Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Darwinists Hate Pandas, Again Touchstone Magazine has pounced on the “Darwinists Hate Pandas” meme. There feature article, by Roberto Rivera, is entitled “Of Pandas and Men” with the subhead “Roberto Rivera on Darwinism and Why We Let the Pandas Live”. I already dealt with this article when the original version of it was published at Charles Colson's website, but let me remind you of the crucial line:


For those who take their Darwinism, as Thelonious Monk might have put it, straight, no chaser, the logical response to the plight of the giant panda is “tough.” Evolution is, if nothing else, unsentimental. It rewards adaptability and punishes, in the medium-to-long term, overspecialization. If your diet and habitat disappear—and that has happened countless times in Earth’s history—then you do, too.


My Christian friends sometimes take me to task for being over-concerned with the antics of the more extreme elements of American Christianity. They're crazy, sure, but they're in the minority of religious believers, they assure me.

Well, as far as I know Touchstone is considered pretty mainstream in Christian circles (if any of my readers know better I would be happy to hear that I am wrong). They describe themselves as a “Journal of Mere Christianity”.

And here they are promoting an argument so stupid, so utterly disrespectful of people who do not see the world as they do, that I see no reason ever to take them seriously about anything. If they are representative of contemporary Christian thought, then there is no reason to take Christian thought seriously either.

“Is” and “ought” are two different things. Okay? That simple point, obvious to any child, has apparently eluded both Rivera and his editors at Touchstone. Once that is realized there is absolutely nothing left of Rivera's argument. Arguing that Darwinists should not be unhappy if natural selection leads to the extiniction of pandas is like arguing that physicists should not be unhappy if gravity leads to a plane crash.

Rivera is an idiot.

6 Comments:

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At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a family member of one of Touchstone's editors, I can state that they are not mainstream in Christianity. I would guess their subscription ranks aren't higher than 5,000. However, I still would take the threat seriously and show up their not disrespect, but hatred "of people who do not see the world as they do". They respresent all the super-conservative, extremely intolerant cores of each branch of Christianity--Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant--and bring those groups together. If that's not scary, I don't know what is. For your friends who take you to task about being over-concerned, refer them to Sam Harris' book, The End of Faith." They'll get it then.

 
At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm an moderately conservative evangelical Christian (though I do believe in evolution). I know some of the writers at Touchstone magazine. As already stated, its a small magazine that represents mostly former protestants who have converted to an ultra-conservatived tradition of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. So the magazine shouldn't be cited as exemplary of mainstream Christian thought, though a good portion of conservative Christians would line up with them on ALOT of issues.

 
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At 8:51 AM, Blogger Bette said...

ooo…I love pandas. Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down! I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic! hkpanda.freetzi. com

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous cialis online said...

My Christian friends sometimes take me to task for being over-concerned with the antics of the more extreme elements of American Christianity.

 

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