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Section 3: Quotations from Scientists

Other Problems With the Theory

A Word on Scientific Priestcraft

Robert Ardrey, The Social Contract (Atheneum Press, New York, 1970), pp. 12-13.

That we lie successfully to each other is natural; that we successfully lie to ourselves is a natural wonder. And that the three sciences central to human understanding--psychology, anthropology, and sociology--successfully and continually lie to themselves, lie to each other, lie to their students, and lie to the public at large, must constitute a paramount wonder of a scientific century. Were their condition generally known, they would be classified as public drunks. ...

I deal harshly with the central sciences of human understanding, and I shall deal still more harshly as this inquiry progresses. Theirs is the responsibility for reconciling man and man, and of providing humanity at large with the accommodations so singularly lacking. Yet the indictment must be placed not just against the few but against all of the scientific community; a temple psychology of sorts invests it. I have spoken of science as our only religion offering an avenue of faith. But scientist is reluctant to speak out against scientist. Temple psychology, as in any religion, prevails. Like a priest conducting his mass in Latin, he presents his conclusions in a jargon that the most intelligent layman cannot translate and thus most unhappily cannot question. Like a participant in some tribal ritual, the scientist conceals his personal identity behind the stylized mask of his trade. The novice priest, taking his hard-earned Ph.D., accepts with his degree the mysteries of the temple. He will be moved by controversy, but he will address only his fellows. He will perfect the dialect of his discipline, frequently unintelligible even to members of the next discipline and certainly to the layman. He will maintain the mystique of infallibility or suffer excommunication: he will get no faculty appointment.

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