The Episcopalians do something impressive

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jefferts_schori.jpg

They've elected a new presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori. You have to look at her biography to see why I'm even mentioning a new religious leader:

As a scientist and an Episcopalian, I cherish the prayer that follows a baptism, that the newly baptized may receive "the gift of joy and wonder in all God's works." I spent the early years of my adulthood as an oceanographer, studying squid and octopuses, including their evolutionary relationships. I have always found that God's creation is "strange and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139). ...

The vast preponderance of scientific evidence, including geology, paleontology, archaeology, genetics and natural history, indicates that Darwin was in large part correct in his original hypothesis.

I simply find it a rejection of the goodness of God's gifts to say that all of this evidence is to be refused because it does not seem to accord with a literal reading of one of the stories in Genesis. Making any kind of faith decision is based on accumulating the best evidence one can find what one's senses and reason indicate, what the rest of the community has believed over time, and what the community judges most accurate today.

It's a good thing that article is loaded with Bible quotes and other religious nonsense, or I'd be tempted to become an Episcopalian. Oh, well, even with all the wacky mythological stuff, she still looks like one of the good ones. Congratulations, Dr Jefferts Schori! While I'm not about to join a church, you do exhibit the kind of sensible perspective on the real world I'd like to see much, much more of in religious leaders…although, looking at the comments here, some Christianists are less than thrilled with the election of a rationalist to head a church, while others seem to be enthusiastic.

(via Kynos)

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New US church leader says homosexuality no sin (Reuters) from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator on June 19, 2006 8:18 PM

Reuters - Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said o Read More

86 Comments

Speaking as a member of the Episcopal Church and as an ardent supporter of Evolution, I am extremely happy with the decision of the of the General Convention with their selection of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA. Best of all, she is from my Ala Marta of Oregon State University, where she had earned her masters and PhD in oceanography.

If there is any hope of putting an end to the mythos that one cannot be a Christian and a supporter of evolution, you will need people like Bishop Schori on your side.

Go Beav’s!

It’s a small world. My wife brought me a document – I believe from the Daily Kos – outlining how our illustrious Mr. Ahmanson of DI fame is also bankrolling efforts to split the Episcopal Church because of the gay rights “thing.” Normally I brush off that sort of thing, but this was well-documented and detailed, and the refs checked out. The cheerful side of all this is that the EC-USA is not backing down one inch in the face of those attempting to force conservative “orthodoxy” (=conservative ideological politics) down its throat.

As an episcopalion, I am proud to say that our local church (buried in Arkansas, where fundies have real POWER) invited me to speak out about ID and creationism. We packed the hall (standing room only), and the clerical staff and most of the audience were fully supportive of teaching evolution and maintaining good science. Of course, the 250-300 who attended my talk (albeit in a smaller room) was beaten out by the 1000 the attended “Dr.” Sharp’s presentation at the 1st Baptist Church in Bentonville (“Dr.” Sharp has helped to open a new creation science museum in Eureka Springs, AR).

After reading the 3rd comment I was forced to plug T.O ;) Da devil made me do it.…

I spent the early years of my adulthood as an oceanographer, studying squid and octopuses, including their evolutionary relationships

squids… hmm, she sure sounds like a FSM plant to me…

I wonder if she will manage to convert the entire Episcopal Church to FSM.

;)

oh, and LA Wilson is correct, OS is a great place to study marine biology.

Cue the howls of “Episcopalians aren’t *real* Christians!” from the fundamentalists in 3…2…1…

mplavcan, my wife witnessed the controversy and split in the United Church a couple of decades back over the issue of ordaining gays. It was amazing to see some of the visceral anti-gay hate around, and that may have actually convinced some members who were initially against it.

There’s a link here on the United Church’s history on the topic.

Dry history is no substitute for suddenly seeing perfectly reasonable-seeming people drop their masks, though, from the stories my wife has related to me.

There will be a little of that going on, with Ahmanson foaming at the mouth and the foam coming out of the lava tubes of his proverbial Mount Doom. I hope the Episcopalians are able to stay strong when the Hateful Lords of Reconstructionism come to sow seeds of dissent.

Is there a better link about Ahmanson than this?

Katharine Schori sounds like an excellent choice for the leadership. I’ve seen only a few quotes from her so far, but I’m impressed.

I do wonder wow many people in other churches are muttering their prejudices under their breath simply just because she’s a woman.

…More on Howard Ahmanson Jr. from salon.com Avenging angel of the religious right.

Quirky millionaire Howard Ahmanson Jr. is on a mission from God to stop gay marriage, fight evolution, defeat “liberal” churches – and reelect George W. Bush.

By Max Blumenthal

And its not just the church he is attacking the whole political religion identity thing (AKA facism) would not be complete without

Taking Over the Republican Party “The Grand Old Party is more religious cult than political organization.” President of the Alamo City Republican Women’s club, 1993

(From theocracywatch.org)

***from the salon article***

… The Episcopal Church split is the best evidence yet that Ahmanson’s plan to bring America closer to resembling Calvin’s elitist “church of the elect,” or what Rushdoony has called a “spiritual aristocracy,” is working. The split is also the crowning achievement of Ahmanson’s nearly 30-year career in the business of radically transforming the country. Though he still remains an unknown quantity to most Americans, he has surpassed his father’s accomplishments, and in the process, vanquished – or at least tamed – his personal demons. …

more from theocracywatch.org half way down here.

What’s most significant here, and yet gets almost zero coverage in our media, is the fact that Bush is very closely tied to the Christian Reconstructionist movement. The links between this White House and that movement are many and tight. Marvin Olasky – a former Maoist who is now a Reconstructionist – coined the phrase “compassionate conservatism,” and was hired by the Bush campaign in 2000 to serve as their top consultant on welfare. Olasky’s entire career has been financed by Howard Ahmanson, the California multimillionaire who has said publicly that his life’s goal is “to integrate Biblical law into all our lives.” Ahmanson funded the far-right seizure of the California legislature back in ‘94, and is also the main force behind the schism in the Episcopalian church. Also, he appears to be the most important advocate of the so-called “intelligent design” movement, which is creationism. Ahmanson backed Bush in 2000 – with exactly how much money we don’t know – and is supporting him again.

The only thing I’m not prepared to believe here yet is that Pharyngula’s PZM didn’t make more of a point of the squid-studying thing, not even on the comments page yet…

:-)

(no, seriously, I love reading Pharyngula. Please, no flames…)

What’s so new about a scientist bishop?

After all John Habgood who was Archbishop of York in the 80s had a Ph D in physiology , and the present Bishop of Chester is a Ph D in Chemistry.

Us Anglicans have a long line of scientific clergy. Lots of geologists in the 19th century - Bcukalnd, Sedgwick Conybeare etc. Even Samuel Wilberforce knew his science - despite his bad press.

Dont forget the Society of Ordained scientists started by Arthur Peacocke in the UK

The list is endless

Bishop Schori Wrote:

I simply find it a rejection of the goodness of God’s gifts to say that all of this evidence is to be refused because it does not seem to accord with a literal reading of one of the stories in Genesis.

Nice. Hope she follows it up with “I find it an even greater rejection of the goodness of God’s gifts to misrepresent evolution with the new ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ID scam, whose promoters clearly know that Genesis cannot be taken literally.”

Roberts Wrote:

What’s so new about a scientist bishop?… The list is endless

It is, and with good reason, I believe.

Despite the efforts of some fundamentalist types and dissemblers, religion and science are not natural enemies, but themselves represent two stages in an evolution of ideas. The people who authored religions were usually trying to understand their world using the best tools they had at the time. They were attempting, in most cases, to work out a way for their people to have a better life. They took as much as they could from direct observation — even when they didn’t truly understand what they were looking at — and inferred supernatural causation when they couldn’t explain what they were looking at in any other way.

Science does the same things, but with much more accurate tools and techniques. Our increase in understanding and our ability to draw upon knowledge that the ancient founders of religions didn’t have results in a much clearer and more reliable model.

I often think about how those who founded religions would react to the advances we’ve since made in our knowledge were they to somehow be be brought into our own time. I don’t think they’d engage in the kind of handwaving in which some of their latter day followers engage. I suspect that they’d more likely embrace the fruits of the same spirit of inquiry today that they embraced, to the best of their ability, in their own time. They’d almost certainly delight in our curing of diseases, our ability to overcome the deprivations of famine, etc.

The upshot of this line of thought is that those who reject scientific advancement in the name of fixed ideology not only do a disservice to reason, they do a disservice to religion as well. They reject the very same exercise of the human intellect in pursuit of knowledge and a better life for their people for which the founders of their religion may well have given their lives.

I’m glad to see one more religious institution add someone capable of reason and understanding to their roster of leadership.

But Episcopalians are not True Christians™!

In all seriousness though.

I’m not a theologist (or a Christian), but it seems to me that if there is a creator than lying about the nature of the universe is bearing false witness against that creator. If I ever feel some kind of calling to become a Christian, I’ll remember which denominations do this and which do not.

“Marvin Olasky — a former Maoist who is now a Reconstructionist — coined the phrase “compassionate conservatism,” and was hired by the Bush campaign in 2000 to serve as their top consultant on welfare.”

Wow… he converted from one fundamentalist authoritarian ideology to another!

There are a lot of ex-Marxists among in the neocon/theocon circles. I guess these sociopaths got disillusioned by the failure of Marxism to bring them power, so they backed another horse.

Vyoma Wrote:

Despite the efforts of some fundamentalist types and dissemblers, religion and science are not natural enemies, but themselves represent two stages in an evolution of ideas.

Sure, the evolution of ideas goes like this: religion is authority; science is the rejection of authority.

I suspect that they’d more likely embrace the fruits of the same spirit of inquiry today that they embraced, to the best of their ability, in their own time.

Yeah, religionists were always interested in free inquiry:

Deuteronomy 13 Wrote:

Prophets or interpreters of dreams may promise a miracle or a wonder, in order to lead you to worship and serve gods that you have not worshipped before. Even if what they promise comes true, do not pay any attention to them. The Lord your God is using them to test you, to see if you love the Lord with all your heart. Follow the Lord and honour him; obey him and keep his commands; worship him and be faithful to him. But put to death any interpreters of dreams or prophets that tell you to rebel against the Lord, who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. Such people are evil and are trying to lead you away from the life that the Lord has commanded you to live. They must be put to death, in order to rid yourselves of this evil. Even your brother or your son or your daughter or the wife you love or your closest friend may secretly encourage you to worship other gods, gods that you and your ancestors have never worshipped. Some of them may encourage you to worship the gods of the people who live near you or the gods of those who live far away. But do not let any of them persuade you; do not even listen to them. Show them no mercy or pity, and do not protect them. Kill them! Be the first to stone them, and then let everyone else stone them too. Stone them to death! They tried to lead you away from the Lord your God, who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. Then all the people of Israel will hear what happened; they will be afraid, and no one will ever again do such an evil thing. When you are living in the towns that the Lord your God gives you, you may hear that some worthless people of your nation have misled the people of their town to worship gods that you have never worshipped before. If you hear such a rumour, investigate it thoroughly; and if it is true that this evil thing did happen, then kill all the people in that town and all their livestock too. Destroy that town completely. Bring together all the possessions of the people who live there and pile them up in the town square. Then burn the town and everything in it as an offering to the Lord your God. It must be left in ruins forever and never again be rebuilt. Do not keep for yourselves anything that was condemned to destruction, and then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and show you mercy. He will be merciful to you and make you a numerous people, as he promised your ancestors, if you obey all his commands that I have given you today, and do what he requires.

What’s so “impressive”? The fundies have always made up just a tiny minority of Christian denominations; most Christians, worldwide, have always thought the fundies were nutters; and the vast majority of Christians accept all of science, including evolution, and have no gripe with any of it.

“religion” =/= “fundamentalist”

Is there a better link about Ahmanson than this?

The most militant of the Ayatollah-wanna-be’s are the members of the “Reconstructionist” movement. The Reconstructionists were founded by Rouas J. Rushdoony, a militant fundamentalist who was instrumental in getting Henry Morris’s book The Genesis Flood published in 1961. According to Rushdoony’s view, the United States should be directly transformed into a theocracy in which the fundamentalists would rule directly according to the will of God. “There can be no separation of Church and State,” Rushdoony declares. (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 51) “Christians,” a Reconstructionist pamphlet declares, “are called upon by God to exercise dominion.” (cited in Marty and Appleby 1991, p. 50) The Reconstructionists propose doing away with the US Constitution and laws, and instead ruling directly according to the laws of God as set out in the Bible—they advocate a return to judicial punishment for religious crimes such as blasphemy or violating the Sabbath, as well as a return to such Biblically-approved punishments as stoning.

According to Rushdoony, the Second Coming of Christ can only happen after the “Godly” have taken over the earth and constructed the Kingdom of Heaven here: “The dominion that Adam first received and then lost by his Fall will be restored to redeemed Man. God’s People will then have a long reign over the entire earth, after which, when all enemies have been put under Christ’s feet, the end shall come.” (cited in Diamond, 1989, p. 139) “Christian Reconstructionism,” another pamphlet says, “is a call to the Church to awaken to its Biblical responsibility to subdue the earth for the glory of God … Christian Reconstructionism therefore looks for and works for the rebuilding of the institutions of society according to a Biblical blueprint.” (cited in Diamond 1989, p. 136) In the Reconstructionist view, evolution is one of the “enemies” which must be “put under Christ’s feet” if the godly are to subdue the earth for the glory of God.

In effect, the Reconstructionists are the “Christian” equivilent of the Taliban.

While some members of both the fundamentalist and creationist movements view the Reconstructionists as somewhat kooky, many of them have had nice things to say about Rushdoony and his followers. ICR has had close ties with Reconstructionists. Rushdoony was one of the financial backers for Henry Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, and Morris’s son John was a co-signer of several documents produced by the Coalition On Revival, a reconstructionist coalition founded in 1984. ICR star debater Duane Gish was a member of COR’s Steering Committee, as was Richard Bliss, who served as ICR’s “curriculum director” until his death. Gish and Bliss were both co-signers of the COR documents “A Manifesto for the Christian Church” (COR, July 1986), and the “Forty-Two Articles of the Essentials of a Christian Worldview” (COR,1989), which declares, “We affirm that the laws of man must be based upon the laws of God. We deny that the laws of man have any inherent authority of their own or that their ultimate authority is rightly derived from or created by man.” (“Forty-Two Essentials, 1989, p. 8).

The Discovery Institute, the chief cheerleader for “intelligent design theory”, is particularly cozy with the Reconstructionists. The single biggest source of money for the Discovery Institute is Howard Ahmanson, a California savings-and-loan bigwig. Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory” (other branches of Discovery Institute are focused on areas like urban transportation, Social Security “reform”, and (anti) environmentalist organizing).

Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist who was long associated with Rushdooney, and who sat with him on the board of directors of the Chalcedon Foundation – a major Reconstructionist think-tank – for over 20 years, and donated over $700,000 to the Reconstructionists. Just as Rushdooney was a prime moving force behind Morris’s first book, “The Genesis Flood”, intelligent design “theorist” Phillip Johnson dedicated his book “Defeating Darwinism” to “Howard and Roberta” – Ahmanson and his wife. Ahmanson was quoted in newspaper accounts as saying, “My purpose is total integration of Biblical law into our lives.”

Ahmanson has given several million dollars over the past few years to anti-evolution groups (including Discovery Institute), as well as anti-gay groups, “Christian” political candidates, and funding efforts to split the Episcopalian Church over its willingness to ordain gay ministers and to other groups which oppose the minimum wage. He was also a major funder of the recent “recall” effort in California which led to the election of Terminator Arnie. Ahmanson is also a major funder of the effort for computerized voting, and he and several other prominent Reconstructionists have close ties with Diebold, the company that manufactures the computerized voting machines used. There has been some criticism of Diebold because it refuses to make the source code of its voting machine software available for scrutiny, and its software does not allow anyone to track voting after it is done (no way to confirm accuracy of the machine). Some of Ahmanson’s donations are channeled through the Fieldstead Foundation, which is a subspecies of the Ahmanson foundation “Fieldstead” is Ahmanson’s middle name). The Fieldstead Foundation funds many of the travelling and speaking expenses of the DI’s shining stars.

Ahmanson’s gift of $1.5 million was the original seed money to organize the Center for Science and Culture, the arm of the Discovery Institute which focuses on promoting “intelligent design theory”. By his own reckoning, Ahmanson gives more of his money to the DI than to any other poilitically active group – only a museum trust in his wife’s hometown in Iowa and a Bible college in New Jersey get more. In 2004, he reportedly gave the Center another $2.8 million. He sits on the Board Directors of Discovery Institute.

Since then, as his views have become more widely known, Ahmanson has tried to backpeddle and present a kinder, gentler image of himself. However, his views are still so extremist that politicians have returned campaign contributions from Ahmanson once they learned who he was.

So it’s no wonder that the Discovery Institute is reluctant to talk about the funding source for its Intelligent Design campaign. Apparently, they are not very anxious to have the public know that most of its money comes from just one whacko billionnaire who has long advocated a political program that is very similar to that of the Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

With all this $ that Ahmanson is throwing around, is there any word on whether he paid the Dover legal fees?

Boy, you’ve got to get up early to beat Lenny ..or live in another time zone…snickker :>

My hat is off to the Episcopal Church and to the appointment of Katharine Jefferts Schori. My hat is also off to the Episcopal Catechism of Creation (Part II: Creation and Science) that states in part, “The Bible, including Genesis, is not a divinely dictated scientific textbook.”

This is part of a Q & A section at:

http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/19021[…]_ENG_HTM.htm

The above quote comes from the following Q & A section:

“Does the Bible teach science? Do we find scientific knowledge in the Bible? Episcopalians believe that the Bible “contains all things necessary to salvation” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 868): it is the inspired and authoritative source of truth about God, Christ, and the Christian life. But physicist and priest John Polkinghorne, following sixteenth-century Anglican theologian Richard Hooker, reminds us Anglicans and Episcopalians that the Bible does not contain all necessary truths about everything else. The Bible, including Genesis, is not a divinely dictated scientific textbook. We discover scientific knowledge about God’s universe in nature not Scripture.”

Clearly their church has found the reasoning that keeps their faith from conflicting with all that nature reveals to science.

With all this $ that Ahmanson is throwing around, is there any word on whether he paid the Dover legal fees?

I can’t imagine he would give his money to the ACLU, especially after the creationists were voted off the Dover School Board. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if he provides funding to the Thomas More Law Center, which represented the creationist school board, though it was founded by another right-wing billionare, Tom Monaghan.

With all this $ that Ahmanson is throwing around, is there any word on whether he paid the Dover legal fees?

Come on people, where in the Bible does it say THAT?

Suckers!

Don’t you think you’re treading into DaveScot territory by claiming to not be religious while promoting religious figures?

Well we all know Dave S. Springer is AC/DC on those issues (smirk).

I don’t think the fundies are going to be too pleased at her election:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/[…]6200330/1009

I always take a look at AIG’s website on most days to see what nonsense and lies have been posted there. I would say that most of their articles are directed at other Christians who don’t think as they do (ie the compromisers !). I’m sure there will be something about this in the coming days.

My wife by the way, goes to the local Church of Ireland, the equivalent in this country. I’ve met the minister on a number of occasions and found him to be a very warm and genuine person. The sermons on a Sunday morning are actually fairly evangelical.

This is a nice slap in the big fat face of the Fundies!

Myers, you are so easy. A gal picks up a squid or an octopus and you’re in love…

The vast preponderance of scientific evidence, including geology, paleontology, archaeology, genetics and natural history, indicates that Darwin was in large part correct in his original hypothesis.

Typical Darwinian elephant hurling.

Was Darwin “in large part correct” or was Darwin mostly wrong ?

Was Darwin “in large part correct” or was Darwin mostly wrong ?

BWA HA HA AHA HA AH AHA HA HA AHA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!

While Katharine Jefferts Schori may be well learned in science, she nevertheless takes a very unscientific position on matters of human sexuality.

First, I am not a creationist, nor am I a fundamentalist. But Jefferts Schori has publically said that a person’s sexual orientation is a gift. She has said that people come into this world with affections aimed at different people and that some COME INTO THIS WORLD WITH AFFECTIONS DIRECTED AT PERSONS OF THEIR OWN SEX.

“Affections” is an open-ended term. Are EROTIC affections automatic and inborn? Does this mean that she believes everyone is born with his/her sexual orientation? The problem with the inborn sexual orientation theory is that it has no scientific basis. Even in an era of overpopulation, why should anyone be born with a same-sex “affection” and at the same time perfectly normal sexual organs capable of reproduction?

Barbara R.

Darwin’s Ghost, the updated version of the Origin of Species, by Steve Jones, is a good reference by which to determine whether Darwin was wrong or right in his thinking.

I’d put more ‘faith’ in Jones’ book, than in that religious apologetics website. And apologise they should!

I don’t know if either Buddhism or the Dalai Lama represent “the best religion has to offer.” I generally don’t hold religions or their members above the expected behavior of any other human division or its constituents, though.

Peter Henderson Wrote:

Re:”Many people aren’t aware that famed Christian writer, C.S. Lewis, didn’t have a problem with evolution either.”

Apparently other preachers, such as Charles Hodge and B.B.Warfield, didn’t have a problem with “millions of years” or evolution either !

And neither does Pentecostal preacher Dr. Bob Bakker. I always like to bring him up since he is, in fact, a notorious paleontologist who gets a lot of “talking head” time on popular science programming. Another goodie to bring up is the man who gave shape to the Big Bang idea, an ordained priest by the name of Georges-Henri Lemaitre (so much for that “atheistic” theory, although most Fundies may dismiss it because of the Catholicism). In fact, I’m sure it would be enormous fun (and mainly non-productive) to construct a list of famous biologists, paleontologists, geologists, astronomers, etc. who were strictly Christian and didn’t worry about the ramifications of evolution or deep time. Experience has lead me to the conclusion that it will all fall on deaf ears, though.

Was Ghandi an asshole?

Reflections of Ghandi:

In relation to the late war, one question that every pacifist had a clear obligation to answer was: “What about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting to war?” […] But it so happens that Gandhi was asked a somewhat similar question in 1938 and that his answer is on record in Mr. Louis Fischer’s GANDHI AND STALIN. According to Mr. Fischer, Gandhi’s view was that the German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which “would have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler’s violence.” After the war he justified himself: the Jews had been killed anyway, and might as well have died significantly. One has the impression that this attitude staggered even so warm an admirer as Mr. Fischer, but Gandhi was merely being honest. If you are not prepared to take life, you must often be prepared for lives to be lost in some other way. When, in 1942, he urged non-violent resistance against a Japanese invasion, he was ready to admit that it might cost several million deaths.

Well, it’s nice to see the pointless holy war at the opposite pole, for a change.

Anyone else find negatives in the best religion has to offer?

Is this some sort of surprise for you? Humans are humans, after all. There are negatives in EVERYTHING.

Just ask all those atheists in the former USSR.

[any other lamb of PZ’s herd wanting to show up and confirm what I say about their brainwashed dichotomous thinking?]

Funny. I was under the impression that any ‘thinking’ on antiPZ’s side is likely to fizz out his remaining brain cell(s).

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote:

Is this some sort of surprise for you?

Nope.

It’s just not talked about much. I expect them to have human failings - bad ideas, superstitions, body odor and what not. In general even atheists treat Ghandi and the Dali Lama with kid gloves. It’s hard to dig up the negatives on these guys because people don’t want to see them.

For the most part there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in digging up their dirty laundry even here. I’m sure there’s a lot more but no one really cares much.

The “Rev Dr” indeed has it right. There are negatives in everything and everyone. Humans will always find a windmill of their choosing to tilt at.

. Science mostly works several domain-leaps away from the complex realities of human interactions,

well, except..

sociologists psychologists many economists behaviorists etc., etc.

I think you have a bit narrower view of science than you perhaps should, and sell most scientists a bit short on their ability to wax philosophical as well.

If we were to make a list of cool things gandhi or the dalai lama have said, I have no doubt that it will greatly exceed the list of the uncool.

and the same would hold true of scientists.

I like this quote from Huxley:

“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” - Thomas Huxley

Wheel’s got a very good point there, too

which one?

Comment #107351

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 12:40 AM (e)

. Science mostly works several domain-leaps away from the complex realities of human interactions,

well, except..

sociologists psychologists many economists behaviorists etc., etc.

I think you have a bit narrower view of science than you perhaps should, and sell most scientists a bit short on their ability to wax philosophical as well.

[aghast] hunh? Blink blink [aghast]

I did PolySci for an udergrad and I can say with some confidence that my opinion is that social (soft) sciences are dancing in the light just beyond the realm of the hard sciences.

It’s just not talked about much. I expect them to have human failings - bad ideas, superstitions, body odor and what not. In general even atheists treat Ghandi and the Dali Lama with kid gloves. It’s hard to dig up the negatives on these guys because people don’t want to see them.

For the most part there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in digging up their dirty laundry even here. I’m sure there’s a lot more but no one really cares much.

It’s all a theist plot.

many economists

Back in my Wobbly days, I told an entire roomful of economists that they weren’t actually scientists. Then added that they were just apologists for the existing social order.

They didn’t invite me back the next year. (grin)

“If you’ve got an ‘Ology you’re a scientist”

Actress Maureen Lipman in the classic BT ad. ‘Ology

http://www.robertcraven.co.uk/thedc-ology.php

I’d agree that nowadays more scientists move into the philosophical and moral, but none has achieved much yet in dealing with real human problems, and I can´t think of any with the notoriety of gandhi or the dalai. Good for them, but they are newcomers, kiddos led by the hand when compared with the millenary traditions from which the dalai or gandhi derive their inspiration. And then of course, most scientists also question the motivations and objectivity of these more morally concerned scientists, they find them too lefty, postmodern, or whatever. Of course, unless they preach some politically incorrect BS. You just need to state something scientific-looking and politically incorrect to make it seem “very objective”. Gandhi did not face such a bias to creating an ideal, that is, the temptation of bonking on the table about “just how things ARE”, a typical scientific crutch. Let’s be sincere, science is not about moral authorities (and most scientists dont want to be either) . Morality does not need a scientific justification, it can be there, but it is not crucial. How about this, by Gandhi “in the end deceivers deceive only themselves”

Wow. Most trolls don’t give up that quickly.

antiPZ Wrote:

I’d agree that nowadays more scientists move into the philosophical and moral, but none has achieved much yet in dealing with real human problems, and I can´t think of any with the notoriety of gandhi or the dalai.

I can only assume you’re referring to the “scientists” who join the ID movement.

Do you think AntiPZ may actually be Dave Scot going deep undercover?

I did PolySci for an udergrad and I can say with some confidence that my opinion is that social (soft) sciences are dancing in the light just beyond the realm of the hard sciences.

then you should look a bit harder. One of my oldest friends did his PhD in cognitive psychology. Trust me, it was as “hard-sciency” as any experiments run in the chemistry or biology depts.

check out some of the heavier theoretical psych journals sometime.

IMO a scientist is simply someone who uses the scientific method to orderly address questions arising from observation.

plenty of participants in the fields i listed do just that.

besides which, it’s obvious that antipz was utilizing the “ivory tower” projection; commonlly seen among folks who haven’t a clue what scientists do for a living, or how they do it.

His underlying point being that only religious icons have ever contributed to “humanity” in any social sense.

Which I know you don’t agree with, nor do I.

Good bye folks, this blog is simply useless.

well, something around here is completely useless, but I don’t think it’s the blog.

It is impossible to respond and have conversation if PZ insists in wiping out perfectly good messages.

oh? like this gem, you mean?

any other lamb of PZ’s herd wanting to show up and confirm what I say about their brainwashed dichotomous thinking?

which wasn’t wiped out, obviously, but moved to the BW, where it belongs. the only reason i resurrect it is to counter your “perfectly good messages” claim.

PZ, feel free to move it back if you wish.

Sir_Toejam Wrote:

then you should look a bit harder. One of my oldest friends did his PhD in cognitive psychology. Trust me, it was as “hard-sciency” as any experiments run in the chemistry or biology depts.

That’s cognitive psychology though. I think it’s fair to say that what cognitive psychologists are doing is fundamentally different from what political science persons are doing, and that the first is probably science and that the second is probably not. Psychology is a bit odd to classify because it started out as a science so soft it practically wasn’t science at all, but has gotten harder and harder with time until parts of it could practically be reclassified as biology.

Sociologists are in a similarly strange place because they utilize the scientific method, back up their conclusions with experimental data, and are expected to apply scientific rigor to their data and analysis. But then they’re allowed, maybe even expected, to sometimes use this scientific analysis as a basis for forming decidedly non-scientific conclusions, without ever leaving the realm of sociology.

Economists… I have no idea anymore what it is economists are doing.

This isn’t to say what “soft scientists” are doing isn’t important, or useful, and it isn’t to say that economists or sociologists are doing something bad if they sometimes make nonscientific arguments with scientific components to them. But I think it’s important to keep a mental distinction between the things that qualify as soft and hard sciences. This isn’t to belittle the soft sciences. It’s just to keep things clear.

I also think it’s important to remember that at some point there does have to be some boundary to “science”, and some group of things which aren’t even soft sciences even if they aspire to be so, if “science” is going to be a useful word at all. Otherwise we might as well just go ahead and count comparative religion as a science. Why not?

AntiPZ Wrote:

cephalopods don’t deserve a monster like you piggybacking on their coolness… It is impossible to respond and have conversation if PZ insists in wiping out perfectly good messages.

It would help if you’d put some effort into making a lick of sense in those posts that aren’t just hurling insults. For example, look at your last post still in this thread. To whom or what exactly do the terms “more scientists”, “most scientists”, “these more morally concerned scientists”, “political correctness”, and “politically incorrect” refer to? Is the “bias” you say Ghandi faced a bias for, or against, “creating an ideal”, and was Ghandi a follower of or an opponent of this bias? This is all so vague and so full of debate-club buzzwords that it seems it could be arguing practically anything. I know who Ghandi is, but other than that the post practically seems like a mad lib.

AntiPZ Wrote:

If some of my retorts seem nonsensical, it is because lame ole PZ is dipping the scissor all the time.

Hm. Perhaps. But I think it’s because they’re just poorly written.

[See, PZ wipes out the quotes where you can tell most clearly I’m a scientist and atheist,]

What?! There are actually some of those?

*snicker*

This “AntiPZ” bozo is going to get consistently deleted from these threads, and I’d appreciate it if people would stop engaging him.

Here’s the bathroom wall. Play with him there.

Of course there is aboslutely nothing of mine at the bathroom wall to play with. You know, total disappereance of what PZ does not want you to see.

[ I know he’s an atheist and a scientist, he says, but this is just too stupid to bear anymore. Yes, all of his posts have been forwarded to the bathroom wall. You just have to be marginally clever enough to navigate to the end of the long list of comments piling up there. ]

[ This is quite enough. If anyone else wants to wrestle with this clown, do it on the bathroom wall…here, it’s going to get the thread closed. ]

AntiPZ wrote:

… there is aboslutely nothing of mine at the bathroom wall to play with.

Do you know about this site AntiPZ? http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bi[…]=1272;st=480

Go there.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on June 19, 2006 7:50 PM.

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