New War of the Worlds: Science and Religion

Kang and Kodos

My fellow aliens,

I am writing to you on a most joyous occasion. This evening, we will commence our second invasion of planet Earth. Soon, we shall realize our long-awaited objective: to oppress, exploit, and enslave the human race.

Even in this late hour, there are some who persist in questioning our motivations, and doubting our chances of success. To be clear, we undertake this action in preemptive self-defense, and failure is therefore not an option. Our intelligence suggests that if we do not strike now, the humans may one day rise to challenge us. For the sake of our slimy children…we simply cannot take that risk.

It is true that our previous Earth invasion was not a complete success. Our flying saucers needlessly alarmed the local populace, and our death rays were ineffective against the filthy Earth bacteria. In the years since that unfortunate event, our finest military analysts have carefully drafted a new strategy, one that is certain to prevail.

Our new attack plan was created with the unwitting assistance of the Earthlings themselves. In the absence of any serious existential threats, human beings have set their focus on oppressing, exploiting, and enslaving each other; and their methods—highly refined, subtle, and effective after centuries of development—can easily be turned to our ends.

Initially, we believed that the human disciplines of science and religion posed a threat to our invasion plans—that a group of technologically sophisticated or spiritually evolved Earthlings might perceive our presence and intentions, and launch a counter-offensive. Today, I can assure you that they pose no danger to us. Our advance agents, operating deep within enemy territory, have completely undermined these institutions.

Yes, we have transformed human science, once known as a method of inquiry, into an impotent system of belief. Science is now little more than a code-name for the human God, one who they vainly imagine is tirelessly operating to improve their insignificant lives. The foolish Earth beings have largely forgotten that science does not perform itself.

If a few stubborn Earthlings do acknowledge that fact, they nevertheless ignore the self-interested motivations of those who fund, execute and publish scientific research. Instead they pretend that, by declaring oneself a scientist, one has at once purged their intellectual biases, and severed their reliance on the support (or tolerance) of the political elite. They beg the question of their own objectivity.

Fortunately, these puny human scientists are largely ignorant of their own human history—and of its repeated lesson that science is first and foremost a political act. We have chosen not to exterminate the Earth priests of science for this reason alone—they are useful idiots.

It is true that a handful of valiant fringe operators continue to search the skies for us, using a legitimate scientific approach. But it is of no concern. Our Chief Earth Operative, Zwinge, has successfully branded them as lunatics and crackpots. Even if they spotted our advance, the Earth media would summarily dismiss their findings.

Our efforts at subverting Earthling religion have been equally productive. Nearly all of the ancient spiritual knowledge has been removed, leaving only empty rituals, and elaborate systems of social control that shall serve our own purposes quite well.

As we finalize our preparations for the invasion, we continue to encourage Earth’s enfeebling preoccupation with this false choice, between the religion of scientism and the scientism of religion. My fellow aliens, the vapid contents of Earthling blogs bear witness to this endless and meaningless debate.

We have already replaced all Earth politicians with drones, to ensure the planet’s seamless transition to our control. Their subjects have not yet taken notice of the change. And our analysts inform us that, if we promise to simultaneously lower Earth taxes and increase government spending, these stupid creatures will likely greet us as liberators.

Our contingency plan is—as before—death rays.

May God secrete his holy drool upon our hordes,
High Commander Kang

5 comments on “New War of the Worlds: Science and Religion”

  1. I find it amusing that High Commander Kang wrote this; for Kang is a Klingon captain in the Star Trek mythos, a staunch opponent of Captain Kirk, and a routine thorn in the Federation’s side.

  2. “enfeebling preoccupation with this false choice, between the religion of scientism and the scientism of religion”
    I love this statement here.
    It really sums it up for me.

  3. It feels like you’re painting an awfully bleak picture of the world, Chris. I suppose if one watches enough news, the impression is that the world is descending far too quickly into such an opposition.

    However, I believe that the situation is not as dire as you make it out to be. The sociological study of science is alive and well, analyzing our own biases and influences in both research and publication. Ethicists challenge scientific and religious folly alike. Groups like the Better Business Bureau and Corporate Responsibility are cleaning up the private sector, supported by a growing culture of social responsibility and activism.

    Don’t let the extremists cloud your view of the many caught in the middle of the struggle. Proper science is still done, and accepting religions and spirituality are more widespread than you might think. Don’t assume that everyone has already picked a side, and don’t assume that everyone will.

  4. Make your time, foolish Earthling! Science, religion, ethics, business…all your systems are belong to us!

    P.S. I am not the Klingon captain. That is my nephew.

  5. That got a few chuckles out of me. Nicely written. 🙂

    However, I rather believe that the majority of the worshippers of Father Science are not themselves scientists. I cannot imagine that a true man of science would claim that various things have been *proven* by science, or that such and such is a “scientific” training method, or that whatever does not exist within the extant scientific literature must be false.

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