Recall this post by Bill Dembski, August 31, 2006 where Bill pointed out how A.N. Wilson railed against the ID proponents in Kansas and labeled them Morons.
A. N. Wilson, the epitomy of English snootiness, recently fell for an elaborate prank that he could have avoided if he had drawn a design inference. Note that Eve de Harben doesn’t exist either, and the letters in “her” name are an anagram for “Ever been had?”
Why am I being so hard on Wilson? Here’s what he wrote back in 1999 about the good people of Kansas: “Their simple, idiotic credulity as a populace would have been the envy of Lenin. That is the tragic paradox. The Land of the Free, telly and burgerfed, has become the Land of the Credulous Moron.” (go here and scroll down) What goes around comes around.
But what now, April 2, 2009, Can you love god and agree with Darwin?
The Descent of Man, with its talk of savages, its belief that black people are more primitive than white people, and much nonsense besides, is an offence to the intelligence – and is obviously incompatible with Christianity.
I think the jury is out about whether the theory of Natural selection, as defined by neo-Darwinians is true, and whether serious scientific doubts, as expressed in a new book Why Us by James Lefanu, deserve to be taken seriously. For example, does the discovery of the complex structure of DNA and the growth in knowledge in genetics require a rethink of Darwinian “gradualism”. But these are scientific rather than religious questions.
For a few years, I resisted the admission that my atheist-conversion experience had been a bit of middle-aged madness. I do not find it easy to articulate thoughts about religion. I remain the sort of person who turns off Thought for the Day when it comes on the radio. I am shy to admit that I have followed the advice given all those years ago by a wise archbishop to a bewildered young man: that moments of unbelief “don’t matter”, that if you return to a practice of the faith, faith will return.
When I think about atheist friends, including my father, they seem to me like people who have no ear for music, or who have never been in love. It is not that (as they believe) they have rumbled the tremendous fraud of religion – prophets do that in every generation. Rather, these unbelievers are simply missing out on something that is not difficult to grasp. Perhaps it is too obvious to understand; obvious, as lovers feel it was obvious that they should have come together, or obvious as the final resolution of a fugue.
I haven’t mentioned morality, but one thing that finally put the tin hat on any aspirations to be an unbeliever was writing a book about the Wagner family and Nazi Germany, and realising how utterly incoherent were Hitler’s neo-Darwinian ravings, and how potent was the opposition, much of it from Christians; paid for, not with clear intellectual victory, but in blood. Read Pastor Bonhoeffer’s book Ethics, and ask yourself what sort of mad world is created by those who think that ethics are a purely human construct. Think of Bonhoeffer’s serenity before he was hanged, even though he was in love and had everything to look forward to.
My departure from the Faith was like a conversion on the road to Damascus. My return was slow, hesitant, doubting. So it will always be; but I know I shall never make the same mistake again. Gilbert Ryle, with donnish absurdity, called God “a category mistake”. Yet the real category mistake made by atheists is not about God, but about human beings. Turn to the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge – “Read the first chapter of Genesis without prejudice and you will be convinced at once . . . ‘The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’.” And then Coleridge adds: “‘And man became a living soul.’ Materialism will never explain those last words.”
Has the Prodigal Son returned home? Is A.N. Wilson one of us now? 🙂
From Betjeman love letter is horrid hoax
AN Wilson, the biographer, admitted this weekend he had fallen victim to an elaborate hoax.
The trick was so successful that the letter has been published in Wilson’s new book Betjeman as evidence of the poet’s previously unknown “fling”.
The giveaway — and a clue that a bitter rival of Wilson’s may be behind the trick — is that the capital letters at the beginning of the sentences in the letter spell out a vivid personal insult to the biographer.
Close study of the letter, however, shows that the capital letters at the beginning of each sentence spell out a message: “AN Wilson is a sh-t”.
HT: John A Designer, Telic Thoughts, Detecting New Atheism on the Religious Radar Screen