Fratricide: New Atheists vs. Framing Atheists

As of late there has been a lot of spittle passed between two camps in the Darwin-sphere. Things are getting really nasty, as so often happens among atheist factions. On one side are the new atheists: Coyne, Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, Myers. On the other side are the … well for want of a better word — the “framing” atheists: Ruse, Mooney, Kirshenbaum, Nisbet, Scott. With the exception of a few theist Darwinians (an oxymoron, I know) like Ken Miller, the motivation of the combatants seems to be the same: how to best advance an atheist-Darwinian understanding of man and nature. The factions differ on tactics. The new atheists advocate militancy. They believe:

Robert Wright’s “Grand Bargain” on Evolution? Maybe Not So Grand After All

I like Robert Wright and enjoyed his recent book The Evolution of God. One thing I value about him is his candor. Thus in his New York Times op-ed on Sunday proposing a “grand bargain” between religion and science (i.e., Darwinism), he can’t help but blurt out what would be asked in this bargain even of religious believers who think they’ve already managed to square God with Darwin. These believers, notably adherents of “theistic evolution,” with their minimalist view of the Deity, should be prepared to “scale back their conception of God’s role in creation.” If I’m reading Bob Wright correctly, even the theism-lite of theistic evolution can be reconciled with a full-bodied Darwinism only at the cost of further Read More ›

Three Tips for Students Going Back to School to Study Evolution

After attending public schools from kindergarten through my masters degree, I learned a few lessons about staying informed while studying a biased and one-sided origins curriculum. My large, inner-city public high school was rich in diversity, and I learned to appreciate a multiplicity of viewpoints and backgrounds. Unfortunately, this diversity did not extend into the biology classroom. There I was told there was one, and only one, acceptable perspective regarding origins: neo-Darwinian theory. As students head back to school this year, I want to share some tips I’ve learned to help students stay informed on this topic: Tip #1: Never opt out of learning evolution. In fact, learn about evolution every chance you get. Evolutionary biologist Patrick J. Keeling claims Read More ›

Intelligent Design Implications Disclaimed as Biomimicry Increasingly Discussed in Scientific Literature

A recent Reuters article titled “IBM uses DNA to make next-gen microchips” explains, as the title suggests, that microchip manufacturers are finding it cheaper and more efficient to use DNA as a framework on which to build microchips. The news story is based upon a new article in the journal Nature Nanotechnology proposing that DNA can form a template for building microchips: “DNA origami, in which a long single strand of DNA is folded into a shape using shorter ‘staple strands’6, can display 6-nm-resolution patterns of binding sites, in principle allowing complex arrangements of carbon nanotubes, silicon nanowires, or quantum dots.” This article is part of a much bigger trend, as scientific journals are increasingly discussing biomimetics. The journal Philosophical Read More ›

Dear Ben…

To: Ben SteinFrom: Walter DurantyNew York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist (deceased, but never fired).936,287,434 Seventh CircleMoloch Township, Gehenna. Dearest Ben,My condolences on your involuntary departure from the New York Times. Down Here, we all find it very amusing.Yea, we all know that you got canned by the Grey Lady- by e-mail, no less. The pretense: your ‘crime’ was to hawk the services of an on-line credit report company that the Times management thought unethical.Of course, causing people who trusted you to lose money would have been your quickest ticket to promotion at the ‘Newspaper with a of Record.’ Pinch Sulzberger reduced the value of the stock of the world’s ‘Newspaper of Record’ by 6 billion dollars (1999 50 bucks /share; Read More ›