Student's perspective

Thomas Schlemmermeyer termites at USP.BR
Tue Oct 12 20:51:21 CDT 1999

As far as I know the creationist debate is not a new one, it dates back at
least to Charles Darwin who took the case of Paley's watches (which according
to the natural theologist Paley point to an intelligent designer) and said that
it is unreasonable to trust in divine powers of creation and that it is more
useful for mankind to search for underlying processes. That way, at least, Karl
wrote about Darwin, but I do confess that I never read Darwin's refutations
of Paley's case. Is it published somewhere in the Internet?

Elliott Sober wrote in one of those books that there are some intrinsic
differences between watches and organisms, namely that organisms have genes and
parents, while watches normally do not have so.

One might also consider the Pope's encyclica about faith and reason and his
suggestion that faith should never abandon reason.

Who still has interest in the debate, might also think about the fact that
there are several citations in the Bible (I forgot them) which state that God
is not completely knowable (such a position would be convergent with Popper's
kind of realism). On the other hand, I heard saying, there is another tradition
called Kabbala or something like that which aims exactly at understand the
COMPLETE script of my eyes to great an endeavor for mankind....

On (         Mon, 11 Oct 1999 18:18:55 -0500),         JEAN MICHEL MAES
<jmmaes at IBW.COM.NI> wrote:

>Dear friends,
>I think the problem of evolution vs creationism is beeing bigger because we
>are mixing two very different ways. One we can scientifically study and
>another we can not scientifically study.
>The evolution of life is possible to study and putting arguments on the
>table. Evolution in different ways, no problem, include creationism. If you
>can prove it, there is no problem for me. If you want discuss it, no
>problem. If it's dogmatic it is no more scientific...
>The second thing we mixed in is is god exists or not ? I do not know.
>Anyway with creationism god makes it all in 6 days. With evolution, two
>ways, there is no god or there is a god and he create something which was
>at the beginning and then there is evolution which changes little by little
>the things. I think that with studying evolution you can try to solve the
>scientific part but can not answrer to the second part "from where are we
>coming". As something we can not solve, perhaps it would be better to
>center the discussion to find how to convince the autorithies the evolution
>exist; and including it is not in opposition with existence of god.
>Jean-Michel Maes.
>At 01:39 PM 11/10/99 PDT, you wrote:
>>I have been a member of this listserv for about 18 months and I have never
>>had a reason to post before now. As a student of chemistry and engineering
>>(as well as possessing a deep love of nature and taxonomy), I have enjoyed
>>this forum tremendously. I am, however, dismayed at this recent creationism
>>vs. evolution banter.
>>As a student. I wish only to deal with FACTS. My first organic chemistry
>>professor was a soft-spoken man that shared with his class his deep respect
>>for the perfect order of all living things. In my own life, I have found
>>that this perfect order, the unviolatable principles upon which life is
>>founded, has been the catalyst for my belief in God. Even chaos itself has
>>order when expressed mathematically.
>>I am concerned that there are so few of you out there--this generation's
>>teachers and mentors--that find the existence of God to be so threatening to
>>the classroom. I do not think that all medical reasearch and your precious
>>grant money would come to a screaching halt if God turns out to be a
>>You are all deeply intelligent men, scientific to the core, and I have a
>>great respect for the scientific method and its approach to discerning the
>>world in which we live. But, I find it distracting that there are professors
>>that find it necessary to refer to a potential deity as a "malicious
>>creator" and a "myth." These sentiments do not embrace open-minded,
>>scientific processes of thought. These sentiments will show your classes
>>that you are just as narrow-minded as the clergy that you ridicule.
>>I hope that there is still room in our society for the unexplained and the
>>undiscovered. I hope that miracles can happen, and while I believe science
>>can solve many of the looming disasters of our time, I also believe that it
>>will only accomplish the impossible if it leaves room for the impossible. No
>>one knows how everything began. Yes, we are getting really good at seeing
>>how it evolves, how it changes over time, but the origin of our wonderful
>>little predicament may never be known. I hope that you will be able to deal
>>with that knowledge professionally.
>>...and, I will keep you in my prayers.
>>Jeff Shaw
>>Lower Columbia College
>>Longview, WA 98632
>>Get Your Private, Free Email at
>Jean-Michel MAES
>Museo Entomologico
>Asociacion Nicaraguense de Entomologia
>AP 527 - Leon
>tel 505-0-3116586
>FAX 505-0-3115700
>jmmaes at

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo
Caixa Postal 42694
CEP 04299-970
São Paulo, SP, Brasil

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Caixa Postal 00276
CEP 14001-970
Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil

Fone, Fax: 016 6371999

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