Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Science versus Scientism

From the First Things web site: Physics Professor Stephen Barr relates the story about philosopher Daniel Dennett’s lecture entitled “Darwin, Meaning, Truth, and Morality.” Dennett claimed that Darwin had shredded the credibility of religion and was, indeed, the very “destroyer” of God. But then U. Delaware philosophy professor Jeff Jordan made the following observation to Dennett: “If Darwinism is inherently atheistic, as you say, then obviously it can’t be taught in public schools.” “And why is that?” inquired Dennett, incredulous. “Because,” said Jordan, “the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution guarantees government neutrality between religion and irreligion.”

What you will not learn in school is that Darwinism is inherently atheistic. The majority of grade and high school teachers do not even realize that truth. In the Dec. 2005 issue of First Things magazine, Michael Behe tells of his own Catholic school education and its blasé treatment of evolution. “In the end,” warns Behe, “the ability of a Christian to see the hand of God in nature – not in some gauzy, emotional sense, but as a deduction from the physical data – is finally considered illegitimate.”

The ideology of atheistic Darwinism has led to a blasé disregard of truth among the very scientists who dedicate their lives to its search. In a rare revelation, the distinguished biologist and atheist Richard Lewontin wrote in the New York Review of Books: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.”

This tolerance of fantasy in the name of science is called scientism. In the 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II wrote that “scientism relegates religious, theological, ethical and aesthetic knowledge to the realm of mere fantasy.”

You decide which is the fantasy.


Blogger Ralph said...

I have never believe that Darwinism is atheistic. I don't know why God should be precluded from any method of creation nor any justification for understanding the biblical creation story as a literal depiction of events.
Likewise, I have not really been paying attention to this Intelligent Design business. If if is merely a cover for the literalists who want to believe that God did everything at once 6,000 years ago, then get them out of the schools.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

You have fallen prey to a pair of popular myths.

Evolution is a scientific theory while Darwinism is an ideology founded in atheism.

Intelligent Design is a scientific discipline that has nothing to do with theliteral genesis story.

That these myths are popular in the schools is a shame, and I aim to do something about it.

Let's discuss via email.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here we go again with another example of your profound paranoia. Of course, someone's out to get you and they're liberal, muslim, European, atheist, arab, feminist, communist.....or some combination of all these.

In this case, you claim it's the Darwinists. Give me a break.

In fact there's a whole range of theories which have been developed from Darwin's original ideas, in the following 5 major categories:

(1) Evolution. This is the theory that the world is not constant or recently created nor perpetually cycling, but rather is steadily changing, and that organisms are transformed in time.

(2) Common descent. This is the theory that every group of organisms descended from a common ancestor, and that all groups of organisms, including animals, plants, and microorganisms, ultimately go back to a single origin of life on earth.

(3)Multiplication of species. This theory explains the origin of the enormous organic diversity. It postulates that species multiply, either by splitting into daughter species or by "budding", that is, by the establishment of geographically isloated founder populations that evolve into new species.

(4) Gradualism. According to this theory, evolutionary change takes place through the gradual change of populations and not by the sudden (saltational) production of new individuals that represent a new type.

(5) Natural selection. According to this theory, evolutionary change comes about throught the abundant production of genetic variation in every generation. The relatively few individuals who survive, owing to a particularly well-adapted combination of inheritable characters, give rise to the next generation.



11:51 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

I find it instructive that every comment by Tex begins with an ad hominem attack. Here it is my "profound paranoia." Cute!

As always, Tex ignores what I actually said: "Darwinism is an ideology founded in atheism."

What part of "founded" do you not understand Tex?

He then catalogues the principles of evolution science and proclaims: "ALL THESE IDEAS ARE PERFECTLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PRESENCE OF A CREATIVE DEITY."

I appreciate the lesson, and agree with the conclusion. Of course none of this addresses my original contention.

Perhaps Tex will pay better attention when I explain the historical basis of Darwinism in my next post (12/17).

One can but hope.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

And on the subject of the teaching of evolution in our schools and colleges, the biology culture is dominated at the top by committed materialists and athiests (95% of the biologists in the National Academy of Sciences).

Their influence is seen throughout the educational heirarchy: It's "turtles all the way down."

That attitude is not only non-scientific, it's also intellectually dishonest, Tex.

11:40 AM  

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