excellent suggestions!

thanks meesch! i always trust your editing skill! those are really good suggestions, esp. point #4. you're right--i never thought that i already do have some answers.... i got together with some old high school friends last night. God preserve them! they lead lives that seem fairly bloggerific--meaning full of news of what everyone else is doing: love, neighbors, dogs, cars, coats, rings, shoes, shopping, shopping, shopping. not much about anything else. and not one of them seems happy. i feel terrible for them, but i know that the only Answer is something they won't consider at this point. like the seed spread on thorny ground, everything else chokes out the plant. and that makes me sad. i know that i'm not the one that helps anyone anyway...but still...i want to rescue them :) oh, back to your question about FSU: i first heard of the program from a prof at Northwestern i met with while visiting brdfrd in chicagoland. he suggested that i look further at FSU because even though the rest of the school might be laughable academically, the philosophy dept was a beacon of light. as it turns out, they have more profs asking the same questions as i'm asking than anywhere else. michael ruse, however, goes beyond that. he was one of the few 'evolutionists' who took up philip johnson's (Darwin on Trial) request for a conference on the bias of teaching only naturalism in public education. johnson's argument was that supernaturalism (a.k.a., creationism) should be taught along side of evolution in public schools. ruse himself does not believe that there should be 'equal time' for any theory of the origins of life out there (because that would legally also have to include "panspermia", extraterrestrial invention of earth-life, hindu conceptions of the origins, etc.), but he was very fair in his presentation and accepting of many of johnson's claims. one of the reasons i want to study with ruse includes his ability to listen even to people he disagrees with and his firm committment to the NON-privilaged position of science. he seems to be a true philosopher of science who both respects the science and reveals its limitations. he also happens to be a quaker and has written pretty extensively on the roles of faith and science and philosophy (Can an Evolutionist be a Christian? was published in 2001. his answer was "absolutely!") so, i'm not saying i agree with everything he believes in or doesn't believe in. i just think that he is doing the work/asking the questions that i find myself asking. i end up more in support of intelligent design than he is, probably, but i think we come down on the same side of where science and evolution should be in relation to society. in other words, both of us believe that evolution is a story that needs to stay within the confines of science and not leak out into "popular" versions like sociobiology, eugenics, designer babies, super-soldiers, genetically modified agricultural products, etc. on top of all of those "academic" reasons for wanting to study with ruse, everything i've heard about him suggests that he would be a really fun, engaging prof who actually cares about teaching and his students. i'm not sure that he would necessarily want to work with me, but if he did, i think i would go there without hesitation. thanks for asking!


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