I don't know the answer to this, but I was more than a little worried when I thumbed through one of their books in a charity shop recently.


From the very start it alluded to creation/creator and then reflected that evolution was a secular term.


It may be the author was trying to appeal to both sides, but surely, the WWF should be promoting science, n' est pas? Also referring to evolution as secular is surely rather revealing?


I have to admit to being one of the (possibly few) who agrees that we should let the giant panda die out and dedicate the limited resources we have to saving species that actually having a chance - rather than attempting to save a cuddly bear that evolution (and therefore, nature itself) has already given up on.

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Your point is well made, but as far as I know, their books are written by individual authors rather than as committee efforts.  I would guess that there are at least as many non-theists within the WWF as theists, and an author is likely, no matter their own particular persuasion, to try to appeal to a, ahem, "broad church".


The phrases to which you refer could well be taken in the same vein as Einstein's use of "God" and "Creation" as handy short cuts meaning something other than a personal deity or a literal creation.


Nature Advocacy groups are "special interest" groups. Their fund raising tactics are similar to other special interest groups in their usage of words and phrases to attract a more diverse pool of subscribers/ contributors.


Instead of donating money, I donate my time and labor, volunteering at local open space agencies.

re; Panda Bears; Please see this link about Biodiversity. Whether it's Panda's in China, Bay Checkerspot Butterflies in California or Spotted Owls in Oregon, Nature Advocacy groups "market" Biodiversity using, easy to identify with, animals...It's a way to attract the public interest to focus on this issue. Biodiversity is a confusing ,all encompassing concept.

re; '''...the idea that a world without human influences is a virtuous world.  Humans are thought of as essentially "pollution" to the way the natural world "should" be.", reminds me of the post-modern environmental author, Jack Turner and his "rant", "The Abstract Wild".
Today extinction is mostly driven by man, not nature.

And man is descended from fish, so...


In my opinion man has distanced himself from nature with technology.  And, as in this instance, we are casually discussing whether we should save a particular species species, or we would like to save a parcel of wilderness for our enjoyment, etc.  Gosh, sounds like we have dominion over all the creatures, just like God ordained. 



They have an interfaith alliance with ARC.  Here is some info:



They are an equal oppurtunity employer though.

'Scuse me while I go throw up...

Hey most of the world is religious, if we can convince them to throw some of that tithing toward something useful, why not do it?

I think this discussion, perhaps inadvertently, has touched on what I believe the reason is that Atheism has been held subject to theism for almost all of recorded history despite voluminous scientific material and centuries of rational thought. That is, I think to some extent it has demonstrated a perspective that has resulted in a stigma having been associated by the masses with Atheism that has precluded Atheism from having been substantially accepted by them. The stigma that I think exists in this regard is that Atheists are heartless.

One sure way to have the world turn on us is to appear heartless by, as a group, advocating that the giant panda and other such animals be allowed to go extinct.

We who claim to believe so much in reason would be served well to exercise it in an attempt to win the goodwill of the masses in order to raise their awarenesses to a level at which they can meaningfully receive our many very credible positions.

Our problem has been that, because of the voices of some Atheists, by and large the masses hold Atheism to be synonymous with heartlessness, and in that the masses consider positions founded in heartlessness to be uncredible (and are reinforced in this in that heartless positions have never stood the test of time) they have rejected the many very credible positions of Atheism without due consideration.

The operative dynamic has been that by and large the masses have turned to a consideration of theism which (in at least claiming to be in the name of love) has not precluded itself as a course worthy of investigation for them. Unfortunately, many have resultantly become indoctrinated.

We who claim to believe so much in reason would be served well to exercise it to the understanding that heartless Atheists can be no more good for Atheism than Joseph Stalin was. Because the masses will not reject the motive of love, in order for Atheism to displace theism it must be in the form of Secular Humanism.

That's very well observed, John.


I think that we're perceived that way with good reason too - we're not so much heartless, as practical - but the it's very easy to spin one into the other.


The science of the Giant Panda is that it's fucked, no matter what we do. In time - probably not in our lifetimes but in centuries not millenia - the GP is going to go extinct.


As a humanist, I think the right thing to do is to leave it to its fate with as much compassion as one can - and plough the limited resources we have into saving the species that we can save. If we don't (and that's what is happening) those species are going to disappear at the expense of a few more centuries (or less) for the giant panda.

Ironic that the panda is probably one of the few we aren't entirely responsible for killing off! We may have hastened the demise, but I think nature had other plans in spite of us.


That said John, don't you think this discussion deserves a complete thread of its own? I think it's valuable we explore ways in which we can show everyday, fence-sitting folks, that atheist aren't actually evil, we just see further and deeper than others.

"That said John, don't you think this discussion deserves a complete thread of its own? I think it's valuable we explore ways in which we can show everyday, fence-sitting folks, that atheists aren't actually evil, we just see further and deeper than others."

A good idea. This does merit a thread of its own. 


With adaquate forestation the Pandas could survive in the wild.

With the loss of natural habitat the 1000 or so wild Pandas living in isolated forests can't breed or feed properly without protection and positive assistance. The governments, charities and professionals should not give up on the Panda, ever.

We have relationships with other mammals. We are mammals too. It is such a tragedy when wild mammals die out.

Science has become so advanced in so many ways that it easily could resurrect the giant panda (via cloning) even if it did go extinct. This is not a far fetched proposition. I wouldn't be surprised if the average non-scientifically oriented citizen of a third world country knows it to be true. Moreover, science can affect the environment in areas designated for the GP to live in a manner to facilitate the growth of the wild GP population.

As such, the positions that the GP is doomed to extinction and that allowing it to go that path is only practical are very grossly inaccurate. With the greatest respect (and I honestly mean that) your argument is in fact founded in them.

If you would like to discuss this on another thread I would be very happy to. Right now, however, my computer is running very slowly for some reason and I suspect I will have to have it serviced.


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