Tuesday, August 29, 2006

That would be interesting.

Pope may embrace intelligent design

Pope Benedict XVI may reportedly embrace the theory of intelligent design, possibly heralding a fundamental shift in the Vatican’s view of evolution.
(Link from Uncommon Descent)

If that happens then expect a wave of anti-Catholic sentiment among Leftist intellectuals, with many invoking the Flat Earth myth or mythic narratives surrounding Galileo. Mythic narrative: "Once upon a time such and such happened, here is the Hero and there is the Villian, and here's the little lesson to be learned from it all." If the pope does embrace ID I'm not even sure it would be a good thing for ID given that most people seem to believe myths about a long benighted, if not downright evil Catholic Church.

The problem with the myths that progressives tend to invoke in editorials and the like about the "war between science and religion" is that they often have little basis in history. For example, historians have traced the Flat Earth myth back to the writings of progressives in the 1800s who apparently invented it for political purposes even when history shows that it was known in the West that the earth was round all the way back to the times of the Greek philosophers.

Why they did it:
There was some hope, Draper felt, that science could live with Protestantism, because liberal Protestantism was yielding its moral authority to the secular state and its epistemological basis to science. But science could never live with Catholicism, which under Pius IX condemned liberal progressivism in the "Syllabus of Errors," opposed the union of Italy into a secular state, and declared the pope's infallibility. [...] Draper saw the secular national state as the protector and steward of liberal progress, and he admired Bismark's "Culture War" (Kulturkampf) against the church in [proto-Nazi] Germany.
(Inventing the Flat Earth: Colombus and Modern Historians
by Jeffrey Burton Russell :38)

It was political, although by the time a political propagandist is done he may actually believe that he's seeking or telling the truth.

It is typical to progressives to lie about or attack the level of intelligence of any who oppose them, while conservatives typically attack the morals of any who oppose them. So it is not surprising to find that their myths are structured to suit their own psychological dynamics. But note the ignorance that the promulgation of progressive myths rely on, in this case they rely on ignorance with respect to basic facts of history that clearly prove that educated people knew the earth was a sphere. On an ironic note, it was the scholastics and monks who learned at the universities of their day who were most likely to have that knowledge and to protect it through the Dark Ages, yet they are the religious people that progressives tried to attack by inventing myths about them.

Generally, there are also bits of knowledge and possible lines of evidence* that go against the entire progressive belief system in which it is believed that human beings were once generally stupid but now progress on towards becoming a New Man based on intelligence and knowledge.
*E.g., the maps of the ancient sea kings (Who seemed to know the shape of the earth.), the Great Pyramid contains many lines of evidence about ancient knowledge in itself and so on and so forth. (E.g. "Reference to any equal-area projection map of the Earth's surface reveals that the chosen site of the Great Pyramid lies on the longest land-contact meridian on the Earth's surface, and is also at the geographical center of its whole land mass, including the Americas and Antarctica.") It may be that some lines of evidence cannot be proven to the same extent as the historical fact that educated people knew the earth was a sphere back in the Dark Ages, yet all it takes is a single instance to puncture the grand myths of Progress that reject the ancient notion of a progression drawn forth by Providence.

The way that Leftists tend to view science and progress is ironic given that chemistry came from alchemy, astronomy from astrology and so on only as the result of changes in religious beliefs and philosophical patterns of thought. Murmuring about science and progress now is ironic because if things were left to the smothering immanence typical to the Leftist mind we'd probably be back in the Dark Ages of the Druids with their Nature based paganisms trying to suck at the teat of Mommy Nature. I.e., we'd be practicing astrology instead of astronomy, alchemy instead of chemistry, the charlatanism of the snake oil salesman instead of medicine, and so on.

Perhaps logocentric forms of thought are a victim of their own progress, thus the apparent cyclic nature of the rise and fall of civilizations. That is to say, when people become fat and happy (or morbidly obese and depressed, for such is progress!) as the result of the systematic forms of thought typical to science and technology they begin feeling that the illogic of Nature based paganism defines progress or has brought them science, technology and "progress" as they know it.

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