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“The Limits of Atheism”? Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Posted by henry000 in anti-evolution, atheism, Behe, creationism, evolution, faith, fundamentalism, God, Michael Behe, rationality, reason, religion, science.
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Sometimes I wonder where the journalistic standards have been these days. Here is an appalling article written by a columnist named David Warren, titled “The Limits of Atheism”. Firstly it addresses nothing on the limits of atheism, instead it is all mumbo-jumbo on evolution; secondly it is full of the straw-man and manipulative arguments coming from the religious bigotry frame of mind.

Let’s start with the second paragraph. Warren simply asserts that most of the proponents of “evolutionism” know little science and cannot engage in details scientific discussions:

For most of these correspondents know precious little science, and haven’t the stamina to engage in detailed argument. They are simply shocked and appalled that anyone would dream of challenging what they believe to be the consensus of “qualified experts,” whom they assume are a closed camp of hard-bitten materialists, with no time for religious or poetical flights.

How outrageous!

It is the creationists of any creationism flavours who exhibit the undesirable trait of ignorance in evolution (and science in general) – we see this time and time again in the never-ending debates against creationists. We are all familiar with how they argue, which involves techniques such as quote mining, mis-understanding science, trumpeting scientists’ mistakes, using out-of-date data, using any areas of uncertainty as proof etc, you name it.

It is precisely the lack of “stamina” to engage in scientific arguments that make creationists of all favours so foolish and wrong. For example,  Michael Behe – one of the very few quotable reputable creationist-scientist today – has had one of his central argument refuted completely here by a grad student.

What on earth does Warren mean by putting quotes around “qualified experts”?

They (evolution proponents) imagine themselves to have an impersonal interest in defending science against “religious superstition,” and the dangers to society that the latter might present. They in fact have strong and uncompromising religious beliefs of their own, which they are loath to have questioned.

Yes of course! We stand to defend human knowledge and the scientific method as well as rationality from religious ignorance and fundamentalist thinking and manipulation.

I often wonder why the religious fundamentalists think evolutionists are arrogant, in that we have “uncompromising religious beliefs” of our own – when the complete opposite is true! Nothing, even in the face of undeniable evidence, will change the creationist’s mind, where as the proponents of evolution and science are the opposite – by definition. Now who is “uncompromising”?

In the concluding paragraphs Warren writes about a recent scientific finding showing that DNA could not have survived comets crashing into earth, because he attempts to show that yet another possible naturalistic explanation of origin of life is been shown not possible. He again shows his lack of understanding in evolution by using the argument of chance. This time this chance argument is done with a twist. Warren thinks that the materialistic evolutionists have resorted to the “multiple universes” hypothesis in order to let chance to explain the origin of life. What idiotic and criminal claim!

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Comments»

1. Ian - Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I suppose you could call it projection – the David Warren obviously “know[s] precious little science”, but spews off his utterly uninformed opinions anyway, utterly untroubled by facts or critical reading skills. I suppose that’s a difference between bloggers and journalists – while bloggers are often very knowledgeable in the areas they blog, journalists usually have only a passing knowledge of the subject, and almost invariably get things very wrong.

I love his closing: “Those who refuse to acknowledge God, will not give up.” Obviously he is just approaching the issue as a dispassionate observer. Since the existence of God is something directly observable, like gravity or evolution, only a person with “strong and uncompromising religious beliefs” would ever dare to question the existence of God.

2. h3nry - Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jason Rosenhouse at his fantastic blog EvolutionBlog has also written a post hammering the stupidity of Warren:


http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2007/08/warren_on_atheism.php

Thanks Ian, I fully agree with your views.

3. vjack - Thursday, August 16, 2007

I too am outraged by what often passes for journalism. However, I think we must remember how and where these folks were educated. They are surrounded by a culture that both misunderstands and demonizes atheism. It is hard not to expect them to reflect that culture. Short of more organized efforts, all we can really do when we encounter this sort of thing is write to the author, editor, or comment on the website to correct some of these misconceptions.


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