Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Dec 19 2008 - 20:32:42 EST

Hi Mike,
I sympathise with all of what you've said in reply to Michael. I'm curious in particular with the last point, if you would consider adding IDists of the 'mainstream' variety into your analysis:
"I wonder if someone has ever tested YECs, TEs, and Atheists and IDists] for ambiguity tolerance." - Mike Gene

I'm doubtful that ID is fresh enough (c. 1993 - 2005) to have stirred the psychological literature. As it is, having visited the DI and met with many 'mainstream' IDists, I suspect that your criterion would apply equally to them as well.
On the other hand, from a theological perspective, one might wonder how 'ambiguity tolerance' squares with Orthodox or Catholic thought. But that might be an aside...

--- On Sat, 12/20/08, Nucacids <> wrote:

From: Nucacids <>
Subject: Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?
Received: Saturday, December 20, 2008, 4:18 AM

Hi Michael,
“Boomeranging from one fundamentalism into another? A good point. The fact is that both build up a brick wall of absolute certainty around themselves. One crack and it has gone.”
Indeed.  I think you have your finger on a key point when it comes to certainty – the need to know.  And I think that need for certainty is born of a need to control.  Certainty is a way our minds seek to control our environment, making sure all the facts fit into their proper place.  A fundamentalist mindset needs to control his/her surroundings to the greatest extent possible.  This is why secular fundamentalists treat Science the way the religious fundamentalists treat their Holy Books. 
“There are various causes and I would put an extreme form of inerrancy near the top, as once we can admit that the Gospel narratives don't quite agree we have either to go for Lindsell's six denials of Jesus or dismiss the Gospels and the rest of the bible as totally errant.”
You may be right, although I’m not sure it’s a cause or an effect (I’d have to think on that).  But either way, there is an all-or-none, black-and-white perspective that is shared by both religious and secular fundamentalists. 
 “Conversely the so-called TE views seem weak as they have no brick walls and the tide goes in and out, which to some seems fatal.”
Good point.  If you need to control everything around you, then no brick walls between you and the tide can be a terrifying thing to comprehend.  Letting go and reaching out in faith are the very acts that control freaks, by definition, cannot do.
I myself have always had a high tolerance for ambiguity (a concept psychologists have studied for years – google it). This may explain why I went through a fundamentalist phase long ago and emerged from it without losing my faith.
I wonder if someone has ever tested YECs, TEs, and Atheists for ambiguity tolerance.
- Mike __________________________________________________________________ Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk email the boot with the All-new Yahoo! Mail. Click on Options in Mail and switch to New Mail today or register for free at

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Received on Fri Dec 19 20:33:17 2008

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