Branch Sees Dead People

Not really, of course. But I like his zombie analogy:

When the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher recently addressed the creationist movement in his Living With Darwin, he judiciously assessed creationism in its latest incarnation as historically respectable but currently bankrupt, and proposed to describe it as “dead” science. “In light of its shambling tenacity,” I replied, “’zombie science’ is perhaps a preferable label.” (I was writing in a scholarly journal, so I resisted the temptation to add a reference to “Romero 1968” or “Wright 2004”.)

I guess that Halloween came early to Texas, for the zombies are out in force. Three creationists were just appointed to a six-member committee to review a draft set of Texas state biology standards, which determine what is taught in Texas’s public school science classrooms and the content of the biology textbooks approved for use in the state. And since Texas is one of the largest textbook markets in the country, what happens to textbooks there is relevant to the content of textbooks everywhere.

Comments

  1. #1 Robert Jase
    October 30, 2008

    No matter how many brains they eat neither zombies nor creationists ever get smarter.

  2. #2 tresmal
    October 30, 2008

    The difference between zombies and creationists is that creationists eat their own brains.

  3. #3 valhar2000
    October 31, 2008

    It is not a once respectable but now corrupt scientific enterprise. Creationism is a religious and, above all, political movement. That is all it is, and attempting to understand it as asomething else is simply doomed to fail.

  4. #4 RBH
    October 31, 2008

    Another touch I liked in Kitcher’s book was his calling ID proponents “Resurrection Men.” :)

  5. #5 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 31, 2008

    tresmal –

    Clever!

    RBH –

    I liked Kitcher’s chapter on the relationship between evolution and Christianity. He takes a fairly hard line against the idea that they are compatible.

  6. #6 J. J. Ramsey
    October 31, 2008

    tresmal: “The difference between zombies and creationists is that creationists eat their own brains.”

    Oh, how we wish! Pedantry aside (and I’m an expert pedant), if someone were to do a Flash cartoon of a zombie Don McLeroy out to eat the braaaains of Texas schoolchildren, it wouldn’t be that far from the truth.

    Oh, this has nothing to do with creationism, but since we were talking about brain-eating zombies: Jonathan Coulton’s “Re: Your Brains” :)

    Happy Halloween!

  7. #7 mark
    October 31, 2008

    Anybody remember who performed Zombie Jamboree? I used to hear it on WAMU.

  8. #8 wesele
    November 1, 2008

    Another touch I liked in Kitcher’s book was his calling ID proponents “Resurrection Men.” :)

  9. #9 uykusuz
    November 1, 2008

    horror.
    zombiees.
    aaa.

  10. #10 David D.G.
    November 4, 2008

    mark wrote:

    Anybody remember who performed Zombie Jamboree? I used to hear it on WAMU.

    I don’t know whether this is the only group to have performed it, but on an episode of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Rockapella once performed a fabulous rendition of it — and it’s the only one I’ve heard to date.

    ~David D.G.

  11. #11 Dan Ray
    November 6, 2008

    Greetings:

    My name is Dan and I happen to live in Texas. I don’t teach in the public school but in a small, private Christian school.

    I’ve studied “secular” science not too long ago. I took on my own initiative, physics, geology, astronomy and biology to better understand the pervading evolutionary perspective of the existence of the physical world.

    The worst thing about many proponents of evolution, I do not mean to imply “all” but many with whom I’ve read or spoken to, seem to be quite derogatory toward those who perhaps have a different view of how we got here.

    I make no excuses for creationists who’ve acted caustically. I’ve read some of those, as well.

    I do not attempt to speak for all members of each camp. I cannot. But the rhetoric which treats creationists as “annoying” or “amusing” tends for me at least to detract from the discussions.

    I’ve been called many things for having creationist leanings. I’ve been told it’s “religious claptrap” without even letting on what I believe on a religious level. I’ve been told I had “dyslexia”, that I was “ignorant” of science and ignorant in general, that I didn’t understand what “origin” meant, etc.

    I’d like to have an intelligent conversation with folks who won’t get personal.

    I emerged from my secular science classes well-informed but not entirely convinced that the complexity of life and matter has come through the mechanism of natural selection.

    But this is not a personal attack on anyone! I’ve never intended it to be. I just want to ask questions and bounce exchange my own worldview with folks who don’t think like I do.

    Is there any posting place that anyone might be aware of where I could perhaps engage in an intelligent conversation about some of my reservations about evolution without being personally upbraided for my ignorance?

    Thanks!

    Dan Ray

  12. #12 tresmal
    November 6, 2008

    Dan Ray: TalkOrigins is a good place to start.

  13. #13 Dan Ray
    November 7, 2008

    Thank you. I’ve checked that out since then. It appeared to be heavily in favor of evolution and at least willing to consider other viewpoints.
    Thanks again.

  14. #14 okey
    January 28, 2009

    Do as my client is doing on the Internet and as mhy client has done
    in the past with self-publishing which has led to his books being
    published in 20 languages and 27 different countries. Jump into it
    full force and correct course when necessary. You will have to because
    Google keeps changing the rules of the game

  15. #15 okey oyna
    January 28, 2009

    want some extra cash. start making money online. In this website called Bux.to register and they pay you for watching an advertisement! you dont believe me thn go to bux.to and if it ask for a referral put: pirate.0023 Thnx 4 ur attention! :D

  16. #16 okey oyna
    January 28, 2009

    want some extra cash. start making money online. In this website called Bux.to register and they pay you for watching an advertisement! you dont believe me thn go to bux.to and if it ask for a referral put: pirate.0023 Thnx 4 ur attention! :D

  17. #17 bedava okey oyna
    January 28, 2009

    On a more philosophical note, in On Liberty Mill drew a distinction between what we should as individuals do our best to persuade a person not to do and what a government should prevent a person from doing. Mill assigned social and commercial ostracism by private actors to the first category but not the second.

    I think one of the major differences that is between liberals and libertarians that is often overlooked compared to the spilt on social welfare is that libertarians believe there are more issues that should be approached in this way.

    The consequence of this is often that differences of means are often mistaken for differences of values.

  18. #18 bedava okey oyna
    January 28, 2009

    Ultimately, I think it is a good call. You (Lessig) have always had your eye on the bigger picture, on the long-term struggle and I am glad we have you fighting on our side. Looking forward to participating in the Change Congress movement. Thanks for everything.

  19. #19 maynet
    December 3, 2009

    I think it is a good call. You (Lessig) have always had your eye on the bigger picture, on the long-term struggle and I am glad we have you fighting on our side. Looking forward

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