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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Sunday, March 08, 2009

Should Dedicated Fishermen Go Jump in the Lake?

High dingbat quotient today. I just can't let this one go: Someone named Tom Frame has written in the Sydney Morning Herald that Darwinists should be "honest" with everyone:

The problem I face is weariness with science-based dialogue partners like Richard Dawkins. It surprises me he is not chided for his innate scientific conservatism and metaphysical complacency. He won't take his depiction of Darwinism to logical conclusions. A dedicated Darwinian would welcome imperialism, genocide, mass deportation, ethnic cleansing, eugenics, euthanasia, forced sterilisations and infanticide. Publicly, he advocates none of them.

Okay, I'll give in and also admit that, as a dedicated Newtonian (I even named my cat after him), I also advocate everyone jumping off of a cliff! But Tom Frame first.

Honestly, how stupid can a person be? There is nothing that is not evolution. You can't "violate" evolution with your socio-political views any more than you can "violate" gravity. Does Frame think that airplane pilots are violating gravity by flying planes? (Sadly, he probably does. He's probably that confused.) If you care for the sick and the weak, you create an environment in which they get better and stronger. Duh. For pity's sake, the Neanderthals cared for and fed their elderly and infirm. Evolution tends toward ecological coexistence and equilibrium, not savagery. (Remember the Galapagos.)

Should beavers also embrace genocide, because after thousands of years of building beaver dams they are incapable of surviving without their structures, and have thus become soft and lazy and "unfit"? Should deer own up to the fact that, well, they've become dependent on their antlers, and are letting into the gene pool "unfit" members would could not have survived without those pointed, technologically advanced weapons? Should bees admit that they've become pansies, toiling on a hive all day instead of being wild and free like the badass, biker drones? I mean, how ridiculous!

If I were to own up to the fact that I do consider some people to be "superior" to others, I think creationists would be surprised to find people with autism spectrum and mental retardation - who are also avid library users - at the top of my hierarchy, and "normal" spoiled brats with fast cars, early acne prevention/nose jobs/breast augmentation, princessy attitudes, spray-on tans, nonexistent belly fat, and daily tantrums due to entitlement syndrome decidedly on my "unfit" list.



(Bwahaha! My one and only car was blue! Of course, it was a 1976 Buick station wagon.)

It's my personal belief that social "Darwinism" sprang up to hold back the implications of evolutionary theory, precisely because it suggested that the poor and the nonwhite had better survival skills than the fragile elite of the Victorian Age, and rich throwaways like our little MacKenzie above. But anyway.

More idiot news: Alan Keyes has a blog. Yes, that Alan Keyes.



*Suppresses major nacho urge*

In fact, Jesus Christ wouldn't even create Barack Obama! Because he's the anti-Christ, you know. *groan*

I'm not linking to Keyes's blaahhhg - you can get there via Ed's site. Just be aware - viewing Alan Keyes' literary glossolalia is painful for more reasons than one. The seizure-inducing colors alone might actually make you want to jump off a cliff.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitur said...

I'm not sure about the context of the opinion but it sounds like another critic demonizing Dawkins by exaggerating his position.Just like the anit-stemcellists complaining about raising clones for organ transplants - (and why is that such a bad idea anyway?)

What they are really afraid of is that people will grow clones so they can have sex them. I wonder what that would make you then. Homoclonial?

March 10, 2009 4:25 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Here's more context (because I, unlike other people - yes, I'm talking to you, Johnathan Wells - do not quote-mine):

I share the conviction of Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeontology at the University of Cambridge: nature controls the course of evolution but convergence, implying a higher purpose, controls nature.

Conway has argued evolution is not arbitrary and if life were to evolve again, it would look very much as it does now.

The physicist Freeman Dyson said: "The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture … the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense knew we were coming."

Okay. I wonder how many historians would insist that human history, we we to go back to the past, would play out exactly as it has. I would guess not many.

These lines of reasoning do not prove God's existence but they offer a movement towards the best possible explanation for what can be observed and understood of the natural world. I must concede that much remains unknown.

But as the 2006 Templeton Prize winner John Barrow (a scientist) remarked, religious conceptions of the universe "are not the whole truth, but this does not stop them being part of the truth".

The problem I face is weariness with science-based dialogue partners like Richard Dawkins. It surprises me he is not chided for his innate scientific conservatism and metaphysical complacency. He won't take his depiction of Darwinism to logical conclusions. A dedicated Darwinian would welcome imperialism, genocide, mass deportation, ethnic cleansing, eugenics, euthanasia, forced sterilisations and infanticide. Publicly, he advocates none of them.

Publicly, many theologians have advocated imperialism, genocide, mass deportation, eugenics, forced sterilisations, and infanticide. Darwin agreed with the original meaning of eugenics, which meant "good birth" - essentially, pre-natal care - esp. in a time when so many women died in labor and so many infants died before the age of two.

Even his much-publicised atheism lacks commitment and courage. It is a cultural preference rather than a philosophical conviction. Nietzsche and Camus believed the death of God would be revolutionary and terrifying. Jean-Paul Sartre said "atheism is a cruel and long-range affair". All that Dawkins can offer is a revival of old-fashioned secular humanism, whose hopes and aspirations are summarised in John Lennon's insipid 1971 composition Imagine.

That's funny, I keep hearing theists accuse Dawkins of being a "fundamentalist atheist." Which is it?

Sustained consideration of Darwinian theory has raised a number of new questions for me. When does design become domination? Why did God create human beings as objects of divine favour, "a little lower than angels" (Psalm 8, verse 5), lay a good life out before them in which they could live in harmony with the creator and other creatures, and then include within them the capacity, even propensity, to behave otherwise?

You forgot how many angels dance on the head of a pin, Tom! "Sustained consideration of Darwinian theory" brought him to this? I'd hate to speculate on where thoughts about where to eat or if he should do his laundry lead him!

I know the textbook answers to these questions, because I have offered them to inquiring students. But the easy answers are of limited value. Would knowing why there is something rather than nothing make a difference to life? I would once have said 'no'; I now say 'yes', even though the why remains elusive and might be forever.

I find the materialist atheism of some rational sceptics harder to accept than theistic belief, and cannot make sense of my life in this world without believing in God and providence. Crudely naturalistic science leaves no room for poetic truth, refuses to honour any spiritual element in physical things and cannot accept the existence of a human soul.

Such science is also inhibited from asking whether life has any meaning, as this would require stepping outside the processes that led its practitioners to the point of questioning. Evolution might account for the story of life's beginnings and progress, but it cannot explain its origin nor cast any light on its destiny.

In other words, it's the same old "Darwinism can't explain why the planets don't fall down." Homoclonal? I think "homoclownal" describes Tom here.

March 10, 2009 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one get tired of dishonest Christians who don't take the following to it's logical extention:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave 1 nor free, there is neither male nor female 2 – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. ..."

Obviously, if there is neither male nor female, then bisexuality should be expected of Christians and Christian marriages should not have gender rules.

March 11, 2009 11:31 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, what gender is the "soul," and why shouldn't you marry someone of the same gender, if marriage is a uniting of "souls"? I could never figure that out.

March 12, 2009 10:25 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitur said...

Uniting soles would make it very difficult to walk - hop maybe.

March 13, 2009 8:55 PM  
Blogger Nerdiah said...

"You can't "violate" evolution with your socio-political views any more than you can "violate" gravity."

A dedicated Darwinian will also recognise all the _good_ things, like altruism, cooperation, justice, as products of evolution. It's a hot topic of research right now.

I think the problem is that Creationists assume that just because _they_ derive their morals from their theory of how the world got here, so must everyone else.

March 16, 2009 5:11 AM  

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