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Dr. Terence Meaden's Comments

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At 7:06pm on December 26, 2008, Michael S said…
I should hope so after 8 years of the war upon faiths as opposed to fact and science lets hope common sense returns. After being house bound 9 days over lack of snow removal it appears there are still a few left in office that need to be replaced.
At 2:35pm on December 26, 2008, Michael Howard said…
Thank you for the warm welcome Dr. Meaden. I am very pleased to have found this site and look forward to participating.
At 4:44pm on December 25, 2008, Fentwin said…
Thanks you for the welcome. I look forward to participating in what appears to be a very interesting collection of people.


It may take a few days to gat "set up", yet until then, thanks again.
At 11:47am on December 25, 2008, Lindsay said…
Hi there! I work at a science museum. Its main purpose is to get children interested in science so we get a lot of young visitors. It makes it a lot of fun! We'll talk more later.
At 10:49am on December 25, 2008, Lee Roberts said…
Thanks for the welcome. In a quick scan of your page I see how grateful you are for your parents' lack of religious dogma.

One of my questions has to do with Western culture, literature specifically, since I am an English teacher and sometime journalist. Unlike in the U.K. C of E schools (where I went for a few years when my dad was in grad school), U.S. schools offer little to no biblical literature. Secular children--the majority here in New England--grow up with little understanding of many of the great works of art and literature because they don' t know the stories on which they are based.

As an English teacher teaching Steinbeck, for instance, in an American Lit class, I end up teaching bible stories before broaching Steinbeck's work because otherwise the kids utterly miss the allusions.

My own position on God and nature etc. is rooted in Jaynes work and neurology since then showing our consciousness tied to our ability to make metaphor from language. Lately I think that one of the best ways to make metaphor is to hear the same story over and over and over and allow the mind to drift while half listening. I have not seen any work on this phenomenon--because I barely can describe it myself, but I think if that state of knowing a story and its images and allowing free-association simultaneously enables the deep, idea, and image forming understanding humans seem to crave.

One question is, if Jaynes is right, that civilization, language, society etc. brought us this far--how do we keep the stories, the moral lessons, the (sort of) history in their right place? That is, we drop the fairy tale aspect, yet retain the moral beauty, or as John Gardner might have said, the moral fiction.

Mary Gordon parses moral fiction beautifully in this essay and describes the essential nature of story to our species. My other question is, as long as the biblical allusions are part of those stories, can we afford to distance ourselves from them and what is the best way to teach them to our children without imparting magical thinking?
At 5:15pm on December 24, 2008, Thexx said…
Always nice to have a hardy welcome.
At 12:17pm on December 24, 2008, Sarah said…
Thanks for the welcome! The Origins discussion looks interesting, and a welcome antidote to the obligatory family Myth-mas festivities today.
At 11:57pm on December 23, 2008, Slave Princess said…
Thank you for the welcome, sweetheart. I am new to the site, so I have no clue what I am doing just yet. But I'm relatively bright and believe I can catch on quick :)
At 9:15pm on December 23, 2008, David Dodd said…
Thanks for the welcome, Dr. Meaden. And thanks for pointing me to the Origins discussion.
At 1:39pm on December 23, 2008, Lucian0 said…
Thanks for the welcome!
At 9:10pm on December 22, 2008, Butch Silverio said…
Thanks very much for your welcome. I'm beginning to feel that this is going to be a little nest of reason that I'll be coming back to often, for intellectual and emotional rest and recuperation. God knows we could use that every once in a while ;-)
At 4:11am on December 22, 2008, MKM said…
You are a wise man and you have been always
At 1:09am on December 22, 2008, Citizensmith said…
Thanks for the welcome, its appreciated. Looks like a good site.
At 11:44am on December 21, 2008, Dave The Drummer said…
Thank you. Nice to be here.
At 11:46pm on December 20, 2008, Todd Brunner said…
Thank for the warm welcome! So happy to be here amongst sane people.
At 4:03am on December 20, 2008, Ian Andreas Miller said…
Thank you for welcoming me!
At 10:19pm on December 19, 2008, Jeremy said…
Thanks for the welcome. As for being cheerful when surrounded by the bible bashers, the alternative is to get depressed and I went with the more constructive route.
At 6:57pm on December 19, 2008, Alexandra said…
Terry, thanks for the welcome. I'm doing my best to raise the pups to be reasoned individuals and to raise them with the capacity for critical thought processing-something that is so severely atrophied in so many people because of the religious meme....
At 6:17pm on December 19, 2008, Whalehugger said…
Thanks for the welcome and I'm looking forward to looking around and meeting with other folks. It's so nice to find a nice place of sanctuary with other like-minded people.
At 5:47pm on December 19, 2008, Kevin said…
Thank you for the warm welcome! I appreciate it so much!
Happy Monkey!

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