[SFRA-L] "Teaching the controversy"
cms at dragon.com
Thu Oct 27 13:20:26 EDT 2011
As a Catholic I have no problem embracing both science and faith.
The Catholic Church teaches that science and Christianity are
compatible. The Church also teaches that the theory of evolution is
consistent with Catholic teachings including the Bible. In my
experience many Protestants who reject science including the theory of
evolution interpret the Bible literally when it's convenient for them
and metaphorically when that's convenient for them. For example, many
Protestants will interpret metaphorically Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22;
Luke 22:19; and 1 Corinthians 11:24.
I like Daniel and Revelation because I think that apocalyptic
literature is an example of early sff. I see no reason why didactic
fiction cannot be the Word of God.
cms at dragon.com
"All your base are belong to us. You are on the way to destruction."
"What you say?" "You have no chance to survive make your time."
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. The Federation will be
destroyed. Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni! "Ubi est mors victoria
tua? ubi est mors stimulus tuus? Stimulus autem mortis peccatum est:
virtus vero peccati lex. Deo autem gratias qui dedit nobis
victoriam per Dominum nostrum Ieusum Christum" (1 Cor 15:55-57).
A Real Live Catholic in Georgia!
Quoting Kevin Mulcahy <mulcahy at rulmail.rutgers.edu>:
> Another approach to the issue begins from a critical stance within
> the believing tradition, which in the case of Christianity is hardly
> monolithic. For many Christians, belief in the Bible as literally
> true is, among other things, bad reading. It ignores hundreds of
> years of scholarship pointing out that the Bible is a collection of
> widely disparate books, of varied genres, assembled over centuries.
> It ignores the scholarship showing the complex transmission of
> original texts, through redactions, and collations and translations.
> It ignores sources and parallels in ancient Near Eastern literature,
> the findings of biblical archaeology, the insights of feminist
> scholarship, linguistic study, etc., etc. Thus, to an extent, the
> Bible evolved, or at least developed, over a substantial period of
> I suppose a non-believer who wanted to be kind (or get out of town
> unscathed) might simply point out that fundamentalists/literalists
> are ignoring some of the intellectual resources readily available
> within their own tradition, and that there are many believing
> Christians who have no difficulty reconciling their religious
> beliefs with the Big Bang, evolution, quantum, theory, and the other
> findings of modern science. Of course those of us who do combine
> religious belief with respect for science might not be considered
> real Christians for that very reason.
> From: "Ryan Nichols" <ryantatenichols at gmail.com>
> To: sfra-l at wiz.cath.vt.edu
> Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 10:18:09 PM
> Subject: [SFRA-L] "Teaching the controversy"
> After following the debate thus far about the SF conference at Oral
> Roberts, creationism/evolution and 'teaching the controversy', allow
> me to weigh in with a few follow-ups:
> Perhaps the following is an appropriate way to bridge somewhat the
> opinions of Joan and Rich. Teach the controversy. Just don't do it
> in a science class. Do it in a history of science, history or
> philosophy of science class.
> The biggest hurdle in changing the minds of people who endorse
> Intelligent Design Theory, Creationism and other non-evolutionary
> accounts of life typically goes unrecognized by proponents of
> evolutionary theory, even by prominent, best-selling proponents like
> Richard Dawkins. Evolution has itself selected for psychological
> modules that inhibit belief in evolution. Strange, you might think,
> but true, as those who have done research in the cognitive science
> of religion will be quick to point out. Research by E. Margaret
> Evans and D. Kelemen shows that children have a bias to explain
> events and states of affairs in nature by appeal to purpose and
> agency. J. Barrett and others have identified a module, called the
> 'hyper-active agency detection device', that produces belief in
> non-human agency under a variety of conditions; Barrett and others
> argue that this was an adaptation in the biological sense of the
> term. (False positives? Of course. But when an ancestral humans hear
> bumps in the night, would it be best that they return to sleep or
> fear that some agent is on the attack and react accordingly?) D.
> Johnson and others have shown pretty convincingly that human bands
> acquire fitness advantages in ubiquitous between-group competition
> by being religious as opposed to being non-religious. Welcome to the
> world of 'Supernatural Punishment Theory,' an incredibly fascinating
> interdisciplinary pursuit. On top of her early results, Kelemen has
> now done a fascinating experiment that strongly suggests that
> atheist scientists--atheist sciences with Ph.D.'s in the hard
> sciences no less--she wasn't making it easy on herself--will show a
> bias towards teleological explanations for natural states of affairs
> when those people are placed in speeded conditions!
> The upshot is that atheism presents a number of cognitive struggles
> and subjects people to increased cognitive loads. In contrast the
> ingredients for teleological thinking and the transmission of
> 'minimally counterintuitive ideas' is not only natural but is argued
> to be or to have been adaptive. Engaging in deductive or inductive
> argument with creationists or anti-Darwinists is probably not going
> to convert believers. The underlying methodological presupposition
> behind 'teaching the controversy' is that doing so will change
> minds. Doubt it. I speak from my own limited experience thus far
> teaching philosophy and philosophy of religion. But I would suspect
> there are data about this from education science.
> SFRA-L mailing list
> SFRA-L at wiz.cath.vt.edu
> Kevin P. Mulcahy
> Humanities Librarian
> Alexander Library Rutgers University
> 169 College Avenue
> New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
> mulcahy at rulmail.rutgers.edu
> (732) 932-7129x129
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