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Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Dawkins's crusade.

Writing in American Scientist, Michael Ruse compares Richard Dawkins's collection of ephemera, A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love, to second-rate wine. "How often has one had a wonderful, local wine in a little restaurant in Spain or Italy, and on bringing a bottle home been amazed at how thin and sour it tastes when served up proudly to one's friends? It is much this way with the contents of A Devil's Chaplain."

Some of Ruse's criticism parallels my own quarrel with Dawkins's anti-religion crusade. Ruse writes:

In recent years, his attention has swung from writing about science for a popular audience to waging an all-out attack on Christianity. In the name of Darwinism, he has become the scourge of the religious, the atheist's answer to Billy Graham. At every opportunity, he preaches the hard truth—there is no God, religion is superstition, and Darwin proves just this. Essentially, what ties this volume together is the crusade of nonbelief, for just about every piece carries this same message.

Ruse isn't religious himself, but he recognizes where Dawkins has ceased to think critically and turned into a zealot:

I would like to see Dawkins take Christianity as seriously as he undoubtedly expects Christianity to take Darwinism. I would also like to see him spell out fully the arguments as to the incompatibility of science (Darwinism especially) and religion (Christianity especially). So long as his understanding of Christianity remains at the sophomoric level, Dawkins does not deserve full attention.

Science deserves a better champion.

(Thanks for the tip, Kenneth!)

Science bloggers.

While I'm thinking about science writers, here are two good blogs by professionals: Chris C. Mooney and Carl Zimmer. I'll gladly take other recommendations in the Suggestion Box.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 5 November 2003 at 5:32 PM

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2 comments:

robin:

December 25, 2005 04:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

BAH! What a load of humbug.

This blog quotes somebody thus:

"I would like to see Dawkins take Christianity as seriously as he undoubtedly expects Christianity to take Darwinism."

Isn't it blindingly obvious that Christianity has no virtues that even comes close to deserving of respect?

Also, Christians don't respect Darwinism! It's antithetical to their beliefs. Since when does America - the largest and most "Christian" country on this planet, respect anybody or anything???

feh!

Philocrites:

December 25, 2005 11:29 PM | Permalink for this comment

Robin, are you trying to exemplify a kind of Dawkinsian bigotry? You sure come across poorly. Michael Ruse, the guy you quote, is a non-religious philosopher of science and proponent of modern Darwinian evolutionary biology. I'm a liberal Christian who studied the philosophy and history of science, wrote a thesis about the Darwinian anthropologist Loren Eiseley, and strongly endorses the teaching of scientific consensus in science classes. I love Darwin.

Your phrase is telling: Anything that is "blindingly obvious" probably is blinding you. Pro-Darwinians need religious allies. Don't piss on friends you need -- people like me and Ruse. But maybe you're not really pro-science; maybe you're just anti-religion. Bah humbug to you, too.



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