Category Archives: Politics and sociology
One product (literally) of genetic determinism (and incidentally another that was, like molecular biology and eugenics, massively funded by the Rockefeller Foundation) is genetically modified seed. Twenty years ago, my son was at college studying aquaculture, and I used to argue with him about GM, which to him was simply a targeted improvement on selective breeding, but to me a potential ecological disaster because of our ignorance of how the genome actually works. He was evidently taught the hubristic reductionist version of genetics I discussed in my recent post.
One more post – probably the last for now – on some of the seldom remarked ills of modernism. And this one is about how we have fallen for that comic inversion of the East London tailor’s adage: “Never mind the quality – feel the width”. As so often in these blogs, it was the juxtaposition of two experiences that set me thinking.
Following on the theme of the last post, secularism, I’ve been re-reading Craig Gay’s excellent, but sadly out of print book The Way of the (Modern) world – or, Why It’s Tempting to Live As If God Doesn’t Exist. It is still available in a Kindle edition – if you can get hold of it, read it. Mine was a review copy, back in the day when I worked for a magazine and got books free. Sadly, freelancing on The Hump lacks the perks.
A good number of studies now demonstrate that small children are predisposed to believe in God, and having a good memory of my earliest years in Beechcroft Drive I remember being no exception to the general rule. That I was made by God, and even that he knew about me and affected my life, was axiomatic to me as soon as I learned to think. This was so even though my parents were at best marginally religious and, in my earlier years, non-churchgoers – my mother’s half hearted attempts to teach me to pray at bedtime had no noticeable effect on me.
Science, we are often reassured, has absolutely nothing to say for or against the supernatural, and Christians therefore have nothing to fear from knowing more about science. That is absolutely true in principle, not least, as I have been exploring in detail here recently, because science’s methodology excludes the supernatural from its purview, “supernatural” being however defined according to arbitrary and culture-bound criteria. This is of course simply to limit science’s reach to a humanly-constrained part of reality.
Carrying on the vaguely moral/ethical theme touched upon in the last post, I noticed another long and tedious thread on BioLogos about the New Atheist meme concerning the inexcusable immorality of the Bible in endorsing slavery and genocide. You can view all the old arguments there, but I want to take a slightly different approach.
Avid Hump readers (if there are any!) may have noticed in my piece on C S Lewis my passing mention of Lewis’s own philological error, or at least oversimplification, in his book The Four Loves.
Larry Moran is a prolific blogger on evolution, and is respected enough to have big scientific names commenting in his threads. He’s also militantly anti-creationist and anti-ID, though he’s gained some respect from the latter group for being willing to engage in discussion with them, despite persisting in contemptuously labelling them “ID-creationists”.
The time has come round again to register ambivalence about the latest technically wonderful, and in many ways aesthetically stupendous, David Attenborough series, Planet Earth II. My criticism isn’t far removed from the fact that the title itself is in the style of a Hollywood Blockbuster franchise. I voiced a similar concern back in 2013, referencing criticisms of a similar series about the anthropomorphism, and perhaps emotional manipulation, of the stories, and mentioning the riposte that anything that makes people more aware of the plight of wildlife in such a visually stunning way has to be a good thing. That’s true, of course, and one might add to that the … Continue reading
The BioLogos comment of mine, to which I alluded in the last post, has generated a lot of discussion. I would (naturally!) say that those who disagreed with my basic position didn’t understand it, and I think a couple of possible reasons pertain to that.