Friday, March 28, 2008


The Smell of Fear

Hey! Dr. Michael Egnor is back speaking before he thinks ... assuming there's an option about that:

In Expelled ... Dr. Myers explains his goal for science education:

…what we have to do is get it to a place where religion is treated at the level it should be treated— that is, it should be something fun, that people get together and do on the weekends, and really doesn't affect their life as much as it has been so far…

What will the world look like, if Dr. Myers gets his wish? Dr.Myers:

…greater science literacy, which is going to lead to the erosion of religion, and then we'll get this nice positive feedback mechanism going where as religion slowly fades away we'll get more and more science to replace it and that will displace more and more religion which will allow more and more science in and we'll eventually get to the point where religion has taken that appropriate place as a side dish rather than the main course. And if you separate out the ethical message from religion — what have you got left — you got — you got a bunch of fairy tales, right?

In the midst of a furious national debate about intelligent design, Darwinism, and metaphysical bias and indoctrination in science education, one has to wonder why Dr. Myers would state plainly that the agenda of Darwinists is to advance atheism in the classroom. Why would Dr. Myers state unequivocally on film that a fundamental goal of science education is the suppression of religious belief?

The most parsimonious explanation is that he means it.

Now, I seriously doubt that PZ thinks the primary purpose of science education is to indoctrinate students in metaphysics of any sort, including atheism. Certainly, even if he did, the vast majority of scientists and teachers would not agree. PZ, I think, considers it, at most, a happy side consequence of science literacy, that it makes it harder to be religious, a fact admitted by thoughtful theologians, such as John Haught, particularly when it comes to the sillier "biblical literalist" sort of belief.

What's funny is the admission by a medical doctor that teaching science, as it has been conceived since at least the time of Francis Bacon, is so deadly to the sort of faith that he admires that it needs to be protected from the facts of the world.

If Egnor's faith is such a pale and crippled thing, how does he expect to survive in any case?

Update: PZ has replied to Egnor in the manner I expected.

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