So they finally discovered the ‘missing link.’ Huh, I was under the impression that missing links posed no problems. I guess after you think you’ve resolved the problem you can admit you had one. I’ll leave it to others to decide if they really have resolved it.
The discovery of this ‘missing link’ comes as I’ve been ruminating on the role of secularism in our society, science, and education. Secularists insist that those who want to involve themselves in goverment have to frame their desired policies, legislation, etc, in secular terms, or else be ‘unconstitutional.’ Secularists really believe that this approach constitutes being ‘neutral.’ And of course, secularists get to decide what secularism entails.
(For a fascinating exhibition of this, I submit this thread on my discussion forum.)
It is nonsense to believe that secularism is ‘neutral.’ For the purposes of this post, though, what I want to contend is that there isn’t such a thing as ‘neutrality.’ In today’s post-modern world, I wouldn’t think that is controversial. What we find, however, is that there are huge areas of our experience that we are told really are neutral. Here again, the ‘neutralists’ are the ones who decide what fits into this category. The rest of us don’t get to have a say.
The government is one such instance. Science and education are two others.
To make my point plain before I begin: I believe that the ideal government won’t insist on ‘neutrality’ (which is impossible) but rather allow everyone to come to the table on fair terms.
Secular education, we are informed, is devoid of ‘religious’ content. This is why they feel like they can distribute condoms and have Planned Parenthood come in and offer ‘services.’ You see how it works: if you are against abortion, that’s religious. If you are for it, that’s secular. If you are for the sexual morality theoretically embodied in traditional marriage, you’re religious. If you could care less, that’s secular. You have two sides of the same coin, and instead of acknowledging that the whole coin is ‘religious’ the secularists have decided that only one side is- the side they disagree with- and oh, by the way, don’t you remember that only secularists perspectives are allowed in the public schools?
Likewise, science we are informed is ‘neutral.’ One must keep religious content out of science at all costs! To do otherwise is to establish religion! The interesting thing about what passes as science today is that you can break it up into two basic parts. One part, the part really supported by the scientific method, really is neutral in the sense that they represent brute facts. The temperature at which water boils has no moral implications. The other part, the part with a more modern approach to science where observation and direct experimentation is not critical, very often does have moral implications.
It seems that the less empirically demonstrable the claim, the more moral are the implications.
Take for example the question of when human life begins and is entitled to the rights of human beings. It is easy to find secularists contending that their views are scientific whereas those religious nutjob pro-lifers have a religious view. On the secularist’s own terms, though, when you choose (as a society) to grant human rights is basically just societal convention. How interesting that they wish to decide what the societal convention really says? The fact that half of America’s population is pro-life is irrelevant. Why? Because their perspective is religious, that’s why. But ask them to scientifically demonstrate when a human life begins and when it deserves the rights we accord to humans and you are not going to get anything empircally demonstrable.
The number one example of a so called scientific theory that is loaded with moral and religious implications is of course evolution itself. There was a time when people were more willing to admit this.
The famous Scopes Monkey trial resolves around the state of Tennessee saying that evolution could not be taught in science classrooms. The horror! But we forget what evolutionism entailed at the time. For example, the textbook that was at the center of the Monkey Trial presents some interesting things as ‘science.’
Quote from the textbook:
Eugenics. When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics.
If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried success fully in Europe and are now meeting with success in this country.
I discuss this more in this post discussing one professor’s claim that we have a moral obligation to abort our potentially disabled children.
These comments are from the science book that Tennessee wanted kept out of their classrooms! The horror!
For you see, there was a day when the implications of evolutionary theory were more obvious and more openly admitted. Margaret Sanger, the founder of the aforementioned Planned Parenthood, openly urged abortion as a method of eugenics. And of course, since this was all science, and science is ‘neutral’, it should follow naturally that religious people can raise no objections.
Today of course eugenics has a bad rap. We can thank Hitler for that. But that doesn’t mean the implications have changed or that there aren’t ‘neutral’ scientists and secularists who advocate for eugenics today. People aren’t as dumb as secularists would like them to be. When you promote ‘survival of the fittest’ as the guiding biological principle the inevitable conclusion is that we have the moral obligation to utilize that principle according to our own terms. You just aren’t supposed to say it out loud…
It is common to hear secularists insist that the science and sociology of the 1930s was ‘false science’ or things of the like. Of course, if they were alive at the time they would have believed exactly the same. But to my point, they have this in common: both believe that they pursue and promote a ‘neutral’ science based platform and that religion has no right to insert itself- unless it is farmed in their ‘neutral’ terms- in the affairs of governments large and small.
What to say except that the secularists are winning? Where will it end? History provides clues: and it ain’t pretty.