Monday, August 22, 2005

The Wedge Document -- ID Exposed

11 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

Inaccuracies born of paranoia: "Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards", "...human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment", "everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions".

Monday, August 22, 2005 9:26:00 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

They are frightening in their resolve.

One thing I don't see mentioned, is how they propose to fix all these supposed 'ills' in the western world. Perhaps they wish to go back to the to the good old days when everyone was cowering in fear of the retribution from 'god' (aka power hungry men of the church).

I can't follow the reasoning either that leads from Darwin and science to destructive materialism. Doesn't make sense to me. However, they have a plan, and they have money, and resolve. Scary.

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yes, to them, "objective" = "stemming from a God -- (our God, that is," whereas "objective" actually means, "Existing as an object of consciousness, as opp.[osed] to being part of the conscious subject; external to or independent of the mind. M17." (New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

"M17" means that this meaning arose in the mid-17th-century.

Let's see what else was happening in the European intellectual world in the 1650s?

Here are some clues. Relatively famous scientists (strictly, "natural philosophers" -- "scientist" is a 19th-C term)) and mathematicians active around 1650:

Descartes died in 1650; Gassendi in 1655; William Harvey in 1657; Giovanni Riccoli, Italian astronomer, in 1671; Fermat, 1665; Borelli, 1679; Torricelli, 1647; Hevelius, German astronomer, 1687; Pascal, 1662; Thomas Sydenham, English physician, 1689; Cassini, 1712; Robert Boyle, 1691; [Royal Society, chartered in 1663]; John Ray, English naturalist, 1705; Marcello Malphighi, Italian physiologist, 1694; Christiaan Huygens, 1695; Christopher Wren, English architect, 1723; Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch "biologist" and microscopist ["biology" didn't exist as a term till 1800]; Robert Hooke, 1703; Nicolaus Steno, Danish anatomist and geologist, 1686.

Newton was born in 1642; his annus mirabilis was 1665-1666.

(Thanks to Asimov's Biograhpical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives and Achievments of 1510 Great Scientists from Ancient Times to the Present Chronologically Arranged, 2nd Rev. Ed., 1982.)

Gee, I wonder whether the ferment of this new natural philosophy had anything to do with the separation of the objective and subjective? I wonder, indeed. LOL

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The following paragraph is wrong:

"Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art[.]"

Marx was writing in the 1840s, so, that's a lot more than "a little over a century ago"; Darwin's first book (on evolution) was 1859. Freud fits better.

Furthermore, materialist (meaning, nonsupernatural) notions of humanity and the universe date back to Lucretius in the first century BC (and to Greek forerunners, too), and have a huge revival in the 18th Century, such as in de la Mettrie's Man a Machine, which was published in 1748 (among other dates, but that's roughly accurate).

Not that facts would stop these supposedly arch-objectivists. LOL

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

They also play fast and loose with various types of materialism, allying in a few paragraphs Marxian materialism with Stalinist totalitarianism -- not to mention with the conservative Darwin and Freud! Apparently, they've never read Civilization and its Discontents.

To draw a straight, causal line from a philosophy with as varied a slate of professors to Stalin's murders is pretty much the worst kind of simplistic historiography imaginable.

Furthemore, the obvious riposte is to tot up the number of deaths caused by Christian slaughter throughout the ages, up to and including all those good Christians who helped during the Holocaust -- just to name one of many hideous massacres. So, if we're to judge by actions, Christianity ain't doing to well, either. Might not the fault lie in ourselves, and not the stars we worship (or deny)?

By the way, the Atlantic Richfield Company, better known as ARCO -- an oil company, is usually not the destination of people with History-and-Philosophy-of-Science degrees from Cambridge.

By the way, I find the "Five-Year Plans" hilarious (and telling?), given the strident anticommunism.

The normative application of quasi-Kuhnian "revolutions" is surely making him roll in his grave, and is quite telling in and of itself. Kuhn was being descriptive, not proscriptive; these yahoos are simply being political, and using whatever culturally resonant terminology they can lay their hands on to foster their reactionary politics.

Note the targeting of PBS. Does the attack on PBS and the CPB take on more meaning now? It should.

Remember, this document is from 1999. Scary how they've achieved much of what they set out to do.

Monday, August 22, 2005 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Nice post.

I have a different take. The leaders this movement want money and power. They are motivated by worldly objectives, not sincere religious beliefs. Their ideology has no transcendent meaning; it's merely a means to an end. To the extent that we treat their religious convictions or “philosophy” seriously, we sanction the lie they hope to ride to power. They are charlatans of the first order who exploit the legitimate faith of others for personal political and financial benefit.

In the 1960s, the US spent a great deal of blood and treasure trying to prevent an "ideology" from overtaking Vietnam. They couldn’t understand that communism was simply a tool that Vietnamese nationalists used to unify their political base and to expel much hated foreigners. The ideology (or theology) of the Christian right is also a tool. Bush, Delay, Cheney and their associates don’t really believe in Christian principles. They view faith as a particularly useful lever that they can use to obtain and maintain political and economic control of our society. The attack on science is obviously designed to weaken the power reason still hold over the nation’s political discourse.

So, what should we do? I would argue for a concerted back-channel public relations effort to discredit organized religion. This should be combined with a out front effort to promote “personal spirituality” along the lines of deism. People need to be reminded that their faith should be in God, not in so-called men of God.

Andrew

Monday, August 22, 2005 6:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I don't know what these guys think in their private minds; all I can do is judge them by their actions. Either way, they're dangerous.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 1:22:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Seems like Allen is calling us out on some ID question involving Anthony Flew:

"I've never gotten Cyberpols to address Anthony Flew's recent determination that he was wrong about abiogenesis and unintelligent macroevolution, and that ID is the superior theory, and I doubt that Sternberg's colleagues would publicly do so, given Flew's credentials and history. Would they similarly trash a similar article by Flew? Doubt it."

Not sure if I remember the old thread exactly but it has something to do with macroevolution. Doug?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Check out my response. More about abiogenesis, and the supposed phenomenon of "evidence" leading to "faith."

Dig it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

The religious nuts are out in force in every religion around the world right now.
Fundamentalism seems to be the `must have` accessory for all religions.

Strangely enough, there are some real `unholy alliances` being formed between normally competitive religions, in order to form larger pressure groups.

In the UK, the Catholic Church and Muslim groups have combined forces to fight for continuance of specialist segregated religious schools.

Interestingly..17th century Europe was still undergoing the reformation and counter-reformation...a time of horrendous religious conflict,the 30 years war in Europe, and,of course, civil war in England.

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Right on, Zep. I'm worried about a renewed "clash of civilizations," as Mr. Huntington, who is now warning about the dilution of America by brown people, made a big to-do about.

It don't look good.

Monday, August 29, 2005 10:09:00 AM  

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