DJ Howard's evolutionary biology lab at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with
Organization: New Mexico State University
From: epowers@spock.NMSU.Edu (POWERS)
DJ Howard's evolutionary biology lab at New Mexico State University,
in collaboration with the departments of psychology and philosophy
(they're the only ones who can get money for this sort of thing) has
discovered --- new subspecies of *Funda fundamentalis*. Neither
_Science_ nor _Nature_ felt that publishing this study was appropriate
for them, so I have decided to post the results here for comment.
For thems of you scientists out there, we used RAPD PCR and RFLP
analyses to come up with genetic differences between the groups.
Nei's genetic distance between these groups ranged from 0.25 to .832,
but we are still working on what this really means. This post is
merely to notify all interested of the results. This study was
performed on fundamentalists in the United States only, and should
not be considered official for other regions.
*Funda fundamentalis extremis* These Christians are characterized by
seeing abortion in the U.S. as the fundamental issue the church should
deal with. Historical biologists will notice the similarities with
the early prohibitionists and abolitionists in the U.S. This subspecies
is most often seen on news broadcasts.
*Funda fundamentalis C+E* These Christians are so named because they
are only known to be fundamentalists only at Christmas and Easter, the
only times they show up at church.
*Funda fundamentalis frijoles* These Christians, commonly called "bean
Christians" in Mexico and "rice Christians" in Asia, are called so
because they have taken on fundamentalism in order to take advantage
of the generosity and naivity of certain missionaries.
*Funda fundamentalis apatheticus* These Christians do nothing in
*Funda fundamentalis culticus* CORRECTION! This group, commonly
involved in such churches as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian
Science, and many others, should no longer be placed in with *Funda
fundamentalis*. Nei's genetic distance between individuals involved
in these groups and other fundamentalist subspecies to range from 6.8
to 14.76, revealing divergence so long ago it isn't even funny.
*Funda fundamentalis intellectualis* These Christians claim an
intellectual basis for their faith. They can be found in many
universities. It is strongly suspected that GK Chesterton and CS
Lewis belonged to this group. These often start poorly, making
fools of themselves in intellectual debate, but they learn the
rules soon enough. Another group, *pseudo-intellectualis*, never
get the hang of it. FAQs are written for these people, to no effect.
*Funda fundamentalis culturalis* These are people who claim to be
Christians because their parents were Christians or because they live
in the US or because they think Jesus was a great moral teacher or
because they are pretty sure they are moral people. None of these
claim anything but the weakest form of "personal relationship" with
The importance of the study is this: Up to this point, many observers
of *Funda fundamentalis* have noted seemingly contradictory behaviors
and attitudes. They have often mistakenly characterized one group
as another. From now on, it will be important to accurately
characterize the beliefs of an individual before making predictions
in argumentation behavior.
------- Erik Powers
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank