Re: [asa] Atheist finds God thru Behe's books....

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Tue Oct 13 2009 - 20:13:14 EDT

My comments interspersed below.

Cameron Wybrow wrote:
> Methodological naturalism is fine in its place. But in the hands of
> Eugenie Scott and NCSE, it is merely a scientific-sounding cover for
> unacknowledged atheism, and that is how it's used in the culture wars.
I appreciate your allowance for at lease some *sensible* place for MN.
As I've become something of a defender of MN (in my own thoughts at
least), I can appreciate and agree with your concerns about how it is
used. ---More below.

> I didn't say that methodological naturalism was a capitulation to the
> Enlightenment. I said that *a rigid boundary between science and
> faith* was a capitulation to the Enlightenment. NOMA, a principle
> which many here seem to hold dear, <snip>
I'm curious who, on this list, would actually defend NOMA. I only know
it from having read Gould's 'Rocks of Ages', and while I think his tones
were respectful and that he may have even thought he was trying to do
religious folks a favor by carving out some special space for them, I
didn't agree with his main point. I would be surprised if many others
here did, but I would like to hear it defended if that is so.

> I do not understand why you think a scientific method should try to
> "keep out" Muslim views or YEC views or anything else. A scientific
> method should try to determine what is true about nature, and let the
> chips fall where they may, <snip>
You seem sure in the rest of this paragraph that those chips have
already fallen in favor of an ID conclusion --and that any fair and
unbiased reading would reveal this. Otherwise, why not include ID in
your list below, along with Muslim views or YEC as being one of the
contenders that simply waits to see how the chips fall? Perhaps I am
reading a bit much into your 'allow them to infer' phrase below, but
since you refer to design as 'a more reasonable explanation' in the same
sentence, it would seem that you find the jury is in where others
contend it is still out, and indeed many others yet (stubbornly --you
would say, and I agree) say the jury is in but with precisely the
opposite verdict.

I appreciate your exchanges on this list even if I haven't read them
all. (Bernie likes 'pithiness' --- you write tomes --my perseverance
gauge is set somewhere in between, depending on how badly I want to put
off grading papers.
> as far as whether the results please or offend any religious groups.
> Thus, I think it is perfectly appropriate to teach schoolchildren
> information that would allow them to infer that YEC is impossible --
> BUT only on the proviso that schoolchildren are ALSO taught
> information that would allow them to infer that design is a more
> reasonable explanation for the origin of life than abiogenesis by
> random recombination of atoms. If science class isn't going to worry
> about offending fundamentalists, neither should it worry about
> offending atheists. What offended ME about the Dover Trial was the
> self-righteousness of the atheists in the ACLU and the media who
> condescendingly lectured the fundamentalists for trying to control the
> contents of science class in order to promote their religion, when the
> atheists quite plainly wanted to make sure that nothing was taught in
> biology class, in Dover or anywhere else in the country, that could
> lead students to infer the existence of a designer, since the
> existence of a designer would threaten their own atheist religion.
> And they claimed that they were defending "constitutional neutrality
> regarding religion". Right.
> Cameron.

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Received on Tue Oct 13 20:13:59 2009

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