Friday, April 20, 2007

Of Puppies, Christians and Evolutionists

Both PZ and Ed Brayton comment on the ridiculous and desperate attempt by Creation Worldview Ministries' Grady McMurtry to link the Virginia Tech horror with evolutionary science. Never mind that most high schools in this country don't adequately cover evolutionary theory; never mind that the Virginia Tech killer invoked Christian symbols in his recorded tirade, not evolutionary ones; and never mind that the Christian religion has a long and glorious history defining who is "human" on the basis of political expediency...it's just all Charlie Darwin's fault.

It would take a creationist to make such a connection (between McMurty and Ken Ham using the VT massacre as an opportunity to swipe at evolutionary science, the absurdity of the creationist position just becomes more self evident. My previous post on the psychological underpinnings of creationist irrationality was inaptly named...we should consider creationism for what it really is: a mental disorder. As I've said before, Ken Ham's god needs more tragedies).

Both PZ and Ed point to McMurtry's invocation of drowning puppies as the mental vision of what evolutionary scientists are all about:

The creationist continues explaining his premise. "And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies."

I find it interesting that McMurtry uses puppies and kittens as a visual image. This device seems to have served the Church well over the years. I was recently re-reading Nigel Davies' book The Aztecs and came across following description of just how useful Christians have found puppies and kittens to be in their cause:

A continuous struggle was now to be fought: by 1531, Bishop Zumarraga was boasting that had destroyed 600 temples and 20,000 idols...

...That there should be no relapse on the part of the Indian converts, it was essential to instil a healthy terror of hellfire...To illustrate the torments of the damned, Fray Luis Caldera was obliged to adopt unorthodox methods: he arranged a kind of oven; dogs and cats were thrown into the fire, and their cries of pain vividly demonstrated the horrors awaiting those Indians who ignored the friars' teaching. The latter were so successful as to create a kind of religious fanaticism among certain of their flock...

Small canids and felids CAN come in handy for demonstrating a Christian worldview apparently...

2 comments:

Wanderin' Weeta said...

"A continuous struggle was now to be fought: by 1531, Bishop Zumarraga was boasting that had destroyed 600 temples and 20,000 idols...

...That there should be no relapse on the part of the Indian converts, it was essential to instil a healthy terror of hellfire...To illustrate the torments of the damned, Fray Luis Caldera was obliged to adopt unorthodox methods: he arranged a kind of oven; dogs and cats were thrown into the fire, and their cries of pain vividly demonstrated the horrors awaiting those Indians who ignored the friars' teaching. The latter were so successful as to create a kind of religious fanaticism among certain of their flock..."

That's horrible! I'll be having nightmares about it,now.

Having lived for many years in Mexico, I would say that the "healthy" terror instilled was not of hellfire, but of Spaniards. So much so, that it took over 300 years for Mexico to re-establish diplomatic relations with Spain, once they were kicked out.

As for hell, a quick glance at the shenanigans associated with the traditional festivities for the Day of the Dead, shows that fear is the least of the responses.

"Gran Fandango de Todos los Muertos" by Jose Guadalupe Posada

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