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E. O. Wilson has been transferred to the make-nice platoon?


BIll Dembski wrote,

E.O. Wilson thinks that after years of reaming religious believers he can now ingratiate himself with them. Fine. Let him and his colleagues give up their monopoly on the teaching and government funding of materialistic evolutionary theories.

Can E. O. Wilson really save the world?
Ivan Semeniuk
New Scientist, 30 September 2006


Often cited as Darwin’s true heir, E. O. Wilson has an audacious planet-saving strategy: to unite evangelical Christians and scientific secularists

Oh, and the ID cause is going belly up according to a recent Ken Miller talk, as quoted in  another Dembski post below.

Okay, so why have I been running around these last few days getting ready for a conference on ID at the University of Toronto? (which so far has not been cancelled – it would never have been cancelled  due to lack of interest, but due to admin fear)

There’s a stack of stuff here I haven’t even read yet, to do with ID, and I don’t have time to blog in general, and don’t have a moment to call the shots on who will win the Liberal leadership race in Canada, even though I am supposed to broadcast on that later today.

This is a pretty lively dead, if you ask me. 

Anyway, re E. O. Wilson, swatched above, here’s what an old comrade Nancy Pearcey (www.npearcey@aol.com) says about what it really means when people who have sneered at religious folk in the past suddenly start to make nice:

 … the strategy here is what Phil Johnson described as switching off between the offensive and the defensive teams.  When Darwinists are feeling confident, they send out the offensive team, which takes the Dennett/Dawkins line that evolution has debunked religion. 

When they realize that for PR purposes they have to tread more carefully, they send out the defensive team, which takes the line that religion is fine as long as it stays in its place.  The important question is how they define its place.  Just like Gould, this SciAm editorial puts all the real facts on the side of Darwinism, while defining religion as a comforting gloss people can put on the facts of materialistic science if it makes them feel better. 
Religion can be tolerated if it helps weaker folks “reconcile” themselves to the hard-edged materialism that the real scientists are courageous enough to hold. 

The depressing thing isn’t that Wilson tries it on. No, rather that he expects that someone somewhere will actually take him seriously. And worse, he will probably find neglected people somewhere who actually do.

The book I co-wrote with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard (Harper 2007)addresses, briefly, Wilson’s theories of religion. I should think that anyone who plans to take up his offer would be well advised to read what he actually says, for example on religious experiences:

The individual is prepared by the sacred rituals for supreme effort and self-sacrifice. Overwhelmed by shibboleths, special costumes, and the sacred dancing and music so accurately keyed to his emotive centers, he has a “religious experience. ”

                          – evolutionary psychologist E.O. Wilson

 and on purpose in life: 

What then are we to make of the purposes and goals obviously chosen by human beings? They are, in Darwinian interpretation, processes evolved as adaptive devices by an otherwise purposeless natural selection.

                          evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson (2005)

If you find a clergyman who feels flattered by all this, defrock him for me, will you? 

* I am concerned that Godzilla may be pulling ahead of Dracula, Frankenstein, and King Kong. Or maybe I am confusing the Liberal leadership race with the Friday nite frites poll? Oh yeah, different broadcast segment.

OK, just a word and then I'm out of here for a nice long weekend. Hard core atheism, I suspect, is more attractive in Old Europe than it is over here, and maybe that’s why it’s over here that so much hate is directed—not at the liberals, of course, but the ordinary folks who pay the bills but just might balk if they find out what’s really going on. And so it’s the hypocritical soft appeasers who are the most dangerous. I also find folks like Hugh Ross who’s speaking there in Toronto somewhat unsavory (if I may use such a word). He should be a big supporter of Intelligent Design, yet his article in the first issue of Salvo (http://www.salvomag.com/subscribe.html) was just terrible. Y’all should have a look in preparation for the conference—or is there still hope to win him over and so even we had better be nice?Rude
September 29, 2006
01:29 PM

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