19.303 author of quotation

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 07:57:01 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 303.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 07:51:40 +0100
         From: "Donald Weinshank" <weinshan_at_cse.msu.edu>
         Subject: RE: 19.296 author of quotation: Sir James Jeans -- reply

>This might be of help. It's a Powerpoint presentation by a scholar at
>Michigan State. He attributes the quote to Sir James Jeans, a physicist.


Thanks, but that was MY presentation in a debate several years ago. I
tentatively suggested that the author was Jeans, but a recent, absolutely
exhaustive search by our research librarians could not find the source.

As many HUMANISTS are aware, the Religious Right in the United States is
pushing a repackaged Creationism called "Intelligent Design." The local
newspaper has agreed to publish my letter on this subject, and the letter
includes that quotation without attribution.

=> I leave it to Willard to decide whether to include the letter (150 words
maximum), which follows.

Science has three dirty little secrets which the Intelligent
Design folks try to exploit.

1. It's not democratic.
2. It doesn't follow common sense.
3. It doesn't have the Staples' "Easy Button."

It's not democratic because we don't get to vote on the
laws of the universe, only test theories to explain them.
Intelligent Design folks want to us to put evolution to a
vote rather than to the test.

It doesn't follow common sense, which is based on
everyday experiences, because modern science deals with
the very large (the universe), the very small (sub-
atomics), the very fast (relativity) and the very slow
(evolution). Einstein said bluntly: "Common sense is the
collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

Intelligent Design wants to push the "easy" button. It has
its canned answer to all complex questions -- the Designer
did it -- even before they are asked.

Lousy science. Lousy religion.


NOTE: The "Staples' Easy Button" refers to a current advertising campaign in
the U.S. by Staples Corporation, which sells office and computer supplies.
They show a large, red button which, when pushed, solves hard arithmetic
problems. http://www.staples.com/

Dr. Don Weinshank Professor Emeritus Comp. Sci. & Eng.
1520 Sherwood Ave., East Lansing MI 48823-1885
Ph. 517.337.1545 FAX 517.337.1665
Received on Wed Sep 28 2005 - 03:02:20 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Wed Sep 28 2005 - 03:02:24 EDT