From: Dr. Blake Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 20:53:52 EDT
Thanks for the link, to an interesting review that I
had not read before.
FWIW, I would not equate superstition with folk
religion per se, although folk religion may have
I also do not necessarily mean anything pejorative by
folk religion, just its technical sense as a term used
to describe a set of beliefs, superstitions and
cultural practices transmitted from generation to
generation, *in addition to* the formally stated
creeds and beliefs of a codified major religion, but
you probably know that.
--- Sarah Berel-Harrop <email@example.com> wrote:
> Re: RFEP & IDIt blew past me that someone made
> reference to the
> "divine foot" paragraph by Lewontin. I am not sure
> whether he got it from an ID source or read the
> Here is the article.
> My comments,
> I think the ID people got a lot of mileage on a
> that was easy to misinterpret if you don't read a
> lot of
> L's work. There are a lot of ways to interpret what
> meant. First recognize that this in a certain sense
> a highly
> negative review. He is not saying don't read the
> book but
> he is saying that he thinks Carl Sagan is wrong to
> popularize science using the angle he does. In that
> what you have here is a somewhat sarcastic
> of Sagan's view. If you read the preface to _It
> Necessarily So_ you will see L does this very same
> thing over I can't remember the subject, maybe
> genomania. So I think he's making fun of
> a little bit here. I don't think he's setting out a
> methodology, as has been portrayed by the ID'rs.
> Here is another clue: look at the paragraph
> following, the divine foot paragraph, where he notes
> mutual exclusion of the material and the demonic has
> been true of all cultures and all times." Remember,
> is a Marxist. He here and in other writings has
> that the rules of science are situated in a social
> and he's describing here the way it's played these
> I don't think he's passing a normative judgement
> in the sense that I think he would say ALL science
> is socially situated, in fact I am pretty sure he
> stated (the comment, racists do racist science in
> the review of Mismeasure of Man comes to mind).
> And the juxtaposition of Newton and LaPlace is
> interesting, not least because Newton was highly
> religious albeit Arian and LaPlace also a devout
> Catholic. Whether intentional or not, he shows here
> Newton put God in the Gap and LaPlace took Him
> out. Then back to the class thing.
> And that is what I think this essay is really about.
> He is
> saying it is wrong to take superstition - the
> world" or maybe Dr Nelson would say folk religion -
> replace it with a superstitious trust in science.
> It's wrong
> because it doesn't change the situation for those
> who are
> not in the elite, it just changes the master. The
> paragraph articulates that, how do we teach lay
> people how
> to evaluate claims? And that is really quite an
> question that got lost in the hype over this quote.
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