Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Exploring Our Matrix: Partial Knowledge, Totally Dangerous

Exploring Our Matrix: Partial Knowlege, Totally Dangerous
I've been wrestling with a post on representations and misrepresentations of Darwin's theory for a while now. I mean Darwin catches a ton of flack for things that he never did, said, or caused. For example the whole Darwin = Nazi connection little bennie stein turned into a very inaccurate mockumentary, or how quickly completely unsupportable arguments get passed around as if they were [pardon the pun] gospel. I mean how many times has someone asked about Evolution violating the laws of physics, tornadoes in junkyards, or the ridiculous 'odds' argument. While I have danced around the edges of it, Dr. James McGrath hit the nail on the head in his Exploring Our Matrix blog post "Partial Knowledge, Total Dangerous".

I know I tend to get a bit verbose, I mean why use one word when 10 will do. Call it my Brooklyn upbringing, or the fact they sent me to 4 years of HS English which is just to get us able to communicate with the rest of the country. But whatever the reason I stand in awe of folks who can take a very complex idea and boil it down to its barest essentials and present it in an easy to understand post. Needless to say I am impressed! You have to click over and read his post. Here are just a few teasers to whet your appetite:

Darwin is rightly getting a lot of attention at the present, but we should not neglect the legacy of misuse of Darwin's theory.

. . . people have appealed to Darwin's powerful insight to justify all sorts of contrasting viewpoints: Communism and unbridled Capitalism, abandonment of religion and belief in our spiritual evolution, racism and the inevitability of progress.

Such views don't require Darwin's theory of evolution, and if they appeal to it as justification, it is but another sign of the ignorance of those making the appeal.

The only force that seems to be universally corrosive is to appeal to scientific theories in illegitimate ways to justify our instinctive and emotional responses, our ideologies, biases and bigotries, and to give them a veneer of certainty and objectivity.
OK, if those snippets don't drive you over there I have no idea what will! I've linked over to his blog a number of times, and even if this is your first time, I think you will understand why I do! Clear, concise, not only easy to understand, but intelligently written. You never walk away from one of his posts scratching your head on where he stands!

If you don't know who the Professor is, he is an Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana. His blog should be on your regular reading list, as it certainly is on mine. Remember the name, "Exploring Our Matrix".


  1. The word 'knowledge' contains a letter d.

  2. All the things you could possibly say about the post, and that's it? LOL! Actually that link was set up using the Blogger 'Link to' feature, so while I do freely admit to making typos . . .this one wasn't one of mine :-)