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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 3, The Beast Marches On...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2009,09:18   

Quote (Louis @ Sep. 08 2009,08:21)
Just FYI I did something I almost never do, I read a thread at UD. The thread in question is the one about Dawkins' new book (which I am currently reading*).

I came away from reading that thread stupider than I went in. Renounce the TARD, people. I am more and more convinced that Steve Story was right and that interacting with TARD of this magnitude is bad for one's mental health. Encountering that level of stupid always leaves me with a feeling of almost overwhelming hopelessness and the immense and imponderable question of "Where does one even start?".

Ah well, the journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.

Louis

*It is, so far, the usual stuff, very watered down for the populist market. The question "Is this the best that RD can do?" is daft as a bag of poked weasels. It's a popular book, hardly a scholastic treatise. It's nice to see the level of criticism from the IDCists et al has not raised above that levied at The God Delusion. I.e. inaccurate, littered with straw men, ineffective and ultmately based on the fact that they haven't read the book.

Louis may be right. I read a UD thread -- the one on Dinesh D'Wooza (hat tip to Maya) and this is what I now look like:

In that thread,  both Clive, baby and Wee Billy Dembski point to C.S. Lewis' correspondence as evidence that Lewis was privately rejecting evolution in the 1950's while publicly embracing it.

I'd like to make another suggestion -- based on some evidence about the correspondence and the person C.S. Lewis was writing to -- that Lewis was merely humoring an increasingly irrational man who wasn't merely unstable, but also likely a fraud.

---------------------------

Clivebaby and  Dembski point to this article by Ferngren and Numbers, originally from the American Scientific Affiliation's ("A Fellowship of Christians in Science" )  Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith,  here

Ferngren and Numbers say that they present  "in their entirety"  responses of Lewis to letters from one Bernard Acworth.

So, who was Acworth? Well, he was an interesting figure, but before I deal with him, I'd like to post some quotes from Ferngren and Numbers' own article:

     
Quote
Nothing in his [C.S. Lewis'] published writings suggests, however, that he gave up his long-held view that biological evolution was compatible with Christianity.


     
Quote
It is doubtful that Lewis would have felt comfortable espousing the views of present-day creationists. He always carefully indicated that he opposed evolutionism as a philosophy, not evolution as a biological theory.

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Okay, so who was Acworth? Acworth was a nutty creationist who helped start the "Evolution Protest Movement." As Ferngren and Numbers point out, he was also  
     
Quote
A staunch opponent of socialism, air power, and imported oil, he twice stood unsuccessfully for Parliament, in 1931 and again in 1942.

His outspoken opposition to the policies of Winston Churchill during World War II and his calls for peace with Japan prompted the prime minister to urge electors to vote against Acworth and moved the London Daily Mirror to demand his arrest.


Oh, but he was far more than that.

I'm kinda tired out from staying up far too late, but there's lots more info here:

(1) http://airminded.org/2008/04/28/who-was-neon/
(2) http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/28jan/neon.htm
(3) http://fretmarks.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_archive.html

Acworth didn't just dislike "socialism, air power, and imported oil." He also disliked psychoanalysis (okay, not so nutty) , birth control and communism. Basically, he linked all  of those things to the immorality of evolution.

-- But he also railed against General Relativity (Einstein).

-- He also thought that cuckoos are hybrids between male cuckoos and female birds of other species.

-- He also thought that "Birds [and butterflies,etc.] don't migrate on purpose; they're passively carried around the globe by prevailing winds. This explains other phenomena too, such as birds deserting their nests (winds blow them away). " See site 3 above.

-- He also thought that seaplanes could never, NEVER achieve regular intercontinental flights.

-- He was also a literalist YEC that thought "magnetic " flips led to frozen mammoths in Siberia.  

-- And he may well have been the author of work by "Marion Acworth," (AKA "Neon")  fraudulently presented as other than his own.  See site 1 above.

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Clive and Dembski want to believe that C.S. Lewis was publically embracing evolution while secretly embracing anti-evo in private. In short, they prefer to beleve that he was publically lying/dissembling about his true beliefs.

Remember what Ferngren and Numbers admitted: "Nothing in his published writings suggests, however, that he gave up his long-held view that biological evolution was compatible with Christianity." But they prefer to believe he was *dishonestly* privately holding to what was in direct contradiction to that? Based on letters to a religious nutcase? Uh-huh.

What makes more sense is that in private letters, C.S. Lewis was humoring that religious nutcase named Bernard Acworth .

Ferngren and Numbers' evidence OTHER than Acworth ...are lines like "I see we have a Darwinist among us" which may have merely been joking or anything else, because no real elaboration of that statement is found in Ferngren and Numbers' citation of it in their article.

Oh, and  they cite a totally ambiguous poem in "support" of their claim.

THAT'S IT.

All in all, that's what makes Louis right about these assholes. They force-fit, discard, cherry-pick, lie, misdirect, or anything else necessary -- by whatever means necessary.

I regard C.S. Lewis as a less-than-middling figure in phil. or logic, and as a mediocre author and apologist. But I hold scumbags like Clive,baby and Dembski with far more scorn.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
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