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Og Ruse er ingen hvem som helst. Vi snakker muligens om den ledende ateistiske vitenskapsfilosofen på markedet. Noe som allerede i utgangspunktet lukter trøbbel. Nye ateister og filosofi passer omtrent like godt som ild og vann.
De er kort sagt sånn på jordet faglig når det gjelder filosofi (et fagfelt flere av dem ser ut til å mislike sterkt, og opplever som "selvrefererende", og "uten datagrunnlag") at det er betenkelig at verken de selv eller deres støttespillere ser dette. Dawkins ville i følge Ruse kort sagt strøket selv i et introduksjonskurs, og resten har så langt ikke korrigert hans filosofiske flauser.
Which brings me to the point of what I want to say. I find myself in a peculiar position. In the past few years, we have seen the rise and growth of a group that the public sphere has labeled the "new atheists" - people who are aggressively pro-science, especially pro-Darwinism, and violently anti-religion of all kinds, especially Christianity but happy to include Islam and the rest.
Actually the arguments are not that "new," but no matter - the publicity has been huge.
Distinctive of this group, although well known to anyone who studies religion and the way in which sects divide and proliferate, is the fact that (with the possible exception of the Catholic Church) nothing incurs their wrath than those who are pro-science but who refuse to agree that all and every kind of religious belief is wrong, pernicious, and socially and personally dangerous. Recently, it has been the newly appointed director of the NIH, Francis Collins, who has been incurring their hatred. Given the man's scientific and managerial credentials - completing the HGP under budget and under time for a start - this is deplorable, if understandable since Collins is a devout Christian.
I am not a devout Christian, yet if anything, the things said against me are worse. Richard Dawkins, in his best selling The God Delusion, likens me to Neville Chamberlain, the pusillanimous appeaser of Hitler at Munich. Jerry Coyne reviewed one of my books (Can a Darwinian be a Christian?) using the Orwellian quote that only an intellectual could believe the nonsense I believe in. And non-stop blogger P. Z. Myers has referred to be as a "clueless gobshite." This invective is all because, although I am not a believer, I do not think that all believers are evil or stupid, and because I do not think that science and religion have to clash. (Of course some science and religion clashes. That is the whole point of the Darwinism-Creationism debate. The matter is whether all science and religion clash, something I deny strongly.)
Let me say that I believe the new atheists do the side of science a grave disservice.
Hvilket er pussig siden Harris og Dennett presumptivt har studert filosofi.
But I think first that these people do a disservice to scholarship. Their treatment of the religious viewpoint is pathetic to the point of non-being. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument. If we criticized gene theory with as little knowledge as Dawkins has of religion and philosophy, he would be rightly indignant. (He was just this when, thirty years ago, Mary Midgeley went after the selfish gene concept without the slightest knowledge of genetics.) Conversely, I am indignant at the poor quality of the argumentation in Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and all of the others in that group.Saken blir ikke bedre for Ruse av at de kan forstyrre kampen mot kreasjonismen.
Secondly, I think that the new atheists are doing terrible political damage to the cause of Creationism fighting. Americans are religious people. You may not like this fact. But they are. Not all are fanatics. Survey after survey shows that most American Christians (and Jews and others) fall in the middle on social issues like abortion and gay marriage as well as on science. They want to be science-friendly, although it is certainly true that many have been seduced by the Creationists. We evolutionists have got to speak to these people. We have got to show them that Darwinism is their friend not their enemy. We have got to get them onside when it comes to science in the classroom. And criticizing good men like Francis Collins, accusing them of fanaticism, is just not going to do the job. Nor is criticizing everyone, like me, who wants to build a bridge to believers - not accepting the beliefs, but willing to respect someone who does have them.Konklusjonen er ikke uventet.
I think that P. Z. Myers and his crew are as disastrous to the evolution side - and people like me need to say this - as Ben Stein is disastrous to the Creationism side - and the Creationists should have had the guts to say so. I have written elsewhere that The God Delusion makes me ashamed to be an atheist. Let me say that again. Let me say also that I am proud to be the focus of the invective of the new atheists. They are a disaster and I want to be on the front line of those who say so.Blodig er nok ordet, ja.