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Old 01-24-2006, 07:06 PM   #59
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Join Date: Nov 1997
Location: The Dawn of Time
Posts: 18,406
LFN Staff Member  10 year veteran! 
Skin.. how about religion? They don't have religion, do they? Or philosophy, or art. They don't have Star Wars, those heathens...!

Another quick thought on some of the latter posts in this thread:

I think it's interesting to argue these things based on ideology. I think some people are doing that or referring to that, ie: people are not arguing it based on how the science or the theology plays out, but rather saying "I'm right, because my world view is more MORAL than your's" or "I'm right because I'm a better person."

So you have religious people saying we can't believe in evolution or it'll turn us all into eugenicists and relativists who kill and rape each other. And we have non-religious people saying we have to teach evolution because otherwise we'll turn into hateful evil religious fundamentalists, etc. Neither approach is particularly useful except for back-patting and cheerleading I think. But it is commonly used in popular rhetoric, so it's a fair point to bring up. Good show. It's almost as if some folks don't want fundamentalists to give up creationism. Because if they do, then they have a more reasonable claim on the world at large in terms of ideology. If we see them wrong about science we can more easily dismiss them and say "oh well see, I don't need to listen to anything you have to say because you dismiss something so obviously true like evolution." In that sense, the boogey-man of fundamentalism is perhaps more useful for propaganda purposes, just like somebody like Fred Phelps is useful to gay rights activists who can then say "and look how bad religious nuts are for opposing gay rights, like this guy."

And you hear it commonly argued by certain Christian (evangelical?) apologists. Well, see what atheistic (this or that) is doing to America/the world? Once you get rid of God, then you get (bad things, bad whatever effects)? So therefore we need to keep/increase religious influence in (whatever). The moral-ideological approach has its limitations, and risks dodging the important issue of facts, in favor of feelings and subjective observations.

PS: That ashermenuitica article is interesting. Of course it looks to be as editable as wikipedia, so some caution is warranted, but the information presented there seems a fairly concise summary of what I've read elsewhere regarding the Vatican and evolution. One quirk in the article is the phrase referring to "neo-darwinism" as "perjorative." I was not aware that it was any way perjorative. Then again, such a thing is quite subjective as well. Some people use the term "liberal" as an insult, whereas others use it as a proper self definition and others merely as a descriptive term. Neo-Darwinism as I understand it is merely the body of Darwinian evolutionary theory, amended to include the knowledge of modern genetics. It is contrasted with the parts of Darwin that we know to be incorrect or incomplete (since theories are modified in light of new evidence to better conform to the world as we learn more). You could use the term "Darwinism" itself as perjorative ("ism" to some people implies a false system), but most people don't use it that way, so I take issue with that language. Anyway, just another random thought.

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