Sunday, October 09, 2005

Don't Be So Open-Minded That Your Brains Fall Out

I know this is supposed to be funny and all and it even is. Ok granted, having creationists preaching to you from the inside of a dinosaur is a lil strange, but what about the author who believes in evolution saying that hearing such talk was more surprising than being told that her parents are aliens.

Who are the closed-minded ones now?

7 Comments:

At 10/9/05, 6:58 PM, Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

Hi Eli7,

Hope you had a good chag.

This is a pet peeve of mine, so I had to respond: "Don't Be So Open-Minded That Your Brains Fall Out."

I wrote a whole post about that sentence a while back. (You'll have to scroll down a bit to see the sentence quoted.)

Anyway, in this instance, it's a complete non-sequitor. The author didn't find the creationist-in-a-dinosaur more surprising than her parents being aliens because she was "too" open-minded, but because she presumably hadn't been exposed to this particular idiocy before. I'll grant that it's an absurd statement, but it has nothing to do with being "so open-minded that [her] brain [fell] out."

 
At 10/9/05, 7:27 PM, Anonymous J said...

Well it's not so much as close-mindedness as being surprised at someone being so blatantly unaware of normative scientific thought because they choose live in their own deluded world inside of a dinosaur.

As an aside, would you characterize yourself as a creationist Eli7, or is that getting too personal?

 
At 10/9/05, 7:49 PM, Blogger Eli7 said...

JA, I agree that the quote is totally unrelated, I just thought it was funny for a title. I don't think the author was being too openminded.

J, I think it is an issue of closed-mindedness. Granted, the situation was absolutely absurd, but I don't kno wwhy she couldn't believe that there were people out there that didn't believe what she believes.

This is my blog where I'm theoretically anonymous, so almost nothing is too personal, andyour question definitely is not. I'm not sure if I would classify myself as a creationist. Creationist meaning I think God created the world? Then, yes. But that doesn't mean I believe all of evolutionary science is patently false. I believe some of that science can be integrated very well with my belief system.

I don't really have enough time to give you a really full answer here, but if you want the bottom line: while I do believe in certain aspects of evolutionary science, I believe in God and my religion above all. Science can be wrong; God cannot be wrong.

 
At 10/9/05, 8:27 PM, Anonymous J said...

But your interpretation of God may be wrong. Also I think the commenter 2 above you would disagree with that last statement.

Also, while I know this example has been overexposed during the whole intelligent design/evolutionary science fiasco, but suppose the same guy had said instead "yeah the earth is flat, can you believe textbooks actually say it's round", would you still be surprised at the author for not showing open-mindedness.

I hope not.

I believe that science generally posits that the science behind evolutionary studies is as solid as the belief that the earth is not flat but round.

With this in mind, while I agree with the general philosophy of pragmatism, within areas where there is a overwhelming consensus (like the belief that the earth is round and evolutionary theory) there usually is not much room for open-mindedness. Only within a topic that has not yet been clarified or something of pure opinion it's really possible to keep an open mind.

 
At 10/9/05, 10:01 PM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

Only within a topic that has not yet been clarified or something of pure opinion it's really possible to keep an open mind.

Why do you believe that? Doesn't open-mindedness imply that we at least look into all possible theories, even if they contradict conventional wisdom?

 
At 10/9/05, 10:19 PM, Anonymous J said...

Yes, but to a certain extent. But in certain topics that have been clarified beyond reproach (such as that the earth is round not flat) it would seem to be illogical and counterproductive to consider "other" theories. I would concede the point by other subject matter that have no been unequivocally proved that it is indeed good to maintain an "open mind" and consider other explanations.

My point is that mainstream science considers the theory of evolution to be within the same realm as the earth is round theory. They both are accepted as literal fact. The author of the NYT article was confused as to how someone could be so deluded as to out and out deny the existence of such scientific facts.

 
At 10/10/05, 6:27 AM, Blogger Eli7 said...

Well, I'm kinda surprised myself that said NY Times author didn't know there were people out there that don't believe in evolution - I mean don't you think that's pretty mainstream knowledge?

And J, I'm not sure where and to what extent one should be open-minded. But I do know that science has been wrong many, many times. And probably much of what we believe as mainstream science is also wrong. God is never wrong. I'll take God any day.

This is not to say that I think modern science is a bad thing or an unproven thing, I just think that science is researched by men and men have been wrong before and will be wrong again. Isn't it kinda strange to think scientists infallible? Not to mention the fact that there are many gaps in evolutionary theory that don't make much sense.

 

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