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Atheist Darwinian philosopher Will Provine receives Hull Prize

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William ProvineWill Provine, history of biology prof, has won the first-ever awarded David L. Hull Prize for

his “extraordinary contributions to scholarship and service in ways that promote interdisciplinary connections between history, philosophy, social studies and biology, and that foster the careers of younger scholars.” – Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell Chronicle May 4, 2011

Hull was a famous Darwinian evolutionist. In a world where Christian Darwinists struggle to convince Christians to jettison deeply held beliefs in order to embrace Darwin, Provine has done his best to tell the truth. To make clear that 78% of evolutionary biologists, following in Darwin’s footsteps, believe not only that there is no God but that there is no free will. Like himself. 

That is Darwin’s true message and true legacy. And contrary to Christian Darwinists who try to convince you otherwise – as they tried to convince me – the evidence is in: Darwin was a thoroughgoing materialist atheist who knew that if he succeeded, that’s what his legacy would be.

Darwin’s true legacy is not the serious Christian’s problem (it’s apt to be negligible outside atheist communities). The serious Christian’s problem is the mass of academic iron rice bowls in the Christian community who urge us to sign on to the deteriorating Darwinist paradigm (I can’t keep up with all the contra news).

So they conceal what Provine reveals. Or they talk endlessly around it.

Years ago, as a (younger) hack, I was struck by the number of Darwinists who claimed that Darwinism caused them to jettison their Christian faith. When I asked Christian Darwinists about it, they  said, “Oh, it was those Jesus-hollering young earth creationists who drove them off.”

That stank. I knew it was not true. Atheistic materialism (of which Darwinism is the creation story) lured them off. The ex-Christians/now Darwinists  happen to live in a historical period where quite comfortable, if not feted, lives have followed, so the rest is biography.

Everyone who finds Uncommon Descent useful owes a debt to Will Provine for his honesty, and may he live long to enjoy his prize. (Especially as he has said in my hearing that he expects nothing afterward.)

Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

7 Replies to “Atheist Darwinian philosopher Will Provine receives Hull Prize

  1. 1
    nullasalus says:

    When I asked Christian Darwinists about it, they said, “Oh, it was those Jesus-hollering young earth creationists who drove them off.”

    That stank. I knew it was not true. Atheistic materialism (of which Darwinism is the creation story) drove them off.

    That really depends, I think. If someone argues that either YEC is true or Christianity is false, or is told that repeatedly, then yeah – that really can be said to be driving people off. OEC, teleological views, and many other views are ruled out on that perspective.

    On the flipside, Darwinism is often billed as ‘creation without God’ in essence. Not a theory which is necessarily silent on God’s involvement, but one which is often presented as positively leaving out God. So, there is that.

  2. 2
    O'Leary says:

    Hi, nullasalus at 1: I changed the second “drove” to “lured”, for that is what I meant. Most were – and it was evident – lured, not driven, away.

    Provine has the decency to be honest about what Darwinism means. Do you know how rare that is in many fashionable Christian circles?

    I’m an old hack who can’t get rich off this or anything, and in a world of Jesus-loves-Darwin platitudes, it’s wonderful to run into someone who tells it like it is.

    Golly, if no one else had given Provine an award, I would have had to invent an award and do it myself, but that wouldn’t count for much. So I’m glad someone else did.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve heard that David Hull died.

    But would he really approve of a prize in his name going to Will Provine?

    Frankly I think there should only be one prize for Darwinists, and it should only be awarded if they admit that no matter what they say it’s just their genes trying to maximize their chances of being passed on to the next generation, not because what they say is actually true.

    They should get extra points if they admit that perhaps their genes are defective and not maximizing their chances for being passed on, but likewise that has nothing to do with whether or not what they say should be believed.

    The firs question any Darwinist should be asked is, why should I listen to you?

    Followed by:

    Why should I believe that anything you say is true?

    Why will believing anything you say increase my chances for reproductive success, and more than say, believing that the exact opposite of what you say is true.

  4. 4
    GilDodgen says:

    I have great respect for Provine, because he says it like it really is concerning the implications of Darwinian materialism:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.

    Unfortunately for Provine, the underlying foundation of his obviously logical conclusions — Darwinian materialism — is in a state of complete logical, evidential, empirical, and mathematical collapse. It is a 19th-century, materialistically-driven ideological fantasy based on complete ignorance of the nature of living systems, which have now been demonstrated to be fundamentally based on the most sophisticated computer program ever written.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    GilDodgen,

    I cannot accept that Provine’s conclusions are logical. 🙂

  6. 6
    Bertvan says:

    One doesn’t have to believe in a personal god to be sceptical that “natural selection” does something (???) to random mutations in order to create biological structures. Our own human intelligence is not regarded as supernatural, so if intelligence exists as an aspect of the organization of living systems, why should we regard it as supernatural? Whether or not a deity participates in such intelligent can never be scientifically determinied.

    A Few Impertinent Questions about Autism, Freudianism and Materialism
    http://30145.myauthorsite.com/

  7. 7
    JDH says:

    So, what was the year that Provine chose not to believe in free will.

    Anyone who really has the guts to proclaim, “I chose to believe in no free will” has to be respected for his guts.

    He is still a fool, but at least he has guts.

    Only a complete fool would believe something which can not possibly be true.

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