Posted by: fireweaver | April 27, 2007

learning disabilities

courtesy of seed, where you can find your daily dose of scientific ponderings, comes this article in the economist about the global “intelligent design” phenomenon. good to remind us occasionally that the pile of absurdist evolution deniers trying to screw up rational education for the kiddos exists everywhere…like little chains of insane antills of non-thinking drones stretching across the civilized world. furthermore, it’s not strictly a soldiers of jeebus concern, oh no, there’s a pretty strongly active moslem anti-Darwin set in turkey.

a couple of rational rays of light do shine through, though, in those people – both secular and religious – who attempt to have everyone play nice. a group of catholic scientists shared with the pope this particularly telling idea:

if the Christian church teaches things about the physical world which are manifestly false, then everything else the church teaches might be discredited too.

which is to say, if you’re full of crazy talk (i’m talking to you, young earth creationists), then we think the whole kit & kaboodle is crazy. since you can’t pick and choose when you’re going to decide god is infallible or not, if they tell us something provably wrong, they’ve lost us for anything else.  though if it all made sense all the time, we’d loose plenty of priceless little gems of hilarity.

elsewhere in the article, one of the secular scientists drops a somewhat revolutionary idea:

evolution neither disproves nor affirms any particular faith.

which sounds very simple, but really, let’s think about this for a sec. let’s bypass the whole fight at all. not us vs. them, but to each his own. god gets to be all about whatever makes us different from the rest of the natural world, that whole “divine spark” thing, higher reasoning, morality, art, that which separates me from my dog. yes, she still needs to eat and sleep and breathe in the same manner we all do, but she’s not exactly composing the ‘ave maria’ while i’m gone at work all day.

and then you can loose the need for a god in that place when/if you realize that we’re not really different from the dog at all.  *i* haven’t composed a religious symphony in a while myself.


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