Re: Teaching Evolution - Childs Perspective

From: janice matchett <>
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:23:11 EDT

"I always found Gould a very entertaining writer. He certainly held
strongly that science and religion occupied exclusive arenas ... " ~ Al

The poor soul may have been "a victim" of the mental confusion that results
from holding polar opposite ideas, attitudes and beliefs simultaneously
(cognitive dissonance). To wit:

1992: "To say it for all my colleagues and for the umpteenth million time
(from college bull sessions to learned treatises): science simply cannot
(by its legitimate methods) adjudicate the issue of God's possible
superintendence of nature. We neither affirm nor deny it; we simply can't
comment on it as scientists. If some of our crowd have made untoward
statements claiming that Darwinism disproves God, then I will find Mrs.
McInerney and have their knuckles rapped for it (as long as she can equally
treat those members of our crowd who have argued that Darwinism must be
God's method of action). Science can work only with naturalistic
explanations; it can neither affirm nor deny other types of actors (like
God) in other spheres (the moral realm, for example)." Stephen Jay Gould,
"Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge," Scientific American, 267(1), July
1992; from Liz R. Hughes, ed., Reviews of Creationist Books, Berkely, CA:
The National Center for Science Education, Inc., 1992, pp. 79-84.
Freethought Zone

1991: "Before Darwin, we thought that a benevolent God had created us."
Gould, Stephen Jay in "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History,"
Penguin: London UK, 1991, p.267.

1988: "We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin
anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because
the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and
tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has
managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a higher
answer -- but none exists." Stephen Jay Gould, Life magazine, December
1988, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

~ Janice

At 07:49 AM 9/16/2005, Mccarrick, Alan D CIV NSWCCD Philadelphia, 9212 wrote:

>I always found Gould a very entertaining writer. He certainly held
>strongly that science and religion occupied exclusive arenas (NOMA - Non
>Overlapping Magestera - my Latin spelling is suspect - did Gould invert
>this term?). Science occupies the "real" world of facts, and religion...
>well.. uh... um... makes us feel better... says things about morals (which
>science should better inform us)... comforts us in sickness and death. I
>sensed that he relegated religion to a purely subjective
>world. Polkinghorn describes this view of religion as "whistling in the
>dark" and "loving lies" told to comfort children. I think that describes
>Gould's religion.
>Yes, Gould sees a role for religion - a small silly role indeed.
>I wish I new more about Gould's last days, whether he wrote or talked much
>about spiritual things.
>Al McCarrick
>Terry wrote:
>I'm quite surprised that you lump Gould and Dawkins together. I never
>counted Gould as a believer, but I never counted him in any way as an
>advocate of scientism.
Received on Fri Sep 16 09:25:28 2005

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