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  1. #1
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Default some thoughts on Darwin Day, Feb 12th

    this thread has potential to be in three different forums as I wager, but please read the final premise before moving it because it is about current/future events and human history.

    Today on my usually uninteresting campus, I was lured to our podium area outside the student center by the best thing ever: FREE CAKE! Not having eaten lunch, I quickly approached. I saw the cake said on top, "Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!" I was getting my first slice and I asked the two students there "Why celebrate his birthday"? One said "Because of ALL the things he did for you!!"

    I thought, hmmmmm, that is very curious verbiage, especially about a long dead scientist. I have heard of American Soldiers dying "for me" and my personal freedoms, but how had Darwin done something for ME, personally? I find this an interesting clue.

    I elaborated: "No, I mean, why do we celebrate his BIRTHDAY? Wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate the publishing of the Origin of Species?" The other student passing out cake said, "Well, we celebrate it because we will get money to have this special day/free food/prizes. I'm just playing Devil's Advocate with that though - I made the same points you just made. The thing is we don't culturally celebrate the publishing of books, we celebrate birthdays." Ahhh, very true, i said!

    I sat down for the free raffle and prizes (I won a free book "Darwin Day: collection one" yay for free additions to my library!), and they had a remedial quiz with prizes about the theory of evolution. They advocated evolution in education/schools and said that creationism has no place in scientific biology, and the accompanying rhetoric typical of this, etc.

    It was a good experience all around, but.... well, what is everyone's take on this particular event? I am absolutely befuddled by the eulogizing and celebration over Darwin. I can see appreciating the fellow, hell even I've been guilty of thinking of Aristotle as my own kind of demi-God/savior because he's so important to me. but ... "what he did for you" sounds like the words of rhetoric, almost like...... dare I say, the words of a Christian trying to recruit somebody to their side.

    Tonight as I sit here going through this book I won over Darwin, notable Darwinians(such as Dawkins) and evolution in general, I can't help shake the idea that Darwin has been turned into a kind of martyr and demi-god/prophet figure for people who are somewhat fanatical and overly enthusiastic about science. I'm just left wondering "Why", because as a student of psych/phil, this kind of thing has the great potential to bother me in a number of ways.

    Do you all think Darwin Day is.... well, i'd like to hear any thoughts on it, really. But something about it just seems off balance....

    There is a really funny 2-part episode of South Park called "Go God Go!" in which cartman freezes himself and is revived several thousand years later. He finds the entire world has essentially replaced religion with science, and Atheism + science is the new dogma of the world (Science is God, essentially). Cartman being who he is couldn't care less of course, but it is a VERY interesting commentary from Parker/Stone about this sort of thing that I think, even if you hate south park, you guys should check out: South Park Episode Player - Go God Go


    Is Darwin Day just a knee-jerk response from scientists due to unfair rejection of his theories by certain political camps/agenda? Is Darwin Day necessary, politically or otherwise, in order to give science a "fair hearing" in the minds of the public? Could Darwin Day be the beginning of a new era in human life where dead scientists are eulogized and martyred with accompanying rhetoric in the same manner dead priests and prophets have been for millenia now?



    In short.... What the hell is going on with this? It's vexing and very concerning to me. Question: Does science have the potential to turn humans into Zealots?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    My Google homepage gives an homage to Vancouver's Winter Olympics, not to Chuck Darwin. They've celebrated the birthday of Norman Rockwell, E.C. Segar (Popeye), Isamu Noguchi (Japanese artist and architect) and more.

    Surely they must know it's Darwin Day! Which is taking over the world, today.

    I hope they remedy it soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    Question: Does science have the potential to turn humans into Zealots?
    Nope. Those who use Science in this way are reactionaries. Reacting to the religious zealots who want to infringe upon Science with their "theories", and, ask that it be held to the same rigors. So, as a backlash, comes the loud call for Darwin Day.

    Personally, I would give an epic nod to Charles Darwin and his contribution to Science. Because of him, we, humans, are no longer some special "God's creatures", created as is, but part of the fabric of lifeforms, branching out, over time. His theory made us understand the elegant and NATURAL process by which we morphed into who we are today. Understanding the course of nature as it has occured. Later on, with the birth of Genetics, his theory has unquestionable contributions on such a subject. It's humbling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    Do you all think Darwin Day is.... well, i'd like to hear any thoughts on it, really. But something about it just seems off balance....
    If we're going to have a Darwin Day, we need to have a Newton Day, a Maxwell Day (among others). I'm not against the idea of recognizing scientific contributions, but I don't like the idea of singling out Darwin.

    Is Darwin Day just a knee-jerk response from scientists due to unfair rejection of his theories by certain political camps/agenda? Is Darwin Day necessary, politically or otherwise, in order to give science a "fair hearing" in the minds of the public?
    Probably and no.

    Could Darwin Day be the beginning of a new era in human life where dead scientists are eulogized and martyred with accompanying rhetoric in the same manner dead priests and prophets have been for millenia now?
    I don't think society, as a whole, will ever revere scientists on that level. There will always be fanatics, though. You could lump the climate change issue in there with evolution, in this respect.

    In short.... What the hell is going on with this? It's vexing and very concerning to me. Question: Does science have the potential to turn humans into Zealots?
    I think they're probably zealots first, and they use science for their own agenda.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #4
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that Darwin Day won't catch on unless some food is associated with it, at the very least.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I have a feeling that Darwin Day won't catch on unless some food is associated with it, at the very least.
    Would mudskipper or monkey be appropriate?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #6
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    I figure if religions get tons of holidays... but don't need to provide evidence of their validity...

    Darwin should at least get one. Because it turns out he was right.

  7. #7
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Well, since no one on this thread has taken the time to formally do what's necessary on a day like today, I'll go ahead and be the noble one (slackers):

    HAPPY DARWIN DAY EVERYONE!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I have a feeling that Darwin Day won't catch on unless some food is associated with it, at the very least.
    Hmmmm, I think finches are starting to become popular in some countries. Maybe we could start a holiday tradition?

  8. #8
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Yay!



    And I second the request for a national US holiday. Makes non-US countries more economically competitive.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  9. #9
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    If we're going to have a Darwin Day, we need to have a Newton Day, a Maxwell Day (among others). I'm not against the idea of recognizing scientific contributions, but I don't like the idea of singling out Darwin.
    Thank you Lat, once again. It's really odd how often I agree with you....

    Yes I don't like this. SO many scientists put through their work and gain little to no recognition for it. We have a Tesla lover in this thread, for example. Little do people know without Tesla, the lights we have distributed to us, mini vacuum cleaners, TV.... well the list goes on from Tesla's camp.

    And Newton... yeah, I don't have to try there.

    I have no issue recognizing scientist and their contributions; they get overlooked time and again. My whole problem with this event I witnessed was that these people think Darwin has actually DONE something for me, and you, over all these other marvelous scientists.

    It's pure bullshit, only designed to counter other bullshit: hatred of science and it's advocates. But that doesn't mean its justified that way.

    I really think militant atheism isn't all that far off. There are already a number of people that think if we purge the world of religion, we will have a utopia. This is very frightening for obvious reasons.

  10. #10
    Sniffles
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    This is unnecessary and stupid. :rolli:

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