Author Topic: Mark Twain's thoughts on ID  (Read 197 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Mark Twain's thoughts on ID
« on: March 06, 2014, 11:02:13 AM »
Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers and for all intents and purposes, an atheist.  He has numerous writings that detail some of his theological musings.  This one is among my favorites.
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/twain02.htm
Quote
How often we are moved to admit the intelligence exhibited in both the designing and the execution of some of His works. Take the fly, for instance. The planning of the fly was an application of pure intelligence, morals not being concerned. Not one of us could have planned the fly, not one of us could have constructed him; and no one would have considered it wise to try, except under an assumed name. It is believed by some that the fly was introduced to meet a long-felt want. In the course of ages, for some reason or other, there have been millions of these persons, but out of this vast multitude there has not been one who has been willing to explain what the want was. At least satisfactorily. A few have explained that there was need of a creature to remove disease-breeding garbage; but these being then asked to explain what long-felt want the disease-breeding garbage was introduced to supply, they have not been willing to undertake the contract.

There is much inconsistency concerning the fly. In all the ages he has not had a friend, there has never been a person in the earth who could have been persuaded to intervene between him and extermination; yet billions of persons have excused the Hand that made him - and this without a blush. Would they have excused a Man in the same circumstances, a man positively known to have invented the fly?
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(continues)

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Mark Twain's thoughts on ID
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 01:20:52 PM »
I really like Mark Twain. He was genuinely a great and deep thinker of his time (and ours too) but, although what he wrote was also entertaining and clever, he is not held in as high an esteem as a thinker as he would have been had he written some dry, turgid prose.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline screwtape

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Re: Mark Twain's thoughts on ID
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 01:54:46 PM »
A couple months ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit his grave in Elmira, NY.  He is burried under his real name, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, in a family plot.  His wife's family, the Langfords, are also burried there.  He has his own stone, but there is a large family marker as well.  It is two fathoms high, which is mark twain. 



Being the sentimental fool that I am, I got choked up.
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Offline wright

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Re: Mark Twain's thoughts on ID
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 07:50:49 PM »
Clemens had a great gift and used it generously. What he said about flies is of course just as valid with regard to biting mosquitoes, tapeworms, malaria... the list gets long rather quickly.

Thanks for the image, screwtape.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Mark Twain's thoughts on ID
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 09:21:59 PM »
His house, in West Hartford, CT, is a pretty interesting place to tour. We lived in the next town over when I was growing up, and it was always a place we would take visitors to see.