UPDATED: A Further Response to Larry Arnhart, pt. 3: Darwinism, Religion, and Intelligent Design

[Editor’s Note: This blog post was mistakenly listed as the last in a four part series, when in fact it is the third. The fourth and final installlment will be published in the near future.] This is the third installment of a four-part series responding to Larry Arnhart’s comments about my book, Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest. The first and second installments can be found here and here. 3. Darwinism and Religion In the section of my book on religion, I make clear that “evolution” can be compatible with theism in general and Biblical theism in particular—depending on how one defines the term “evolution.” If all one means by “evolution” is “change over time,” or “microevolution” through natural selection, or Read More ›

Does NCSE Support Mocking World Religions?

The introductory letter from Bobby Henderson in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster states: “[T]he church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) invites you to learn a little more about us … [W]e need a book. (Doesn’t every religion have a book?) The Jews have the Bible (The Old Testicle), the Christians have ditto (The New Testicle), and Muslims have the Q-tip or whatever, the Jains have Fun with Dick and Jain, the Suffis have Sufis Up!, the Buddhists have the Bananapada, and the Hindus have the Ten Little Indians…” (pg. xiii, emphasis added) Glenn Branch, deputy director for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE, apparently defends Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, saying that it is merely “light hearted fun Read More ›

Why Does National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Spokesman Think “Mocking Traditional Religion” is OK?

Casey Luskin recently highlighted the mocking, anti-religious attitude expressed by Darwinists promoting the so-called “Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Now in an interview with the Toronto Star, Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has defended such mocking of traditional religion by Darwinists as “light hearted fun” that is “probably healthy.” Indeed, according to Branch, such mockery seems to be a perfectly legitimate activity for Darwinists “who need the chance to blow off steam” after engaging in the “tiring and often thankless chore” of battling “creationist activity.” Branch further suggests that criticism of anti-religious Darwinist propaganda by Luskin and others affiliated with Discovery Institute is illegitimate, asking: “Why would mocking traditional religion be of concern to Read More ›

A Further Response to Larry Arnhart, pt. 2: Darwinism, Free Will, and the Soul

This is the second installment of a four-part series responding to Larry Arnhart’s comments about my book Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest. The first installment can be found here. 2. Darwinism, Free Will, and the Soul In my book I pointed out that leading Darwinists and Darwin himself drew implications from Darwinism contrary to human free will and moral responsibility. In response, Arnhart says that he regards “human moral freedom as an ’emergent’ product of the evolution of the human brain.” But it is highly questionable whether the Darwinian account of evolution can account even for the emergence of human intelligence let alone the emergence of human moral freedom. After all, how does intelligence “emerge” from a completely unintelligent material Read More ›

A Further Response to Larry Arnhart, pt. 1: Darwinism and Traditional Morality

Political science professor Larry Arnhart, author of the book Darwinian Conservatism, is probably the most thoughtful and articulate proponent of Darwinism as a support for conservatism. My recent book Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest is largely framed as a response to Arnhart’s arguments. I appreciate how seriously Arnhart takes the debate over the implications of Darwin’s theory, and also how committed he is to a civil discussion. Arnhart has now responded to my book in two posts (here and here) on his Darwinian Conservatism blog, and in a four-part series over the next several days I will be offering my response to his comments. After some initial clarifications, today’s post will focus on the issue of Darwinism and traditional morality.