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Professional skeptic Michael Shermer takes on Stephen C. Meyer and his Return of God Hypothesis

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The New Atheist Movement (“public standards of good taste and good sense broken daily!”) appears to have come and gone. But Michael Shermer, a well-known non-profane skeptic, is, we are glad to say, still with us. Here he is, interviewing Steve Meyer on his new book, The Return of the God Hypothesis:

Beginning in the late 19th century, many intellectuals began to insist that scientific knowledge conflicts with traditional theistic belief — that science and belief in God are “at war.” Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer challenges this view by examining three scientific discoveries with decidedly theistic implications. Building on the case for the intelligent design of life that he developed in Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer claims that discoveries in cosmology and physics coupled with those in biology help to establish the identity of the designing intelligence behind life and the universe. Previously Meyer refrained from attempting to answer questions about “who” might have designed life. Now he provides an evidence-based answer to perhaps the ultimate mystery of the universe.

Shermer responds to each claim and a stimulating and enlightening conversation ensues.

Note: It is Dr. Shermer’s intention in his podcast to periodically talk to people with whom skeptics and scientists may disagree. In some episodes Dr. Shermer tries to “steel man” a position held by someone with differing views — that is, he says in his own words what he thinks the other person is arguing — but in this case the other person is in the conversation and can represent his own position clearly, which is what happens. As well, such conversations enable principles of skepticism to be employed in ways constructive to those who hold views not necessarily embraced by skeptics and scientists. Such principles should be embraced by all seekers of truth, and that is why we want to talk to people with whom we may disagree.

In an age when the Raging Woke parasitize the world of ideas, banning everyone from Frank Turek through Richard Dawkins from public life (when not out setting fires and assaulting the non-Woke), it is worth nothing that Shermer’s 2020 book Giving the Devil His Due, is a defense of intellectual freedom.

And we sure don’t see that every day.

10 Replies to “Professional skeptic Michael Shermer takes on Stephen C. Meyer and his Return of God Hypothesis

  1. 1
    ET says:

    Shermer doesn’t have a clue as to how life arose. He doesn’t have a clue as to how life’s diversity arose. He is the epitome of denial.

  2. 2
    JVL says:

    I haven’t finished listening to the discussion but I’ve very much enjoyed what I’ve heard so far. Dr Meyer does a good job of answering some of the same questions I’ve asked on this forum. In fact, his answers made so much sense that I shall be considering them as the best I’ve heard on ID.

    One of Dr Meyer’s point I found particularly interesting was his reasoning for not supporting a purely front loaded ID scenario. He made a lot of other excellent points.

    Anyway, I’d highly recommend everyone listen to the discussion. Dr Shermer and Dr Meyer clearly get on well personally and so there’s a distinct lack of antagonism which is so refreshing.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    Shermer professional skeptic……..something seems odd about that. Is he a skeptic to all things equally or just the things he is biased against.

    If it’s the later, he is a worthless skeptic
    I’m skeptical against the things I don’t like.
    Well aren’t we all

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    ET: Shermer doesn’t have a clue as to how life arose. He doesn’t have a clue as to how life’s diversity arose. He is the epitome of denial.

    Not the point of the discussion between them.

  5. 5
    chuckdarwin says:

    Very disappointing interview. Shermer had an unique opportunity to seriously challenge Meyer and chose, rather, to engage in inane banter and silly anecdotes from Woody Allen movies. Meyer, for his part, stuck with the same tired script he has been using for a decade, monopolizing the conversation, talking over his counterpart and name-dropping his smorgasbord of disparate historical figures in western science, then—prepare yourself for the shocker—concluding that the Christian god is the ever elusive intelligent designer. What a wasted two hours of my time….

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    ChuckDarwin you are a perfect professional skeptic

  7. 7
    chuckdarwin says:

    Indeed!

  8. 8
    polistra says:

    A remarkably civilized conversation. Shermer has mellowed with age.

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    @polistra
    Honestly, that’s what I thought

    @chuckydawin
    Sarcasm, I mentioned above about how professional skeptics are only skeptical about what they hate. Being a professional skeptic is literally a waste of time

  10. 10
    paige says:

    Too bad more discussions, either on tube or in blogs like this, can’t be as civil as this was.

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