Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I'll probably research this.

The claim:
Schmidt comments repeatedly throughout his work on the persistent tendency of scholars to ignore or discredit the sky-god phenomenon. Not until as late as 1922, he says, did the first scientific monograph on the subject appear. It seemed that the possibility of using any other aspect of religion as the starting point for the development of religion had to be exhausted before the Sky-God could be considered.
In Schmidt’s eyes at least, evolutionary theories like Tylor’s seemed strange because of this common denominator of indifference among scholars toward the one line of research which they apparently felt would not support an evolutionary explanation.
Virtually ostracized by his fellow scholars in Britain and ignored by scholars in mainland Europe, Andrew Lang wrote: “Like other martyrs of science, I must expect to be thought importunate, tedious, a fellow of one idea and that idea wrong. To resent this would show great want of humor, and a plentiful lack of knowledge of human nature.”
Still Lang pressed his attack, relying especially on “the startling discoveries of A. W. Howitt concerning the Supreme Being of the South-East Australian tribes. . . and on information given by Mrs. Langloh Parker concerning [other Australian tribes]. . . . He also made use. . . of facts from the Bushmen, Hottentots, Zulu, Yao, the West African peoples, the Tierra del Fuegians, and somewhat more extensively from the North American Indians.”
Long before Lang called public attention to Howitt’s Australian research, Tylor himself had read Howitt’s papers shortly after they were first published in 1884. What was his response? Schmidt reports: “His only resource. . . was to. . . question the native origin of these gods, referring them to European, and specifically to missionary influence.”
Tylor made this reply official six years later in an article entitled “The Limits of Savage Religion.” But Howitt, who still did not perceive that his research was undermining Tylor’s theory, which he admired, and who later actually criticized Lang for using his research to attack Tylor’s theory, had already indicated to Tylor that no such “out” was available.’
Other scholars similarly proved that missionary influence could not explain the same phenomenon already showing up in many other parts of the world besides Australia. It was the beginning of the end for Tylor’s theory. Schmidt comments that, toward the end, “Tylor and Frazer could not be induced to speak, despite Lang’s direct challenges to them.”
More data kept pouring in, so he published another volume, and another, and another until, by 1955, he had accumulated more than 4,000 pages of evidence in a total of 12 large volumes!
The entire thirteenth chapter of Schmidt’s The Origin and Growth of Religion is devoted to quotations from dozens of anthropologists, showing that acceptance of Schmidt’s research was virtually universal. The tide had turned! And yet— Before its downfall, Tylor’s theory had inspired certain scholars to apply his ideas in other fields. One would think that refuting the “mother theory” would cause its “conceptual offspring” in other fields to decline as well. This has not been the case. Some of the conceptual offspring of Tylor’s theory took on a life of their own, so to speak, and managed to distance themselves from their mother. Thus when she was axed, they were spared and persist, however unjustifiably, to this very day!
(Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World
By Don Richardson :139-141)

On many topics that is the case, the knowledge is actually tucked away somewhere, it's just that Leftist professors and their ilk do not seek it or teach it. I suspect that may be the case here. Apparently only evidence against religious narratives is allowed, as if it is a part of the very definition of "science" to always be providing evidence against "religion" given the progressive notion that science can be defined as being at "war" with religion. Apparently they cannot just be open and honest with the fact that they are making war on religion, as Marx was. Instead they pretend that it is somehow just what science is, all on its own.

It also seems that teachers and professors sometimes prefer to teach known frauds instead of accurate knowledge to promote a progressive worldview. E.g. Darwinian biologists recently went all craaazy about putting a sticker distinguishing theory from fact on a textbook yet have yet to demonstrate much concern about Haeckel's faked images being placed in the minds of children. It seems that Darwinists need such images to shape the minds of children.

Note that Tylor’s theories on religion were a part of German "higher criticism" of the Bible in proto-Nazi times while at the same time various frauds of Darwinism came together, from Piltdown and Haeckel's forged embryos to the peer reviewed scientism of the eugenics movment, to Tylor’s anthropological hypothesizing against the evidence combined with racist anthropology and so on and on.

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