Neil / Mark / religious content

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Fri Apr 12 15:25:05 EDT 2002

Neil, Ron and other errant psychics,

The elegant final analysis of Neil's note has shocked me into the realization that
I, as a primitive animist, am _more_ theological than most of the God-shouters who
grace this fair land. I can't wait to tell my students who probably think me a
godless evolutionary communist freethinker (as my mother called her college
biology professor).

Fundamentally yours,
Patrick Foley
patfoley at

Neil Jones wrote:

> On Friday 12 April 2002 06:47 am, Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> > I changed the subject line as I think that is proper when threads go
> > outside of the original topic.  Here we are way outside of it.  Neil
> > introduced a religious point (creation) and it is continued here.  So if
> > not interested - delete now.  Also, don't complain if you go ahead and read
> > it.  We will just have to agree to disagree.  Neil will likely want to post
> > one more on this ( for any clarification of his personal views) and then
> > that should be it.  We can state our positions but we should not argue (to
> > convince - or denigrate) on this one.  I state my view - and it is mine
> > alone.
> First of all can I make one point absolutely clear. Here in Britain we
> are generally not religious at all. One statistic that I saw recently is that
> less than 2% attend Christian churches.
> It is absolutely _normal_ not to be religious here. Deep religious faith is
> _exceptional_.
> It is also not unusual amongst good American scientists. Some time ago
> I saw some statistics from a survey of members of the scientific elite
> the National Academy of Science. The highest percentage of  religious
> believers was in the Mathematicians and then it was only 6% !
> It isn't my purpose to offend people in this posting. Just to give Ron an
> honest answer.
> Also because of the paranoia I have to keep repeating.
> _I_ don't_ want_ to_see_collecting_banned.!
> > _______________________
> >
> > Neil, I have a couple of questions.  Not trying to stirr anything up.
> > Just some expansion of your thoughts.  When you said
> >
> > " _However_ the evidence from this list shows that there is often a
> > lamentable lack of logical and scientific thinking amongst certain
> > collectors. "
> >
> > Is the reason you referred only to collectors (vs. say lepsters) simply
> > because you were talking to one, or does this reflect a view that
> > "collectors" in general don't utilize "scientific thinking"  while other
> > lepsters (in general) do?   I think you meant the former, but it would be
> > easy for (paranoid ;-) collectors who read that and perceive that this
> > indicates an overall prejudice on your part.  So please expand the thought
> > for clarification.
> Later on in the posting I did clarify this by saying that it wasn't just the
> collectors. but they are the ones who need to be the most careful.
> Collecting is justified by being scientific but collectors are falling for
> phony ideas and conspiracy theories.
> I don't collect butterflies but if I were in the USA I probably would but I
> wouldn't want the chore or responsibility of looking after a collection. I
> study lepidoptera in all sorts of ways.
> > You also said:
> >  "You [Mark] believe in an obvious, hoax; a phony scam that seeks to
> > deprive the world of proper scientific thinking. The so called "creation
> > science". It has been _proven_ beyond the slightest glimmer of doubt to to
> > be utterly false.
> >
> > " The bible _cannot_ be litterally true as you assert. It is full of things
> > that are plainly incorrect. This doesn't invalidate its morality but it
> > _cannot_ be litterally true."
> >
> > "Mark. to be utterly frank. You may like to call yourself scientific but
> > until you drop your belief in this phony, crooked, tribal anti-science no
> > proper scientist will regard your beliefs as founded in science."
> >
> > In saying this I get the impression you don't think that anyone who agrees
> > with the Divine Creation of the Universe and/or the literalness of
> > Scripture can be a proper scientist.  Is that correct?  If so, then you
> > realize you call to question people like Dr. Don Lafontaine who is the Lep.
> > Soc. president, a Canadian National Collection researcher,  systematist,
> > born-again, Pentecostal, Christian, and lay minister.  His theology and
> > mine are virtually the same, by the way.  We are both tongue talkin,
> > evangelical, fundamentalists.  I don't see that our "religion" or belief in
> > the God of the world's Jews, Moslems, and Christians as The Creator has
> > anything to do with our "science" in dealing with Lepidoptera.
> >
> > If this is not what you meant to say please clarify.  In emails we do not
> > always get across what we really mean or think.  I would hate for you to be
> > misunderstood by those subscribed here who belong to the God-of-Abraham
> > faiths and as such are thus "creationists," and by virtue of that one
> > thing, think that you are saying they are all incapable of being "proper"
> > scientists.
> Ron, I think you must know what I mean because we have been through it before.
> It all centres around whether you accept _evolution_. I know from what you
> have said previously you _do_. It is such a really obvious truth.
> Mark has stated several times that he does not belive in evolution and
> repeated the odd ideas of "Creation Science".
> >
> > Ron Gatrelle
> >
> > PS.  If that is your opinion, I will disagree, but allow you to have it
> > (not argue the point).   I just want to make sure that if that is how
> > broadly you view this issue (or not) that you are correctly understood by
> > all.  Now, the reason I have no problem with you holding that position is
> > that if there is no creation, just pure natural evolution, then you would
> > be totally correct.  This whole tread is way off leps as it is, but I will
> > add that if there is no creation then there is no God (in the
> > Jewish/Moslem/Christian tradition) for that is the central element that
> > makes Him such in those faiths.
> To make a point firmly and paraphrase you. "if there is no evolution there is
> no biology". To be more accurate the phony  baloney of  "Creation Science"
> cannot in way be correct. If it were then all of biology is wrong,all of
> physics,and all of a whole host of other sciences.
> I have a great dislike of frauds and scams. Creation Science is a _fraud_
> PERIOD. It does not mean that Christianity is bad. Lots of Christians do not
> accept this deception _including_ the pope!. I am not saying that It is
> baloney because _I_believe_it is but because _I_ know_with_absolute_
> certainty _from_logic_and_science_ that it is.
> I put this phony  "Creation Science" stuff in the same category as the.
> International Flat Earth Research Society.
> see this
> Here is a salient quote from a leading figure Charles K. Johnson. "The whole
> point of the Copernican theory is to get rid of Jesus by saying there is no
> up and no down. The spinning ball thing just makes the whole Bible a big
> joke."  And folks he is sincerely serious about it!
> This is also based on a litteral interperatation of the Bible. It is quite
> clear that people _did_ believe the earth was flat in biblical times.
> I think people will realise that this is the kind of thing I mean by the
> Bible not being literally true.
> > Thus, in Christianity, anyone who does not
> > believe in God as creator can not truly be Christian.
> I am not a Christian then. Let me clarify that by saying Jesus was a good guy
> and of course his morals are good ideas to follow. I do not , however,
> believe in the virgin birth as I see it no different from  a whole host of
> other deities  supposedly born from virgins. It is a common theme in a lot of
> mythologies. We actually once had a Church of England Bishop who didn't
> believe in the virgin birth. There are other holes in the biblical story too.
> >They are just
> > religiously pseudochristians.  Millions of people are very good and moral
> > persons without being involved in a formal religion - so why belong to a
> > Christ Faith (God was incarnate) where there was/is no such thing?    (No
> > answer wanted or needed.)
> >
> > PPS   I do understand that Neil is not agaist these "religions" or the
> > people in them  -  just creationism and a Divine Creator as fact.
> For the most part that is correct. If people wish to be religious then that
> is up to them. I cannot accept religion as a personal belief and this is
> probably an inherant characteristic of the way my brain is wired .The morals
> are good I just cannot agree with  the Bible being _factual_.
> Like you, however, I dislike it when religion keeps people ignorant and
> uneducated.
> Let me just finish with just a few points. There is one popular Christian
> offshoot which started in the USA.  It has litterally millions of adherents.
> One of its supplementary holy works is based on a supposed
> divinely inspired translation of an Egyptian Scroll. This was performed
> before research led to the decipherment of hieroglyphics. The divine
> translation claims to be an additional story about a central biblical
> character. However, today we can read ancient Egyptian. Guess what?
> The scroll actually contains details of an Egyptian funeral rite. In other
> words the other translation is a proven _fraud_. (it is not the only fraud
> with this sect.) Yet millions still believe in it.
> Ron, My view is more agnostic than truly atheist.
> However, let me explain my views to you in this way.  I don't mean to sound
> offensive but I hope you follow the logic. You are actually very very close
> to being an atheist. Out of all the countless thousands of deities that
> humans have or currently worship in all their varieties you only believe in
> _one_. When you understand why you don't believe in all the others you will
> understand why I don't believe in any of them.
> --
> Neil Jones- Neil at
> "At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
> butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
> National Nature Reserve
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