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Charlou's Avatar Joined almost 7 years ago
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Go to: Tune in at 8pm, Australians!

Charlou's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Charlou

@ Heks: Short-shorts are comfortable in our summer heat. Matter of fact I'm wearing some now. ;)

Tue, 29 Dec 2009 07:20:00 UTC | #426576

Go to: Tune in at 8pm, Australians!

Charlou's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by Charlou

Saint Stephen, I get the impression Richard would prefer to just get his ideas out there and understood on their own merit, and not accept or adopt the imposed role of personal icon for those ideas. I think he displayed genuine and prudent aversion to any imposition along those lines.

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 09:44:00 UTC | #426360

Go to: Tune in at 8pm, Australians!

Charlou's Avatar Jump to comment 94 by Charlou

Hi all,

If Andrew Denton ever makes a public comment about what he thinks about this interview and the criticism of it, I would appreciate a link, cheers.

Mon, 28 Dec 2009 07:45:00 UTC | #426337

Go to: Interview with Richard Dawkins on fairy tales and retirement

Charlou's Avatar Jump to comment 311 by Charlou

So, I guess it remains for LetsTalk to respond to a few comments and questions...I, for one, await with interest. :D

Fri, 28 Nov 2008 08:09:00 UTC | #278890

Go to: Interview with Richard Dawkins on fairy tales and retirement

Charlou's Avatar Jump to comment 308 by Charlou

Thank you vaal, I'll try that...

298. Comment #284634 by LetsTalk on November 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm
RD says:

"I would like to know whether there is any evidence that bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards has a pernicious effect.

This does not require external evidence, of COURSE if someone is brought up to believe in falsehoods there will be a pernicious effect. The brain is a rhizome, building later worldviews from earlier ideas.

"So many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes and I'm not sure whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality. Perhaps it's something for research.

OK, having raised six children with my wife, I can say that there is no insidious effect on rationality to read fairy tales to children, as long as they know it is PRETEND. We always defined that difference carefully. Helping children learn to differentiate between imagination and reality is critical, but children really need imagination, they love it, it is natural.

"I plan to look at mythical accounts of various things and also the scientific account of the same thing. And the mythical account that I look at will be several different myths.

"Of which the Judeo-Christian one will just be one of many. And the scientific one will be substantiated, but appeal to children to think for themselves; to look at the evidence. Always look at the evidence."

The problem here is that children are not capable of analyzing the evidence about everything, we must be careful to script out functional learning experiences. Otherwise, they could use inferior reasoning and become dogmatic about their own superstitious beliefs, which might lead to mental illness. So one must be careful to lead them through proper development.

Life is not black and white. We need methods of coping with the gray areas. Human dreaming and imagination, and even religion, has evolved for a purpose. This is to help us cope with what we do not know, the gray areas. RD seems to have an absurdly black and white view of religion. I would like to see him honestly address the evolutionary purpose of religion. There IS a purpose, or it would not be part of our evolved reality. Religions also experience natural selection, and we are seeing their evolution right now.

Also, regarding RD's comment about capital punishment and murder rates, I ran a study about that in the early 1980s while an econometrics student, using data from Canadian provinces which had changed the cap punishment laws repeatedly. There was an unquestionable deterrent effect of capital punishment on murder rates. Each convict executed saved 2 victims from being murdered. So there is some data.

Very thoughtful and thought provoking comments, LetsTalk, thank you. The analogy of the brain with the rhizome readily captures that inescapable aspect of nurturing, and, as a mother of five, I can substantiate your anecdotal (and logical) observation that children, generally, are capable of processing fantasy rationally, when it's presented to them rationally.

On evolutionary 'purpose'...that's an oxymoron...'purpose' is an anthropomorphic concept, and natural evolution is not bound nor affected by such consciously driven factors.

regards, Charlou

Okay, Roger Staynard, I hope that makes who said what clearer, and my apologies for the quoting error.

Fri, 28 Nov 2008 07:54:00 UTC | #278859

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