I guess the thing that stuck out most in my traveling and reading was the conspicuous discrepancy between the Liberal line of "tolerance for all things and all people" - except those who believe in God and creationism. While I have to put myself in the "amazingly skeptical" camp with regard to creationism, I see no reason to belittle or ridicule the tens of millions of Americans who believe it wholeheartedly. To do so seems decidedly unliberal in one's thinking, or at least selectively intolerant (which in itself would seem to demote one to a Liberal Second-Class at best, I would think.)
One comment explained that, while the writer would probably like the atmosphere of living in a small town, he was worried about the religion disease in such areas. "Before you know it, people are playing with snakes and rolling on the ground and talking to angels." It was obvious the writer felt he would then probably catch the disease himself, the contamination being constantly in the air, as it were.
Another VERY articulate and well-educated Liberal personage made a fine (and very interesting) post about Rhode Island's beginnings, and especially the beautiful city of Newport, and it's surroundings. The post was, mostly, about tolerance and Rhode Island's fantastic history in that regard, and rightly so. The writer went on to remind us that Rhode Island was the home of early settlers fleeing religious persecution, and that many religions lived side by side there in harmony. Even Jews, by God, and all were immensely tolerant of each other's beliefs and everyone got along just famously. Then the writer quickly went on to exclude the Puritans from this otherwise-welcoming umbrella of religious tolerance. Ah, well. The Puritans were assholes, you see, who believed their way of doing things was the only right way and everyone else were just stupid heathens who didn't know any better. Worse, the Puritans were proselytizers who also ridiculed and marginalized anyone who didn't believe the "obvious truth" the Puritans believed. Since that's hardly tolerant, the Puritans not only wouldn't fit in in Rhode Island, but were only worth running away from. So the enlightened tolerant folks fled Massachusetts Bay to Rhode Island environs, or some such, and left the know-it-all Puritans to their own uneducated and unenlightened devices to survive in a pre-globally-warmed world as best they could.
That, believe it or not, brings us to scientists in general - and the Gospel of Selective Tolerance.
What is science? Science is more than one thing, but mostly the word is used to describe an area of knowledge which has been studied in depth and organized systematically. Cool. What is a scientist? A scientist is a person who has expert knowledge in one of these systematically organized areas. An expert. I am not sure if any person who is a true expert in any area of natural or physical science is a scientist, but I am sure a scientist is an expert.
As a seeker of truth, a scientist is surely the most unbiased and open-minded person in the world, right? And yet...
Scientists are mostly liberal in their thinking and approach to things; mostly tolerant unless someone dares to challenge their personal beliefs (which have, of course, arisen from a meticulous collection of information which has been properly studied and systematically organized and subjected to a thorough peer review.) And why not? - what dolt would dare challenge the "obvious" truths of Global Warming or Evolution? Sigh.
Indeed. What dolt would dare to intimate that perhaps all the information is not in yet on certain subjects? - that perhaps we don't REALLY know enough more than to simply formulate an educated theory? Maybe (this dolt continues) we should continue to gather facts while prudently acting to protect ourselves in case the scientists are right. After all, one doesn't have to subscribe to the (theory?) of Global Warming in order to want clean air and clean water and have a desire to make those things happen.
The fact that scientists are in the main mostly Liberals (or at least only selectively tolerant) is not their fault. Scientists are highly educated, usually, and all of our institutions of higher learning are awash in Liberal thought. So it stands to reason. (Here I hasten to exclude Bob Jones University and Oral Roberts University and Brigham Young University and one other which at present escapes my memory.) Of course any scientist worth his salt would now be on his feet protesting the pigeonholing of Liberalism; scientists are ruggedly independent free-thinkers, after all.
People, people, people. (As Chill Wills was fond of saying, may he rest in peace.)
Is there a point to this post? There may well be, if I go back and search diligently. Perhaps that point might be a caution against thinking that your way is the only right way and your truth is the only truth. Or perhaps it might mean I (much like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction) am a messenger from God. Who knows. But I want to tell all of you that the writer of THIS post not only doesn't have all the answers, he is less and less sure of the ones he thought he knew last year. Because this is true, I am not a scientist, but I strive for an open mind.
"We have been so cocksure of so many things that just were not true." So said the late Mortimer J. Adler, University of Chicago, editor of the venerable "Great Books of the Western World" from which this dolt scratched out a meager education while working nights in a factory.