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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v028.n079
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999 14:32:04 

>What Wolfe is doing with the tea-lady is to give us her view of science
>thru teleological eyes ie., that science destroys wonder (a common
>anti-evolutionist claim to this day). When the ballooning of the cathedral
>tent can be explained by the hot air from the fire which was started by
>Severian's crash, this for her, misses the point, which is to see the Hand
>(of God) in nature. She isn't calling for a miracle, but that the event
>should send us to God, not to the explanation. We modernists in turn reject
>her viewpoint, eg., viz. Dawkins last book "Unweaving the rainbow :
>science, delusion and the appetite for wonder" which I believe argues that
>scientific understanding is what truly leads to wonder and respect for
>evolutionary explanation.

Yes, although from my brief skim, Dawkins does so in poor fashion--I disagree
with Dawkins on (most) things, but usually he's at least an honest battler,
heading straight for his target--here he dodges around the fact that his own
ideas would tend to reduce Mozart & Keats to, well, specious memes of dubious
survival value.

An interesting point with respect to Wolfe here is that a lot of the 18th
century natural theologians, and earlier thinkers, rested much of their
argument on the beauty and charm, if you will, of nature--the pleasant aspects
of the design.  CASTLE OF THE OTTER puts forth Wolfe's claim that part of the
inspiration of BOTNS was to (heavily paraphrasing) approach natural theology
from another side--pain and torture as indicative of the existence of God.
I suppose, to show God's presence not just in butterflies and little lambs and
such, but, Book of Job-fashion, in the alzabo and various Leviathans of Urth's
oceans (Abaia & co., who would be equally tricky to draw out with a hook).

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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