Liberals, conservatives, and science and faith

From: bivalve (
Date: Wed May 15 2002 - 13:20:50 EDT

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    Ambrose Bierce observed in The Devil's Dictionary that a conservative
    was a politician who is enamored of existing evils, as opposed to the
    liberal, who wishes to replace them with new ones. This is slightly
    complicated by the present situation, where some "liberal" evils are
    existing and "conservatives" want change.

    Discussing individual views on particular topics seems more promising
    than the general terms of liberal or conservative.

    Several topics relating to science and faith get tangled into the
    liberal and conservative labels. Some assume that non-YEC implies
    wild liberal. The lack of concern for the present-day state of
    creation associated with some YEC seems to closely parallel political
    "conservative" pro-industry views. On the other hand, William
    Jennings Bryan was a populist. The issue of teaching evolution,
    earth history, etc. in public schools has obvious political
    dimensions. "Liberal" views on ethical issues are often
    misassociated with evolution, either to justify them to "liberals" or
    to discredit evolution to "conservatives". The general label of
    conservative or liberal seems to function more to discredit or
    endorse than to inform.

         Dr. David Campbell
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa

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