Want to Become an “Evo Warrior”?

“What can you do if your local school board proposes a curriculum that downplays evolution?”

Well according to a brief in the journal Science (315, p.21), you can become an “Evo Warrior” (funny how the bellicose imagery poses no problem in this situation, yet when the Christian asserts the reality of spiritual warfare, objections are not in short supply).

The brief piece points recruits to a website where “downloadable documents provide pointers on meeting with public officials, testifying at school board hearings and related topics”.

If you’re interested in joining the cause click here.

I cite this article merely for balance 😉
“Why Darwinism is So Dangerous”

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14 Responses to Want to Become an “Evo Warrior”?

  1. ChrisR says:

    Ben Stein is a funny guy at times. But in this case he makes a serious error if he really proposes to equate Nazism and the Holocaust with Darwin’s ideas on natural selection. The first was a deliberate, conscious attempt by the German state to maliciously wipe out an entire group of people, while the second was merely the scientific observation that random mutations could be exploited by a species, allowing it to better adapt to its environment and therefore thrive. Stein seems to be as confused as those Jews of the ancient world who somehow came to see Barabbas as being less malevolent and evil than Jesus, and yelled out: “Crucify him, crucify him, crucify him!”

  2. Laz says:

    ChrisR,
    I re-read the piece after reading your comment. Are you sure Stein is equating “Nazism and the Holocaust with Darwin’s ideas on natural selection”?

    Even a casual read of the article reveals nothing of the sort. Here are the relevant paragraphs,

    In a media teleconference for the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Tuesday, Stein pointed out that Darwinian teaching on natural selection and random mutation “led in a straight line to the holocaust and Nazism.”

    Darwin said that there were certain species that were superior to other species and all were competing for scarce supplies of food or resources, Stein pointed out. But if there was a limited supply of basic resources, Darwinism taught that “you owe it to the superior race to kill the inferior race,” he told reporters.

    Darwinian evolutionary theory fueled Nazi idealism that felt gypsies, Eastern Europeans and others were competing with them for scarce basic resources, explained Stein.

    Surely you can see the difference between (A = B) and (A leads to B).

    Whether Stein’s assertion has any merit is another thing entirely, but let us be clear about the point(s) the man is making.

    Chris, I do appreciate your continuing readership as well as input.

  3. ChrisR says:

    I suspect Stein does not really believe what he has said about evolution but is just staking out this position in order to get recognition, maybe a gig, and some money. I see him as somewhat like Dennis Miller, who used to be very liberal on HBO for money, but now has become very conservative on his radio show for money.

    But if we just take Ben’s comments at face value, he has clearly confused the concept of a natural selective advantage with an advantage of moral superiority. Nowhere in scientific evolution does a physical advantage in a species imply any moral superiority, or any “right to kill”, and this applies to humans also. There was a group of people in the 19th century who tried to apply the concept of evolutionary moral superiority to human behavior, and they were known as Social Darwinists. This was mostly used by a small group of white Anglos to try and assert some natural superiority conferred by evolution to them over blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. They stated that the concept of “survival of the fittest” in nature should also apply to the structure of human society. Some Nazi propagandists tried to use these ideas to promote a superiority of the “Aryan race”. But it is absurd to say that the scientific concepts of Darwinism produced the atrocities of the Third Reich.

    By the way, did you notice the editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle about the attempt to downplay the conflict between teaching evolution and believing in religion? I do not believe this large group of people would make such an effort if they in anyway believed Darwinism is a precursor to another Holocaust.

  4. Laz says:

    Chris, how you would know what the motivations of Stein or Miller are is beyond me unless, of course, you know them personally and are able to read their minds. Anything else is mere speculation.

    Your point is well taken but some things to consider. While humans do not hold a “physical advantage” over animals, we do hold a “mental advantage” (if you will). Given this, do we use this “advantage” to justify the slaughter of animals for our ends? Think about it, what gives us the right to kill animals?

    I’ve heard of the “social Darwinists” and think them mistaken for a variety of reasons, mainly that humans regardless of skin color are all created in the image of God (that others who share my belief chose to ignore that Biblical premise for their own wicked end does not invalidate it).

    However, from the naturalist point of view, if humans evolved through naturalistic processes then why can’t these same processes apply to society?
    Why not eliminate the weak? They are using up valuable resources are they not? Isn’t this what is sometimes used to justify the murder of children in the womb? Because the child has been diagnosed in utero with a congenital disorder? Perhaps because the child will be an inconvenience to the mother?

    It seems to me that what the Nazis tried to do is simply what happens if you carry out natural selection to its (il)logical conclusion. Of course, we’d call that artificial selection since it was humans who did the tinkering (much like we breed animals).

    But then this begs the question, if humans are the only the products of nature then why are their efforts at mimicking natural processes also not examples of natural selection?

    I know this sounds shocking but please don’t think that I hold these views. Hitler’s attempt to supplant nature is revolting to me, someone who believes that God created us, as it is to a person who believes that we are the fortuitous byproducts of nature.

    Why? Because even if not acknowledged, we all know that we are different from the animals. I believe it is because we are made in God’s image, others believe it is because nature gave us reason or what have you.

    I’ve talked at length with evolutionists who angrily exclaim that humans are nothing, we’re not as evolved as we think we are. We’re just not that special.

    Their tone changes when I suggest that we are, as Edwards put it, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”, then I get lambasted for having such a low view of ourselves, as if…

    The dichotomy is very telling, at least to me.

  5. ChrisR says:

    “what gives us the right to kill animals?”
    “why not eliminate the weak?”

    It is not really a matter of rights in the sense of laws or privileges, but more a method of survival. The lion does not need rights in order to kill the wildebeest, it just does it because it has the ability, and the meat provides a good source of nutrition. The lions live in a social community and follow their innate mode of lion behavior. While the weaker male lions may not be allowed to mate, the lion pride doesn’t just kill them off simply because they are weak. In a similar manner humans at some point in our past developed an ability to kill and eat other animals, which offered a rich source of nutrients and protein. Of course, humans also live in societies and make rules about human behavior. While humans might benefit from eliminating the weak in society, we also learned that each of us would likely become old and weak someday, and therefore might not wish to be simply eliminated. Since we can make up the rules of our society, we might even decide to outlaw the killing of animals as a food source. And to some extent our rules may already let the weak die off: if one is rich like Mickey Mantle they can get a heart transplant, but if one is a poor Mexican American needing a kidney, they may be out of luck.

    I believe humans are “just” a higher form of animal, but that our ability to abstractly reason is more advanced, such that we consider ourselves to occupy a special position. Everyone has the experience of being human, be if we are asked to define what make us uniquely human compared to other animals, the task is not easy. While my dog does not speak English, she can communicate her desire to go outside, have a snack, or receive a belly rub. It appears that my dog experiences many of the same emotions as I do. Still I believe that I and other humans are more important than other animals, (but with the amount of money some people lavish on their pets, it would seem they might believe otherwise). While I think we have evolved from animals, out human reasoning ability does not completely bind us to all the forms of animal behavior found in nature. While some people may desire to act on a principle of survival of the fittest, there is nothing which requires us to set up human society in this manner.

  6. onein6billion says:

    “Why Darwinism is So Dangerous”

    I have been looking for a Church of Darwin that is a tax-deductible place to tithe, but I have not found one. Can you help me find one?

    But it’s a little late for “evolution” to be dangerous – it’s been accepted science for over a hundred years. On the other hand, it seems that certain religions are likely to be pretty darn dangerous in the next hundred years.

    “Surely you can see the difference between (A = B) and (A leads to B).”

    Don’t call me Shirley and both are lies – so there’s not much difference.

  7. Laz says:

    Well you can surely donate to the organization listed in the post, I’m sure you can write off your donation. There is also every public university (and some private) which teaches Darwinism as dogma. The department at my alma mater still calls me for donations to it, perhaps I can point them in your direction.

    One, please read carefully before crafting your response. It is not evolution that is dangerous but Darwinism. I hope you can discern the difference.

    Religion is dangerous (in fact it is man at his lowest). Dr. Zacharias makes that clear,

    Of all the enterprises in which the human heart engages, none lends itself more to abuse and manipulation than the activities of religion

    To be sure, none more dangerous than one that says all we are is material and are not accountable to a Creator, see the actions of noted practitioners such as Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler.

    The number of deaths on their hands far outweigh anything that other religions have been responsible for.

    Perhaps it would profit you to check out the “To the Skeptic” tab up at the top.

  8. onein6billion says:

    “It is not evolution that is dangerous but Darwinism. I hope you can discern the difference.”

    Nope. Perhaps you can enlighten me. Evolution is the science and Darwinism is the epithet that creationists use against a scientist? As though a scientist is really a religious believer? What nonsense!

    “The number of deaths on their hands …”

    And so you conclude that the Theory of Evolution is wrong?
    Quite a non sequitur there.

    “Perhaps it would profit you to check out the “To the Skeptic” tab up at the top.”

    ROTFLOL

    Perhaps it would profit you to understand a little bit about science and evolution.

  9. Laz says:

    Yes, of course forgive me, literally, Darwinism is Chuck’s take on the inferred and some say, observed phenomenon of evolution. Some revisions (depending on who you ask) have been made since but that’s not quite relevant to our discussion.

    As you correctly pointed out the term has been used synonymously with naturalism by creationists, like Stein. My mistake, I should have said “naturalism” not Darwinism, forgive me for misspeaking. I’m afraid you’ll have speak to Stein for his use of it.

    Everyone is religious, one. Even you. According to the Random House Webster’s Dictionary, religion can be defined as,

    a set of beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency.

    Especially but not required. A subtle but I think, an important distinction. Whether you arrived at your deeply held beliefs by so-called reason it really does not matter. For you still have to assume that “reason” is valid and that, to my knowledge, cannot be proven by the scientific method

    I don’t conclude that “evolution” is wrong based on the actions of some of the men who carried the tenets of materialism/naturalism to its logical conclusion. It’s not quite the scientific theory which causes these sorts of problems but the philosophical baggage that inevitably accompanies it and/or precedes it.

    For example, the late Dr. Gould said this,

    No scientific revolution can match Darwin’s discovery in degree of upset to our previous comforts and uncertainties…

    Evolution substituted a naturalistic explanation of cold comfort for our former conviction that a benevolent deity fashioned us directly in his own image, to have dominion over the entire earth and all other creatures–and that all but the first five days of earthly history have been graced by our ruling presence.

    Naturalism is wrong (and in a way some will never understand, irrational) because it contradicts God’s revealed truth, mainly that He exists, is personal (has a purpose, prefers certain things etc), and has created man in His image. A God that is Sovereign over this Universe and is not the emasculated deity (one that is the product of Nature) that naturalism could allow.

    We don’t have to believe this, but then again Truth is what it is (rather is who He is) regardless of our personal opinions on the matter.

    I suppose it would profit me to understand a little bit more about science. I don’t quite read as much as I should of the literature relevant to our lab’s research.

    I think I’m alright as far as evo is concerned, it’s just terminology I got mixed up with. Thanks for your concern and for your input.

  10. onein6billion says:

    “For you still have to assume that “reason” is valid…”

    It seems clear that you are in favor of its opposite – unreasoning faith.

    “Naturalism is wrong … blah blah blah”

    It would seem that you prefer an argument from authority when you are allowed to pick the authority.

    “I suppose it would profit me to understand a little bit more about science.”

    I think you have erroneously inserted the word “more” in that sentence.

    “alright as far as evo”

    I think “all wrong” is correct.

  11. Laz says:

    Sorry one but clever words do not liberate you from the necessary assumption of the validity of human reasoning. That all of us have to accept by some modicum of faith.

    No I’m not allowed to pick the authority. God is. It’s that simple. He is totally independent of human delusion.

    No I would profit me to learn a bit more since that I’m currently employed in a research lab and it never hurts to try to pick up information from the literature.

    Thanks for you candor, and for expressing the opinions you are entitled to.

  12. onein6billion says:

    “Everyone is religious, one. Even you. According to the Random House Webster’s Dictionary, religion can be defined as,

    a set of beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency.”

    Wait a minute. Who put that word “purpose” in there? Let’s get rid of that and go with:

    “a set of beliefs concerning the nature of the universe”

    I’m just quoting the dictionary.

    So yes, I believe that the nature of the universe is reality. And reality is the nature of the universe. So I worship at the altar of reality. I bow down to reality every day. I do not violate the laws of gravity, electromagnetic theory, or nuclear theory. I do not violate any laws of thermodynamics. I do not go faster than the speed of light or backwards in time.

    Now just how “religious” does that make me? I think “non-religious” would be a better description. Perhaps that word “purpose” really was important. Only a really religious person thinks that this universe has a “purpose”.

    “For you still have to assume that “reason” is valid and that, to my knowledge, cannot be proven by the scientific method.”

    So what? That means science is useless? Reason is useless? Some assumptions about reality are required? What’s your point? Your religious assumptions are just as good as my scientific assumptions?

    Exactly my point. In a universe without purpose (and thus meaning) you have no grounds to assume that reason is valid.

    Good to hear from you again One.

  13. onein6billion says:

    “Everyone is religious, one. Even you.”
    “I’m just quoting the dictionary.”

    Riiiight. I would hardly expect you to actually engage the question – just ignore it. So, do I qualify as “non-religious” if I reject a “purpose” for this silly universe? I don’t fit the definition in your dictionary.

    “Silly Universe”, on what grounds? What standard are you going on here?

    “In a universe without purpose (and thus meaning) you have no grounds to assume that reason is valid.”

    I think your assertion is ridiculous. I’ll send it to “badidea” and he will make a post about it.

    Fine it’s “ridiculous”,but again, on what grounds?

    I can make any assumptions I want to and it’s up to you to tell me when I have made a ridiculous assumption. Do you think the assumption “that reason is valid” is ridiculous or not? Why do assumptions need any silly “grounds”? You are allowed to assume that reason is valid because you have “grounds” and I am forbidden to assume the same thing? That does not seem very “fair” to me. Probably you will go to heaven and I will not. That’s not “fair” either. I see that truck coming head-on. I repent right now. Is that good enough?

    Yes, you most definitely can make assumptions but isn’t this particular one a leap of faith? Yes I will “go to heaven” as for you, the book isn’t closed yet. If you do not, you’re right it’s not “fair”, but it is grace. I’m not the One you have to answer to so why are you asking me if it’s good enough?

    This reminds my of another creationist who said the the “uniformity of physical laws over time” requires a “creator”. Just because we actually observe such uniformity and rather fundamentally assume it doesn’t mean that a “creator” is required to keep this universe “uniform”. Silly, silly, silly.

    Uh-huh…

    “Good to hear from you again One.”

    Well, it seems to me that you failed to address most of the things I said. Why do you consider that it’s “good to hear from me again”? It proves I’m still alive in spite of my inability to have grounds to assume that reason is valid?

    There are plenty of people who believe as you do who keep going only because they have not thought out the implication of their worldview, that implication being nihilism, or if they have peered over the abyss, they’re not being consistent. You and I are still alive through the benevolence of our Creator, in whose image we are made.

  14. onein6billion says:

    ““Silly Universe”, on what grounds?”

    Again you actually ignored my question. Am I “religious”?

    Yes you are

    If you assume that this universe really has no purpose, then everything is “silly” in the time frame of a billion years.

    “Fine it’s “ridiculous”,but again, on what grounds?”

    On the grounds of “common sense”. There are obviously a lot of non-religious people out here in the real world and they seem to act like “reason is valid”. So it’s silly for you to claim that they need a “religious basis” in order to assume that “reason is valid”.

    Exactly they “act” like reason is valid, but they have no grounds (for they cannot rationally prove its validity) for making that assumption.

    “Yes, you most definitely can make assumptions but isn’t this particular one a leap of faith?”

    Nope. It’s just a very reasonable assumption.

    “I’m not the One you have to answer to so why are you asking me if it’s good enough?”

    Well, a “believer” should know exactly what the “qualifications” are for “getting into heaven”. So I’m asking just to prove that whatever answer you come up with, it will be ridiculous.

    Ridiculous according to… Oh never mind. Actually there are no qualifications that are possible for us to fulfill, the situation is quite hopeless if not for God’s intervention

    “that implication being nihilism”

    Ahh, not we get to the real nitty gritty. Well, nihilism isn’t any fun at all. So I think non-religious fun is better than suicide or wishful thinking.

    Ah but nihilism is the end result of naturalism, any denial of this is a delusion

    “You and I are still alive through the benevolence of our Creator”

    Riiight. Or else mainly by dumb luck. Do you have any scientific evidence for your “benevolent creator”?

    Not until you can prove me to the validity of reason in the kind of universe you seem to believe in. Thanks for the discussion.

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