Bill Maher, recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award and someone who sits on the Advisory Board of Sam Harris’s “think tank,” was recently spouting off about his anti-vaccine views. This led Orac, the physician blogger who first sounded the alarm about Maher’s views, to post a lengthy criticism. Orac summarizes his analysis as follows. Pay attention to the points I emphasized:
Maher believes himself to be the real pro-science advocate. He is about as wrong as wrong can be. He is anti-vaccine, anti-“Western medicine,” and in general antiscience, except for a limited number of areas of science that fit in with his ideological biases. As such, he’s an object lesson in how one can be intelligent and anti-science at the same time. He’s also an object lesson in how being an atheist and being pro-science are related only by coincidence. I had thought that Maher might have been sufficiently chastened by the spanking he received in 2009 and 2010 about his antivaccine stylings. Apparently five years have been enough time for his antivaccine freak flag to fly again.
Yes, this is a nice example of how New Atheists are “pro-science” only when it comes to positions that fit their ideological biases.