Letter To The Editor: One Comment And A Quibble About Fr. Glenn’s Latest Column

Los Alamos

Fr. Glenn’s most recent column (link) is quite a good read, but I have one ‘quibble’ and one comment:

He writes, ‘… science sees its effects and thus “has Faith” that it exists’. This represents a classic misunderstanding of science. It does not ‘have faith’ that dark matter exists.

Science currently considers it plausible and even likely that dark matter exists, but science always has doubts about its conclusions and tests them wherever possible. That is, science is always ready to change its conclusions when confronted with facts that contradict conclusions previously arrived at.

In this, it differs from faith significantly. This holds true for everything, although some, such as Galileo’s description of the heavens, have been tested so well and for so long that little doubt can remain.

Fr. Glenn also wonders: “Why … did the interviewer have to be so rude and defensive?” and assigns this to excessive self-esteem. This is a good observation and may well be correct, but let me suggest that there are other drivers for this

behavior. In the past, interviewers have been excoriated for allowing interviewees to propound their views without being questioned as to validity and consistency. The failure to do so left the appearance that the interviewer was shallow and simple, nothing more than a tool for the interviewee.

Interviewers became more and more, perhaps now too much, committed to demonstrating their own intellectual level. The polarization of media also encourages more of this behavior when the interviewers are aware of the prejudices of their main audience and play to that to maintain ratings.

Aside from these remarks, I congratulate Fr. Glenn and thank him for a well-written and thought-provoking Column.