04w48:3 The Religious Right and Evolution

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 48 number 3 (the religious right and evolution)


Ronald Wright and Carl Zimmer on Evolution | The Current
Ronald Wright -– Evolution has stopped | For some, it’s profoundly humbling to think that humans are the descendants of apes – and evolutionary cousins to chimpanzees and orangutans. We’ve evolved a long way as a species, but maybe not as far as we like to think. It’s been said that if a Cro-Magnon man from 40,000 years ago time traveled to the 21st Century and was given an up-to-date wardrobe and haircut, you wouldn’t be able to see the difference between him and anyone else on your bus ride home. […] Ronald Wright has been mulling over what this means to the history of human civilizations and the future of humanity. He’s best known as the author of Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents. His new book is called the A Short History of Progress. We recently spoke with Ronald Wright and asked him to comment on one of the last lines of the book, which says our species is ‘an Ice Age hunter only half-evolved towards intelligence; clever but seldom wise.’
Carl Zimmer – Evolution Elsewhere | So humans still have hunter-gatherer brains, and yet they’re playing with nuclear technology. And if we don’t blow ourselves up, we might just pollute ourselves or consume ourselves into extinction. Well, if th at’s not scary enough, here’s another consequence of our slow pace of evolution Â… humans are speeding up the pace of evolution in the rest of the natural world. Carl Zimmer is the author of Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Parasite Rex. We reached him in New Haven, Connecticut.”
NOTE: Ronald Wright interview runs 2:07-12:52; Carl Zimmer interview runs 13:16-21:55

Evolution and the 3rd World & Georgia School Board | The Current
Evolution and the 3rd World | Meredith Small is an anthropologist at the University of Cornell in Ithaca, New York. She is also a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s program ‘All Things Considered.’
Georgia School Board | Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, causing a sensation in Victo rian England and introducing the world to the concept of evolution. In 1925, the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial made a legend of Clarence Darrow – the lawyer who fought in a Tennessee courtroom to have the theory of evolution taught in schools over the objections of Creationists. Almost eighty years later, evolution and creationism have renewed hostilities in some American school boards. In Dover, Pennsylvania, ninth-grade biology instructors must now teach the theory of ‘intelligent design’ which critics say is just a disguised version of Creationism. It holds that life on earth has been guided and shaped by a divine intelligence – presumably God – that it didn’t get this way by the random genetic accidents of Darwin’s notion of natural selection. Meanwhile, in Cobb County, Georgia, they say they don’t teach the biblical Creation story in biology classes but in 2002, the school board found itself under pressure from two sides from parents who wanted Creationism in the classr oom and parents who felt the Bible had no place in science class. The school board’s compromise was to put stickers on science textbooks saying that evolution is ‘a theory,’ not a fact and that it should be ‘approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.’ The school board is now awaiting a decision on a court challenge to that policy. Jay Dillon, a spokesperson for the Cobb County school board, was recently interviewed on the radio program California Politics Today, and we aired an excerpt with what he told them. No one from the Cobb County school board returned phone calls from the CBC.”
NOTE: Real Audio Files; Meredith Small’s interview runs 0-8.13min | Georgia School Board discussion runs from 8:14min

Left Behind Series | The Current
“The Left Behind Series is the most popular book series in the world. There are ten boo ks in all … so far. All of them have made the best-seller lists of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. All of the books are suspenseful, fast-paced books that explore the evangelical Christian saga of Armageddon.

Anna Maria Tremonti speaks with one of the co-authors, Jerry Jenkins.

Then we hear from two critics about the underlying theology of The Left Behind Series. Gershom Gorenberg is the author of The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple. He was in Jerusalem. Michelle Goldberg writes for salon.com and she was in New York. ” NOTE: broadcast date 1 January 2003

Jesus plus nothing: undercover among America’s secret theocrats | Jeffrey Sharlet
“Tiahrt was a short shot glass of a man, two parts flawle ss hair and one part teeth. He wanted to know the best way ‘for the Christian to win the race with the Muslim.’ The Muslim, he said, has too many babies, while Americans kill too many of theirs. […] ‘People separate it out,’ he warned Tiahrt. ”Oh, okay, I got religion, that’s private.’ As if Jesus doesn’t know anything about building highways, or Social Security. We gotta take Jesus out of the religious wrapping.’ ‘All right, how do we do that?’ Tiahrt asked. ‘A covenant,’ Doug answered. The congressman half-smiled, as if caught between confessing his ignorance and pretending he knew what Doug was talking about. ‘Like the Mafia,’ Doug clarified. ‘Look at the strength of their bonds.’ He made a fist and held it before Tiahrt’s face. Tiahrt nodded, squinting. ‘See, for them it’s honor,’ Doug said. ‘For us, it’s Jesus.’ Coe listed other men who had changed the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their ‘brothers’: ‘Look at Hitler,’ he said. ‘Lenin , Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden.’ The Family, of course, possessed a weapon those leaders lacked: the ‘total Jesus’ of a brotherhood in Christ. ‘That’s what you get with a covenant,’ said Coe. ‘Jesus plus nothing.'”

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emailed by Timothy on Friday 26 November 2004 @ 6:41 PM

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