From: bivalve (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Sep 12 2003 - 19:57:16 EDT
>My question was not whether or not those speaking felt that their opinion mattered because of their education -- but rather why should anyone else who disagrees with them?<
The difficulty is drawing the line as to what topics fall under the authority that the education gives. Certainly someone without a formal education may be more knowledgeable (or sensible, which is not the same thing) on a topic than someone who has a dissertation on it, but hopefully someone with an advanced degree is knowledgeable on the topic. Thus, to the extent that they are talking about their own field, the opinion of scientists should be valued more than the opinion of the average non-scientist. However, my opinions on medicine or physics are not as valuable as those of someone with a legitimate degree in either field, just as the average physicist probably knows nothing about molluscan evolution. Furthermore, I would guess that the average scientist is quite ignorant about philosophy and religion and thus is not very qualified to address questions about the moral or philosophical implications of his or her own field. Within the specific context of list members,!
there is probably greater evidence for having some knowledge about those matters as well.
>I don't see many lawyers. politicians, mill workers, etc. attacking the religious notions of those supporting YEC, OEC, etc. It is only the scientists.<
I think you are overlooking them. Those who claim that YEC, ID, etc. is essential to Christianity, whatever their field, attack the religious notions of others and frequently set themselves up as scientific authorities despite a lack of legitimate credentials. Likewise, the ardent atheists of whatever profession like to attack YEC as an easy target for ridicule. However, the fact that YEC so frequently involves both rotten science and slander of scientists makes scientists especially likely both to perceive the flaws of creation science and to see it as a danger.
>So why is there something about science that trumps all other fields in religious interpretation? If I want some information about quantum mechanics, I'll seek out Professor friend at Boston University. If I want advice on spiritual issues, I'll go to the Pastor of my church.<
True, but some creation science claims and similar efforts provide false claims about quantum mechanics.
> But I think that constant attacks on YECs is unbecoming and out of place.<
True. However, there are YECs who constantly attack all non-YEC, which is no more in place. Also, the popularity of YEC coupled with its frequent association with bad theology and bad science makes it appear particularly important as a target for legitimate critique.
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 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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