Originally Posted by trumptman
I don't get the objection about evolution being singled out for something RIGHT about it. Not to be rude but what sort of bizarro-world do we live in where singling something out and stating the truth about it is now ill-intent.
I can't figure out if you truly believe in what you're saying, or if you've simply grabbed onto what you think is a particularly clever way of playing dumb that you imagine you can defend by being stubbornly literal and inflexible.
The very act of singling one thing out from among many other things carries meaning. It doesn't take "mind reading" to infer meaning from acts of singling things out, or acts of calling special attention to particular things, verbally or otherwise. This is a basic aspect of human language and communication.
The literal truth of the disclaimer stickers is only one layer of meaning. The particular singling out of evolution, with no mention of gravity or thermodynamics or quantum mechanics or anything else, also carries meaning
. Pretending that this second layer of meaning doesn't exist, or must for some obscure reason be ignored in order to attain some special legalistic high level of objectivity, is absurd.
It is literally true for every single human being that we make mistakes and that anything anyone of us says must be considered carefully. But if you singled out one particular student in your classroom, and constantly brought up day after day that this one student makes mistakes, and that others must carefully consider whatever this particular student says, there would be a clear and unmistakable impact of doing so. Your continual singling out of this one student would be taken to mean -- by standard principles of human communication, not by uncalled-for "mind reading" -- that the particular student was particularly
error-prone and particularly
You would be the one responsible for the common interpretation and impact of your literally-true statements. No one would believe you, and quite rightfully so, if you feigned innocence of intent. Even if you had no special problem with that one student yourself -- you'd simply picked him or her out randomly at the beginning of the school year -- you'd still either have to know the impact that selection would make on the particular student, or you'd have to be so terribly lacking in understanding and communications skills that a "reasonable man" could not be expected to routinely account for such a bizarre incapacity of yours nor be required to allow for such by default.
There are an infinite number of true things one could say at any given moment. Random historical facts, mathematically correct sums of randomly picked numbers, etc. Absent some strange mental illness or brain damage, none of us go about doing this on a regular basis. Picking one particular true thing to say out of all possible true things again carries meaning
in and of itself. It is not
an error in communication on the part of a receiver to imply meaning based on what the sender has chosen to communicate about, a meaning layered on top of the literal content of the message. To imply meaning from the sender's selective process is so basic to human communication that it can only be considered an error on the part of the sender to not account for the implications of his or her choices of particular messages to send.
That the disclaimer stickers might be literally true is not sufficient reason to place those stickers insider books. No one is printing up stickers that say "56 + 127 = 183" and sticking them in history or art books. Certainly no one is fighting passionate legal battles to do so, nor are they inspiring anyone to fund their legal fees to do so. It is completely proper on the receiving end of a message, and not "mind reading", to read meaning not only into a sender's selection of a message to send, but into the degree of effort
required to deliver the message.
The impact of e-mail spam which reads "Go to Hawaii" is going to be far less than having a man who looks like he's been to hell and back die on your front doorstep handing you a note which reads, "Go to Hawaii". It is not "mind reading", nor is it an error on the part of the recipient of such a message, to assume that this message was very important, to dig into and try to discover the best explanation for this man going to such effort and sacrifice to deliver the message, and to then add that meaning to the literal words of message.
Students who see those disclaimer stickers, not by "mind reading" or by any error on their part, will obviously
go beyond the literal wording of the stickers and add layers of meaning based on the singling out of evolution and the special effort made to deliver the literal message contained on the stickers. That message clearly
is that evolution in particular is particularly
questionable. The slightest effort into examining motive for making the special effort to deliver that particular literally-true message adds a clear
layer of religious intent to the meaning.
If you're going to continue to argue against the above case I've made, I simply cannot take you seriously. If I give you any credit at all for basic human intelligence -- and I do, I think you are an intelligent man -- I have to assume you're arguing for the sake of arguing, trying to win a point, trying to cling to something you don't want to give up, not that you're actually so blind and insensitive to the intent of these stickers nor really so devoted to the idea that applying basic principles of implied meaning in human communications somehow constitutes improper "mind reading" or "thought control" when done within the judicial system.