“Before going on,” said Frost, “I must ask you to be strictly objective. Resentment and fear are both chemical phenomena. Our reactions to each other are chemical phenomena. Social relations are chemical relations. You must observe these feelings in yourself in an objective manner. Do not let them distract your attention from the facts.” C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (1946) The relevance of this passage from Lewis will be clear below. But first…
Wood has Wiker asking the wrong question. Wiker didn’t ask, when did Darwin become an evolutionist, he asked, when did Darwin develop his worldview or philosophy? That is a powerful and important question and one not asked enough by Darwin’s biographers past and present; too bad Wood missed this point so tellingly and clearly made by Wiker.
Let’s talk about a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: enchantment. As often happens to me, and probably to you too, a number of things going on in my life have converged to get me contemplating a particular idea that I hadn’t thought much about before. One is reading Richard Dawkins’s bestselling The Greatest Show on Earth. The famous evangelizing atheist seeks to make the case for Darwinian evolution, defending it against the critiques of naïve creationists and other amateurs whom Dawkins cites and argues with contemptuously — for example, a lawyer who runs a conservative website, a lady who’s an anti-abortion activist, and a guy with an Internet ministry. He meanwhile ignores intelligent design theorists with their Read More ›
Sometimes Jerry Coyne makes me spray my coffee. This gem from a post of his on detente in the new atheist-theist wars: Atheists have been “humble” for centuries (who was more humble than Spinoza?) and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s that crop of new atheist books that have finally created a climate in which atheists need not feel like pariahs… Humble? Atheism’s first assumption of power at the level of the nation-state was in the French Revolution. “Humility” doesn’t do justice to the carnage wrought by French atheism-in-power, nor to the Napoleonic wars and millions of dead that followed in the ensuing decades of “atheist humility.” In the 19th century “atheist humility” incubated in the minds of men like Read More ›
The silence of the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere on the ClimateGate scandal is remarkable. For years, readers of Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, Neurologica, WhyEvolutionIsTrue, Denialism, Respectful Insolence, and other militantly ‘pro-science’ blogs have been treated to rants about the need to protect the integrity of science from frauds and ideologically motivated practitioners. Of course, ‘protection of the integrity of science’ in the faux ‘pro-science’ blogsphere has generally meant suppression of skeptics who question so-called ‘consensus science’ on Darwinism and on Anthropogenic Global Warming. ‘Protection of science’ has more often that not entailed personal invective, recourse to ‘consensus’, advocacy of professional destruction of skeptics, deference to scientific authorities, censorship, and judicial coercion. The ClimateGate e-mails and data sets obtained from the Climate Research Unit Read More ›