Pharyngula

Edward Wilson is doomed

Wilson wrote a nice book, The Creation(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), in which he argued that Christians should be leaders in good stewardship of the earth. Now some religious leaders have spoken out against such activities.

The Catholic church is babbling about an antichrist.

An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year’s Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is “a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist”.

After all, as we all know, when Christ returns he will be an isolationist industrialist who will rip through our natural resources to build up an awesome war machine. It says so in the Bible.

It’s not just the Catholics—Jerry Falwell is all worked up about Al Gore and global warming.

Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell, who has worked for decades to involve conservative Christians in politics, said Sunday the debate over global warming is a tool of Satan being used to distract churches from their primary focus of preaching the gospel.

Good ol’ Jerry, at least you can trust him to back up his assertions with evidence. Irrefutable evidence:

Falwell cited two Bible verses that he said apply to the global-warming debate: Psalm 24:1-2, which declares “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof,” and Genesis 8:22, which says there will be seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter for “as long as the earth remains.”

Uh, what?

That’s pretty much meaningless. Minnesota has seasons; Israel has seasons; I think, though, that most people would agree that there are substantial differences between the two. Even during the ice ages there were seasons. Global warming will not end seasonal differences in temperature and precipitation.

This is a problem. Trying to argue idiots who believe in magic, all-powerful words in one book into following a path of enlightened self-interest is difficult — it would probably be easier to first destroy the source of the foolishness, that book and the church organization.

Comments

  1. #1 Nick
    March 4, 2007

    Bob O’H:

    I know where you’re coming from; I used to think the same myself. However, there’s a larger issue at stake here, and that’s one of “knowing.” Religious belief depends on faith, not on evidence, which is (in my experience) what most ticks off me and my atheistic friends. How do we argue about evolution or global warming or *any* scientific issue with people that don’t accept the scientific method as one that can reach a valid conclusion? That’s why I criticize all religion.

    In addition, I’d like to make a distinction similar to Dawkins’ distinction about “Christian babies.” I don’t consider there to be “good Christian people;” I think of them as “good people who are also Christians.” I think it’s an important distinction to make. Individuals deserve credit (and should take responsibility) for their actions.

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?
    March 4, 2007

    The notion becomes salient at particular times such as the End of the Roman Empire, the Reformation, and the present day

    In the USA.

    Outside of that… maybe among Jehovah’s Witnesses, but those seem to be more afraid of Jesus himself.

  3. #3 David Marjanovi?
    March 4, 2007

    The notion becomes salient at particular times such as the End of the Roman Empire, the Reformation, and the present day

    In the USA.

    Outside of that… maybe among Jehovah’s Witnesses, but those seem to be more afraid of Jesus himself.

  4. #4 David Marjanovi?
    March 4, 2007

    Dobson rails against warning on warming

    And nobody called him SpongeDob?

  5. #5 David Marjanovi?
    March 4, 2007

    Dobson rails against warning on warming

    And nobody called him SpongeDob?

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    March 4, 2007

    “Ed Wilson is doomed”

    LOL. yeah, they said the same thing after he wrote “Sociobiology”.

    damned, maybe (as in damned if you do…), doomed? nawww.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    March 4, 2007

    atran:

    Never. Because it doesn’t solve any of the problems that religion solves, like death or deception

    I can understand he could make an argument for placating the fear of death, but deception?
    could someone explain the argument behind that one to me?

  8. #8 David Marjanovi?
    March 5, 2007

    Interestingly, as quotes like Falwell’s and MacArthur’s show, young-earth creationists in particular seem to regard the planet as unimportant. Maybe they’d have more respect for it if they would acknowledge how long and intricate a history it really has.

    Or maybe they would be if they regarded different Bible verses as, um, fundamental. What about: “The Day of the Lord will come like a thief at night”? “Not even the Son knows, but just the Father”? (Incidentally, that makes the Rapture Index blasphemy by their own criteria.)

    Scientists have finally exceeded the speed of light, causing a light pulse to travel hundreds of times faster than normal. It raced so fast the pulse exited a specially-prepared chamber before it even finished entering it.

    The experiment is the first-ever evidence of faster-than-light motion.

    Nope, this kind of experiment was first done in Germany years ago.

    It’s not really faster-than-light motion. The trick is that the photons never are between the entrance and the exit. They just disappear in one place and appear simultaneously in the other. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Relation will do that for you: you can’t violate Einstein’s speed limit, but you can skip it.

    Google “tunnel effect”.

    Incidentally, it has been shown that you can’t transmit information faster than light this way, but I’ve forgotten how.

  9. #9 David Marjanovi?
    March 5, 2007

    Interestingly, as quotes like Falwell’s and MacArthur’s show, young-earth creationists in particular seem to regard the planet as unimportant. Maybe they’d have more respect for it if they would acknowledge how long and intricate a history it really has.

    Or maybe they would be if they regarded different Bible verses as, um, fundamental. What about: “The Day of the Lord will come like a thief at night”? “Not even the Son knows, but just the Father”? (Incidentally, that makes the Rapture Index blasphemy by their own criteria.)

    Scientists have finally exceeded the speed of light, causing a light pulse to travel hundreds of times faster than normal. It raced so fast the pulse exited a specially-prepared chamber before it even finished entering it.

    The experiment is the first-ever evidence of faster-than-light motion.

    Nope, this kind of experiment was first done in Germany years ago.

    It’s not really faster-than-light motion. The trick is that the photons never are between the entrance and the exit. They just disappear in one place and appear simultaneously in the other. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Relation will do that for you: you can’t violate Einstein’s speed limit, but you can skip it.

    Google “tunnel effect”.

    Incidentally, it has been shown that you can’t transmit information faster than light this way, but I’ve forgotten how.

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    March 5, 2007

    However, I don’t see the necessary connection between ritual and religion.

    I don’t either, which is one of the things that was making his contention so confusing.

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