Do ID proponents deserve charity?

A post at UD, insidiously tagged with “academic freedom”, promotes charity. Contributor johnnyb highlights a piece on NPR’s website which calls for recognition that

other people’s religious and scientific commitments can be as deeply felt and deeply reasoned as our own.

Sure, ID proponents are passionate about the tenets of their faith, and indeed the theist keeps on digging when the soil runs out. As Kierkegaard noted, there is always an unbridgeable emptiness for the theist, the “leap of faith.” So no matter how much reason one applies to religion, religious belief is at heart irrational. Those who attempt to trowel reason over the gap are foolish, and cowardly in their attempts to divert from the irrationality of their belief.

We already understand why people believe in ID. It is because they belong to sects which cannot accept that an upgraded Canaanite storm god did not create beasts and birds and plants fully formed, in many cases a few hours after finishing the planet. In the twenty-first century, this is a ridiculous idea, utterly contrary to the firmly established science based upon mountains of evidence. Furthermore, to preserve the fiction that ID is science, its supporters must fall back on a conspiracy theory which grants inordinate power to an atheist minority despised and marginalized in much of the world, especially the United States.

This is not all. We know that prominent figures associated with ID, and particularly the intelligent design advocacy organization, the Discovery Institute, have a theocratic, anti-science agenda. They do not balk at lies. This is all well documented.

The public face of ID is political. The politics are those of the American Christian right. Those of us who value reality, science, progressiveness, inclusiveness, social justice, and opportunity for all make a grave mistake by being charitable to proponents of ID. The American Christian right deserve no more charity than any other would be totalitarians. If the odd nice, deluded, and ignorant but honest creationist is offended by a lack of charity, that is tough as far as I am concerned. Obliviousness is no excuse for assisting the enemies of humanity.

89 thoughts on “Do ID proponents deserve charity?

  1. petrushka:
    It was those imaginary fundies that tried to put an ID textbook in classrooms, and it is imaginary fundies that are trying to geld biology textbooks in Texas (and by extension, the country)

    I’s suggest that someone who isn’t from the United States and who doesn’t live here and send kids to school here might not be aware of the political activism surrounding biological evolution.

    Interesting side-note. I was talking to an American (who arranges accommodation for American service families posted to the UK) who was adamant that those families fight tooth and nail to live far enough off-base to be able to avoid sending their kids to the American schools on the bases, recognising that British education is significantly better, at least in the 5-11 age group.

  2. I’ve seen many similar examples in Japan, France, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Education is taken far more seriously, and teachers are far more respected than in the US. This has been so for many decades.

    ID/creationists sneer at teachers here in the US, and teachers are constantly kicked around like political footballs in US politics, particularly by the Right Wing fanatics.

    And there is a recent incident in Scotland in which the school council is taking decisive action to get US based creationists out of the school immediately after it was discovered they have been there for something like eight years operating stealthily. Such decisive action would not happen in most schools in the US if something like that was discovered.

    In the US, lawsuits and surreptitious behind-the-scenes haggling would be going on for months, even years, without definitive resolution. That’s how political these ID/creationists are. They drag in state elected officials and even US Congressional representatives, threaten, and the issue drones on endlessly.

    Consider the ongoing John Freshwater case that is currently being considered in the Ohio Supreme Court. This case has been dragging on for years.

    I know of a case in which there were clear violations in which a teacher proselytized without having tenure. There were so many threats of expensive lawsuits that the teacher still got tenure despite extremely bad recommendations regarding his ability to teach the subject matter he was hired to teach. He was given inane “remediation” activities while teaching no classes and drawing full pay for nearly two years. He now gets “good” evaluations from his sectarian students by bribing them with good grades. It’s still a scandal, but it is frozen in place.

    School officials are often too scared to deal decisively with this issue in the US.

  3. Let’s not forget that Gregory here was also the guy modifying people’s posts without their knowledge or permission until Lizzie put a halt to his despicable action.

    A real fine example of what passes for honesty in IDiot circles.

  4. Let’s not forget that Gregory here was also the guy modifying people’s posts without their knowledge or permission until Lizzie put a halt to his despicable action.

    A real fine example of what passes for honesty in IDiot circles.

    That is one of the main reasons, among many others, that I don’t believe Gregory is what he claims he is. You just don’t do that sort of thing and try to pass yourself off as a scholar.

    And this “evolutionism” thing he is all bent out of shape about is just childish and inane.

  5. Evolutionismistictemporalchangeabilitarianism.

    Now that’s something to be concerned about.

  6. The public face of ID is political. The politics are those of the American Christian right. Those of us who value reality, science, progressiveness, inclusiveness, social justice, and opportunity for all make a grave mistake by being charitable to proponents of ID.

    So many issues. First, value reality? There’s some potential pretentiousness hidden in there I think. What does it mean to value reality? I ask because I might not value reality. I’m not sure how I would. Or why I should. Second, valuing progressiveness or not doesn’t stop progress. Not all progress is good, not all is bad. It depends on a lot of things and a bit of hindsight to determine which progress was generally good and which wasn’t. But unimpeded progress is almost universally a recipe for disaster so I’m not sure I would vilify those who gum up the works right from the get go. Third, (I know I went out of order) valuing science is nice. I value science. But not everyone does. I’m sort of ok with that. If we can manage to still get science done and new information published, then it sort of doesn’t matter whether someone else values science. And, if you were to graph the output of scientific research by publication per capita over the past ever, I’m pretty sure you’d see a line which has been picking up steam for a few hundred years and still is. In other words, the threats to ‘science’ I think are vastly over-rated even if someone not believing in science was the threat that someone might perceive to science in the first place. Which it isn’t. The problem is people who believe in science and can’t figure out how to fudge the data to get the results they want. If someone wants to screw animals all day long and they can publish research that suggests it makes us better somehow, then that’s an avenue of concern. If people believe in eternal judgment and an afterlife and science produces research which suggests that we shouldn’t worry about it, those people will want to change that science. It doesn’t mean they don’t believe in science it just means they are still able to compartmentalize some dissonant information. It just means they want science to validate them. The amish, they don’t believe in science. And so they choose to live to some varying degrees in a world with at least less of it around them. And that’s just what they want to do. Which brings me to number four.

    If you value inclusiveness, social justice, and opportunity for all, then it seems like you must value letting people believe what they want to believe. But the following seems to suggest otherwise:

    The American Christian right deserve no more charity than any other would be totalitarians. If the odd nice, deluded, and ignorant but honest creationist is offended by a lack of charity, that is tough as far as I am concerned. Obliviousness is no excuse for assisting the enemies of humanity.

    I think you have hit on some strange definitions of charity. One, actions have consequences. Mike Behe’s career as a scientist is effectively ruined. Dembski has fallen to a disgraced state where he can’t even apply as a janitor to a real college and he used to be a distinguished mathematics professor. Yes, there are hucksters and preachers who are raising what seems like a big old stink about all kinds of stupid shit. They are mad as hell that their world is being undermined and, yes, they seem to want to force people to think what they would like people to think in order to get that mean old world back into compliance. But if you think the right way to address people who are trying to stifle thought is to try and stifle them, well, I just hope we don;t end up disagreeing over something because I don’t much worry about whether people are angry at what I might say if I have considered it and believe it to be an accurate statement of my mind at the point when I made it.

    It seems like an awfully black and white way of looking at it to me. Charity towards certain ideas is very different from charity towards statements assessing the human value of other humans. I am perfectly comfortable hanging with xians who believe stuff I find guano crazy as long as they treat others with respect and compassion. I probably wouldn’t hire a biologist who didn’t believe in evolution since that demonstrates a giant lack of awareness of what science is at all, but I might not call on a biologist to help me think through an existential crisis either. Not that the earlier xian would be good at that based on the xianity, but remember they are also compassionate and respectful. Those qualities are pretty much the important ones for everyday stuff.

    A lack of those qualities would be my first group of people against the wall if I had to go all fundy. First the assholes. Then the shitheads. I’d stop before I got to the punks and slackabouts. What they believed would play no role in my calculus.

    But that’s just me.

  7. Lizzie has been far more charitable to you here than anyone who doesn’t toe the line at UD is ever treated.

  8. Dembski has fallen to a disgraced state where he can’t even apply as a janitor to a real college and he used to be a distinguished mathematics professor.

    I’m curious about that “distinguished mathematics professor” part. According to the Wikipedia entry, “After completing graduate school in 1996, Dembski was unable to secure a university position.”

  9. Steve:Yet they have the audacity to lecture us about how life is about physics and chemistry and nothing else.As I’ve said before, if it was all that easy, we’d have life figured out by now.

    Since when does science work on a time schedule, especially one imposed by you. I get really tired of hearing about if fusion was doable then after 60 odd years we should have it by now.

    The Chinese invented gunpowder rockets thousands of years ago. Yet we didn’t make it to the moon until 1969. What failures we must be.

  10. Yeah, and god the designer invented life 3+ billion years ago, and then somehow neglected to solve the easy problem of multi-cellular life for another 2.5 billion years after that.

    What a failure!

    Tell ,me again why I’m supposed to pray to it.

  11. GlenD:

    don’t think this thread was ever about whether or not we might have charity, empathy, or the like, with ID proponents

    Exactly. Which rather sets this thread apart from the one over at UD it was intended to mock. Not that anyone was fooled by the OP.

  12. Mike Elzinga:

    Furthermore you have absolutely no clue about my life and experiences; I have a far broader range of travel and experiences than you can possibly imagine, but I will not share them with the likes of people who behave as you do.

    Especially not in this thread. Oh no. you won’t find anything of his life experiences shared in this thread. So you can’t possibly have any clue about Mike’s life and experiences, because in this thread he has been oh so careful not to share any. Especially with the likes of people like you. What a crock.

  13. Elizabeth:

    Mung, I don’t know if you are really misunderstanding my position or what, but let me make this absolutely clear:

    I do not think that the proposition that “the world/life/whatever was designed by an Intelligent Designer” can be refuted.

    I will make two points. First, by stating that the proposition cannot be refuted you are claiming it makes no testable claims. Yet that is clearly false. You have tested it, and found it wanting.

    Second, your proposition is not the claim made by ID, which was what you were supposed to be addressing. IOW, you created a straw-man.

    Here is what I wrote:

    Elizabeth has generated a number of threads on the supposed refutation of ID. Why does she bother, if it can’t be disproven?

    It’s pretty clear what I was talking about, and I understand your position quite well having observed it now for a number of years.

    So I say again, your attempts to refute ID contradict your claims that it can’t be refuted. If you truly believed what you say, you would not be attempting to do that which you claim cannot be done.

  14. Neil Rickert: I’m curious about that “distinguished mathematics professor” part.According to the Wikipedia entry, “After completing graduate school in 1996, Dembski was unable to secure a university position.”

    well, I guess what I meant is he had a good job begore dover. I used to kind of know. Now i’m struggling to remember and i’m thinking baylor or some semi religious institution where real scholarship is supposed to happen.

    At any rate, he’d be lucky to get a job at a community college now

  15. Steve:
    Mike Elzinga trumpets: ” Pseudoscience deserves no charity.”

    By the same token, science deserves no charity when it claims to be a desirable alternative to religion and philosophy.

    People desire most a modicum of meaning in their lives, something science does not and cannot offer.It offers a measure of increased health (I say measure because its advances in treating disease is blunted by the advent of new diseases), its performance in laying the groundwork for ipads, FB, etc, it commendable.

    Yet science lacks the ability to provide meaning.And what’s outrageous IMO are the likes of Coyne, Myers, Dawkin’s preaching that this is what is wrong with society – seeking meaning.They would rather we turn off our impulses for meaning .
    Can Mike Elzinga or any other poster on this board live life without seeking meaning?No, of course you can’t.Meaning is what drives our lives.

    Religion has its place.Its abuses by power hungry ‘sectarians’ (as Mike Elzinga like to drone on about) is not reason to seek the obliteration of religion.People use all sorts of methods to seek control; religion is just one of many.

    Religion is not the problem.People are.But we cant eliminate people.Stalin, Mao, and Pot tried that out based on the notion that killing people would kill ideas.

    Ideas are independent of people.Just like information is independent of matter and energy.

    So yeah, ID has something to offer.It riffs off the most basic understanding of what we are actually are.

    Ideas.

    But folks like Elzinga just can’t / won’t wrap their brains around this most basic understanding of life.

    Yet they have the audacity to lecture us about how life is about physics and chemistry and nothing else.As I’ve said before, if it was all that easy, we’d have life figured out by now.

    I’m surprised at how sympathetiv I am to this point of view. I mean, i’m not sympathetic to trying to call id science but neither am I sympathetic to trying to call science a viable replacement for religion.

    There are parts of all human endeavors which Reflect the human spirit and we get at the truth of any matter in a multitude of ways. To privilege any of those ways at the expense of any other is to cut off experience rather than anything positive.

  16. BWE: There are parts of all human endeavors which Reflect the human spirit and we get at the truth of any matter in a multitude of ways. To privilege any of those ways at the expense of any other is to cut off experience rather than anything positive.

    That is just such immoral garbage. Sure, feel free to pretend that the faith-healing parents who pray to Jesus while watching their child painfully die “get at the truth of any matter in a multitude of ways”. Feel free to pretend that there is just some alternate way of knowing in JW which we cannot “cut off” because it wouldn’t be “anything positive” to save the life of their teenage son, when the entire family is praying in relays in the hospital room that the child will refuse blood and life, when they have lied to him since he was born that his soul would be forfeit if he chooses life.

    Te me again that my way, the way of humanism, science, healing that works, and hope, should NOT be privileged over their rank prejudice, fear, deliberate ignorance, and willful death.

    I know which side is the moral side. I’m shocked that you don’t seem to be able to tell the difference.

  17. So you are buying into Steve Proulx’s mischaracterization? Proulx is a Taiwanese fabrics peddler and an online stalker and bar brawler who has a serious chip on his shoulder from having lost some attempted bullying sessions over on Panda’s Thumb a few years back. He holds a grudge.

    Do you really believe that unmasking the pretentious pseudoscience of the ID/creationists is demonizing people’s religion in general?

    Religion is a fact of human history, and many people follow it as a template for getting on with their lives. They don’t have time to analyze all of its ramifications. Life is short, and people start out with different circumstances and history. They have different abilities and interests. They live, they work, they do the best they can, and then they die. They don’t get to analyze and solve all issues before they die. There are a lot of good people in the world who are religious and don’t go about demonizing others who don’t belong to their particular religion.

    ID/creationism is different. ID/creationism is a deliberate, strategically calculated, self-righteous sectarian war on secular society that uses pseudoscience as a Trojan horse to get into the public school science curriculum. Their manifesto is the Wedge Document; their lieutenants live at places like the DI, the ICR, and AiG.

    Of course ID/creationists hate having their misconceptions and misrepresentations of science exposed. It destroys much of their political leverage. They hate and demonize instead of learning and correcting their misconceptions and misrepresentations.

    Being non-religious, or humanists, or “secularists” doesn’t make people evil. But sectarian hatreds in the name of a deity have caused much havoc in the world. “The Enemy” is not necessarily who you think it is.

  18. BWE, for all your considered philosophising, the American Christian Right deny AGW and push ID. They make up their own reality: Legitimate rape and the body shutting down, for example. They propose policies justified by an ancient text rather than anything that is real. They advocate a “cure” for homosexuality, and want homosexuals to be treated differently on the basis that homosexuality is unnatural.

    I say again, they do not value reality.

  19. And, yes, people have the right to believe anything they want, of course they do. That does not mean they necessarily have the right, nor should they have the right, to act on the basis of those beliefs. You have the right to believe that your god forbids blood transfusions, or that prayer is more effective than medicine. You should not have the right to let your child die rather than receive medical attention.

  20. Yeah, it was Baylor. They couldn’t stand his lack of scholarship and unacademic shenanigans and booted him.

  21. The claim that CSI cannot be generated by an evolutionary algorithm was tested and found to be false. This has nothing to do with the overriding claim od ID that some unspecified agent did something somewhere at some unspecified time.

  22. hotshoe: That is just such immoral garbage.Sure, feel free to pretend that the faith-healing parents who pray to Jesus while watching their child painfully die “get at the truth of any matter in a multitude of ways”.Feel free to pretend that there is just some alternate way of knowing in JW which we cannot “cut off” because it wouldn’t be “anything positive” to save the life of their teenage son, when the entire family is praying in relays in the hospital room that the child will refuse blood and life, when they have lied to him since he was born that his soul would be forfeit if he chooses life.

    Te me again that my way, the way of humanism, science, healing that works, and hope, should NOT be privileged over their rank prejudice, fear, deliberate ignorance, and willful death.

    I know which side is the moral side.I’m shocked that you don’t seem to be able to tell the difference.

    I am a shocking personality if I am to believe the stories. But you pulled a little sleight of hand there. You didn’t ask which policy I thought would best acheive which goal. If a parent fails to save their own child because they understand the world differently than I, it is quite easy to point out how the child could have been saved from my understanding.

    If we as a society manage to get together and pass laws requiring medical intervention for children with lifethreatening conditions on pain of prosecution if a child dies due to lack of treatment, then we get to prosecute people who forgo medical intervention for their children and the child dies.

    I don’t feel qualified to judge the parents other than to say that the legal system is how society works and you can’t expect to avoid punishmemt if you break a law unless you can spend a million dollars or so. In that case, I find myself frustrated.

    However, people do the best they can with what they’ve got to work with. I believe.that. Try to imagine someone ever making the second best decision they could think of to make.

    The agw deniers certainly do potentially jeapordize far more than they might be protecting. Fortunately, the science continues to be done and politics are slowly following. more later.

  23. Mike Elzinga:
    So you are buying into Steve Proulx’s mischaracterization?Proulx is a Taiwanese fabrics peddler and an online stalker and bar brawler who has a serious chip on his shoulder from having lost some attempted bullying sessions over on Panda’s Thumb a few years back.He holds a grudge.

    I said I was somewhat sympathetic to the sentiment expressed in his statement. Also, I have known some very intelligent fabrics peddlers in my life so I am not sure why that is in there. However, the taiwanese, now that’s a different story. Shifty bastards they are. 😉 Being a retired bar brawler myself I don’t much mind that either. Online stalkers. My goodness. I don;t like him already.

    🙂 Ok?

    Do you really believe that unmasking the pretentious pseudoscience of the ID/creationists is demonizing people’s religion in general?

    No. I thought I was clear in pointing out that I am not particularly sympathetic to the idea that ID is science.

    Religion is a fact of human history, and many people follow it as a template for getting on with their lives.They don’t have time to analyze all of its ramifications. Life is short, and people start out with different circumstances and history. They have different abilities and interests.They live, they work, they do the best they can, and then they die. They don’t get to analyze and solve all issues before they die.There are a lot of good people in the world who are religious and don’t go about demonizing others who don’t belong to their particular religion.

    I agree.

    ID/creationism is different.ID/creationism is a deliberate, strategically calculated, self-righteous sectarian war on secular society that uses pseudoscience as a Trojan horse to get into the public school science curriculum.Their manifesto is the Wedge Document; their lieutenants live at places like the DI, the ICR, and AiG.

    I am familiar with the history. I do not support the aims of the political movement.

    Of course ID/creationists hate having their misconceptions and misrepresentations of science exposed.It destroys much of their political leverage.They hate and demonize instead of learning and correcting their misconceptions and misrepresentations.

    I believe the word you are looking for is ‘propaganda’. Yes, it is hard for people who believe a propaganda campaign to understand what might be wrong with it. They tend to engage in uncharitable behavior in defense of their ideological models. Google “Morton’s Demon” if you haven’t already read it.

    Being non-religious, or humanists, or “secularists” doesn’t make people evil.But sectarian hatreds in the name of a deity have caused much havoc in the world. “The Enemy” is not necessarily who you think it is.

    I would say ‘in the name of ‘truths’ and throw every single person who demonizes another based on the personal truths they hold in the exact same camp. Which is why I see no difference between Bill Dembski in his angry heydey to PZ Myers in his. Same shit, different truths they are using to determine the enemy. Behavior is the metric I use. And yes, in discussions with fundamentalist types, it is rare that they recognize a class of errors which directly address a truth they cannot examine via morton’s demon. We have met the enemy and he is us.

  24. However, the taiwanese, now that’s a different story. Shifty bastards they are.

    Ha; I just noticed this.

    It would have been clearer if I had said peddler of Taiwanese fabrics. Proulx made it clear it at one point that it was Taiwanese fabrics and not Chinese fabrics.

  25. I see William Murray has his own counter thread at UD. He does not attempt to refute anything in the OP here.

    The DI and their supporters are the ones who need to pretend there is a genuine scientific debate, so I welcome William’s post.

    A note on UD being a “low traffic” site. Freethoughtblogs.com has more than ten times the traffic. I am sure there are science sites whose traffic dwarfs UD too.

  26. KF thinks someone has been slandered. He doesn’t say who. I think I will be waiting a long time to hear from his lawyers.

  27. Murray’s no longer interested in playing fair.

    Which explains a lot. If his host of unsupported–and usually demonstrably wrong–accusations and ad hominem attacks are what he thinks is fair, along with his avoidance of answering telling questions, the fairness that science depends upon is unknown to him.

    Not exactly rare among ID proponents, that.

    Glen Davidson

  28. Well, now you’ve raised the ire of people over at UD. So watch out. 😉 Remember, that silly site wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for TSZ.

  29. petrushka:

    The claim that CSI cannot be generated by an evolutionary algorithm was tested and found to be false.

    And who made that claim and where did they make it? Heck, I wrote a very simple program, much simpler than Elizabeth’s, that generated “CSI” and far more quickly than hers did.

    And this raises another excellent point. The claim that CSI is so poorly defined that it cannot be tested is also obviously false.

    petrushka:

    This has nothing to do with the overriding claim od ID that some unspecified agent did something somewhere at some unspecified time.

    And that’s what you think is the overriding claim of ID? God help us.

    I really think it’s time Elizabeth set out some definitions like they have over at UD. People don’t just get to make up anything they want, even “skeptics.”

  30. It is nice to see that William has such kind thoughts about us.

    We owe them no seat at the table of UD, nor IMO should we allow that ilk here. TSZ is nothing but a pitiful collection of anti-theistic, hate-filled swine run by a clever, polite enabler of civilization-destroying marxist, materialist darwinism.

    Even if a few are only useful idiots parroting nihilistic propaganda, we shouldn’t tolerate the persistent nonsense Neil, Alan and others keep spreading here.

  31. It’s another indication that this crop of ID/creationist followers has no idea of their socio/political history.

    From the time that Morris and Gish founded the ICR; from Gish’s bullying of biology teachers, to all their publications demonizing science; to Philip Johnson’s screeds demonizing everything secular, it has been a war of projections of themselves and their own motives onto their chosen enemies.

    Everything we are seeing in William’s post has actually been the drumbeat mantra of the ID/creationist movement from its very beginning. He is telling us about what really goes on in the depths of their own inner psyches. We are seeing what they really are and how they think and hate.

    The science community had no interest in and wasn’t even thinking about creationists when they were suddenly blindsided by the attacks of the “scientific” creationists. The creationists had been planning these attacks for years.

    The initial naive response of the scientific community was to try to correct the scientific misinformation and misconceptions. None of the scientists who initially got pulled into debates with the creationists knew what the real game was. They thought they were explaining science; they didn’t understand the socio/political motives of the creationists. But after a few tangles with the ICR people, the game became clear.

    It’s the ID/creationist’s war; they started it and are now trying to blame science and secular society. It has always been about the seething sectarian hatred of the secular world; you can see it in the comments over at UD. Pseudoscience became its Trojan horse.

    No matter how long this has gone on, we always find the followers of this movement to be totally ignorant of their own history and of the writings of their own leaders. William is just confirming it yet again. I have heard this stuff in their churches and have newspaper clippings of their letters to the editors of newspapers; and I can see it on the religion channels on TV.

  32. In the nearly 50 years that I have been watching it, ID/creationists have always characterized it among themselves as a war. That is what they are doing now over at UD.

    It would be nice if this were a “dying gasp of a fading paradigm” as you suggest. But the Right Wing is an eternally angry group of really strange characters. They will try to keep it going with the help of demagogues who use these people for political purposes.

    It goes in cycles, but this particular cycle has been going on for over 50 years now. I wouldn’t mind seeing it end.

    It is interesting, however, that Elizabeth’s insistence on questioning and debunking their pseudoscience in real time has generated so much hatred directed at her, TSZ, and the ‘ilk” she has “enabled” on her website. They are clearly very angry over there at UD. This kind of vitriol has happened in the past when ID/creationists have been forced to confront the shoddiness of their junk science. They refuse to do it and resort to some of the vilest accusations one can imagine.

    Their junk science was supposed to be their free ride into public education and their means of gaining respect as scientists without having to go through the crucible of constant peer review. Now all they have accomplished is the establishment a Potempkin village within their own community, but nobody outside is buying it. The people who expose their pseudoscience for what it is are demonized most brutally.

  33. “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” – Bob Hope

    “Having leveled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.” – Emily Bronte

    “I’m very much a Christian in ideals and ethics, especially in terms of belief in fairness, a deep set obligation to others, and the virtues of charity, tolerance and generosity that we associate with traditional Christian teaching.” – E. O. Wilson

    “Charity. To love human beings in so far as they are nothing. That is to love them as God does.” – Simone Weil

  34. Anyone here a Marxist?

    Interesting that Marxism is regarded, certainly in America, and to a much lesser extent in the UK, as a slur, rather than political analysis that is demonstrably wrong in most respects and demonstrably right in a few others. No doubt overall there is an ideological flavour, as it suffers from some false premises, unwarranted extrapolations, and misguided optimism, but the most fervent opponents are no enemies of ideology.

    To many in America, those who know next to nothing about it (or the politics of the USSR), Marxism is just another word for the old boogieman.

    I await the hilarious in depth Uncommon Descent article on the Marxist elements of the theory of evolution. They should get their best researcher on the job. Denyse would produce some fine journalism.

  35. I have strong sympathies with much of Marx. I wouldn’t call myself a Marxist but I’m definitely somewhere in social democrat/democratic socialism vicinity. But that’s got absolutely nothing to do with why I think evolutionary theory is a good explanation for biological phenomena and design theory is a pseudo-explanation.

    It’s all guilt-by-association with the ID crowd — “just connect the dots!” in the very best Fox News style, never mind whether we’re talking about logical connections or psychological associations. That’s the only thing that explains their systematic conflations of such wildly different issues such as evolutionary theory, naturalism, humanism, secularism, nihilism, and fascism.

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