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Rev. Michael Dowd: Thank God For Evolution
Posted: 06 September 2008 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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sate - 06 September 2008 03:46 AM

Our glorious future if Dowd succeeds-

Evolutionists Flock To Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/evolutionists_flock_to_darwin

=P

I don’t know if you’re being serious, but if you are, then you don’t understand Michael’s argument. He’s arguing for a naturalistic world view that pays particular attention to the evolutionary principle. People who truly have such a world view won’t be venerating an image on a wall, for that would be contrary to the core of what they understand. People who do not understand evolution are the ones who think things happen by magic. That’s one of Michael’s main points. This may have been the satirical point the onion was trying to get at, and maybe you are too (it’s hard to tell when people are making a joke sometimes): naturalists don’t fall into rapture over images of the people who started their central disciplines.

[ Edited: 06 September 2008 04:23 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 06 September 2008 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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It’s no accident that the party that opposes evolution is also the most hypocritical. Every politician is capable of hypocrisy and double standards, but the Republican party has elevated it to an art form. With the Republicans, lying has become routine, tactical behavior—- there’s an evolutionary understanding in that, but not in the ditto-heads who eat it up. Watch this segment from The Daily Show, one of Stewart’s most incisive and funniest: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=184086

As a group, with some but not nearly enough exceptions, Republicans not only don’t understand the relationship between things and ideas; they’re invested in denying it. I suspect this is what Michael means when he says we’re screwed if we don’t successfully change the way people think about evolution.

Perversely, one of the reasons Obama isn’t getting 70% support in the polls is that he does understand the relationship between thoughts and ideas - he gets the evolutionary principle better than his opponents, but they’re using it against him through the people’s ignorance. That’s one of the many things that makes the stakes in this presidential election so high, and the current dynamics so revolting.

[ Edited: 06 September 2008 05:44 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 06 September 2008 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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PLaClair - 06 September 2008 05:41 AM

It’s no accident that the party that opposes evolution is also the most hypocritical.

I think this is a subjective opinion.  I think Eliot Spitzer was remarkably hypocritical, as the famous state attorney general then-governor.  And I think “hypocritical” is related to the individual not the party so that generalizing is improper just like racial or gender stereotyping.

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Posted: 06 September 2008 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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Jackson - 06 September 2008 03:29 PM
PLaClair - 06 September 2008 05:41 AM

It’s no accident that the party that opposes evolution is also the most hypocritical.

I think this is a subjective opinion.  I think Eliot Spitzer was remarkably hypocritical, as the famous state attorney general then-governor.  And I think “hypocritical” is related to the individual not the party so that generalizing is improper just like racial or gender stereotyping.

1) Almost everything said here is a subjective opinion. and?
2) There is an abundance of evidence of hypocrisy in the GOP at many levels and branches. The party that championed family values lead the parade of morale & legal scandals. They trumpeted the virtue of states rights for years until they got control of the federal government at which point the GOP-lead Congress passed legislation to interfer in both the personal lives of Terry Shivo’s family and in Florida state law. The party that has long bellowed about the evil of Big Government and excessive spending has expanded both the government and spending to record-breaking levels. The problem with labeling a party as hypocritical is not that no objective measures prove it, but that its hard to differentiate it from any other political party as such.
3) There is nothing wrong with stereotypes in certain domains of thought, including science. In fact it isn’t clear what research can even mean if you arn’t allowed to determine what is meant by “typical” for ... anything, including genders and ethnographic groups. This does not change the social requirement to respect individuals and I find the implicit suggestion small-minded and obtuse. I respect women as individuals because I assume that is what most of them prefer.. which is a bit of a stereotype isn’t it? Perhaps I should stop.

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Posted: 06 September 2008 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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sate - 06 September 2008 03:54 PM

1) Almost everything said here is a subjective opinion. and?

I disagree with your statement —-  but perhaps the definition of “almost everything” is intended to be subjective.

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Posted: 06 September 2008 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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Jackson - 06 September 2008 03:29 PM
PLaClair - 06 September 2008 05:41 AM

It’s no accident that the party that opposes evolution is also the most hypocritical.

I think this is a subjective opinion.  I think Eliot Spitzer was remarkably hypocritical, as the famous state attorney general then-governor.  And I think “hypocritical” is related to the individual not the party so that generalizing is improper just like racial or gender stereotyping.

I respectfully disagree. There are examples of personal hypocrisy in both parties.

I’m referring to hypocrisy related to policy issues. What sets the Republican party feet and toes below even the Democrats in its willingness to appeal to low stupid in the electorate, its consistent dishonesty and its practiced ignorance. Hell, they’ve made ignorance something to be proud of!

They’ve read Hitler’s playbook, realized it works and adopted it. If they want to hold power—- and they want that more than anything else—- they have no other choice. The monied interests that traditionally ran the Republican party, and largely still do, have gotten into bed with the racists (Nixon’s Southern strategy after adoption of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights act) and the religious right. There’s no other way for the monied interests to hold power. Having sold their souls, or perhaps having misplaced them, lying is no big deal. So Rupert Murdoch buys all the “news” sources he can and uses them to lie to the people, Faux News being just one example.

Of course, if you say that, you must be a radical or at the very least hyperventilating. This is exactly what they’re counting on: that people will give them a pass just because they own newspapers and TV and radio stations, and discount the view of anyone who says honestly just how despicable their behavior is. (I’m going out of my way not to make it personal.) “Everybody gets to have an opinion. Calm down, and let’s be civil to each other—- unless we don’t want to be.” So just lie through your teeth and people will believe it at least half the time, especially if the only thing you care about is telling people what they want to hear so they’ll go along with what you want to do. Energy independence as the moral equivalent of war? Piffle, my gas is cheap - until it isn’t, and then suddenly the party with the closest ties to the oil companies is the answer to the problem they made sure we had. Taxes, schmaxes. Tell the people you’re against them no matter what. It works. National health care? What?! You want a bureaucracy running things and someone other than your doctor deciding on your medical treatment? You can’t trust the government to look out for you, but you can trust T. Boone Pickens. He has your best interests at heart. Evolution? No waaay, baby! It’s God on a turtle all the way down!

Oh, and make sure you repeat it many, many times. If you forget how to do it, just pick up a copy of Mein Kampf. It’s all in there.

Anyone who hasn’t seen Paddy Chayefsky’s film “Network” from the mid-1970s: do not pass Go, see it immediately. It predicts these past thirty years with chilling accuracy.

[ Edited: 06 November 2008 04:18 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 07 September 2008 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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PLaClair - 06 September 2008 07:57 PM

... just pick up a copy of Mein Kampf. It’s all in there.

Anyone who hasn’t seen Paddy Chayefsky’s film “Network” from the mid-1970s: do not pass Go, see it immediately. It predicts these past thirty years with chilling accuracy.

Yes,  the tools and mechanisms of propaganda are non-partisan, and both parties use them—generally with good results, given the tendency of the proles to soak up propaganda with slack-jawed credulity.

Given that everyone uses pretty much the same mechanisms of propaganda, I guess the big differentiator is whether what that propaganda promoted is “good” or “evil”.
FDR and Churchill used propaganda as effectively as did Hitler and Stalin, but one would have to admit this does not make them “the same”, yes?

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Posted: 07 September 2008 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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steveg144 - 07 September 2008 02:45 AM
PLaClair - 06 September 2008 07:57 PM

... just pick up a copy of Mein Kampf. It’s all in there.

Anyone who hasn’t seen Paddy Chayefsky’s film “Network” from the mid-1970s: do not pass Go, see it immediately. It predicts these past thirty years with chilling accuracy.

Yes,  the tools and mechanisms of propaganda are non-partisan, and both parties use them—generally with good results, given the tendency of the proles to soak up propaganda with slack-jawed credulity.

Given that everyone uses pretty much the same mechanisms of propaganda, I guess the big differentiator is whether what that propaganda promoted is “good” or “evil”.
FDR and Churchill used propaganda as effectively as did Hitler and Stalin, but one would have to admit this does not make them “the same”, yes?

No, the parties are not the same in this, probably for the reasons I explained earlier. Most professionals (e.g., journalists and others who watch politics on a professional level) agree that the Republicans consistently win the prizes for lying. When Ross Perot ran for president in 1992, he noted that both parties were dishonest, but the Republicans were doing it to a different degree and at a different level. Perot was peculiar, but as a self-made billionaire, he wasn’t stupid.

This time, for example, Palin is claiming she turned down the money for the bridge to nowhere because she wouldn’t take money for a worthless project. She also claims that she opposes earmarks. She’s lying. She supported it until she saw that Alaska would have to help fund it.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/01/1317980.aspx
http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed7/idUSN3125537020080901

John McCain said in his acceptance speech that Obama has never reached across the aisle to work on legislation. He was lying. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/07/15/mccain_backer_lugar_calls_obam.html
There are several other examples, including McCain’s statement about Obama’s position on nuclear energy.

This isn’t stretching the truth. This isn’t exaggerating. This is lying. The Republicans do it every election cycle, and in between elections they do it too. WMDs in Iraq is just one example.

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Posted: 07 September 2008 04:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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PLaClair - 07 September 2008 04:20 AM

This isn’t stretching the truth. This isn’t exaggerating. This is lying. The Republicans do it every election cycle, and in between elections they do it too. WMDs in Iraq is just one example.

And that blatant lying every election cycle seems to work pretty well for them. Go back to FDR and, counting forward, look at two things: the number of years each party has spent in the White House; and the number of two-term Presidents for each party. Whatever one may say about the GOP’s blatant lying—and this life-long Democrat and proud progressive agrees, they lie blatantly and they lie all the time, almost as a reflex—the simple truth of it is,  at the end of the day their tactics work. The numbers don’t lie. I don’t like it, it infuriates me, but the GOP has made a lot of political hay working on the assumption that the American Prole is dumber than a bag of rocks.  When one sees the way that brainless, almost childlike demagoguery achieves such stunning results year after year after year,  one begins to understand why The Founders had such a deep fear of “the mob”.

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Posted: 07 September 2008 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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steveg144 - 07 September 2008 04:51 AM

And that blatant lying every election cycle seems to work pretty well for them. Go back to FDR and, counting forward, look at two things: the number of years each party has spent in the White House; and the number of two-term Presidents for each party. Whatever one may say about the GOP’s blatant lying—and this life-long Democrat and proud progressive agrees, they lie blatantly and they lie all the time, almost as a reflex—the simple truth of it is,  at the end of the day their tactics work. The numbers don’t lie. I don’t like it, it infuriates me, but the GOP has made a lot of political hay working on the assumption that the American Prole is dumber than a bag of rocks.  When one sees the way that brainless, almost childlike demagoguery achieves such stunning results year after year after year,  one begins to understand why The Founders had such a deep fear of “the mob”.

You’re right, it does work for them, which is why they do it. This is a perfect example of Michael Dowd’s argument about the pervasiveness of evolution.

We need to understand the Republican game and gain control over it so we can beat it. It’s one of the reasons an understanding of the evolutionary principle is so important.

It’s also important because if the average person better understood the relationships between and among things, including the evolutionary principle, they wouldn’t be so easily snowed. We’re not going to reach most of the adults. This process must begin in early childhood - educating children to understand evolution. If we can give children that world view, they’ll be much more savvy adults.

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Posted: 05 November 2008 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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His use of mythical and pantheistic language to create an evolutionary-based religion is one of the vast array of Creationist offshoots that bear no weight within either the religion or science based communities. It is a form of evolving religion which, until every last facet of its entity is discredited by modern science or deemed unsociable by contemporary secular values, will always have an answer and will exist until the end of time, metaphorically of course.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Jackofreason - 05 November 2008 09:24 PM

His use of mythical and pantheistic language to create an evolutionary-based religion is one of the vast array of Creationist offshoots that bear no weight within either the religion or science based communities. It is a form of evolving religion which, until every last facet of its entity is discredited by modern science or deemed unsociable by contemporary secular values, will always have an answer and will exist until the end of time, metaphorically of course.

I disagree. First, language alone does not create meaning; language in context does. For example, Einstein and Hawking both refer to “God.”

Second, what evidence do you have to support your charge that Michael’s work is a Creationist offshoot? For that matter, what does that mean? Are you charging him with deliberate deception: trying to sneak Creationism in the back door? Are you diminishing his work because he uses the same words as are used in theism? What exactly is your charge, and then what is your basis?

My impression of what you’ve written is that you’re trying to smash every vestige of theism, even its emotional roots. That’s not reasonable, or necessary. I don’t know you, and this is your first post at CFI, but the impression I get from your post is that of the absolutism that says we must burn down the churches and smash the statues. I believe the better, evolutionary approach is to get people to look at them in a different way. I would never want to scrape the paint of the ceiling in the Sistine chapel, for example, or burn the manuscripts of Bach’s passions. This art is part of our history, and it’s beautiful. I would prefer it had a different history, but we can’t change that now.

Michael’s point is that it’s easier to get people to secularism through the language and images they’re comfortable with, than it is to insist that they renounce everything in their religions while they still adhere to them. The latter approach makes no sense from a scientific, evolutionary perspective. It will never happen that way. Michael is saying that we can and should use language and image to move people toward a scientific world view; you’re saying this only reinforces unscientific thinking.

I’m rambling to make myself as clear as possible. I’d be interested in seeing you support your charge. In particular, I’m looking for evidence of supernaturalism or magical thinking in Michael’s work. I have not seen it.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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PLaClair - 06 November 2008 04:34 AM

..... In particular, I’m looking for evidence of supernaturalism or magical thinking in Michael’s work. I have not seen it.

Here is a blog with another review

http://de-conversion.com/2008/08/24/thank-god-for-evolution-by-michael-dowd/

Dowd’s resulting theology of Humanistic/Christian/Universalist views is a confusing mishmash of vague spirituality, mythology, pop psychology and a smattering of science.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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Jackson - 06 November 2008 05:42 AM
PLaClair - 06 November 2008 04:34 AM

..... In particular, I’m looking for evidence of supernaturalism or magical thinking in Michael’s work. I have not seen it.

Here is a blog with another review

http://de-conversion.com/2008/08/24/thank-god-for-evolution-by-michael-dowd/

Dowd’s resulting theology of Humanistic/Christian/Universalist views is a confusing mishmash of vague spirituality, mythology, pop psychology and a smattering of science.

That’s not evidence. It’s second-hand and conclusory. In a court of law, it would be excluded on both counts.

I’m looking for evidence from the original source.

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Posted: 06 November 2008 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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PLaClair - 06 November 2008 08:19 AM
Jackson - 06 November 2008 05:42 AM
PLaClair - 06 November 2008 04:34 AM

..... In particular, I’m looking for evidence of supernaturalism or magical thinking in Michael’s work. I have not seen it.

Here is a blog with another review

http://de-conversion.com/2008/08/24/thank-god-for-evolution-by-michael-dowd/

Dowd’s resulting theology of Humanistic/Christian/Universalist views is a confusing mishmash of vague spirituality, mythology, pop psychology and a smattering of science.

That’s not evidence. It’s second-hand and conclusory. In a court of law, it would be excluded on both counts.

I’m looking for evidence from the original source.

give me a break.

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