My problem with this is based on two premises; using his influence to misinform and potentially harm a whole generation of up-and-coming scientists (and non-scientists), and also talking about something he has no business delving into, much less render advice.
Mensa Otabil is a very powerful man who by virtue of his position – founder and leader of the International Central Gospel Church [ICGC] – and actions – building one of the very first private universities in Ghana – has earned the right to be trusted and respected by Ghanaians, Christians, other faithfuls and people who adhere to no religions at all.
So it is disheartening to hear him go on this ‘crusade’ against science purely because it conflicts with his religion or his point of view. He has no qualification in the field he chooses to talk about on the day.
In private confines, that is all well and good. But the moment such ‘knowledge’ is thrown out there, it becomes worrying, as he wields enormous influence. And that is part of the bigger problem.
We have people like Mensa Otabil and Kwesi Pratt who have become experts in fields that they absolutely have no know-how or qualification to justify their positions. He cannot choose his science, the same science that gave him the microphone he speaks out from.
Granted, the Big Bang is only a theory – a theory, when proven beyond doubt, then becomes a Law, for instance, the Law of Conservation of Energy – but it is the prevailing theory nonetheless, which has been supported over decades by eminent scientists, some of whom have gone on to win Nobel prizes, etc.
Surely, he must not think himself way brighter than the Darwins, Einsteins and Hawkings of present and yesteryears? I will also allow that some sciences are still very much debatable, for example the science on climate change and the very Big Bang he talks about.
But, that is the very nature of Science, questioning or critiquing anything and everything around you. That is what drives change, and it is this change that brings progress. So for him to shut down a centuries-old theory because it’s neither here nor there for Mensa-Otabil beggars belief indeed.
I like to think of the future geologists, earth scientists, evolutionary biologists etc. in his congregation who would needlessly be harmed by his ‘voodoo ideas’.
In a way, he is setting back a generation. These kids need to be given the freedom not to be polluted by a very prejudicial Kweku Ananse of a man who deems it his business to be an expert on things he knows very little about.
He does make good points about most research being sponsored and how pharmaceutical companies are misrepresenting the efficacy of their drugs to the public but the inference from that and his egg story that the Big Bang theory was bought and paid for is ridiculous! By who? The Atheist Convention?
Mensa-Otabil talks about how these theories have been ‘crafted’ to make everything seamless. Like how he was an atom, then a worm, a monkey, and now Mensa-Otabil. I suggest that unless he’s ready to ‘craft’ a theory of his own, a rational, mind-blowing hypotheses of how the world came into existence outside of what the Bible’s 7-day theory says, then maybe he should just not speak out of turn and leave the science to the scientists!
The writer-Kofi Ofori is a PhD Candidate at Curtin University in Australia | Department of Petroleum Engineering; School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.
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