Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Noah's Ark

I know I said I would not comment on each passing outrage, but there are moments when the only way to keep one's sanity is to say something. Two days ago, during the ten-man Republican debate among presidential hopefuls, the question was asked, "Who doesn't believe in evolution?" Three candidates raised their hands.

My guess is that none of them has a clue what evolution is, but quite appropriately they are seeking to reflect the will of their actual and potential consituents [which is to say the fundamentalist Christian inerrants who make up a significant fraction of the Republican primary voters.] So this question is put to these three distinguished gentlemen as a way of asking it of the millions of Americans whom they represent:

When the lions get off the ark after forty days and nights of rain, they are hungry, I think we can assume. What do they eat?

Those of us who have been on safari, or have watched the Nature Channel, know that lions eat African buffalo, or impala if they can't get buffalo. They also, on occasion, eat wart hog, giraffe, and zebra. But each of these animals is a mammal and can reproduce only if there are a male and a female. What is more, their gestation periods are reasonably lengthy. [Fourteen months for a giraffe, if Google can be trusted.]

It is of course possible that the Lord was sufficiently foresighted to arrange for all the female mammals to be pregnant when they boarded the ark [or to get pregnant on the ark -- there is never much to do except eat on a cruise], but lions kill every three or four days, so by the time the first week is up in the new postdiluvian world, several species will have gone extinct.

I know, I know, this sort of pettifogging misses the point of religion, and since I am after all an atheist, I can legitimately be accused of not getting it.

I was just asking.

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