I read this article after reading the sunday morning service and think we should discuss this here at think atheist.
Please read the article and then comment, my first reaction was ' fuck living side by side with all their dogma and what it means and has meant to humanity through out history'. Then I read the article and the comments and changed my position to 'fuck living side by side with all their dogma and what it means and has meant to humanity through out history'.
We cannot let this happen , this gives them vindication for their bollock right along side evolution. Please if this were to happen we might as well chuck in the towel now. I also believe we will get more of this type of article.
We have them on the run, lets hear the new atheist cry, TORA TORA TORA
Scary but true. My wife and I grew up in the northwest. My science classes in high school had zero evolution. No creationism either, just avoided the topic entirely. My wife said for her, she learned about evolution in biology, but the teacher skipped three chapters without comment: the chapter on Darwin's contributions, the chapter on primate evolution, and the chapter on human evolution.
I do think that sentence could have been worded better. Maybe something like "Because evolution is controversial in the views of some, public school science teachers... ..."
Its good to imagine what victory might look like but before we torpedo the Pearl Harbor of dogma.
There are 900 million people in the West (US and the EU). If you need 50% on them on your side to legislate humanism, the groundwork for this campaign may take some time and effort. I think what Shermer is proposing is a long term political strategy to win a war that is currently being waged on many fronts. The biggest short term win is a ruling pro-science coaliton that includes a plurality of theists and a minority non-theist faction.
We just survived eight years of the American Theocracy under W and the evidence is that we will be fighting for every inch of political ground for generations. Bombs away.
I don't have a problem with this article, nor do I have a problem with theists, polytheists, agnostics, spiritualists, Wiccans, etc. I have a problem with religious groups chipping away at the separation of church and state and/or trying to force views on others, but I don't want to negate people's rights to have their own spiritual or non-spiritual views. Just as I want people to respect my choice NOT to espouse a theistic faith, I respect people's right to have one. I think it's a step in a positive direction for religious groups to acknowledge the validity of evolution. I don't see how that's threatening to atheism.
I teach college-level sociology/anthropology and am saddened each semester by the number of students who have no real understanding--or limited understanding--of evolution. I have to stress the difference between scientific theory and faith-based beliefs (i.e., creationism or "intelligent design") and after discussion of what the theory of evolution actually is, with the decades of scientific support for it, students recognize the validity of the theory. Many had NEVER been exposed to it in high school, or had it misrepresented to them. In class, I share with them quotes from various religious leaders (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) who stress that there is no necessary incompatibility between accepting evolutionary theory and maintaining religious beliefs. Opening the door to scientific inquiry and understanding--and hopefully opening minds at the same time--is a positive thing. I find it offensive that some Christians want and expect everyone to agree with their belief system; as such, as an atheist, I don't feel like the world has to agree with my views. It would be nice, though, though, if my views were as accepted as those who choose to be "traditionally" religious.
I haven't read Shermer's essay or Coyne's response yet, but I can probably guess why Coyne says what he says.
Any religion can be compatible with science as long as religion is willing to change to accept the science. And religion has evolved to survive and thrive in our modern world. In that sense, it is compatible, but that is probably not what Coyne means. And just because people can hold mutually exclusive viewpoints does not mean that they are compatible viewpoints.
But, I am just passing wind here based on what I know of Shermer and Coyne. I'll have to read up further on the latest goings on.
Hi Jeff FlyingV,
Having trouble responding to your question about Christians accepting science, and wanting to meld theistic and naturalistic explanations of the natural world. (My computer seems to keep freezing when I click on comment and your page links; must be a malevolent spirit) I would say definitely yes. There's a silly little movement called Theistic Evolution, in which adherents think that God is behind evolution (see wiki page on this...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution). I'm OK with this position as these folks were the creationists who got hip to the factuality of evolution, and are now willing to debate young earth creationists and the Intelligent design crowd. For science education these are our christian allies (if such a thing is possible). Other religionists that accept evolution at about 80% are the Buddhists. I'm working on an essay for my blog that I'll post in a day or two at http://armchairdarwin.blogspot.com/ in which I will sketch out a strategy for promoting acceptance of evolution that includes mandatory primary education in evolutionary theory as is to my knowledge now the case in the UK.
Yessir, any atheist that accepts dogma isn't worth the spit of my french kiss. In fact let's just cross out the word "belief" from our dictionaries, let alone anyone letting themselves get bogged down in dogma-land. I don't need to believe in anything. I'm perfectly satisfied to to wait 'till enough evidence is in before I have a position on something.
...You may be speaking tongue in cheek, in which case, double-ha.
"Belief" is such a part of normal conversational semantics. "I believe..." is quite a universal joiner for all sorts of sayings (some having to do with faith, some not), "e.g. I believe non-stamp collecting is not a hobby." Besides, we still use language like, "Genes want to reproduce." The word "believe" is just a convenient anthropocentric construct for explaining speculative thought. It's the action that really tells volumes about the inmost philosophy of one's life.
I believe that these kinds of discussions are fun.
On topic, I would say that I agree with some of what has been said that having "allies," even if they do believe in sky daddies, is just fine. At least by accepting evolution, a believer is reflecting some of reality. Thanks for sharing that, a7. (And thanks to you, too CK.)