Sunday, December 28, 2008

John Holdren and Scientology

At first I thought, reading this article, that Obama appointed a Scientologist as the White House Science adviser, but then I found out that the author uses "Scientology" with the meaning of pseudo-science, or approximate science, not as a reference to the actual movement.

You can see this in these two other articles of his:
PS - In another article today, an other author also use "Scientology" in a similar, albeit more political, manner:
"The political right, however, calls Kwanzaa a pseudo-Marxist phoney holiday which has been adopted by public institutions as part of a politically correct assault on the standing of Christmas. "It's the Scientology of holidays," says Erick Erickson, who writes the influential conservative blog Redstate.com."

3 comments:

Wayne_from_Jeremiah_Films said...

You made me look

Rebecca Hartong said...

I think these are references to Hubbard's Scientology -- but they're oblique. It's kind of like the English language use of the proper name Quisling. (I don't know if they do this in Belgian French.) Among English-speakers, a "quisling" is a traitor who collaborates with the enemy. The reference is to a Norwegian army officer who collaborated with the Nazis during their occupation of that country. Likewise, the way these writers have used the word Scientology is a reference to L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology, but with the presumption that all of their readers will understand that Scientology is a ridiculous pseudo-science. I think they're probably presuming too much, actually. I suspect that most people (in the US, at least) don't know enough about Scientology to understand the significance of the reference.

BlackP said...

He's using "Scientology" in all his posts, more like getting people's attention.