Re: BIO: Help wanted explaining evolution to students

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 17:36:47 -0500

Max More wrote:
> At 08:37 PM 9/18/97 -0500, Eliezer wrote:
> >While it is not my intention to intervene in religious disputes at this
> time -
> >I feel we'll all know who was right soon enough - I do feel it necessary to
> >remind everyone that there are sincerely and unapologetically religious
> >people, who are often involved with charitable issues and generally spread a
> >little Light around, even if it is in the name of God.
> Eliezer, I'm not sure why you make this comment. Certainly I didn't say
> that all religious people are despicable! Not only did I not say that, I
> don't believe that. I don't event think that religions are entirely bad
> things, though I *do* think that faith in the sense of anti-rationalism is
> bad.
> I'm not sure that you meant to imply that I have these views and attitudes,
> Eliezer, but since you made these comments in response to my message it did
> seem that way.

Well, you will note that I said remind *everyone*.

> They make take offense, but I would stand by my view that their belief is
> not in accordance with the evidence. Surely you are not suggesting that a
> Ph.D. in physics can rationally hold that "every word of the Old Testament
> is unvarnished and unmetaphorical fact"? The Earth is only a few thousand
> years old? God created Adam and Eve and there was no evolution. Such a
> physics Ph.D. would have a faith in both senses of the term -- a belief in
> a doctrine, and a belief insensitive to evidence.

Actually, he believes that the Universe is several billion years old depending
on Hubble constant, and that evolution is obviously the explanation for all
human biology. In fact, he has exactly your attitude towards creationists who
make up elaborate reasons why evolution has some tiny flaw.

Again, there are minds that think as well as you do, only differently.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.