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Richard Dawkins

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Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 26, 2011 at 3:21pm
James, It is exactly the reaction I sometimes get in Poland when I tell somebody that I am an atheist: "Well, the communists forbade us to have any religion..." (read: you are as bad as they are). Could you, please, give some more explanation about this "logical fallacy"? How to explain to a religiously brain-washed person that this association is wrong?
Comment by James M. Martin on September 26, 2011 at 12:19pm
Unfortunately, the fundamentalist types always conflate communism with atheism (ironically doing the same thing with fascism, vis-a-vis Hitler).  Guilt by association is the name of their game.  Again, a logical fallacy.
Comment by Diana Bett on September 26, 2011 at 7:49am
It occurred to me that the communist regime might well have altered that particular backswing-- because social movements do tend to act like a pendulum, when things get too far in one direction, people get reactionary and go the opposite way. Not knowing personally what effect Communism had on that broad social trend, it's hard for me to see how it happened there... but it did occur to me that that might have made quite a difference.
Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 26, 2011 at 7:44am

Diana, it is possible. In Poland the church was so busy fighting the communists that they had no time to fight science ;-)

Well, if it is so, it would be the first ever positive effect of the communistic time I could think of ;-) .

Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 26, 2011 at 7:37am

James,

Thank you for your comment.

Personally, I don't see how you can believe in both evolution and "God."  They are mutually inconsistent.

Well, it is possible to let it sound kind of consistent if you say:

- evolution is a fact

- everything started with a Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago

- god triggered the Big Bang

- you have to understand the text of the Bible symbolically.

YES, I know, it is weak, but they formulate it like this. The question is of course what in the Bible you should take literally and what not and what is over when you filter all the symbols. And why you simply do not say "I do not know what triggered the Big Bang" if you call yourself a scientist ;-) .

Comment by Diana Bett on September 26, 2011 at 7:36am
In a broader sense, I have to wonder if Fundamentalism has gained strength as a social movement here as part of the usual pendulum swing-- as Romanticism rose out of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century.
Comment by James M. Martin on September 26, 2011 at 7:21am
@Hania: You don't have so many religious fundamentalists is probably the reason we have the anti-science element here that is absent in Polish religion.  Here, the fundamentalists feel they have to push their dogma and science is seen as an obstacle.  The evangelicals believe the earth came into existence only 6,000 or so years ago (I think it was a European theologian who calculated the date, but as he used Biblical "facts" to support his theory, he obviously employed circular reasoning in the process).  That the earth began 6,000 years ago flies in the face of the scientific evidence, which suggests that the earth is many millions of years old.  This contradiction is probably what leads to the conflict.  The evangelicals, as well as other Christians, think creationism should be taught side by side with evolution in science classes!  Some evangelicals actually claim that fossils were "put into the earth by God just to fool the Darwinists."  Personally, I don't see how you can believe in both evolution and "God."  They are mutually inconsistent.
Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 26, 2011 at 2:15am
I watched "Religulous" yesterday. I am a (strong) atheist, but I was raised in catholic Poland and used to believe in the catholic god + Jesus when I was very young. There are several striking differences between christians in Poland and christians in the USA. I have never ever met a single person from Poland who would not believe in evolution (is it really something you can BELIEVE or not BELIEVE? There is a lot of hard scientific evidence for evolution). The creation story from the Bible is (in Poland) always commented as something you have to see as a symbol (of triggering the Big Bang by god?). This is why there is no such a clear contradiction between religion and science in Poland. I know a lot of Polish people who are scientists and believe in god. I wonder where the difference in the attitude towards science in religious people in the USA and Poland comes from. Any idea?
Comment by Aaron Wiitanen on September 15, 2011 at 12:37am
I wish I knew about that station when I lived down there. Is it a good production??
Comment by Bryon on September 15, 2011 at 12:35am
 

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