RE: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of Michigan

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Mon Apr 07 2008 - 10:02:45 EDT

I must say that I found many of Michael Roberts' posts unnecessarily
rude and, at times, caustic.

Moorad

 

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Jack
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 6:46 AM
To: Gregory Arago; Stephen Matheson; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of
Michigan

 

I am going to say this for fear of getting kicked off the list. As far
as I can tell Michael Roberts was kicked off and I only saw one public
post that was sarcastic regarding Gregory. And this too is going to be
critical of Gregory but hopefully constructive.

 

As I see things here Gregory, you are complaining that no one wants to
include social sciences in the dialog regarding evolution. But this is
a science friendly list, and as far as I am concerned evolution is
specifically a biological entity. And Stephen's clever post bears this
out. In biological evolution we are specifically talking about genes,
selection, mutation. None of these forces apply to human social
interactions, and similarly do not apply to stars, the universe or other
things that are said to evolve.

 

Having said all of that as I see things on this list, it is you Gregory
who have the agenda. You keep harping on and on about the same things.
You never listen to others on the list, you never respond. Your prose
is loquacious, but devoid of meaning. If you are really interested in
discussing your views, you would be better to simplify your posts, drop
the holier-than-though attitude, (try some humility for a change), drop
the agenda, listen, and try to interact instead of preaching.
Essentially I have started deleting your posts as soon as they arrive,
they are not much more than a waste of time.

        ----- Original Message -----

        From: Gregory Arago <mailto:gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>

        To: Stephen Matheson <mailto:smatheso@calvin.edu> ;
asa@calvin.edu

        Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 3:28 AM

        Subject: Re: [asa] Fw: Message to Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor
of Michigan

         

        This bait and switch is not helpful, especially coming from a
biologist. Is this yet another case of biological science-centrism?

         

        Stephen turned my question to George back at me: "In what
spheres do you oppose mutation, Gregory??? In none, is my guess! (Or,
if you actually do, then you won't say it out loud.)"

         

        Let me openly answer, saying it out loud. Yes, I oppose the
grammar 'mutation' in all human-social sciences. Certainly, there are
many who oppose it; it doesn't make much sense in human-social thought.
Most dictionaries and encyclopedias specify immediately, that mutation
is a biological, genetic conceptualisation, e.g. in Wiki, the first
words are "In biology, mutation..." Likely, 'mutation' is not a helpful
metaphor in theology or philosophy either.

         

        I spoke of 'evolutionary philosophy,' which clearly does exist
(perhaps subsumed by 'process philosophy'). I'm not sure what
'mutational philosophy' Stephen Matheson is speaking about, but perhaps
he would enlighten us.

         

        The hardest point to tolerate, though it is done because of the
spirit of this list, is the parallel Stephen draws between TE/EC and
'sociology-is-a-real-science.' To him, obviously TE/EC is 'scientific'
whereas he seems to doubt if sociology is a science! Sure, this
discussion can be had, but it needn't be. ASA's invitation to scholars
includes many disciplines that Stephen personally doesn't think count as
'science,' or, at least, not 'science' as it is understood by him, as a
'practising biologist.' This is indeed a poke at legitimacy, glided over
in the spirit of open dialogue. A biologist, just as a psychologist,
economist, or culturologist is entitled to his or her opinion, however
wrong or in the minority they may be.

        Yes, Stephen, I am challenging the biological science-centrism
as a sociologist of science, but this should not be taken as an affront
to you. It is your discipline (not you personally) which has too strong
a sense of legitimacy and value in our age, partly due to the 'advances'
made in the 20th century (and the claim to 'own' evolutionary thinking).
However, as you well know if you've read history and philosophy of
science, all disciplines have rises and falls in societal relevance.
Remember the 'space race' and its effects on 'science' in your country?

         

        Gregory

        
        Stephen Matheson <smatheso@calvin.edu> wrote:

                If genetic mutation is equivalent with just 'mutation,'
then why bother adding the term 'genetic'? The phrase 'everybody knows'
is just window-dressing - it has no meaning when spoken in that way. A
person can easily be opposed to mutation in one sphere, while supporting
it in another. Do you accept this?
                
                In what spheres do you oppose mutation, Gregory??? In
none, is my guess! (Or, if you actually do, then you won't say it out
loud.)
                
                If so, then a logical conclusion is to blame some of the
misunderstanding on those who are not willing to add the term 'genetic'
to 'mutation' when they are really speaking only about biologically
'mutating' things, and not about social, cultural or economic things.
For all I know, some at ASA have expressed recognition of the importance
of being clear linguistically and not pretending that mutation = genetic
mutation, that is, to the exclusion of all other types of mutation. If
one means specifically 'genetic mutation,' then he or she should say
'genetic mutation' and not ASSUME that is what is meant (with one's
insulated, predisposed dialogue partners) by simply saying 'mutation'!
                
                What's wrong, Gregory with forgetting about (better:
rejecting) 'mutational philosophy'? If you are not able or willing to
answer this, then your strong sociology-is-a-real-science view has
little or no ground to stand on, there may be actually no balance at all
in your perspective on how science, philosophy and religion are
inter-related. It may be that your philosophy has become eventually
tainted by accepting the 'power' of sociological thought on other areas
of the contemporary academy.
                
                Matheson
                
>>> Gregory Arago 04/05/08 6:28 PM >>>
                If biological evolution is equivalent with just
'evolution,' then why bother adding the term 'biological'? The phrase
'everybody knows' (bolded below) is just window-dressing - it has no
meaning when spoken in that way. A person can easily be opposed to
evolution in one sphere, while supporting it in another. Do you accept
this?
                
                In what spheres do you oppose evolution, George??? In
none, is my guess! (Or, if you actually do, then you won't say it out
loud.)
                
                If so, then a logical conclusion is to blame some of the
misunderstanding on those who are not willing to add the term
'biological' to 'evolution' when they are really speaking only about
biologically 'evolving' things, and not about social, cultural or
economic things. Some at ASA have expressed recognition of the
importance of being clear linguistically and not pretending that
evolution = biological evolution, that is, to the exclusion of all other
types of evolution. If one means specifically 'biological evolution,'
then he or she should say 'biological evolution' and not ASSUME that is
what is meant (with one's insulated, predisposed dialogue partners) by
simply saying 'evolution'!
                
                What's wrong, George with forgetting about (better:
rejecting) 'evolutionary philosophy'? If you are not able or willing to
answer this, then your strong TE/EC view has little or no ground to
stand on, there may be actually no balance at all in your perspective on
how science, philosophy and religion are inter-related. It may be that
your philosophy has become eventually tainted by accepting the 'power'
of biological thought on other areas of the contemporary academy.
                
                Arago

        
________________________________

        Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!
<http://www.flickr.com/gift/>

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Apr 7 10:06:36 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Apr 07 2008 - 10:06:36 EDT