OT: language origin and creationism

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 2 01:23:49 UTC 2010

When I was taking first-year zo in college in '50's Saint Louis, we
used a really good textbook clearly based on the theory of evolution.
(I wish that I could remember the name of the authors - sadly, the
title, which I clearly remember, was simply "Zoology" - so that I
could take a copy with me to the grave). The professor, a black
Baptist, on the first day of class, went out of his way to explain to
us that, although he was going to be teaching evolution, it was going
to be okay, because his degree was from St. Louis University, a
Catholic school run by the Jesuits, and *they* had taught it to him,
so we probably shouldn't freak, if he taught it to us.

Say what?!

There were no problems, but I was astonished that our prof was worried
that there *might* be some!

And now, it's almost unbelievable that, over a half-century later,
evolution *continues* to be a major source of concern for those trying
to teach.

FWIW, at my Jesuit high school, a teacher once casually remarked that
God, being almighty, had probably just created the earth in such a
manner that it *looked* like evolution had occurred, possibly to give
people something to do with their minds, perhaps to help develop human
powers of cognition.

I went with this for years, till I discovered that it was a version of

Otherwise, there was absolutely no discussion - or even mention - of
evolution by Jesuits or by any other official spokesperson for The One
True Faith, IME. If there's an official RCCh position on the question
of evolution, I know nothing of it.


On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 9:14 AM, Darla Wells <lethe9 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Darla Wells <lethe9 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: OT: language origin and creationism
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've been running into the same problems with my 102 classes this last
> couple of semesters in an assignment that requires that they find a
> controversy in their career field they are majoring in, research it, write
> about it, and be able to discuss it intelligently. The ones that are giving
> me fits are the kids going into medicine, biology, and teaching
> (occasionally) for some reason. They are the ones wanting to discuss
> Intelligent Design, abortion, and some of the other topics that seem to be
> nothing but fundamental dogma and will try to twist and maneuver the
> assignment so that they can say whatever they want on that topic. I had
> someone who is going to be a neonatal nurse who claimed that she should
> write on abortion because it affected her future profession. I asked how,
> since for all intents and purposes she is not going to be working in an
> abortion clinic here in Louisiana (it is not easy to find one--it is not
> illegal but for all practical purposes it might as well be). She said that
> it was just wrong and by God, she was going to make sure all her patients
> knew it was wrong too.
> I sometimes wonder if we even are speaking the same English with some of
> them. They are in class learning about peer reviewed sources, what makes a
> source a good one, then when I see the annotated bibs, they will have crap
> from theology.com or some preacher no one's ever heard of from 1978 as the
> main sources. I ask them if these are sources they are seeing in their texts
> or in JSTOR or any of the databases in the library. They say, no my priest
> turned me on to these sources...I have been informed that I am anti-religion
> in not so subtle terms. Logic doesn't work with these kids, so I just act
> like the devil, and quote scripture back to the really far gone
> kids...Lessee, what's that verse about letting Caesar have what belongs to
> Caesar (referring to science)...They aren't logical enough to find the flaw
> in that one, so I am okay for the minute. I finally hit on the idea of
> making them bring a list to class before we start the annotated bibs of 5
> peer reviewed journals that are considered mainstream in their field and 5
> professional organizations for that field. Then we talk about them as a
> class and I assign the bibs.
> Darla
> 2010/3/31 Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at gmail.com>
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>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: OT: language origin and creationism
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Much of the discussion in this thread assumes that a fundamentalist
>> shares with us basic assumptions about evidence and truth.  The claims
>> in the article and the claims the student would like to make are based
>> on faith.  In this frame of reference (I slipped and typed <v> for
>> <f>), the details of Genesis 1 are fact.  Anything that disagrees with
>> them is folly.  Any methodology that leads anywhere but to the
>> historical and scientific truth of Genesis 1 is not based on faith and
>> therefore is misguided.  At this stage there generally isn't much
>> common ground to build on.  Some students do end up rejecting the
>> fundamentalism they've grown up with, but it usually comes as a result
>> of questions raised by a lot of courses and a lot of bull sessions.
>> I've told such students that I don't require that they believe what
>> they learn and read in my class, but I hold them responsible for it on
>> tests.
>> Herb
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