Creationist debate

Alexey V. Kuprijanov Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU
Tue Sep 30 02:57:00 CDT 1997

Though some remarks on the ethymology of cretinism and related subjects
seem to me a bit sharp, I have found the recent postings on creationist
debates very interesting.

The matter is that several years ago a creationist movement had been
originated in Russia. Creationist TV series and public lectures
became for a while a characteristic feature of a late-Perestroyka
para-scientific landscape. Now they seem far less prominent than it was
in the 1990-91. Largely atheist country provided seeds of creationism
with poor soil. But then I even had to participate twice in the public
debates with creationists (in the St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk
Universities)(As a philosophically inclined 4 -- 5 year student of
the Department for Entomology I would not allow them to win the game:).

Being partly a Soviet citizen I can also contribute to the problem posed
by Thomas Schlemmermeyer and add two more points (which do not deal with
my citizenship) to the discussion:

>   A priest told me that one has three possibilities to deal with the dogma
>   of creation:
>   =091.) Believe it!
>   =092.) Ignore it! Don't deal with that!
>   =093.) Deny it!
>   The decision is personal and does not (hopefully) have any political or
>   sociological consequences.
>   Soviet citizens was given the same kind of freedom?

I really do not know whether they was GIVEN the same kind of freedom
but they really TOOK it on their own expenses. I know many examples
of dogma-resistence in Soviet scientists' thinking. However, the
control was sometimes strong enough to unify at least the printed
expression of scientific views.

Two other things came to my mind when I was reading the above quoted
dialog. First, that it (the dialog) reflects a current state of tolerance
(try to approach with the same question a fourteen or sixteen century priest).

Second, that Catholics are generally more tolerant to scientific
achievements than Protestants are. As seen from my perspective,
'scientific creationists' of the USA are mainly Protestants (unfortunately
I know next to nothing of the real diversity of branches of Protestantism
in tne World and thus I could not specify their confession precisely).
And perhaps it is for this reason that USA seems to be unique country
with respect to the creationist power (the New World was for long a refugium
for the Protestants of all kinds). Or I am wrong? I would appreciate any
comments by those who can observe creationists in vivo.

Cheers, Alexey Kuprijanov

Alexey V. Kuprijanov            (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea)
Institute for the History of Science and Technology
Universitetskaya emb. 5
St. Petersburg 199034
R U S S I A                      e-mail: Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU

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