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May 7th, 2009

May. 7th, 2009

J.R. Lucas on Huxley and the Birth of Creationism
Huxley's intemperate enthusiasm was an embarrassment to Darwin, who wrote urging him to moderate his polemics. Huxley succeeded in attracting wide publicity for Darwin's thought, but at the cost of arousing needless antagonisms, and distorting the whole tenor of subsequent discussion. His set-to marks the beginning of the rift between the Two Cultures, with the withdrawal of professional scientists into an intellectual ghetto, and the banishment of science from the mainstream of national life. Biology has suffered from not being able to engage with the humanities. One example is racism. Wilberforce was a leading anti-racist, and one of his worries about Darwinism was that it could be used to justify the enslavement of negroes. Modern opinion is anti-racist too, so much so that for many racial research is a No-Go area. If a scientist were to maintain as a scientific truth that black men were on average less intelligent than white men, he would be excoriated. Wilberforce was quite prepared to allow science unfettered freedom to research, and to accepts its findings, just because he did not think that science was the sole truth; if facts emerged which proved that men were descended from some primordial fungus, he could agree, but go on to enter a further `but', and adduce further considerations that marked humanity off from the rest of creation. He could allow that Evolution could be true, or that there are significant differences between the races, and still maintain that we are not just animals, and that all men, whatever the colour of their skin, are children of God. But a science that claims both to be autonomous and to give us the complete truth cannot do this. Faced with this dilemma, some people will accept the science and deny the moral status of mankind: others, however, will sense the immoral implications of Darwinism, and on that account reject it out of hand. Huxley thought he was fighting for science, but by being so confrontational, he stimulated an anti-science counter-attack. He did not realise it, but Huxley helped to create creationism.
-- Summary of the case for Bishop Wilberforce at a Conversazione held at the British Academy on November 6th, 2003


and more detail here

Although many of the complaints against Wilberforce are unsubstantiated and inconsistent with one another, two things are indubitable: he was eloquent, and he was funny. Hooker complained about the eloquence, Huxley about the humour. And from that time forward scientists have obediently practised a form of expression in their communications with the learned world that could never lay them open to either charge. ... [F]rom 1860 onwards [science] becomes more of a closed shop, with its own puritan ethic, from which amateurs are more and more excluded. ... The men of science who attended the British Association in 1860 and were hearing a paper from Professor Draper, M.D., of New York `On the Intellectual Development of Europe' were to give way to the academics we know, for many of whom it is a point of professional pride to know nothing outside their own special subject.
-- Wilberforce and Huxley: A Legendary Encounter


May. 7th, 2009

Tourist Maps

You can blow up the maps at the above link

Can anyone explain the hotbed of lust in western South Dakota?  Forsooth! 

Dark Blue is less than 2.58 standard deviations below the mean.  Dark Red is more than 2.58 standard deviations above the mean.  This does not indicate whether the means are high, low, or indifferent.  Generally, blue is less sinful; red is more sinful. 

Naturally, these are all proxy measurements.  Some may come close; but others are problematical metrics. 
Greed was calculated by comparing average incomes with the total number of inhabitants living beneath the poverty line.
was calculated using the total number of thefts - robbery, burglary, larceny and stolen cars.
was calculated by comparing the total number of violent crimes - murder, assault and rape - reported to the FBI per capita.
was calculated by compiling the number of sexually transmitted diseases - HIV, AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea - reported per capita.
was calculated by counting the number of fast food restaurants per capita.
was calculated by comparing expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation with the rate of employment.
Pride, lastly, is most important. The root of all sins, in this study, is the aggregate of all data. Vought and his Kansas colleagues combined all data from the six other sins and averaged it into an overview of all evil.



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