Will 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.