dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #174

Ven ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Fri Jun 23 14:09:02 EDT 2000

Date sent:      	Thu, 22 Jun 2000 11:00:32 -0400
From:           	owner-dwj-digest at suberic.net (dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones))
To:             	dwj-digest at suberic.net
Subject:        	dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #174
Send reply to:  	dwj at suberic.net

> Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 23:23:40 +0100
> From: "Tony Fox" <tonyfox at beeb.net>
> Subject: Re: Muggles for Harry Potter
> Dear Jennifer
> I disagree deeply with what you have written but I do not want to upset you
> so I am going to put in a space so that, if you don't want to know why I
> heartily disagree with you , you can delete this post quickly, OK?
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> > I think the problem would be that innocent
> (non-science-background)>readers  might take them seriously,
> So, only well educated people who already believe in evolution can take part
> in the scientific debate about  how the world was made? Everyone else must
> be protected for their own good?
> > not realising that they were arguing from a
> > religious and not scientific viewpoint, because they use
> scientific-sounding
> > words.
> You could equally well argue that feminists or communists cannot publish
> scientific papers because they have ways of looking at the world which must
> affect the way they draw conclusions from the evidence they accumulate and
> even the way in which they design the sorts of evidence that they go looking
> for.
> > The creationists misrepresent their position, and try to make fools
> > of other people.
> If I inserted the word jew in the above sentence I would be called a racist
> and slung me out of the discussion group.
> >They are too powerful, especially in America, to feel sorry
> > for them. The consequences of their ideas being bolstered up and taken
> more
> > seriously in any society could be very repressive and unpleasant. When a
> > religion is in power it does not tend to be tolerant of dissenters.
> and the atheistic Soviet Union was a model of tolerance because it dispensed
> with religion? We have to face the fact that the human race is basically
> intolerant and we have to rise above it.
> > I agree very much with the seperate spheres idea, that religion is about
> > spirituality and morals, which are internal decisions for people, and
> > science is about how the physical world works. Of course moral decisions
> > have to be made about what technologies are acceptable, etc, but the
> > religious (or any other) position of the researcher should not lead them
> to
> > misrepresent what really happens. This is falsifying data, lying in order
> to
> > convince people of your ideas, and is seriously wrong. I would say that
> the
> > example given above, of cherrypicking inconsistencies and using them to
> > argue against science as a whole rather than to create a better model,
> fits
> > very neatly into this slot.
> It is impossible to seperate life into chunks like this - you can't go into
> a research lab and see things through impartial eyes. A person's views about
> life
> must influence the things they are interested in, the things they choose to
> research, what they will and won't do to further their career ( scientists
> are just as keen on fame and fortune as the rest of us), etc, etc. Up to a
> certain level it may be possible to say 1+2 =3, after that we are all
> listening to witnesses to a traffic accident - the differing viewpoints will
> shed light on the truth of what really happened.
> >  The idea of a God watching over us is very seductive and many people want
> > to believe it, so evangelisers do well enough without stealing scientists'
> > clothes. I don't think they should be allowed to get away with distorting
> > science for their own reasons.
> We all worship something  - I don't think science quite does it for me

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