Darwinism Religion

Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse a “practicing Anglican”?

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You thought I was kidding, did you? Nope. A friend advises me that some reviewer or other baptized Darwinist Michael Ruse as a “practicing Anglican” (= Episcopalian):

New Biological Books History, Philosophy, And Ethics of Biology

Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science

By Michael Ruse. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. $30.00. viii + 264 p.; ill.; index. ISBN: 978-0-521-75594-8. 2010.

Elof Axel Carlson

Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

The author is a philosopher and ardent supporter of evolution by natural selection. He also is a practicing Anglican. His book is an exploration of the conflicts between a scientific worldview (one that excludes supernatural interpretations in matters concerning science) and a religious worldview (one that very much embraces faith, the supernatural, and the central tenets of his Anglican faith). …

So is Ruse also among the prophets?

Well, Ruse apparently sent his kids to “Anglican tradition” schools when he taught in Canada. But in Canada, that’s mainly a way of keeping them from hanging out with Crystal Meth at tax-supported OD High.

In fairness, it doesn’t take much belief or effort these days to be a “practicing Anglican”, but unless Ruse has a big announcement in store, I’m calling this as just another effort to baptize Darwinism, a la Theodosius Dobzhansky, to gain support among adherents of other religions.

I wonder if the airbrush error will make it onto the ‘Net …

Also just up at The Post-Darwinist:

Alfred Russel Wallace comes in for some long overdue recognition

Darwin and racism: Did Darwin change his mind?

Neanderthals are people too, it turns out

It’s been a while since I have heard from the Sky Is Falling! department

Tsk tsk, design language: Watch out for those lawyers

14 Replies to “Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse a “practicing Anglican”?

  1. 1

    As long as you’re making a collection of “no true Scotsman” arguments, why not mention the founder of the “modern evolutionary synthesis” and “the most original mathematical scientist of the [twentieth] century”[1], the man who almost single-handedly founded the sciences of biometrics, population genetics, and mathematical biology, Ronald Aylmer Fisher. He was a eugenecist and a devout Anglican (writing articles that favorably impressed C. S. Lewis), not to mention a very conservative Tory. You can read about him here:


    and find a myriad of links to his published works (and works about him) here:


    [1] Bradley Efron, Annals of Statistics, 1976

  2. 2

    And Sewall Wright, the discoverer of genetic drift and the inventor of “adaptive landscapes” was a life-long Unitarian…but everyone knows Unitarians aren’t really religious, right?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    “the discoverer of genetic drift”

    Mr. MacNeill, I believe ‘genetic drift’ has been falsified:

    According to prevailing evolutionary dogma, there ‘HAS’ to be ‘major genetic drift’ to the DNA of bacteria within 250 million years, even though the morphology (shape) of the bacteria can be expected to remain exactly the same. In spite of their preconceived materialistic bias, scientists find there is no significant genetic drift from the ancient DNA. In fact recent research, with bacteria which are alive right now, has also severely weakened the ‘genetic drift’ argument of evolutionists:

    The consequences of genetic drift for bacterial genome complexity – Howard Ochman – 2009
    Excerpt: The increased availability of sequenced bacterial genomes allows application of an alternative estimator of drift, the genome-wide ratio of replacement to silent substitutions in protein-coding sequences. This ratio, which reflects the action of purifying selection across the entire genome, shows a strong inverse relationship with genome size, indicating that drift promotes genome reduction in bacteria.

    I find it interesting that the materialistic theory of evolution expects there to be a significant amount of genetic drift from the DNA of ancient bacteria to its modern descendants, while the morphology can be allowed to remain exactly the same with its descendants. Alas for the materialist once again, the hard evidence of ancient DNA has fell in line with the anthropic hypothesis.

    Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms.

    Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
    Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial microbial. “They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. “This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,” says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;

    Bacteria: Fossil Record – Ancient Compared to Modern – Picture

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;

    Evolutionists were so disbelieving at this stunning lack of change that they insisted the stunning similarity was due to modern contamination in Vreeland’s experiment. Yet the following study laid that objection to rest by verifying that Dr. Vreeland’s methodology for extracting ancient DNA was solid and was not introducing contamination because the DNA sequences this time around were completely unique:

    World’s Oldest Known DNA Discovered (419 million years old) – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: But the DNA was so similar to that of modern microbes that many scientists believed the samples had been contaminated. Not so this time around. A team of researchers led by Jong Soo Park of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, found six segments of identical DNA that have never been seen before by science. “We went back and collected DNA sequences from all known halophilic bacteria and compared them to what we had,” Russell Vreeland of West Chester University in Pennsylvania said. “These six pieces were unique”,,,

    These following studies, by Dr. Cano on ancient bacteria, preceded Dr. Vreeland’s work:

    “Raul J. Cano and Monica K. Borucki discovered the bacteria preserved within the abdomens of insects encased in pieces of amber. In the last 4 years, they have revived more than 1,000 types of bacteria and microorganisms — some dating back as far as 135 million years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs.,,, In October 2000, another research group used many of the techniques developed by Cano’s lab to revive 250-million-year-old bacteria from spores trapped in salt crystals. With this additional evidence, it now seems that the “impossible” is true.”

    Dr. Cano’s work on ancient bacteria came in for intense scrutiny since it did not conform to Darwinian predictions, and since people found it hard to believe you could revive something that was millions of years old. Yet Dr. Cano has been vindicated:

    “After the onslaught of publicity and worldwide attention (and scrutiny) after the publication of our discovery in Science, there have been, as expected, a considerable number of challenges to our claims, but in this case, the scientific method has smiled on us. There have been at least three independent verifications of the isolation of a living microorganism from amber.”

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the ‘Fitness Test’ I had asked him about:
    Dr. Cano stated: “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”:
    Fitness test which compared ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

    Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy; a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains. Considering the intricate level of protein machinery it takes to utilize individual molecules within a substrate, we are talking an impressive loss of protein complexity, and thus loss of functional information, from the ancient amber sealed bacteria. Here is a revisit to the video of the ‘Fitness Test’ that evolutionary processes have NEVER passed as for a demonstration of the generation of functional complexity/information above what was already present in a parent species bacteria:

  4. 4
    nullasalus says:


    No true scotsman? Come on. Here’s a review blurb of “The Dawkins Delusion”:

    “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why.”

    That would be by one Michael Ruse. I assume the same Michael Ruse Denyse is speaking of. Given that, among other quotes by the man himself, I’m going to say that the news he is a “practicing Anglican” is worth some question.

    If you want to dig in your heels and say “a person can be an atheist and a practicing Anglican”, at that point I have to ask: What’s the exact opposite of the No True Scotsman fallacy? Is there an “Everyone Is Scottish” fallacy? Because if so, you’re engaging in it.

    but everyone knows Unitarians aren’t really religious, right?

    I’d bet you that if you polled them, the majority of unitarians would say “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” 😀

  5. 5
    SCheesman says:

    A practicing Anglican is, by my understanding (and I’m Anglican by background and upbringing), one who receives communion at least at Easter and Christmas. I have also heard of an unofficial category for those who attend less frequently, as recorded in the church membership records, though this is likely not solely an Anglican thing: “FBPO” (For Burial Purposes Only).

  6. 6
    SCheesman says:

    My other comment was going to be: “He may claim to be an Anglican, but it’s just a Ruse”

  7. 7
    fbeckwith says:

    I’m glad that Michael’s practicing. Given enough time, he’ll become good at it. 🙂

  8. 8
    O'Leary says:

    Let’s not lose the plot here, Allan MacNeill, F. Beckwith, etc.: Ruse hasn’t announced he is a practising Anglican. A reviewer was eager to baptise him, whether he knows about his newfound faith or not. I wonder how many times this fark will be copy pasted.

  9. 9
    tragic mishap says:

    Do Anglicans accept Internet baptisms?


  10. 10
    Ilion says:

    Allen MacNeill:As long as you’re making a collection of “no true Scotsman” arguments …

    Do you DarwinDefenders ever intend to stop being intellectually dishonest?

  11. 11
    Ilion says:

    … “Disingenuous for Darwin,” that’s the ticket!

  12. 12
    Timaeus says:


    I see you’ve poked your head in the door for the first time a while.

    I notice that you did not reply to the detailed exegesis of Thomas Aquinas by Vincent Torley in his “Fifteen Smoking Guns” thread here. I thought that Dr. Torley’s text-based discussion of Aquinas, which stressed what Aquinas owed to the Bible as much as what he owed to Aristotle, was quite valuable.

    His contrast between Aquinas and Darwin was also quite useful.


  13. 13
    Timaeus says:

    Allen MacNeill:

    I agree with O’Leary.

    Her question is not whether or not there have been any Darwinian evolutionary biologists who were sincere Christians, but whether or not there is a tendency lately, especially by theistic evolutionists, to impute Christianity to evolutionary theorists who either clearly are not Christian (e.g., Ruse) or whose alleged Christianity, when examined, is decidedly heretical, and something more like pantheism or even a more attenuated religion, a sort of Einsteinian wonder at the universe (e.g., Ayala and Dobzhansky).

    Oh, and yes, Unitarians may be “religious,” but they don’t count as “Christian.”

    I have nothing against pantheists, mystics, Unitarians, etc., but I do believe in calling a spade a spade. Christians, when asked about their faith, don’t refuse to answer, as Ayala does. And when an unbeliever like Ruse says directly that he’s not Christian, it’s downright dishonesty (or incredibly poor journalism) for a writer to affirm — without even checking — that he is.


  14. 14
    O'Leary says:

    Timaeus and all, Re the comment, “And when an unbeliever like Ruse says directly that he’s not Christian, it’s downright dishonesty (or incredibly poor journalism) for a writer to affirm — without even checking — that he is.”

    In fairness, the reviewer is probably just affected by the goo gloo = a tendency to reinterpret people to be what we need, to avoid confronting what they say and mean.

    If I were not a Christian, I would find it insulting. How would I feel if I went to Eastern Asia, and someone said, “You are a nice person, so you must be a Buddhist. I can tell!!”

    Being accepted for oneself as one is? Goodbye to all that, I’m afraid. Too many people need to prove too much that they can’t personally prove.

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