John Grehan jrg13 at psu.edu
Thu Aug 6 22:30:34 EDT 1998

Some responses to Neil Jones (made in the spirit of open discussion and not
intended to be disrespectful of any individuals)

>As far as a creator is concerned to quote Occam's Razor
> "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem."
> Entities should not be multiplied more than is necessary.
>A creator isn't necessary for the system to work.

The statement that a creator isn't necessary for the system to work is, as
far as I am aware, not an empirical statement, but a statement of faith.
Occam's razor is basically a propaganda tool. What is most parsimonous is
determined by the intellectual paradigm one inhabits.

That's fine. I am all for individual liberty.
(If anyone wants to believe that the world is flat and on the back of a
tortoise let them.)

There are scientific positions that I might find equally strange, and
others who might find my positions equally so.

>The only problem is which religion is right, and as at least one
>religious sect's "holy works" have been shown to be fraudulent, it makes
>deciding jolly difficult. (It still has thousands of adherants though.)

Science also has its frauds.

>Of course evolution is not goal driven, why should it be?

Just because one might not have a reason why it SHOULD or should not be
goal driven does not necessarily mean that it is or is not.

>Butterflies are the way they are because evolution shaped them that way

I think the other person was asking, or asserting the character of
evolution that resulted in them being shaped that way.

Why in some parts of the US should scientific textbooks be forced
to carry  mystical medieval disclaimers because of the unprovable beliefs
of certain religious people? 

Again, I think its less a matter of should or should not than it is a
matter of how evolutionists have responded to creationists. If
evolutionists had been more forthright about the nature of dominance in
science instead of competing on alternatives assertions about reality, it
would have been clear that dominance of a view is a reflection of the
dominance of a particular faction. As a result, creationists could have
been offerred the same criteria for acceptance of their work - i.e. treat
creationists by the same criteria that scientists treat each other -  if
they convince enough scientists of their view then that would become the
dominant perspective for textbooks.. Instead, with the emphasis on
*objectivity* and democracy (fairness etc.), they got in a political
opening. Dominance in science is anything but *fair*

Maybe that's an oversimplification, and perhaps only one aspect of a more
complex sociopolitical environment.

John Grehan

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