August 11, 2006

Podcasts, Columns and Evolution, Oh My America

Two weeks!

The fall semester is only two weeks away (I feel like an online ticker) and I'm watching probably one of the best summers of the past few years just slip away. It's been full of long walks and spirited conversation; good books and just time to sit and think.

And sleep, let's not forget sleep. I won't be getting much of that in the coming months.

A couple of days ago, I had some doubts about starting the print version of TVG. I started worrying about who would read it, if all those people who asked "why" might be right and whether or not it was relevant. I was thinking maybe all the IDers, creationists and the general anti-science sentiment across the country is inflated, exaggerated.

Then I read this, and realized that none of it is exaggerated. There are campaigns against reason in this country. We are retreating into delusions of end times and spiritual warfare.

There are lists of harmful books published, games, movies and art banned, the indoctrination of college students by Campus Crusaders, and perhaps worst of all, the rejection of accepted scientific fact with a wave of the subjective hand.

Why? To defend our primitive intuition.

The conclusions drawn from science and mathmatics, and subsequently art and literature, are counter-intuitive, and therefore in direct conflict with ideas about our origin and development that stretch back several millennia.

How could our ancestors have known that the sun was a ball of gases? It went against everything with which they had experience. It seemed much more likely that a giant humanoid dragged it across the sky with a chariot.

Indeed, the same can be said of our existence. Our mere existence is said to provide evidence of design by an eternal creator (an argument over 200 years old), but this is an anthropomorphic argument, a conclusion drawn without the math and science necessary to transport our minds outside of their inherent subjectivity and assist us in divining the true nature of the universe.

Needless to say, I have redoubled my efforts. I've been working on a podcast addressing the basics of evolution by natural selection to be published on our website and it is truly a test of patience. I'm finding out that it's best to take it one section at a time, with small pauses, so I can go back and edit things without having to start over.

If anyone has any ideas about what I should cover this semester, give me a shout, leave me a message.


  1. You're lucky! My semester starts on the 23rd, I'm running around like mad trying to get a whole long list of things done before then, because soon I won't have any free time either! :-)

    That chart really depressed me. I knew only 40% of Americans accept evolution, but seeing the comparison with other modern countries makes us look like a bunch of uneducated ninnies. Sigh.

    I think it would be interesting to write about Christians who do accept evolution, and why. There are many of them out there. Why is it that evangelical Christians in particular can't mesh science and religion? Catholic do a pretty good job of it.

    Have a good weekend!

  2. Hey, thanks for stopping by. I agree, Students Day is a great idea.

    If you checked out my blog at all, you probably figured out that I differ with you on the whole evolution thing. The more complexities I see in nature (such as the Red Panda featured in your latest post) the more incredulous I become that people could accept the notion that it all happened by chance.

    Call me old fashioned.

    As for Catholics accepting Evolution (previoius comment), my theory is that they are overcompensating for the whole inquisition thing;-)

  3. I think that it is a natural human reaction to attribute complexity to some sort of cognitive designer reflective of ourselves. Many forget that everything natural - chloroplasts, solar wind, cliffs, hair - is a mathematical impossibility. Complexity is the standard.

    Chance is really only a small part of evolution - random mutations. Environmental pressures actually select organisms based on their "fitness." That takes chance out of the equation.

    But I am certainly not going to judge you for holding certain beliefs, Andrew. We have common ground as students, no matter where our minds lie metaphysically. Thanks for commenting. I hope you come back.