I did a local radio show this morning, on which perceptive host Robert White asked me how I cope with hostility in connection with The Spiritual Brain and other books – trolls, votebots, idle anonymous threats, and such.
I think I rather surprised him by pointing out that I didn’t really care much.
Essentially, I can’t do anything about the fact that science, which was supposed to dramatically confirm atheism (remember when?), hasn’t done anything of the kind.
I grew up in a culture that said, basically, science is about facts (like there’s no God) and faith is about feelings (like people think there’s a God – but science can explain the glitch that causes them to think so).
So smart people go into science and dumb people go to church. And, as Stephen Jay Gould expounded, they are mutually non-overlapping magisteria. (Except when science needs to fix faith, of course … )
I didn’t really care much because I was an artsie. But then I discovered – mostly by accident – that science has shown virtually NONE of the things the atheist lobby expected it to. In fact, it shows the exact opposite. If there isn’t a God, all I can say is, the Guy who replaced Him is pretty good …
Look, the fine tuning of the universe for life and discovery has nothing to do with me. Nor am I personally responsible for the fact that the history of life is nothing like what a no-design theory like Darwin’s needs. And a huge freakout of atheist books/blasphemy campaigns won’t change any of that.
Actually, it looks to me like atheism’s Going Out of Business sale. And imagine, that happened in my lifetime …
It’s no surprise if they’re going out of business. They lost an intellectually respected atheist like Antony Flew and their best asset was Richard Dawkins, of whom even atheists tire – in droves now, apparently.
It is true that I benefit from this situation, insofar as my friends’ lives and my life are much less likely to be blighted by religious persecution. But I did not cause the situation. I didn’t fine tune a single aspect of the universe and have never created anything more worthy of note than books and articles, about whose quality critics vary rather widely.
So when anonymous people write abuse, I assume they are venting their own anxiety about a changing order of things, on which it is my job to report. Media pros call what those people do “shooting the messenger”. Is that caused by poor coping skills and possibly, unhappy lives?
In any event, I believe that grownups should generally write under their own names, as I do.
Also, today at the Mindful Hack
Are prayer studies a waste of government money? No way!
Fellow atheist evolutionary biologist blasts Richard Dawkins in Skeptical magazine
Neuro this and neuro that and neuro go away …
Most opposition to new ideas in science comes from fundamentalism within science, neuroscientist says