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Go to: Who needs theology?

AdamMil's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by AdamMil

I've also gained from philosophy, so I wouldn't say it's useless. And I'm sure that some people's lives have even been enriched by theology, like my sister's. That's not to say her life couldn't have been enriched to an even greater degree via secular philosophy, but she'd never embark on such a study. It's too complicated compared to the easy certainty of belief.

Perhaps a better question is "What useful thing has theology ever said that can't be arrived at through non-magical thinking?" But I'd be willing to bet that even then there are some useful things. Some people may derive comfort and purpose from the work of theologians. Governments through the ages have employed church officials to solidify control over their populaces, in exchange for state sponsorship of a particular religion.

Not that we need theologians or that they contribute to the knowledge of humanity, but some people get use out of them.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 21:44:00 UTC | #401650

Go to: Molecular Decay Of Enamel-specific Gene In Toothless Mammals Supports Theory Of Evolution

AdamMil's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by AdamMil

I wonder whether deactivating the gene drove the evolution of filter-feeding, of whether early whales beagn adapting towards this and lst the enamalin gene along the way?
I think the latter. If the deactivation of the gene caused hardship for the animal, it would be unlikely to spread through the gene pool, but if enamel was no longer necessary, there'd be no selection pressure against its deactivation.

It reminds me of the deactivation of the gene that allows us to synthesize vitamin C. The theory goes that since we were able to procure ourselves a steady supply of vitamin C in our diet, there was no longer selection pressure against the mutation of that gene.

Although on second thought, I can imagine the former happening too, if first they developed an eating style that no longer required enamel, and then later evolved filter-feeding...

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:58:00 UTC | #395418

Go to: Secular kids' camp in Collin County aims to provide questions, not answers

AdamMil's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by AdamMil

Quetzalcoatl: Yeah, I withdrew my comment. (And since mine was the only post at the time, I thought I could just remove it. :-)

What I said was mostly based on generalizing from this article and articles about a similar camp in Britain. But I checked out the Texas camp's website, and it clearly implies that they'll be highlighting religion. And even if it didn't, the article doesn't really give the impression that they're trying to hide it.

So I shouldn't have made that generalization.

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 15:11:00 UTC | #393622

Go to: Research Into Protein Transport - More 'Evidence' of Intelligent Design Shot Down by Science

AdamMil's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by AdamMil

Perhaps the actual study was better than the article makes it out to be (I tried to read it, but it cost money), but it sounds like merely plausible speculation, with no (or scarce?) evidence that it actually happened that way.

But then, since ID is based on argument by incredulity, that's all you need. :-)

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:38:00 UTC | #393233

Go to: High school marching band can't wear evolutionary T-shirts

AdamMil's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by AdamMil

They've got to "remain neutral on religion"? Fine. But evolution is not a religion!

If they're objecting to evolution because it contradicts some religious beliefs, then to be consistent they should also not want geology or astronomy, and maybe even sociology or civics, associated with their school either. And if they were really "neutral on religion" and rejected science that contradicted any religion (as opposed to just fundamentalist Christianity), then probably a whole lot more scientific disciplines would have to go...

More likely, they haven't even thought that far, and don't even know what the theory of evolution says.

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:21:00 UTC | #393231

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