Sunday, November 26, 2006

Arguing amongst themselves

There have been some very interesting conversations going on in blogosphere lately. It seems that lines are being draw among the atheist/agnostic supporters of Darwinian evolution.

On the one side, we have the die hard atheists who feel that it’s not just science that needs to be grasped away from the clutches of the “Christians”, “fundamentalists”, and “ID supporters”. They feel that the world needs a wake up call in order for us all to realize how foolish our “supernatural” beliefs really are. Supporters of this line of action include: Richard Dawkins, biologist and author, Sam Harris, doctoral student in neuroscience and author, PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, and Larry Moran, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto.

On the other end, we have bloggers who agree with the aforementioned gentlemen on all matters of science and most of their beliefs about religion. But, they feel that the better approach in this debate is not to lean so hard on people of various religious beliefs because there are many theistic evolutionists who believe in a god while at the same time supporting Darwinian evolution. They don’t want to lose those supporters by being too hard on their faith beliefs. Those who hold this line of thought include: Ed Brayton, a freelance writer and businessman, Pat Hayes blogger of Red State Rabble, and Joshua Rosenau, biology graduate student at the University of Kansas.

So, what to make of all this??? Well, it appears that they are all trying to find the best route in which to keep science free from anything they believe is being thrust upon them by “authoritarian fundamentalists” (ie, anyone who supports Intelligent Design). Yet, they don’t want to alienate those who may support various religious beliefs which do not interfere with the philosophical views held by atheists and agnostics. In other words, any of the theistic evolutionists who reject Intelligent Design or any other theory that questions Darwinian evolution.

Though, they all agree that it is fine to go after supporters of Intelligent Design by any means necessary. I’ve been told that I am a “religious authoritarian” because I support Intelligent Design and find Creationist theories quite compelling as well. That makes me the enemy, and I’ve also been told that Christians like myself are out to push my religious beliefs into the science classroom. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but that’s the subject for another post.

It is quite interesting that they call us “authoritarians”, because I’ve never heard supporters of ID say that they want to eliminate evolution from being taught in the schools. We would merely like the students to have the opportunity to critically analyze the various aspects of Darwinian evolution, and give consideration to the theory of Intelligent Design.

The way I see it, these gentlemen who are fighting amongst themselves are the true “authoritarians” because they refuse to allow their theory to be questioned. On the other hand, supporters of ID are more than happy to let the ToE be taught in it’s full glory. It seems to me that if the ToE is such a solid theory, we wouldn’t see such a huge uproar from the “scientific community”. They seem so defensive, while the ID guys seem quite happy to put their theory alongside the ToE. Actually, ID is not a threat to evolution, it's only a threat to those who hold the philosophical belief that the universe is the product of mere chance.

Hmmm.. makes you wonder who is more confident about their science.

Here’s the conversation that takes the cake....

PZ Myers hops over to Kansas Citizens for Science to have a little conversation with Liz Craig and Jack Krebs, avid supporters of Darwin as well.

Check out how PZ describes Christians who take God's word seriously:
The atheist influence in this part of the country has been negligible: our region's problems must be laid entirely at the door of our good fellow Christian citizens, no others. Those problems are entirely the result of a smug, insular, nastily inbred Christian monoculture, one that never questions the Book of Genesis, never confronts different ideas, never thinks.
LOL... now don’t be too offended by PZ’s nastiness. He hates anything that remotely resembles religious thought.

Here is where he really blasts us...

But you do need some small minority [meaning himself and his atheist "team"] who are willing to stand up to those fundamentalist freaks and tell them without hesitation that they are goddamned idiots. You need someone to tell them to be ashamed of their ignorance. You need someone to tell them they're wrong without following it up with a friendly pat on the head and a reassurance that you still love and respect them merely because they share some superstitions with you.
Good grief, PZ, why don’t you really let us know what you think of us?? Isn’t it interesting that a guy whose philosophical beliefs are held by a relatively small minority of people is telling all of us what “idiots” ~we~ are?

At least he’s honest. I’ve seen some of the other supporters of Darwinian evolution say some pretty inflammatory things about people who hold various religious beliefs as well. But, lately they’ve been toning down because they don’t want to appear as bigoted as PZ does.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t agree with him. In fact, I know that many of them do. But, they know that type of attitude won’t help in their agenda to keep their theory from being questioned.

If you keep reading through the KCFS conversation, you’ll see that Jack Krebs is hoping to further “educate“ the poor idiots who have no understanding of how science works. See, they believe that you are merely "ignorant" about science if you question common descent or consider arguments for Intelligent Design:

Now that we have a couple of years where the standards aren't our main concern, we plan to work on informing and educated the public about issues in a way that might make the creationists have less appeal at the polls.
Now, bear in mind that “creationist” means anyone who considers the theory of Intelligent Design. As long as a religious person keeps their beliefs to themselves and never considers arguments that support the improbability that the complexity of the universe evolved by any means other than natural causes, then they are free to be part of the “team“.

Otherwise, you are deemed a “goddamned, ignorant freak” according to PZ Myers supporters.

And now a word for the “Reasonable Kansans” out there. Listen intently to what the Kansas Citizens for Science group has to say about science. Believe me, Jack Krebs is much more reasonable than PZ Myers. But, be sure to also consider all the evidence against their arguments as well. There are many excellent books covering all the issues of this debate from the point of view of credentialed scientists who very much oppose the views of the above mentioned individuals. I’ll put together a long list of excellent books in the near future.