Saturday, May 6, 2017

Atheists And The Big Fear of It Being There - Hate Mail

I got a long message which I've got to answer but which I will not publish because it is full to the brim with personal and professional invective against living people and some dead ones.   If you people would control your baser volitions I would publish your comments.

First, I didn't state any theological arguments flowing from what people like Denis Noble, Lynn Margulis and James Shapiro said, as far as I know all of them are atheists - I didn't check - or, at least, know what I do, that science isn't equipped to make arguments related to the existence or non-existence of God.

Second, atheists have made all kinds of claims for science being able to do that, since before but especially after the publication of Origin of Species, scientists starting with those within Darwin's inner circle, and, clearly - based on that letter of 1881 which I posted last week, Darwin, himself asserted theological consequences for natural selection, some of them in books considered classics of the scientific literature.  Those arguments are as obviously a scientifically unwarranted extension of what the science can legitimately say about how the physical world operates as any claims that they support a case for making science "prove" the existence of God.  In that, by an enormous percent and by extreme extravagance of claims, atheists have been entirely more guilty than religious people have, especially religious scientists and others with some knowledge of the problem.

Third, outside of science, anyone is free to do what atheists do within science, take their cues from what science has discovered and to make arguments outside of science using that information.  Since atheists have inserted those kinds of arguments into scientific activity*, scientists such as Haeckel, Huxley, Galton, Oparin, Urey, Miller, ... and right up to those today such as Dawkins and Hawking, others not purporting their arguments or conclusions to be science are justified in coming to and publishing their conclusions using the information that science generally puts out.  Of course, they should do what celebrity and would-be-celebrity atheists seldom do, be responsible and honest and parsimonious in what they assert.

One of the reasons that an atheist fanatic like Jerry Coyne is so worked up about the thinking of such scientists as Noble and Shapiro is that the simple, molecule-based reductionist arguments of neo-Darwinism were simple and could be easily turned into simple arguments for atheism.  That, with far more information than went into that neo-Darwinian synthesis becoming available in recent decades, the neo-Darwinian explanation of evolution would seem to be quite inadequate to address that new information is clearly of secondary importance to such atheist ideologues than the fact that their preferred model is outmoded.  I really think that Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins have always been primarily motivated by their hatred of religion, not science.

As far as I can see, the newer information as discussed by Noble, Shapiro, Margulis, et al would make the idea that mindless random mutation rules all far harder to believe.  The details as discussed in the work of Margulis on the evolution of cells, Nobel's discussion about how cells work making genes able to "do" anything and, especially, correcting and mitigating the effect of random mutations, of directing much larger changes within the genetic material in the cell than neo-Darwinism thought possible, makes it harder to believe there isn't intentional direction involved is not science but I think it is intellectually more defensible than the idea that such incredibly complex actions on and especially by presumably unconscious molecules are just working on the basis of random chance.

But I would never claim that conclusion was a scientific one, science can't demonstrate that kind of intention but its findings can certainly suggest it to someone not afraid of  it being there.  Coyne obviously is afraid of it being there.  Dawkins has even more invested in the neo-Darwinist reductionism as his entire fame is based on popularizing it, he is looking at becoming a footnote from a past in a future for which he is no longer relevant.  As to what it does to his retirement and far more profitable career in celebrity atheism, it certainly doesn't make that more secure.

* I think it's time that we admit that any such claims by celebrity or wishing-to-be celebrity scientists, using their scientific credentials or fame to use those to push ideological agendas are, in a real sense, doing science when they do that.  For the vast majority of non-scientists and scientists who work in fields far removed from the ones involved in that atheist promotion, that kind of stuff is what science as an intellectual endeavor is for them.   The supposed science of "abiogenesis" was explicitly started as an atheist endeavor and it continues as such, in large part.  Cosmology and such areas as neurobiology are dominated by atheist ideologues clearly pursuing an atheist agenda as if it were science, coming up with all kinds of stuff, in cosmology mostly unsupported by any evidence, in neurobiology proceeding from an atheist agenda to provide atheists with "evidence" shaded to have that effect.

I'll leave it to scientists to consider the damage such widely disseminated ideology as science has done to the public reputation and understanding of science and scientists.  I doubt it's been good for it.

1 comment:

  1. Scientists have their popularizers who screw with the science to reach their conclusions (Dawkins, Sagan, Dennett); Christianity has its public idiots who proclaim the virtues of religiously operated hospitals so staff can evangelize patients.

    We all have our crosses to bear. I can't say Dawkins represents "science" any more than Trump's second candidate for Sec. Army (now withdrawn) represents all Christians everywhere. But just as I oppose, when necessary, such foolishness in the name of Xianity, I am free to critique Dawkins, et al., in the name of reason.

    "I will not publish because it is full to the brim with personal and professional invective against living people and some dead ones." Well, of course; why be rational when you can be emotional, eh?