Friday, June 19, 2009
The accommodationists have well and truly lost now.
Dr. Michael Egnor has come out on their side:
We are entering an era in which a substantial and loud minority of atheist scientists and philosophers are claiming that science validates and depends on atheism and materialism. A ferocious fight has broken out in the pro-Darwinist blogosphere over this question: are philosophical naturalism and atheism essential to good science? Some of those on the side of accommodation with religion no doubt are atheists who believe that accommodation of religious beliefs is necessary for tactical reasons; others, such as Ken Miller and Francis Collins, are scientists who are Christians and who see their science as entirely compatible with their theism.The man who has never been right about evolutionary theory or the philosophy of science has taken the accommodationists' side, which guarantees that they must be wrong.
This debate is about whether worship at the materialist/atheist altar is a prerequisite for good science. My sense of it is that the accomodationists have easily gained the upper hand. The atheist insistence that science depends on and validates atheism is historically ignorant and philosophically incoherent.
But wait a minute! The reason he's taking their side is so spectacularly wrong that it's clear that he has no clue what the argument is about! Therefore, it is no more than blind chance that he chose the accommodationist side (indeed, most of his Discovery Institute colleagues have chosen the side of the incompatiblism supporters, the better to argue against theistic evolutionists).
To begin with, "theists and open-minded agnostics and atheists on the pro-Darwinist side of this debate" are not "engaging the same fundamentalist atheist dogma that intelligent design proponents have engaged for several decades" because "[t]eleology is obvious in nature" or because "[a]theists and materialists intrinsically deny the reality of teleology -- Aristotelian final causation -- in nature" and certainly not because "nothing in the natural world can be understood without reference to teleology." The argument is over the limitations of science, the proper "attitude" to bring to scientific practice and what should be said about these issues to the public by scientific organizations. It isn't the position of anyone I know of in the accommodationist camp that babbling on about Aristotelian final causation is a part of science today.
Nor do I know of any incompatibilists or atheists who think that "to raise the question of teleology in nature is to answer it" -– except in the negative -- or who acts in any way that betrays that "[a]theism, for good reason, fears questions." If anything, the complaint about incompatiblists by some accommodationists is the exact opposite.
But what can you expect from Egnor? After all, even though he is a pediatric neurosurgeon, he joins in a tirade against "secular priests—Experts" while he himself engages in one of the most technical and arcane of the healing sciences.
Presumably, he will now be passing out do-it-yourself-brain-surgery-kits to his young patients so they won't have to bow to his expertise. And instead of rigorous planning of his surgeries and careful technique, he'll just be sprinkling a little Holy Water around inside his patients skulls and closing 'em back up to show he's not secular ... right after he dons his floppy shoes and big red rubber nose.
Labels: Accommodationism Incompatiblism
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