Re: [asa] The Science = Atheism Meme

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008 - 13:32:43 EDT

Oh, do you actually use the term 'meme' as if it had some inherent value, Mike? Of course, with all of the pseudo-science, anti-science and nonsense science out on the 'market' these days (alongside and sometimes mixed in with much good science), have you ever thought that the term 'meme' might rather be junk than jewel? In my vocabulary it is similar to things such as 'phlogiston' and 'projecting' - good for a certain audience (and that, perhaps a few years ago), but not for another. Good for expressing something that some people 'want' to express, but with no necessary link to reality. In fact, memetics imho is philosophically deceptive, dangerous to the unprepared, something that trips up non-philosophers in the making.
Do you wish to perpetuate Richard Dawkins' term 'meme' by using it or instead put it in its due place by ignoring it? Alistair McGrath, among a wave of dissenters, has come out strongly against Dawkins and co.'s memetics. Or would you embrace Susan Blackmore so to apply 'memes' more frivilously?
p.s. I assume you mean P.Z. Myers' Pharyngula - it's a much smaller fish when one gets outside of 'cultural war' mentality in the U.S.A. - probably not worth getting too worked up about; in case you are worried it will polarize discussions, that's happening enough as it is, e.g. with TEs and IDists at ASA.

--- On Tue, 7/29/08, Nucacids <> wrote:

From: Nucacids <>
Subject: [asa] The Science = Atheism Meme
Received: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 7:14 PM

It looks like this meme has been significantly propped up this summer.  How so?  Well, if you¢d like to see a modern example of iconoclasm, an example where someone purposely desecrates something Catholics hold sacred to elicit emotional reactions, where¢s the best place to look?  Why, it¢s the #1 "Science Blog,," read by many scientists and featured in several science journals.  There you can find a science professor drive a nail through a deceptively obtained Eucharist wafer with much back-slapping and guffawing from his "pro-science" fans.
-Mike Gene
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Received on Tue Jul 29 13:33:27 2008

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