Before I go lecture about evolution, I want to highlight two shenanigans from the faithful that hit my inbox in the last hour.
The first is from one Dan O’Brian, who runs a goddy blog called The Search for Truth (has anybody heard of him?). He sent a comment to be appended to the post below—the one about why serious atheists should be in despair. I thought I’d put it above the fold instead:
Such is the abasement and self-loathing that faith teaches; we are born sick and commanded to be well. We are “nothing” (WTF?).
My response to Mr. O’Brian is this: once you are disabused of the fiction that is God, then without friends, love, and earthly goals and aspirations, YOU are nothing. If you were sufficient without God, then you would have no need for prayer, church, or faith.
Oh, and the intelligent-design clowns at Uncommon Descent decided on April 30 to have a contest based on my upcoming paper in Evolution, which holds religion responsible for creationism (duh!) and argues that Americans won’t accept evolution as strongly as do Europeans, for instance, until our country becomes as non-religious as Europe. But achieving that degree of secularism might require profound social change, for America’s religiosity may well result from the manifest social inequality and dysfunctionality that afflicts our country.
At any rate, here’s the Uncommon Descent contest:
Crusade/jihad? No, it doesn’t properly describe this antic in a science journal (see also this). In the best tradition of our contest to come up with a term for a reviewer who does not read the book he is trashing (which resulted in noviewer as the winning entry), we now invite contest mavens to address the following problem:
. . . We lack a word in English for the sort of campaign Coyne and his New Atheist friends are conducting against Christianity. Technically speaking, “crusades” are conducted under the sign of the cross, and “jihads” are conducted in the name of Allah . .
We need a new Coynage. What should we call Coyne’s battle for incivility toward – and distortion of facts about – traditional religion?
Well, there were 57 entries, and they announced the winner today:
And now the winner: Jammer writes at 11: It’s the gnu atheists’ very own Crusades, so… The Gnusades. That succinctly captures the apparent religious element of gnu atheist campaigns against other systems of thought. As with entries “gnuhad” and “jerryhad,” the main point to get across is that these people will not live peaceably with anyone, not even with other atheists.
Lord, they had to co-opt our own word to get their own! “Faitheist” has that one beat ten ways from Sunday. Personally, I preferred “Coynoscopy—The search for truth in all the wrong places.” (I refrain from dwelling on the cranial colonoscopy that is intelligent design.)
p.s.: There are plenty of atheists with whom I live peaceably—much more peaceably than evangelical Christians or Hindus live with Muslims.