Kristoff in Times Op Ed, on religious right and evolution
It is worth noting the remarks on evolution is this op ed piece by Kristoff, which I find both appalling and morbidly fascinating. One of the things that strikes me in the Darwin debate is the obtuseness of the self-styled scientific group, in their lemming-like persistence in reductionist regimes of theoretical idiocy which they apparently find a sign of their high intelligence and whose only outcome, given the domination of the entire Humanities elite, in addition to the scientific, is the failsafe resurgence of Creationist resistance. Why is it that a writer like Philip Johnson, starting with Darwin on Trial, managed to trigger the inexorable dialectical debate on evolution, with the entire academic and cultural crowd paralyzed at all points in what should have been a no brained, the flaws in Darwin's theory? This could result in a cultural catastrophe, the discredit of science itself.
I need hardly point out that the critics of ideology, e.g. the Marxists, totally failed in its mission here, and like a guard dog that wouldn't bark has to look grimly at the prospect of the (philosophic) dog pound.
The Scientific momentum of opinion can be intimidating especially when so much good science is mixed with ideology. At least figure out your non-obligation in scientific terms to submit to this constellation of science propaganda.
Currently trained intellectuals in the Dawkins generation seem incapable of grasping how they are fighting a losing battle with this unrealistic Darwinism. Dawkins has done enough harm.
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It is awfully easy to demostrate the inappropriate character of Darwinism in history, and the descent of man.
March 4, Op Ed, Times
God, Satan and the Media
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Claims that the news media form a vast liberal conspiracy strike me as utterly unconvincing, but there's one area where accusations of institutional bias have merit: nearly all of us in the news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes 46 percent of Americans.That's the proportion who described themselves in a Gallup poll in December as evangelical or born-again Christians. Evangelicals have moved from the fringe to the mainstream, and that is particularly evident in this administration. It's impossible to understand President Bush without acknowledging the centrality of his faith. Indeed, there may be an element of messianic vision in the plan to invade Iraq and "remake" the Middle East.Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago argues that America is now experiencing a fourth Great Awakening, like the religious revivals that have periodically swept America in the last 300 years. Yet offhand, I can't think of a single evangelical working for a major news organization.Evangelicals are increasingly important in every aspect of American culture. Among the best-selling books in America are Tim LaHaye's Christian "left behind" series about the apocalypse; about 50 million copies have been sold. One of America's most prominent television personalities is Benny Hinn, watched in 190 countries, but few of us have heard of him because he is an evangelist. President Bush has said that he doesn't believe in evolution (he thinks the jury is still out). President Ronald Reagan felt the same way, and such views are typically American. A new Gallup poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe in creationism, and only 28 percent in evolution (most of the rest aren't sure or lean toward creationism). According to recent Gallup Tuesday briefings, Americans are more than twice as likely to believe in the devil (68 percent) as in evolution.In its approach to evangelicals, the national news media are generally reflective of the educated elite, particularly in the Northeast. It's expected at New York dinner parties to link crime to deprived childhoods — conversation would stop abruptly if someone mentioned Satan.I tend to disagree with evangelicals on almost everything, and I see no problem with aggressively pointing out the dismal consequences of this increasing religious influence. For example, evangelicals' discomfort with condoms and sex education has led the administration to policies that are likely to lead to more people dying of AIDS at home and abroad, not to mention more pregnancies and abortions.But liberal critiques sometimes seem not just filled with outrage at evangelical-backed policies, which is fair, but also to have a sneering tone about conservative Christianity itself. Such mockery of religious faith is inexcusable. And liberals sometimes show more intellectual curiosity about the religion of Afghanistan than that of Alabama, and more interest in reading the Upanishads than in reading the Book of Revelation.I care about this issue partly because I grew up near Yamhill, Ore., which has 790 people and five churches. My science teacher at Yamhill Grade School taught that evolution was false, and a high school girlfriend attended a church where people spoke in tongues (contrary to stereotypes, she was an ace student, smarter than many people fluent in more conventional tongues, like French and Spanish). In the evangelical tinge to its faith, Yamhill is emblematic of a huge chunk of Middle America that we in the Northeast are out of tune with.Moreover, it is increasingly not just Middle America, but Middle World. As Professor Philip Jenkins notes in a new book, fundamentalist Christianity is racing through the developing world. The number of African Christians has soared over the last century, to 360 million from 10 million, and the boom is not among tweedy Presbyterians but among charismatic Pentecostalists. One of the deepest divides in America today is the gulf of mutual suspicion that separates evangelicals from secular society, and policy battles over abortion and judicial appointments will aggravate these tensions further in coming months. Both sides need to reach out, drop the contempt and display some of the inclusive wisdom of Einstein, who wrote in his memoir: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
World History and the Eonic Effect