Adam Smith Comics: Science is the Great Antidote

art science superstition great antidote comics

Douglas Curtis and Jeremy Lott

"Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition." 
Adam Smith, like many of his contemporaries, was concerned about how a state might, without resorting to violence, correct "unsocial or disagreeably rigorous" activities in religious sects. Artist Douglas Curtis and script author and editor Jeremy Lott quested for just the right image to convey Smith's ideas and came up with an irreverent but humorous illustration.

Smith's suggestions are for the state to use education and public diversions. Below is speaks to the first: 
The first of those remedies is the study of science and philosophy, the requirement of a knowledge of science and philosophy from candidates for professions and offices which the state might render almost universal among all people of middling or more than middling rank and fortune; not by giving salaries to teachers in order to make them negligent and idle, but by instituting some sort of probation, even in the higher and more difficult sciences, to be undergone by every person before he was permitted to exercise any liberal profession, or before he could be received as a candidate for any honourable office of trust or profit. If the state imposed upon this order of men the necessity of learning, it would have no occasion to give itself any trouble about providing them with proper teachers. They would soon find better teachers for themselves than any whom the state could provide for them. Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition; and where all the superior ranks of people were secured from it, the inferior ranks could not be much exposed to it.
(Book V, Chap, 1, Part. II, Art. 3)

Want to learn more?
Douglas Curtis and Jeremy Lott's Adam Smith Comics: The Invisible Hand and The Man of System
Paula Richey and Jeremy Lott's AdamSmithComics: The Opening of The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Jason Meadows and Jeremy Lott's Adam Smith Comics: Trinkets of Frivolous Utility
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