Revolts against Secular Expertise: Creationist Examples

21 Jan 2022 09.30 AM - 11.00 AM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Justin Clark, Christopher Trigg

Populist revolts against expertise, often linked to right-wing religious and political movements, have become very noticeable in our post-truth times. However, neither conspiracy-minded rejection of secular knowledge nor right-wing milieu that support conservative religious perceptions of reality are new. The recent history of creationism in the United States and in Turkey provide valuable examples of how fake scientific ideas are institutionalized. Both Christian and Muslim creationists have sustained social environments where religious descriptions of the world influence large communities. In the Turkish case, creationism has even penetrated public education and some universities. Liberal political responses to such challenges to secular expertise usually attempt to bolster the authority of not just scientists but the professional class as a whole. The creationist example also suggests that a “trust the science” approach to contain right-wing populism has limited prospects of success.


About the Speaker:

Taner Edis

Professor of Physics

Truman State University