>It is clear that your first definition above, "someone who holds that
>the scientific evidence supports evolution and that this implies
>atheism," is close, if not synonymous with the definition of Darwinism
>favored by Johnson and Dembski. The question of whether such persons,
>which clearly includes Dawkins, Provine, Puglicci, and Schafersman,
>is "a noisy but very small minority" is one which is not so clear --
>at least not to me. Note that I don't hold such a view particularly --
>neither do I reject it. It is simply an open question, and I really
>don't know how to address it. It is clear that the four individuals
>mentioned above, particularly Dawkins, taken together get a fair
>amount of press, argue well, etc.
We've seen similar discussions on this list before, I think.
If there is anything that I've learned from following discussions
with high emotional content, politics or excess baggage, it is
that volume is a poor indicator of representative opinion. The
press rarely publishes headlines like: "No conflict here!" They
actively seek out extremes of opinion. The same goes for any groups
that feel the need to get attention. It's not that they argue well,
it's that they are the few that argue. Note that polarization is
a classic tactic used to boost extremes by draining support from the
Here are about 50-75 data points:
None of my colleagues in biochemistry with whom I've had relevant
conversations on the topic agree with the extreme posititions taken
by the gentlemen listed above. Well, there was one exception. A
fellow grad student (at the time) who later entered the ministry
felt uneasy about whether evolutionary theory and Christianity could
be reconciled. Friends that have worked on projects directly related
to studies on evolution have never suggested that Darwinism implies
atheism. In fact, many were theists themselves. Most of the
professionals I've known easily separate the "wheat from the chaff"
on such poorly supported metaphysical opinions.
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