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Happy trails! A sad farewell to the Western.

Joe wrote:
I begin to understand what some old-time conservatives have been getting at all along. Despite its tragic, historical flaws of religious warfare, colonialism, the horrific genocide of the Amer-Indian population, etc., the animating features of Western civilization (which have allowed it to adapt and grow) are noble.

In our civilization's past, ordinary and not-so-ordinary individuals - struggling against nearly impossible odds - managed to pull off its two unique wonders: the Greek Enlightenment (in which myth was traded for rationality subsequent to the death of Socrates) and the European Enlightenment (in which the scriptural-based authority of the priests was traded for the experience-based authority of science).

There's a cluster of ideas associated with the European Enlightenment - which can be concisely laid-out as follows:

1. The world exists independently of ideas concerning it.

2. Through science (observation, experimentation, theorizing and the testing of theories), the world is objectively knowable.

3. In a contest for the prize of objective knowledge about the world held between science and religion, science ultimately wins - because it is correctable. Religion ultimately loses - because it is not (as) correctable.

During the past 400-500 years - due to science, there has been a tremendous expansion of human knowledge. Most of the scientific theories devised have been flawed, and they have been refuted. The theories which are currently viable comprise a minute fraction of the sum-total devised. The continued viability of these current theories is by no means assured - because science is a self-correcting enterprise. Where science advances through the replacement of its theories by superior ones, religion does not appear to advance.

Physics is what physicists do. Astronomy is what astronomers do. And, biology is what biologists do. When (or if) biologists decide as a result of dis-confirming evidence that evolutionary theory no longer explains what needs to be explained (the magnitude of genetic variation observed in nature), then it will - too - take its place on the rubbish-heap of failed scientific theories. Until then, we all should have a minimal amount of intellectual maturity to accept what biologists say about evolutionary theory - that it pictures how nature works to the best of current knowledge.

Posters in this group have waged war on the ideals of the Enlightenment - shooting salvos in the form of ideas which do not fit into the world at it. Norton, Jerry, Khuno, JoshingThySelf, etc. believing that with the authority of their minds, Darwin, Mendel, Einstein, etc. have been overthrown. The priests have returned to torment us - this time with extreme vengeance.