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Archive for the ‘Worldviews’ Category

It is hard to trust Mozilla Firefox with my browsing activities.  They seem to have taken sides in the culture wars in a very mean and personal way, and that takes away my trust.

Andrew Sullivan:

The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Robert George:

Mozilla has now made its employment policy clear.

No Catholics need apply.

Or Evangelical Christians.

Or Eastern Orthodox.

Or Orthodox Jews.

Or Mormons.

Or Muslims.

Unless, that is, you are the “right kind” of Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox Christian, observant Jew, Mormon, or Muslim, namely, the kind who believes your religious or philosophical tradition is wrong about the nature of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the view now dominant among secular elites is correct. In that case, Mozilla will consider you morally worthy to work for them. Or maybe you can work for them even if you do happen to believe (or should I say “believe”) your faith’s teaching—so long as you keep your mouth shut about it: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Terry Mattingly at Get Religion blog, wondering why nobody is asking if religious discrimination was involved here:

So beliefs truly mattered in this case. The question again, for journalists: What are the private beliefs that are under fire, here? In effect, is he being judged for ancient moral and doctrinal beliefs that are held by orthodox believers in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.?

 

Some impressions:  Many across the country stood up for Brendan Eich.  No one at Mozilla apparently did.  That gives me the impression that Mozilla is not a very diverse place.  Was Brendan Eich the only social conservative there?  What does that tell you about Mozilla’s hiring practices and culture?  How many observant Catholics work at Mozilla?  How many observant Muslims?  I would like Mozilla to show with evidence that it is truly open to all people of all religious faiths before I use its browser again.

My guess is that they at least have some observant Catholics sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets.  It is pretty clear that such employees will have no hope to be CEO some day.

 

 

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As used on this blog, I provide the following definition of “theistic materialism”:

The belief that God exists, but God did not intervene supernaturally in the history of biological life on earth until the miracles recorded in the Bible pertaining to salvation history.  God did not intervene supernaturally in the creation of Adam and Eve and did not intervene supernaturally in any significant way in the history of humanity from its origin until the Bible makes reference to miracles such as the virgin birth of Jesus.

Please see the category Theistic Materialism for more posts and examples of scientists articulating this position in their own words.

In a previous post I described it this way:

RJS is a theist and accepts God’s miraculous workings in some contexts. But she rules out the miraculous in biological history and biological origins. There are certain spheres where she is a materialist. I see no basis in Scripture or the scientific evidence for this a priori philosophical position.

RJS then put it in her own words:

I think that, until proven otherwise, there will be a “natural” explanation in general, because God created the world in a rational manner. If you want to call this theistic materialism – ok. . . .

I think that God is outside of the natural order and can certainly intervene. But the evidence suggests (including the evidence of scripture) that he only does so for a purpose and in relationship with his creation. Intervention is almost always, if not always, in relationship with humans created in his image.

 

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Apt observations from Professor Gould:

I am both angry at and amused by the creationists; but mostly I am deeply sad. Sad for many reasons. Sad because so many people who respond to creationist appeals are troubled for the right reason, but venting their anger at the wrong target. It is true that scientists have often been dogmatic and elitist. It is true that we have often allowed the white-coated, advertising image to represent us—”Scientists say that Brand X cures bunions ten times faster than…” We have not fought it adequately because we derive benefits from appearing as a new priesthood. It is also true that faceless and bureaucratic state power intrudes more and more into our lives and removes choices that should belong to individuals and communities. I can understand that school curricula, imposed from above and without local input, might be seen as one more insult on all these grounds. But the culprit is not, and cannot be, evolution or any other fact of the natural world. Identify and fight our legitimate enemies by all means, but we are not among them.

I am sad because the practical result of this brouhaha will not be expanded coverage to include creationism (that would also make me sad), but the reduction or excision of evolution from high school curricula. Evolution is one of the half dozen “great ideas” developed by science. It speaks to the profound issues of genealogy that fascinate all of us—the “roots” phenomenon writ large. Where did we come from? Where did life arise? How did it develop? How are organisms related? It forces us to think, ponder, and wonder. Shall we deprive millions of this knowledge and once again teach biology as a set of dull and unconnected facts, without the thread that weaves diverse material into a supple unity?

But most of all I am saddened by a trend I am just beginning to discern among my colleagues. I sense that some now wish to mute the healthy debate about theory that has brought new life to evolutionary biology. It provides grist for creationist mills, they say, even if only by distortion. Perhaps we should lie low and rally around the flag of strict Darwinism, at least for the moment—a kind of old-time religion on our part.

But we should borrow another metaphor and recognize that we too have to tread a straight and narrow path, surrounded by roads to perdition. For if we ever begin to suppress our search to understand nature, to quench our own intellectual excitement in a misguided effort to present a united front where it does not and should not exist, then we are truly lost. (bold mine)

Long live freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom to go deep and explore all the details.

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Gallup has released its latest poll on human origins, with the historical trends.  I see this as of limited value, because many thoughtful Christians would have a hard time agreeing with any of the options.

In any case, I wonder if the spike in special creation and the drop in theistic evolution is real or just statistical noise.

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