Re: [asa] Jerry Coyne's Confused Attack on Religion Part 2

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Jan 30 2009 - 08:34:09 EST

Hello again Mike,
It seems you are expanding the conversation by placing Coyne within the context of the 'New Atheist' movement. I wonder then what role you attribute to John Brockman and how you see the 'Third Culture' - Edge network playing its part? If you would be willing to compare this with what ASA is doing, I'd sure be interested to hear your views about it.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Edge Foundation, its mandate is this:
"The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society."
You'll perhaps notice that the word 'science' is not in this sentence. Yet Brockman has recruited many leading scientists who are also atheists or agnostics to promote the 'third culture' perspective. (

This approach would seem to be successful in that it is intentionally enrolling the assistance of anthropologists, psychologists, linguistics, and other social-humanitarian thinkers in dialogue with natural scientists. ASA doesn't seem interested in doing this or hasn't yet figured out how to succeed in such a task (though I am open and glad to be proven wrong on this). The Edge's 'world question center' is an extremely effective way of surveying the views of like-minded people, which again pools the resources of natural scientists, social scientists and humanitarians together. It shows that atheists and agnostics are curious and asking questions. And it is looking more globally-oriented and growing in reach each year...

Personally, I don't find PZ Myers that effective as a speaker/rhetorician outside of natural sciences, where real the action of the cultural wars in America, which he fuels and benefits from, is actually taking place.
--- On Fri, 1/30/09, Nucacids <> wrote:

From: Nucacids <>
Subject: Re: [asa] Jerry Coyne's Confused Attack on Religion Part 2
To: "Schwarzwald" <>,
Received: Friday, January 30, 2009, 3:23 PM

I agree with your points.  Conflict seems to be inevitable.  Remember that most of Coyne's essay was just borrowing from the New Atheist script, so Miller is not arguing with just Coyne here.  And the New Atheists have been busy chipping away at the Dover decision.  This is typically the point where Myers will step in.  __________________________________________________________________ Instant Messaging, free SMS, sharing photos and more... Try the new Yahoo! Canada Messenger at

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Received on Fri Jan 30 08:34:29 2009

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