolution for example has supporting evidence from fields such as comparative biology, biochemistry, genetics, palaeontology and others. There is no more “dogmatic belief” in the theory of evolution than there is in the theory of plate tectonics or gravitation. All scientific theories are tentative and subject to revision in the light of new experimental data. Evolutionary theory is a very successful theory for explaining the biodiversity we see on Earth today.
I note that Mr. Das acknowledges the publication of Crick and Koch’s data and conclusions in a peer reviewed journal. Namely –
However, the evidence published in Nature Neuroscience by DNA discoverer,
Francis Crick and his co-researcher, Christof Koch was not so clear cut. In
At least they are willing to have their ideas challenged by their peers and not delivered via an unchallenged monologue from the safety of a ring fenced religious slot.
I think the BBC should seriously consider if the “Thought for the Day” slot is past it’s sell by date if this is the sort of misinformation it serves up.