"Joe Cummings" <email@example.com> wrote in message news:firstname.lastname@example.org... > On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 23:16:04 +0000 (UTC), email@example.com
> (David W. Robertson) wrote:
> >Evolution theory could allow for God to be the creator of the
> >evolutionary processes, and yet creationists would deny the occurrence
> >of macro-evolution.
> (Great big space-saving snip)
> >So if Genesis 1 is to be interpreted literally, then how did the
> >plants and trees survive without sunlight? [And heat? The sun gives
> >the heat that makes it possible for trees to live.]
> Interesting question.
> However, I think the question needs widening and deepening.
> What interested me about Talk.Origins right at the beginning was the
> very fact of it existing at all. The vast majority of Christians have
> no problem with evolution and science generally, insofar as they think
> about it. Creationism is a mainly US phenomenon, and the question
> might be better posed: "What drives some Americans to disbelieve
> When people read or hear of the fierce controversy in the US
> about evolution, there is genuine puzzlement, followed quite often by
> "...well, they're Americans, after all," with the implication that our
> transatllantic friends do the oddest things.
> It's possible to discuss a scientific controversy withoout
> acerbity, but the discussion on evolution/creation seems fro here to
> have reached levels of intensity more reminiscent of a civil war than
> a scientific discussion. A possible further question might be: " Why
> does a discussion in the US about evolution give rise to such
> bitterness and enmity?"
> It's when we start to probe a little deeper that interesting
> things emerge. When we examine the discussion, for instance, on the
> mechanics of evolution, one of the big surprises is the way in which
> it is conducted. It can be said that there are two discussions going
> on: one, from the evolutionist, mainstream science point of view,
> which is quite happy to correct mistakes and concede points if valid,
> and another, which can only be described as being of a political
> nature. From this point of view, the creationist is never, ever
> wrong, or, if s/he is,, s/he refuses to acknowledge it. Debating
> points are scored, misrepresentation is too frequent for it to be put
> down merely to ignorance of the subject matter.
> (There's an amusing discussion going on at present: Pagano has
> claimed that the discovery of design will falsify naturalism, and
> defeat atheism. Obviously a dotty claim, but I have been asking him
> to substantiate this claim. To no avail; I assume he's followed type
> and gone to ground on this particular issue. - This rather than have
> to admit to a Darwinist that he was perhaps exaggerating his case.)
> In fact if we look at the postings of many creationists, one
> gets the overwhelming impression that they are conducting a political
> campaign rather than trying to arrive at the truth. Darwin, and
> evolutionists generally, they regard as political enemies. Note the
> number of times scientists are characterised as "atheists" or
> The parallels between creationism and Lysenkoism - a
> pseudo-science that created huge damage in the former Soviet Union
> when it was adopted as politically approved "science" - are
> People in the Soviet Union were passionately in favour of
> Lysenkoism, although they were unable to explain what Lysenkoism was
> or what was wrong with mainstrream genetics, just as many creationists
> send a posting to talk.origins, possibly based on something their
> preacher has said, and when they are corrected they disappear never to
> return, because they haven't really studied the subject, they're
> merely repeating the "party line."
> It also seems wincingly obvious that when a proposal is made
> for "equal time," to be granted to creationism or for "intelligent
> design" to be taught, the proposers are very often shown up to be
> ignorant of the subject of genetics or even biology..
> Of course, in the Soviet Union, mainstream science itself
> wasn't being attacked, it was "bourgeois science" and here in our
> little battleground of talk.origins, it isn't mainstream science
> itself that is being attacked, it's "secular" and "atheist" science.
> Just keep a sharp eye out for the number of times the word "scientist"
> carries with it an epithet.
> The political nature of much anti-evolutionism is seen most
> clearly in the statement about the "Wedge;" its stated aim is the
> "overthrow of materialism," and a POLITICAL strategy is outlined to
> this end.
> Why? Because a philosophical viewpoint - materialism - is
> blamed for all the social evils of the modern world. The criticism of
> these evils forms a catalogue of conservative positions on social
> Note this:creationism is a marker for a complete conservative
> world outlook, and not at all a mere critique of various
> interpretations of the Bible.
> I think it is this, more than any argument about texts, that
> drives the creationists.
> I'd like to continue this, but I have to go to Blighty (qv)
> for a short spell. Perhaps on my return the opportunity may arise for
> a more leisurely discussion of this interesting topic.
> Have fun,
> Joe Cummings
I think you have seen through to the essence of the problem, and summed it up nicely. Although, there is a bit of this in the UK as well (though not with much political clout yet).
-- Mike Dworetsky
(Remove "pants" spamblock to send e-mail)