Hucka-don’t-wanna-be credulous and non-critical.

(I need to hire someone to write my title for me. I sux!)

A few posts out on the blags about presidential candidate Huckabee today; thought I’d pass them along.
Let’s start with a brief one found on Bad Astronomer:

Huckabee = very very very bad guy

Phil Plait’s entry is prompted by an also brief post from science blog, Pharyngula:

Huckabee is a raving lunatic

Both bloggers take great insult and not a little concern and fear regarding the state of society and our political leaders, and rightly so, from Huckabee’s evangelically religious views–primarily regarding this quote:

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

Bad Astronomer Phil makes a rather astute observation:

Actually, he’s not only demented, he’s wrong: the Bible has been rewritten countless times by small groups of men (that’s why there are different versions, Huck)

Indeed, not only are there various English translation which change meaning and intent in each version, but countless versions with different included books. From the current differences between Catholic and Protestant Bibles, all the way back through the King James, the Wycliffe, the Bishop’s Bible, the Vulgate, the versions proceeding from the Nicean Councils, the literally countless versions that existed in the 300 years before Constantine forced some kind of general consensus. Not to mention the various Hebrew/Jewish versions of Torah and Talmud. The history of the Bible is rife with change and versions. The various different versions of the Gospels, such as Mark, with none of them being “the original,” and most of them being somewhat different from each other. The Dead Sea Scrolls showing that nearly every book of the Old Testament has different and varying versions (which was actually known since before the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls–a fact every Jewish Rabbi is aware of).

If there’s one thing that can be asserted with 100% confidence and certainty, is that “The Word of God” is absolutely not immutable and unchanging.

Then there’s this nice post from Mike The Mad Biologist:

Evolution as Policy, Not Symbolism or Critical Thinking

Mike discusses how Huckabee, as one of nearly all of the Republican candidates who doesn’t “believe” in evolution, would be a threat to science policy and advancement. Advancement that couldn’t be possible without understanding the facts of evolution. Mike spends a few wonderful paragraphs explaining how vital and integral an understanding of evolution is in practical science of understanding his work in disease and its cures. In this world in which we owe it to evolution for our medicine and medical treatments, to not “believe” in evolution is like not believing in gravity even while you’re walking around not flying off the face of the earth.

As some of the commentors on these blogs point out, Huckabee has virtually no chance of getting the Republican ticket, and less chance at the Presidency. But as the commentors also say, and I also agree, he is still a symptom of a serious problem in our culture. When nearly half of our presidential candidates don’t “believe” in evolution (or at least cynically say they don’t in order to pander to the faith-based religious base of the Republican Party) despite the fact that most of them have taken medicine or received treatments for diseases as serious as cancer, which wouldn’t be possible without understanding evolution, is absurd and surreal and scary. The social illness is how most of America places faith and belief that are counter to facts and reality first and foremost in their lives–whether that’s fundamental religious beliefs, or homeopathy, or “complimentary medicine,” or alien abduction, or ESP and talking to the dead…. We have a very, dangerously, sick nation of non-thinking people.

8 thoughts on “Hucka-don’t-wanna-be credulous and non-critical.”

  1. A fantastic post. In line with your last sentence, I am somewhat glad that I am Australian. Though we are a similar “western” society, we are not (currently) on the path of christian fundamentalism your potential government could lead you to.
    If your people don’t think and they vote blindly and by their “faith”; then your state will become exactly the same as what is seen in the middle east in some places – a religious state – where the “so called” law of God rules the land.
    I was raised a Catholic (no longer of that ilk), and whenever I queried how can this book (the bible) be taken verbatim it was always shrugged off as follows. T divine massaged (my words) it into being via “gods representative on earth”; the pope and his appointed people. But then I questioned this “unbroken line” of popes and how can they be trusted when some had encouraged violent removal of heretics, etc. in the dark ages, inquisition and so on. Its a dark and dirty secret that no one will face up to. That is why what you said about none of the christian books being the original struck a chord with me. They are man made.

    On a side note (I will wrap this up soon): To be fair to my critics, I am currently reading The Great Heresies, by Hilaire Belloc. Although it has a catholic bias that makes me cringe in some places, there is a detailed chapter on the “Modern Attack” against the so called “church”. It shows to me that the essentially the catholic institution or its members see the things you and I say as a heresy. Where you and I seem to need to experience and validate reality, a fundamentalist does not. It is faith, and it is very blind.

  2. A fantastic post. In line with your last sentence, I am somewhat glad that I am Australian. Though we are a similar “western” society, we are not (currently) on the path of christian fundamentalism your potential government could lead you to.
    If your people don’t think and they vote blindly and by their “faith”; then your state will become exactly the same as what is seen in the middle east in some places – a religious state – where the “so called” law of God rules the land.
    I was raised a Catholic (no longer of that ilk), and whenever I queried how can this book (the bible) be taken verbatim it was always shrugged off as follows. T divine massaged (my words) it into being via “gods representative on earth”; the pope and his appointed people. But then I questioned this “unbroken line” of popes and how can they be trusted when some had encouraged violent removal of heretics, etc. in the dark ages, inquisition and so on. Its a dark and dirty secret that no one will face up to. That is why what you said about none of the christian books being the original struck a chord with me. They are man made.

    On a side note (I will wrap this up soon): To be fair to my critics, I am currently reading The Great Heresies, by Hilaire Belloc. Although it has a catholic bias that makes me cringe in some places, there is a detailed chapter on the “Modern Attack” against the so called “church”. It shows to me that the essentially the catholic institution or its members see the things you and I say as a heresy. Where you and I seem to need to experience and validate reality, a fundamentalist does not. It is faith, and it is very blind.

  3. Thanks for replying. =) I’m actually hoping I can convince my wife to move to Australia. (Or New Zealand. Don’t worry, I’m not equating the two. I realize that would be like saying Scotland and Ireland are the same *grin*)

    Yeah, the Catholic Church also has the added problem with being taken seriously as god’s reps by having that period of TWO competing popes at the same time. Not to mention the whole recanting for promoting Earth-centric views of the solar system and condemning Galileo, the Inquisition, etc. You’d think god’s emissaries would have a more clear idea of Earth’s placement in the universe and whether torturing people for conversions was a good thing or not. You know, what with that direct connection to god and all. =) Probably why most Catholics tend to be pretty liberal and non-literal nor fundamentalist nor evangelical. They have a longer history of realizing their religion has been wrong and misguided.

  4. Thanks for replying. =) I’m actually hoping I can convince my wife to move to Australia. (Or New Zealand. Don’t worry, I’m not equating the two. I realize that would be like saying Scotland and Ireland are the same *grin*)

    Yeah, the Catholic Church also has the added problem with being taken seriously as god’s reps by having that period of TWO competing popes at the same time. Not to mention the whole recanting for promoting Earth-centric views of the solar system and condemning Galileo, the Inquisition, etc. You’d think god’s emissaries would have a more clear idea of Earth’s placement in the universe and whether torturing people for conversions was a good thing or not. You know, what with that direct connection to god and all. =) Probably why most Catholics tend to be pretty liberal and non-literal nor fundamentalist nor evangelical. They have a longer history of realizing their religion has been wrong and misguided.

  5. They have a longer history of realizing their religion has been wrong and misguided

    Agreed on the liberal and non-literal point. However, realising it is wrong and misguided and sticking with it just as bad as fundamentalism (IMHO); and that’s why I didn’t stick with it.

  6. They have a longer history of realizing their religion has been wrong and misguided

    Agreed on the liberal and non-literal point. However, realising it is wrong and misguided and sticking with it just as bad as fundamentalism (IMHO); and that’s why I didn’t stick with it.

  7. Not to mention the whole recanting for promoting Earth-centric views of the solar system and condemning Galileo, the Inquisition, etc. You’d think god’s emissaries would have a more clear idea of Earth’s placement in the universe

    On this belief. They were not the only ones. In the book I told you about in an earlier post, it is shown how a central scientific belief of that nationalist party that came to power in Germany in the late 1930s was one of “Theory of Eternal Ice“. This was where the universe was composed of fire and ice in constant conflict. This shows to me that even in recent times, in a (for all appearances) scientific and technological society that even Para-Scientific theories can distort reality. You don’t always need religion to do so.

  8. Not to mention the whole recanting for promoting Earth-centric views of the solar system and condemning Galileo, the Inquisition, etc. You’d think god’s emissaries would have a more clear idea of Earth’s placement in the universe

    On this belief. They were not the only ones. In the book I told you about in an earlier post, it is shown how a central scientific belief of that nationalist party that came to power in Germany in the late 1930s was one of “Theory of Eternal Ice“. This was where the universe was composed of fire and ice in constant conflict. This shows to me that even in recent times, in a (for all appearances) scientific and technological society that even Para-Scientific theories can distort reality. You don’t always need religion to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *