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Re: Archaeopteryx & Jesus, a reply



Since someone, in the spirit of internecine strife, decided to attack me ad 
hominem -- and not in private via my e-mail address, but in public via the List 
-- I feel compelled to make a public reply.  I refer, of course, to Paul WillisÕ
remarks against my ÒArchaeopteryx & JesusÓ: 

ÒI think that it is very disrespectful and does evolutionists a disservice
when a responce [sic] to creationism is couched (or appears to be couched) as an
attack on christianity [sic] or any other religious belief. Science has not and 
cannot make any claim to understand or analyse spitirual [sic] matters and to 
attempt to do so only makes the proposer look stupid, insensitive and clumsy.Ò

Science did a great deal to mitigate the viciousness of Christianity, as for 
instance, applying something of its method and philosophic outlook to the 
problem of witchcraft, and other odd barbarities that were once thought integral
to this religionÕs Òspirituality.Ó  I, of course, made no proposal whatsoever, 
scientific or otherwise, and in my posting I cannot therefore be characterized 
as a Òproposer.Ó  Furthermore, inasmuch as creationism is not science, ought we 
not to take it as one of those Òother religious beliefsÓ?  Do you demand, then, 
that we not attack creationism?  

What I attempted to do in my posting Contra Carolum was to show this yahoo that 
when he thought he was spearing us, he was in fact attacking us with a boomerang
-- all I did was duck, which I had been taught as a child was the intelligent 
thing to do.  Apparently you thought my turning the tables on him was stupid, 
and that the method was clumsy.  As to being insensitive: if someone pitches a 
boomerang at you and does not take any precaution to his own safety, then we can
hardly have sympathy for him when he falls by his own hand.   

In my torpedo run against Karl, IÕm sorry that your tub got whacked, but what 
was it doing drifting in enemy waters in the first place?  Creationism is an 
imposture of science, but religion is an even deeper imposture of method and 
knowledge at a more general level, and more profoundly inimical to the spirit 
and results of science than any other institution of society.  You say in 
another posting, Ò... I don't see why we should give any concessions to the 
creationistsÓ -- well I donÕt see why we should give any concessions to the 
religionists, of which Karl is an exemplar.   The willingness to make these 
concessions in your own mental life is no virtue: it is what Nietzsche meant 
when he said that scientists do not take their work home with them.  

Direct any further correspondence on this issue to me personally at -- 
diete003@gold.tc.umn.edu.