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[Phys-L] Off Topic - Religious Discussion (was FL stamps out dictator professors)

At 03:53 PM 3/25/2005, James Mackey, you wrote:

I do not believe the issue has to be science vs religion. I do not like
continued negative statements about "religious fundamentalists" which
seem rather common in these threads. I assume this means that some have
had some very bad experiences with religious people, as I have at

A bad experience may not be the sub-text for the disparagement
to which James refers. I can easily suppose that there are
scientific people who may associate religious belief, especially
the "Fundamentalist" kind, with defective credentials for
hard science.

For them, Fundamentalism can be bound up with the idea of
Biblical inerrancy, and belief in the Bible, word for word.

There is room for conflict between people who conceptualize
some Old Testament texts as Creation Myth, promotion of slavery,
rape, pillage, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, bondage and so on
and people who hasten to accept such texts as the Word of
(a sometimes vengeful) God..

There is fertile ground for conflict about the role of great
drifts of time acting on the simplest kind of self-reproducing
life, which can select for elaborated forms more adapted to
survival in conditions that are apt to change from day to day,
year to year, and millennium to millennium.

It is not everyone who can experience organisms
evolving on a human time scale or who can even watch relatively
simple repetitive code modeled on the genetic scheme, come up with
new variants, with gradually or abruptly increasing adeptness
as measured by some figure of merit (rather than the figure
of merit one supposes to be in use by life: survival to reproduction
with the highest fecundity) .

However I have also had experiences with some very wonderful
religious people. I am a "creationist" in the sense that I do not
believe the universe and humanity are chance occurances.

Let us suppose that solar systems, galaxies, species are conditioned
by chance events. This is at least in part, a description of
Darwinian Evolution. Does this mean that one cannot also believe
that there there is a Divine Spirit which moves us to act as though
we were creatures of a loving God's motivation?

One has to hope that both glorious conceptions can co exist.

///In my own
personal experiences most of the ridiculing of other ideas and
intolerance of others viewpoints has come from from individuals with
what I judged to be left-leaning ( as opposed to right-leaning
philosophies) ///
James Mackey

It is not at all clear to me why (specially in the US)
fundamentalism is so closely associated with right-wing political
preference. The new testament in particular is insistent on the need
to help the weak and wayward, to lift up the prisoner, the sinner,
and the repentant. These are not especially right-wing
propensities, one would suppose - rather, they sound like distinctly
liberal positions, on the face of it.

Brian Whatcott Altus OK Eureka!
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