Re: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

Marie Foster (
Sat, 18 Oct 1997 12:35:21 -0700

Sodom wrote:
NOTE- I have done a good deal of snipping here but I am pretty sure that
Sodom wrote the following... If not, then I apologize to his person for
misdirecting my question and perhaps the author will recogonize the
words so that we can continue the dialog.

> I do not see religion and science as even remotely similar. Science can
> explain everything about religion. Where it came from, why people are
> driven to it, why it effects people as it does. Religion on the hand
> requires ignoring science to exist. It is based on divine inspiration of
> human beings, whom we all agree are untrustworthy. It constantly shrinks
> as it's myths are exposed. It is fancy and emotion without substance.
> Religion is a piece of human animalistic nature.
> Science is mans first attempt at objectivity - it's far from perfect,
> but grows expotentially, and is more accure every day. Science is beyond
> man's animalistic tendencies, not scientists, but science.
> Sodom

I believe that scientists know more about science than non-scientists.
I believe that religious persons know more about religion than
athiests. Remember, that definitions change and that dictionaries try
to reflect the most common usage of the word as it is understood by the
most people.

This is a non vertical continuum after all. If we were to be ranked in
a normal curve from theist to athiest, I am uncertain as to how far to
the theist side I would rate myself, but I am clearly in that muster.
However, the continuum is a construction, it only exists in our desire
to fully incorporate these concepts. Sodom, please believe that your
idea of what religion is or is not is only your view of it from your
place in time and space.

Semantics does concern itself with connotations of words. I remember a
man from the Moody Bible Institute gave a lecture that I was required to
attend during my undergraduate days. I was pretty resistant to the idea
of going. However, this man gave a compelling lecture. He had spent
years working in societies that had no written language. As a linguist
he struggled with learning the verbal languages and then others would
use his written works to translate the bible into their cultural

The evangalism inherent in his work disturbed me and still does. But
his central premise was that language = culture. He gave many
persuasive examples mostly around how societies that have no words for
certain things have behaviours or customs that can be inferred or
understood because of these absent objects. He also showed how the
number of different words that a group has to describe something was
related to the significance of that object to the groups survival. This
was like a revelation to me and still resonates. When I came upon the
word meme in a science fiction book I was reading my mind made the
connection between it and the concepts in this long ago lecture and sent
me off into Webland where I finally ended up here.

I agree fully with Richard that we need to get off this high horse about
seeing science and religion as some kind of fight to the death.
Religion will never be what it is characterized as and science will
never be what it is characterized as.

I know that evolution is true for me. Not only do I find I agree with
Dawkins (et al) about the reasons why we know it is true, but I feel a
kinship when I look into the eyes of a chimp, a gorilla, and a dog or a
cat - (or Dawkins) for that matter. This kinship does not diminish me
nor do the mechanics of how it came about. The thing I agree with the
most about evolution is that it has NO purpose. Purpose is a human
invention again... For that purpose one needs to look inside.

All and all I am pretty successful in our world no matter how that
success is defined. I have not read "Getting Beyond OK" as it is not in
our library yet and I am a bit monetarially challenged at the moment.
I am willing to guess however, that the author would concur with the
need for each individual to have his or her own "idea of success" ("meme
of success") to be happy. I also guessing that you are still working on
your own definition of religion or you would not be in a list that has
church in its title.

As always I enjoy our journey here

My best