Intellectuals and science

I read Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals a long time ago. This quote is too good not to link to:

With the decline of clerical power in the eighteenth century, a new kind of mentor emerged to fill the vacuum and capture the ear of society. The secular intellectual might be deist, sceptic, or atheist. But he was just as ready as any pontiff or presbyter to tell mankind how to conduct his affairs.

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