I imagine that there are a great many Mexicans who eat Mexican food every day of their lives and do not grow to detest it. If that is the case why should they (or we) imagine that an eternity that includes the consumption of the best Mexican food, made from the best ingredients and prepared by the best cooks, would be, in some manner, unendurable? Refried beans and no gas, that is a novel notion of paradise. Undoubtedly there exists someone for whom the prospect of such a future is just as inspiring as the prospect of enjoying the company and services of 72 beautiful and attentive virgins for all eternity.
Since the author never quite mangages to define an elite education I am not even sure whether or not I know what he is talking about. I graduated from a small private liberal arts college. Did I get an elite education or not? I don't know. I do know that I don't I don't have any difficulty talking to people from a wide range of backgrounds, social, economic and educational. If the author's claims are correct, then I guess it follows that I am not the recipient of an elite education. Personally, I think this whole business of being able to communicate with people, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, intelligent or stupid, has much less to do with one's own education than it does with one's attitude toward other human beings. I am not all convinced that one's educational experience really has anything to do with that attitude. If you value people for their own sakes, then you will make the effort to understand them and make yourself understandable to them. If you don't, you won't.
Just this evening I conducted a prayer service at a funeral visitation (that is an informal gathering of friends and relatives held the evening before a funeral). One of the participants, a non-college educated farmer complemented me on my ability to communicate in a way that was easy to understand. "Common" was the word he used to describe my style and presentation. If I am a product of an elite educational system, then I suppose that I must represent a failure of that system. Economically I suppose I must fall into the category of lower to middle middle class. Additional evidence of the failure of the system. Or, it could just be the case that my education was insufficiently elite.
I have recently noticed something odd happening. When I click on Unread Posts it does not bring up all of the unread posts. For example, when I logged on today there were new posts in The Lobby, Hospice, Sports and Fitness and Academia that did not appear in the list of unread posts. This was not the case until just recently. Based on just the posts that I have missed in the Introductions thread, this has been going on since at least the 17th of October. This development severely diminishes the utitility of the Unread Posts function.
Seriously though, I don't think that I have ever experienced boredom. I have experienced irritation at having to do things that I did not want to be doing and frustration at not being able to do things that I did want to do, but neither of those is boredom. I don't understand how anyone who is in possession of an active and fertile imagination can ever truly be bored. Daydreams are the stuff of which life is made. The rest is just busywork.
I think that the question of reporting the existence of rumors is an importantant one. Rumors are useful. They provide a reporter with leads which may result in a worthwhile story. Simply reporting on the existence of a rumor is not, in my opinion, a worthwhile story. The reporter's job is to follow up on those rumors and, if they are true, report the facts that gave rise to the rumor. If they are false, then those facts should also be reported and the rumor laid to rest. To often much of the reporting that I see, hear and read amounts to little more than passing on uninvestigated and unsubstantiated rumors. In other words, gossip. I think that, at least in part, some of this is due to the pressure to be the first one out with a story, accuracy be damned.
I am well aware of the historical background of the term 'evolution'. However, I think that it is fair to say that, since Darwin, the term has become inextricably linked to its association with the biological sciences. So much so that I do not think that the word can be used without raising the specter of those associations. Though, perhaps, it is time to liberate the term from the shackles of biology, the Dominatrix Queen of the Sciences. Then we could let evolutionary thought (and language) run rampant throughout academia and society without worrying about whether or not it is being employed in a manner consistent with its application within the biological sciences. Under this scenario its application within the domain of the biological sciences would simply be a rather specialized and narrowly delimited usage.
I think that Timothy's proposed program of analysis and comparison could be very interesting and instructive. I don't feel competent to take up the challenge of presenting Marin-Sola's arguments, for several reasons, not the least of which is that I have only read a small partial translation of his work. To the best of my knowledge The Evolution of Catholic Dogma has not been published in an English translation (the selection that I did read, over 25 years ago, was from a private translation).
Maddog, just as an example, the Spanish theologian Fr. Francisco Marin-Sola wrote a book titled (in English) The Evolution of Catholic Dogma. This would, I think, be an example of the application of evolutionary principles to an area of study that is completely unrelated to biology. If I understand g arago correctly, he is challenging this sort of application of evolutionary thinking as an illegitimate enterprise, precisely because theology is concerned with issues of; teleology, goal-directedness, purpose, meaning and intentionality and evolutionary theory is not only not concerned with those, it lacks any sort of conceptual framework that would allow for taking them into account.
Again, if I understand him correctly, g arago is using the term 'evolutionist' to refer to those who, treating evolutionary theory as a foundational metaphysical principle, seek to apply it in areas that are totally unrelated to biology. Personally, I am inclined to see that sort of use of evolutionary terminolgy as largely metaphorical. If, however, it is not being used as a metaphor, then I would agree that it is probably an illegitimate expansion of a concept beyond its proper sphere of relevance.
In one of George MacDonald's novels (I forget which one) one of the central characters, a clergyman, in response to the question "What am I to do?", which is asked by a young man seeking guidance as he begins to become a Christian, replies, "the next thing".
There is always a "next thing" and so the work, or the journey, is never completed. I suspect that it is never the case that there is only one particular "next thing" that awaits being done. If this is the case, then there is always a choice to be made about which "next thing" is to be done. That is, doing the "next thing" is always a creative act, the doing of which inevitably contributes to the creation of the conditions for the choices regarding the subsequent "next thing".