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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sailer on Dawkins and God

Poking around VDARE turned up an essay Steve Sailer wrote back in 1999 regarding Darwin, evolution, and God. I found it interesting because it is similar but more completely developed and better written than what I recently wrote.

"A Miracle Happens Here:" Darwin's Enemies on the Right
Part I of a Two Part Series
by Steve Sailer, 11/20/99
Darwin seems to lose out with the public primarily when his supporters force him into a mano-a-mano Thunderdome death match against the Almighty. Most people seem willing to accept Darwinism as long as they don't have to believe in nothing but Darwinism. Thus, the strident tub-thumping for absolute atheism by evolutionary biologists like Richard Dawkins, author of the great book "The Selfish Gene," is counter-productive.
But biologists should be wary of atheistical triumphalism for more than merely tactical reasons. Dawkins' seems to have forgotten the point made by "Darwin's Bulldog," Thomas H. Huxley, that true skepticism implies agnosticism, not atheism. The smug atheism rampant among prominent evolutionists today is reminiscent of that of the physicists in 1899, just before the 20th Century unleashed a host of unwelcome surprises upon them. Unfortunately, biologists don't know enough of the history of physics and cosmology to see how atheistic dogmatism can mislead and slow scientific progress.
In other words, it's bad juju to let your dogma drive your kharma.

Sailer goes on to describe the plight of cosmologists. Faced with evidence that our universe has a finite age and is improbably tuned to carbon-based life's needs they still feel no need to invoke a Designer. Goodness no. Instead they posit an infinite number of universes.

Isn't it just wonderous? Next they'll be hypothesizing an infinite number of Flying Spaghetti Monsters. There's just as much evidence. Cosmologists don't need no stinkin Creator. They feel much more comfortable invoking Darwin to infinity and beyond.
This infinite universes concept is a sensationally creative idea. Of course, in its utter untestability, it's not exactly science. In truth, it is theological speculation at its most grandiose. Philosopher Robert C. Koons notes, "Originally, atheists prided themselves on being no-nonsense empiricists, who limited their beliefs to what could be seen and measured. Now, we find ourselves in a situation in which the only alternative to belief in God is belief in an infinite number of unobservable parallel universes! You've come along way, baby!" At minimum, we now know that our natural world cannot account for its own existence. To do that, we need to assume the existence of some sort of supernatural word. And even if some enormous breakthrough let us validate the existence of this superuniverse, we'd probably end up having to assume that it was brought about by some sort of hyperuniverse beyond that, and on and on.

In summary, for reasons stretching from the gritty world of tactical politics to the most ethereal conjectures about the cosmos (or cosmoses), those who claim to be skeptics should try harder to keep their minds open.


Blogger Katrina said...

I too, found the essay very interesting. I am interested in knowing what 1899 event is being referenced in the essay.

The smug atheism rampant among prominent evolutionists today is reminiscent of that of the physicists in 1899, just before the 20th Century unleashed a host of unwelcome surprises upon them.

1/24/2007 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

As mentioned several times in this blog, the battle between athiests and the tranditionally pious continues with ever increasing intensity.

I recently read blog that explores the beliefs another group of people who would like to throw their hat in the religous-debate ring. This group held a ceremony at the Temple of Zeus and have gone to the European Union to become "official". They are none other than the believers of not one but 12 Gods. Yes, they are the Greek Mythologists. I can't wait to hear their views on the other religions and evolution!

For PR sake they should probably pick a name that doesn't include the word myth.

Here's the link:

1/24/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

In 1899 the consensus amongst physicists and mathematicians was that most of the major problems were solved and those that remained would soon be solved by the reductionist techniques that had until then worked so well.

Heisenberg and Godel demolished those fantasies early in the 20th century.

I know a pagan couple. Leftists, but nice harmless people. It's all good as long as they don't try to force their religion on others.

1/26/2007 02:58:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

"Of course, in its utter untestability, it's not exactly science"

and henceforth your use of unscientific science allows me to counter Darwin with Intelligent (you know this stuff is so complex I cant think straight so it must be Divine) Design Theory.

Lets not forget the classic Unintelligent Design Theory, that some Unintelligent, Close-minded Supreme Being created everything the way it is and subsequently flushed it down the celestial toilet.

Cant science just be scientific?

3/08/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Skeptics serve a valuable purpose, regardless of their motivation. I find ID useful for that purpose, and criticism on the basis that it hurts science overblown.

The defensiveness with which Darwinists react to ID is revealing. Unthinking adherence to any dogma is the antithesis of science. IDers point out some holes in Darwinism. That their alternative explanation is logically equivalent to a belief in FSMs does not detract from the value of their criticism or the work done to answer it.

If you don't expect and answer criticism then you are not a scientist.

When self-appointed defenders of science seek to silence IDers, or talk of global warming "concensus" and "denial", they are the ones violating the principles of science.

3/23/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

When one concludes that something is so complex it must be divine, one leaves the realm of science.

They are not "silencing" IDers they are putting them in scientific perspective. Not all scientists (Darwinists or other) are atheists. Science is under continuous scrutiny from within the scientific community (aside from the philosophers, ethicists, religious rabble and politicians).

The "Darwinists" as most scientists accept criticism in the same way - not too well. It doesnt matter if it is criticism from the pope or from Einstein.

"The defensiveness with which Darwinists react to ID is revealing." Its a "theory" of evolution - nothing says its correct or perfect. It will undergo changes as more scientific research is conducted. The adversity and "defensiveness" is in response to the same type of conclusions drawn in 1899 - we have all the answers we need.

Lets stop funding scientific research now and pump the money into the pulpits.

4/16/2007 12:22:00 PM  

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