c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule


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Or you tell an 8th grader who, by virtue of being confused by evolution being mentioned alongside religion, probably has had an earful of how Darwin hates God, a gentle way to begin to think about a concept people are being extremely stupid about these days.

Sure -- I wasn't objecting to your post; I was objecting to scribble_myname's comment.

I guess my central objection to scribble_myname's post is the notion that there is anything valuable about a middle ground in this context. The point of a middle ground in a bargain or a political argument, or a negotiation is this: everyone has a different set of desires, and ultimately an agreement allows everyone to have some of their desires satisfied, which is better than the no-agreement case where nobody gets anything. This is why there will be no bargain when one side will get their way without the agreement of the other.

But here, it is unreasonable to have desires about evolution -- either God will have his way, or God doesn't enter into it, and no bargain between supporters of one side or the other will change this. We might have a middle ground about what to teach children, but that is not what is in question here.

Here, the only value is the truth. To hold out one's side as the "middle ground" implies that one doesn't even understand what it means to hold a viewpoint. It implies that finding the truth is a matter of bargaining between extreme positions. It is not. It is following the evidence where ever it leads -- even if it leads somewhere that, before evaluating the evidence, seemed like a extreme position.

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