“New Atheism Redux” Evolution & Religion…again

Frankly, these debates exhaust me and I have little use or time for wading through the morass of words generated by all combatants. This was a very nice article, however, from Michael Ruse on the Chronicle of Higher Education, an atheist against the New Atheists. A snippet:

Most of all I detest the New Atheism because I think it is playing into the hands of the Religious Right. The way fundamentalism—scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent-design theory—has been kept out of the biology classes of the nation is by drawing a line between science and religion and arguing that it is a violation of the First Amendment to allow religion (scientific creationism, etc.) into the classrooms. If you blur the science-religion distinction, specifically if you mesh evolution and atheism, then I just don’t see how you can continue that strategy. The fundamentalists argue that since the evolutionists’ position has religious implications, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Either you don’t talk about origins at all or—and they prefer this alternative—you allow talk about everyone’s views on origins.

Do they have a point? Well, I’m inclined to think that they do. There is no question but that any reasonable reading of New Atheist material totally meshes evolution and atheism. Look at the best blog of them all—University of Chicago biology professor Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True. It intersperses quite brilliant discussions of evolutionary topics with diatribes against religion, and makes it very clear that these two are connected. If you are for evolution, you cannot legitimately be for or even tolerant of religion. Accomodationism, as he and others refer to the position I take—that you can keep the two separate—is just not a viable option.

Read it all if this is the sort of thing you like: New Atheism Redux – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education.


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