DJ Howard's evolutionary biology lab at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with

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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 particular. *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 "Jesus Christ." 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


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