Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
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Quoted: 8 Post(s)
RE: Judge's order to remove evolution stickers from textbooks gets cheers from scientists
jjl - 1/21/2005 3:43 PM
kerry edwards - 1/22/2005 8:16 PM
I'm coming out of the closet. Back in the mid 70's I used to be a scientific creationist. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my closet is a box of books from the Institute of Creation Science. I read everything by Henry Morris and Duane Gish that they published.
I now believe most of that stuff is absolute hogwash. At one point in one of his books, Morris tries to prove the Bible is true thru numerology.
The reason I rejected the whole line of thought was that it was not scientific at all and fundamentally epistemologically flawed. None of those authors are really interested in whether any answer is scientifically true. What they believe is that only scientific statements consistent with their interpretation of the Bible can be true. So they reject any scientific line of thinking inconsistent with it. It's an apriori determination of truth by a document wholly unqualified to serve as a criteria of scientific investigation.
This view is deeply rooted in their psyche. They are psychologically unprepared to engage in scientific investigation since it requires that a person follow the lines of thought to which the evidence points.
This, by the way, is almost identical to a prominent Muslim view of the relation of religion and science.
The interesting thing here, on a human level, is how you personally manged to think your way across what seems to be a psychological chasm. I have never been religious (except perhaps pre-teen, which doesn't really count), so have no experience to draw on here. Why do others not take the plunge, when they are bombarded with evidence that they are fooling themselves? Or do they simply not take an evidence-based approach to understanding the world, as you presumably did in your early days?
I agree in part with kv's view of Quakerism. My Quaker friends (one in a theology dept. - she used to be a geneticist!) are good souls, but in the final analysis personally I prefer a more secular humanist approach to even this, without being too much of a vacuous materialist.
The Quaker concept of being "Lighted" really appeals to me. Instead of a focus on a man-god or on a father-god, the focus is on attempting to find a connectedness and oneness with the rest of mankind thru a mystical channel that is like electrical current flowing thru your house. One can either live the life Christ described, as most Orthodox Quakers attempt to do, and connect to the positive force and then become powered by it, or one can live a life of evilness and debauchery and connect to the negative side and become powered by evil. To them, most of humanity is stuck in the middle some where. But those who can totally disconnect the forces of evilness from themselves become "Lighted" and thus able to receive the messages of goodness with greater clarity. All these concepts seem more in line with the modern world.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address