In an ongoing series for the Year of Darwin in Science magazine,1 Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article with the Darwinesque title, “On the Origin of Religion.”2 The editor’s summary acknowledges that “No consensus yet exists among scientists,” but sought the only answer in Darwinian terms: “in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwin’s lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind. This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought.” Building blocks – there’s a suggestive phrase right out of origin-of-life labs. Culotta began with a Darwin imprimatur. “To Charles Darwin, the origin of religious belief was no mystery. ‘As soon as the important faculties of the imagination, wonder, and curiosity, together with some power of reasoning, had become partially developed, man would naturally crave to understand what was passing around him, and would have vaguely speculated on his own existence,’ he wrote in The Descent of Man.” Culotta acknowledged that “Darwin’s scientific descendants” are not quite so sure,” but we can trust them, because “potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself.” Here’s a quick rundown on those potential answers. Evolutionary sociologists are studying the propensity of humans to infer agents acting when things happen. Evolutionary archaeologists are looking for clues of symbolic behavior. Cognitive neuroscientists are looking for parts of the brain that tend toward “purpose-driven beliefs” that might be “a step on the way to religion.” Evolutionary psychologists investigate “theory of mind” explanations that see people attributing mental states to others and to things. Evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion. It’s Darwin’s game from start to finish. Each discipline seeks to explain their piece of the religion puzzle in adaptationist, progressive terms. The psychologists, for instance, reason that if people from childhood onward develop a tendency to see the natural world acting in a purposeful way, “It’s a small step to suppose that the design has a designer.” Stewart Guthrie sees the invisible hand of Darwin in primitive man’s thinking processes. “Guthrie suggested that natural selection primed this system for false positives, because if the bump in the night is really a burglar—or a lion—you could be in danger, while if it’s just the wind, no harm done.” The anthropologists find other ways to see religion as adaptive: “By encouraging helpful behavior, religious groups boost the biological survival and reproduction of their members.” Here, though, Culotta admitted others see such explanations as little more than just-so storytelling. She quoted Pascal Boyer cautioning, “It is often said that religion encourages or prescribes solidarity within the group, but we need evidence that people actually follow [their religion’s] recommendations.” Speaking of evidence, which is supposed to elevate science above other forms of explanation, she admitted to large gaps. For instance, she said there is “a yawning gap between the material evidence of the archaeological record and the theoretical models of psychologists.” The archaeologists have a hard time inferring beliefs from artifacts, and the psychologists are crying, “we need more evidence.” What about the cognitive scientists? They try to get at the roots of innate tendencies vs. learned beliefs, but they are crying for more evidence, too: “I haven’t seen lots of empirical evidence that you can get from there to religious beliefs,” said social psychologist Ara Norenzayan. Culotta’s last sentence, quoting Norenzayan again, amounted to a promissory note admitting to gaps in evidence: “In the next 10 to 15 years there’s likely to be quite a transformation, with a lot more evidence, to give us a compelling story about how religion arose.”1. Intro, “On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_7842. Elizabeth Culotta, “Origins: On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784.What’s this? You were told that science was science, and religion was religion, and never the twain shall meet. What are the Darwinists doing putting your dear pastor, priest or rabbi in the test tube? Didn’t Stephen Jay Gould promise that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science? What is this “evolution of religion” talk? As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, let us draw some parallels. East Germany was one of the most tightly controlled ideological regimes in the communist sphere. The thought police (Stasi) had informers everywhere and kept miles of files on everyone. It was a crime to think outside the party doctrine. As with all the communist dictatorships, religion was suppressed, although the regime allowed some puppet churches to operate for propaganda purposes (e.g., when U.S. diplomats visited, so that they could talk about all the religious freedom they witnessed). What the puppet churches were allowed to say and not say, of course, was monitored and controlled. Yet history surprised the dictators. Their regime fell literally overnight, as thousands of freedom-starved East Germans rushed the gates at the first indication of hope, and Gorby refused to send in the tanks, stinging from Reagan’s challenge, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” To communists, everything in the universe must be interpreted in the light of Marxist ideology. Darwinians are cut from the same cloth; just substitute Darwin for Marx (who admired Darwin). In fact, in the same issue of Science, the editors allowed Gretchen Vogel to call the fall of the Berlin wall a “mixed blessing” for East German science directors. Are they feeling nostalgia for the good old days? After all, Darwinists are dictators themselves with informers and thought police everywhere, looking for the slightest uprising in a classroom or school board that might challenge Dictator Darwin. The Darwin Stasi (fronted by the ACLU, Americans United, PAW, NCSE) race into action to cut off any hint of the threat of “creationism.” They court liberal theologians for propaganda purposes, allowing them to practice their faith as long as it is inside the science lab under the control of the white lab coated thought police. All the pastors, priests and rabbis have to do to keep peace with the Stasi is pledge allegiance to Darwin. See how tolerant they are? Their captives, the renegade appeasers in theological garb, are in for a surprise that was expressed well by Brett Miller in this cartoon. Don’t fall for the Party line. It should be crystal clear that Culotta’s own imprimatur-blessed propaganda piece is fluff. How long are suckers going to wait for their promised “compelling story about how religion arose”? Sounds like the promised utopia that never arrives. It’s a story, all right. Where’s the evidence? How convenient that every discipline is moaning about the need for more evidence. Folks, without evidence, they do not have science! Ignore the fMRI blips; they are trading in ideologically-guided speculation. And they want to tell YOU how you are supposed to think. Love freedom! Tear down this wall! As the Western democracies won by the human tide pouring through the opened gates, the creationists will win when freedom comes. Jesus Christ said “You will know them by their fruits.” Where laws have protected free expression of religion, the arts and sciences have flourished. Where the Bible has been taken by missionaries, poverty and dictatorship has diminished. And where informed and evidence-supported creation science is permitted, education will flourish, too. Check the record; compare achievement of 19th century and early 20th century schools, where McGuffy Readers quoting the Bible were stock in trade and classes opened with prayer and science was done to the glory of God, with the awful record of dropouts and school shootings in today’s DODO schools (Darwin-only, Darwin-only). Look at how home school students, often from Christian homes, are trouncing their politically-correct peers. It’s the Christian schools that teach evidences for and against Darwinism. They don’t fear losing their students. The Darwin-only public schools rightly fear losing their students if the truth about the scientific evidence were allowed. Forget creationism – the thought police don’t even allow scientific criticisms of Darwin to be heard. This artificial selection imposed by Darwin-only breeders is producing monstrosities that could not survive in the wild. You might even say it shows that the creationists are the fittest. But all this is unnecessary posturing, because the Darwinists have no case. We know this, because if we applied their very same reasoning to themselves (i.e., the evolution of Darwinizing speculation), their argument would collapse into a recursive black hole. So while Culotta and her interviewees are swimming around like little Darwin fish scooping up the detritus on the bottom (animism, cult figurines, fMRI scans, etc.), they have not yet realized their ocean is inside the Christian fish. They are feeding on gifts the Christian fish is bringing them (see 11/05/2009 and 08/13/2007 commentaries). Like captives pretending to be autonomous, everything they depend on—logic, reason, evidence—is not of their own making. The Christian fish is the universe of which nature is a subset. If the Darwin guppies want to repent and help build up the true fish, they can provide nourishment for the truth. If not, they can keep swimming in circles a little while longer till they get pooped out.(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Schools across the United States purchased $789 million in local foods from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers in school year 2013 – 2014, according to results from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Census released today. That represents a 105 percent increase over the 2011-2012 school year when the first census was conducted, signifying the deepening commitment of schools nationwide to bring local food into the cafeteria and strengthen their local economies.“An investment in the health of America’s students through farm to school programming is also an investment in the health of local economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Nearly half of schools report that they intend to buy even more local foods in future school years, indicating that farm to school programs will continue helping our children and our communities flourish.”Schools report that farm to school programs can increase the number of students purchasing school breakfast and lunch, improve consumption of healthier foods at school, and reduce plate waste. The programs are often also heavily focused on nutrition education, helping teach children where their food comes from and exposing them to lessons about healthy eating. The census data show that school gardens, which can be both teaching tools and a sources of fresh produce, have nearly tripled over the past two years.At the national level, 42 percent of school districts that responded to the census are operating farm to school programs as of the 2014-2015 school year, and another 16 percent – more than 2,000 districts – have plans to start in the future. The census results show that farm to school programs exist in every state in large and small, rural and urban schools alike. These schools are incorporating local foods throughout the day including school lunch, school breakfast, supper programs, and/or snacks.The newly updated Farm to School Census website allows users to find information about farm to school programs in their state and in their particular school or district. The site also names three top school districts in each state that boast higher than average investment in local food purchasing. In addition, users can vote for a school that they believe administers a creative, innovative, and/or exemplary farm to school program for the “One in a Melon” award. Nominations will be accepted through April 15.In order to establish realistic goals with regard to increasing the availability of local foods in schools, USDA conducted the first nationwide Farm to School Census in 2013. USDA conducted a second Farm to School Census in 2015 to measure progress towards reaching this goal. In 2015, USDA surveyed over 18,000 public, private and charter school districts and 12,585 school districts responded for a response rate of approximately 70percent. Data were collected through an online survey and through a printable mail-in questionnaire. To view the full results, visit https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov.Farm to School is part of the Office of Community Food Systems and is one of many initiatives of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) aimed at improving the health of our next generation. FNS administers America’s fifteen nutrition assistance programs, including, but not limited to, the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net.The Farm to School program is a core element of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, which coordinates USDA’s work to support local and regional food systems. F2S Census data and F2S grant award information is available on the KYF2 Compass Map, which identifies USDA investments in local foods and is updated regularly to reflect new information.
The Revenue department has slapped a whopping ₹4 crore as fine on the Shri Saibaba Sansthan (Trust) for allegedly defaulting on revenue dues on a portion of land dating back to the British Raj.Speaking to The Hindu, Shirdi Sub-Divisional Officer Kundan Sonawane said that the disputed land of 27 gunthas (less than one acre) was acquired by some of the devotees on rent near the temple complex premises during colonial times. While the land belonged to the State, the devotees either gave it away to the trust or sold it off a few years after Sai Baba died in 1918.Put on noticeSpeaking to The Hindu, Shirdi Sub-Divisional Officer Kundan Sonawane confirmed that his office had sent a notice to the Saibaba Sansthan Trust.“A few years after Sai Baba’s ‘Mahasamadhi’ in 1918, these devotees either donated or sold it (the land) off without due permission from the State. The land in question encompasses the iconic Dikshit wada, the Lendi Baug [the garden created and watered by Sai Baba himself] and the museum. So, we have sent the notice to the Sai Baba trust to legalise the possession of this land by paying back the revenue due to the government,” Mr. Sonawane said.He informed that the nebulous ownership of the disputed land was unearthed by local journalist Pramod Aher while the latter was researching his book Shirdi Gazeteer: untold stories. Mr. Aher then brought the matter to the attention of Revenue department authorities.Mr. Sonawane further said that if the Trust failed to clarify the matter within a week, a legal probe would be initiated into the affair.Officials at the trust could not be reached for comment.