Oh no: it's still only 2:20. I've got to get out of here. But I can't for another few hours.
As a young Republican, I suppose when I do eventually go home this evening, I'll get a buzzcut and do some push-ups, since I probably have a hard-on for the military but am too weak to actually join, being an effete liberal arts grad student. But! at least I speak Sanskrit.
My mention of Galen and Ptolemy was not accidental, though perhaps I should have mentioned Aristotle for thematic unity. The study of the history of evolution properly begins with Aristotle's Biology (I say properly because that's where I started, and everything I do is proper) and continues with Galen. You have to understand his teleological method in order to appreciate what Darwin &c were up against. The ancients were not stupid and they were not backward, a teleological method is really a pretty sensible method until you come to the modern method, but even the typical lay appropriation of science - sometimes even as presented by Real Scientists - reads teleology into Nature.
Let me take this opportunity to point out that anybody making fun of Ptolemy's work is a dumbass who doesn't know a damn thing about anything. It's easy, as a modern, to look back and say, "Look at those wankers, they thought the Earth was the center of the universe, they didn't even know that blood circulated, they were fools." That's right, I'm pretty damn conservative: I'm defending Aristotle's biology and Ptolemy's astronomy. Suck it, you liberalist fairies!
I'm worried about the new Brideshead movie. From preliminary reports, it butchers the book and inverts the entire point of it. The book, as you all must know, being well-read yourselves, is a perfect example of the triumph of good Conservative values over decadent liberalist thought. Or, more to the point, how the grace of God works in subtle ways to gather a number of people back to Him. The movie, from what I've heard, rails against the stifling atmosphere of family values, or, more to the point, rails against how the religious obligations the characters undertake stifle their pursuit of true happiness. Curse that superstitious Goddism, it always gets in the way of what we want to do right now, I suppose, is the message it intends to convey.
Though really, as long as I have this Republican hat on, I must say of the previous paragraph that the "conservative" lapse into talking about "values" should not be encouraged. The discourse of values, as I've pointed out time and time again, is inherently nihilistic. A "value" is merely something that some people find, well, valuable. Others may disagree. Others may find a certain "value" valuable, but other "values" more valuable. In the end, it is all a matter of preference with no objective ground beneath it. Echt nihilism. This is hardly an original insight, I believe The Closing of the American Mind made a similar point, but it has been a while since I read it. If one believes in God, which a good many conservatives do, one should not speak of "values". It is simply nihilism, which leads to liberalism, which is a sin.
Over and out.
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