science education

“Gnu atheists” vs. “Darwin in the schools” lobby

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Gnu Atheist symbol by Aratina Cage

Overhearing the squabble noted by Steno between “gnu atheists” Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers on the one hand and National Center for Science Education and its British counterpart, BCSE (Darwin schools lobbies) on the other, my first thought was of a proverb I learned as a child: “When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own.”

The point isn’t, of course, that any of these people are thieves; the proverb expresses a general truth: There are fights people can’t afford to be in, but they are in them anyway and others will benefit from the fallout.

Essentially, Coyne and other “gnu”* atheists are attacking the Darwin-in-the-schools lobbies for pretending that Darwinism is compatible with traditional Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. He’s right, and Darwin thought much the same thing, as we know from his private notebooks, released some years back. We’ve been saying hose things ourselves for years here about Evolution Sunday, Michael Dowd’s thirty-three ring circus of “evolutionary Christians,” and other “dhimmis for Darwin” enterprises. But what is the consequence of the “gnu atheists’ squabbling publicly with the dhimmis for Darwin and making sure the world knows about it?

One thought: Next time you are pestered by the “Jesus loves Darwin and you should too!” crowd, I suggest sending them the link to Jerry Coyne’s open letter and suggest they discuss it with him, not you. When Darwinists disagree, who can decide?

And if local school boards are smarming us that Darwinism is without religious significance, point out that among Darwinists themselves, that view is highly contested, never mind what the ID community thinks.

*Jerry Coyne’s perspective on the squabble is interesting because he may have invented the term “gnu atheist”, … as a dismissive riff off the better-known term “new atheist”:

From Urban Dictionary online:

Gnu Atheist

A term used by atheists online to ridicule the idea that there is such a thing as a “New Atheist.” Its origins are variously attributed to Ophelia Benson, Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers.

Apparently Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center for Inquiry has been banished. Pattern?

From Rob Knop at Galactic Interactions, we learn:

Who are the “gnu atheists”? Well, first, a word of warning. If you try to define them, they show up and accuse you of choosing a definition for purposes of setting up a straw man. However, most of those in the movement formerly known as “New Atheism” seem to share the following characteristics. They are atheists. They believe the world would be a better place if religion would go away, becoming nothing more than cultural history and cultural tradition. They think that any religion that claims to be anything other than just cultural tradition is incompatible with science and the scientific world view. They believe that if somebody aims to accept science and is intellectually honest and consistent, the success of modern science must necessarily lead that person to accept philosophical materialism. They use the word “reason” as a synonym for “application of scientific reasoning”, thereby making anybody who is religious by definition guilty of thinking without reason.

2 Replies to ““Gnu atheists” vs. “Darwin in the schools” lobby

  1. 1
    Bantay says:

    From the article on Kurtz’ fall from humanist grace…

    ““I am used to the academic life, where we don’t impose rules on employees,” Mr. Kurtz said, sitting in his living room. But Mr. Lindsay, he said, “set up a command system, said these are the rules and laws, and anyone who deviates from that will be investigated.”

    Employees were interrogated for minor infractions, Mr. Kurtz said, and several were let go. “That is like Stalinism or the Inquisition,” Mr. Kurtz said”

    Or it could be, Mr. Kurtz, like being Expelled.

  2. 2
    MedsRex says:

    It is now:
    “Survival of the Most Intolerant.”

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