[asa] Edward O. Wilson shares Dawkins’ basic views

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed Sep 27 2006 - 10:52:31 EDT

At 05:13 PM 9/5/2006, George Murphy wrote:

>"..... I think that the appeal he makes is
>reasonable. ...as Wilson notes, the opposition
>to sound environmental policy from some on the
>religious [fill in the "r"-word] continues to be
>a problem - & that's especially the case since
>some people with those views are in positions to
>influence or make policy in the current administration. ~ Shalom George

@ Can an unsound/muddled "thinker" be thought
able to make "reasonable" appeals --- except by
one who has also denied the law of non-contradiction? :)

~ Janice

The Devil’s Chaplain Confounded - Stephen M. Barr

".... That is why Sir Francis Crick, Edward O.
Wilson, and many others who share Dawkins’ basic
views call free will an illusion. ..."

Stephen M. Barr is a theoretical particle
physicist at the Bartol Research Institute of the
University of Delaware. He is the author of
Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (University of
Notre Dame Press).
2004 http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0408/articles/barr.htm

January 18, 2006 Stephen Barr writes:

In his op-ed piece last Sunday in USA Today,
Edward O. Wilson makes a sweeping pronouncement:
“The two world views–science-based explanations
and faith-based religion–cannot be reconciled.” I
agree: one cannot reconcile them, because they do
not need to be reconciled. They do not need to be
reconciled, because they do not conflict. They do
not conflict, because no assertion made by one
contradicts any assertion made by the other. I am
speaking of my own “faith-based religion”,
Catholicism. If there were any accepted
science-based explanation that conflicted with
what my Church teaches, I think I would have
noticed it at some point during my thirty years
as a research scientist. Prof. Wilson’s
pronouncement comes out of the blue. There is
nothing in the rest of his op-ed piece–or indeed
in his other writings–that backs it up. Is it too
much to expect a scientist to stick to facts,
while extolling the virtues of sticking to facts?

Stephen Barr is a theoretical particle physicist
at the Bartol Research Institute of the
University of Delaware, and a member of the
editorial board of FIRST
THINGS. http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?m=2006&w=3

January 17, 2006 Joseph Bottum writes:

Well, at least Edward O. Wilson is trying. ** In
op-ed Sunday morning in USA Today, Harvard’s
famed entomologist called for a ceasefire in the
evolution wars: “American civilization was born
of both religion and the science-based
Enlightenment. Science will go on expanding its
way, and religion will continue to evolve its
way. Our culture is strong in civility and common
sense. As always, we’ll work things out.”

The confidence of that last line isn’t quite
commensurate with the alarmism of the rest of the
op-ed. Nor is the praised civility fully on display.

Still, Wilson has an impulse that isn’t silly. He
seems to think the problem comes entirely from
the religious side, but that may be merely a side
effect of the fact that it is an audience of
scientists, or perhaps pro-science journalists, he’s trying to convince.

This claim of Wilson’s, however, seems curious:
“What then are we to do? Put the differences
aside, I say. Meet on common ground where we can
find it. An excellent example taking form is the
cooperation between science and religion, the two
most powerful forces in the world, to protect
Earth’s vanishing natural habitats and species­in
other words, the Creation, however we believe it came into existence.”

The capitalized word “Creation” does rather
suggest a Creator, but set that aside for a
moment. Where does he find the grounds for this
kind of ethical claim about the good of
environmentalism? It’s quite possibly true, but
the whole point of his article is that science
and religion are so utterly divided that they
cannot touch. And Wilson’s reason seems finally
to be a fact/value distinction. Maybe religious
types can get to an ethical claim out of that,
but the science types surely can’t. Unless, of
course, it’s not fact-laden science they hold,
but something like “scienticism”­a value-laden
system that sometimes masquerades as
science." http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?m=2006&w=3

** USA Today
Posted 1/15/2006 8:01 PM Updated 1/15/2006 8:02 PM

Let's accept the fault line between faith and science
By Edward O. Wilson


To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Sep 27 10:53:02 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Sep 27 2006 - 10:53:02 EDT