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Darwin’s descendant becomes Rosary-praying Catholic after intellectual struggle

Accompanied by disillusionment with the new atheists, whom she was expected to join (once she had shed the Catholic faith her mother adopted during her childhood but later abandoned). From the National Catholic Register:

During her grandmother’s long illness, Keynes explains that she “returned to the Rosary during those long hours at her bedside and was reminded of the redemptive power of Christ’s suffering. I apprehended a theological underpinning to the question of suffering. Seeing death made me question the spirit: what it is, where it comes from, where it goes. So by this point, I was developing a spiritual awareness, but hadn’t made the step back to the Catholic Church. That step came after much reflection and reading.”

And encounters with new atheists?:

“One of the things that made me wary of ‘new atheism’ was the strange mix of angry emotion I encountered there: anger at the thought of God; anger at any restrictions on behavior; anger at thwarted will; pride in the exertion of will; pride in feeling intellectually superior; contempt for anyone who reveals human vulnerability in asking for the grace of God. It’s important to remember that where there’s anger, there’s often pain. I see a lot of pain there. I think it stems from clinging to the idea that we’re in control, that we have autonomy.

“All we can do is be sensitive to the anger and note that it’s odd for people who value reason so highly to make such large concessions to emotion,” she continues.

Well, she is certainly an improvement on Darwin’s granddaughter Frances Cornwell:

A friend references a poem  Cornwell wrote (while  comfortably seated in a train), making fun of a rural passerby:

O fat white woman whom nobody loves,

Why do you walk through the fields in gloves, …

to which G. K. Chesterton riposted:

How do you know but what someone who loves

Always to see me in nice white gloves

At the end of the field you are rushing by,

Is waiting for his Old Dutch?

- “The Fat White Woman Speaks”

Curiously, Chesterton was one of the best-known popular Catholic writers of the early twentieth century, and a resolute anti-Darwinian.

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8 Responses to Darwin’s descendant becomes Rosary-praying Catholic after intellectual struggle

  1. ‘…. “All we can do is be sensitive to the anger and note that it’s odd for people who value reason so highly to make such large concessions to emotion,” she continues.

    Perhaps, when reading the above sentence, I should have been moved with a certain compunction, but, alas, ‘to make such large concessions to emotion,’ struck me as being all the more humorously evocative, for being so measured in relation to its subject matter. In the context (with which we are so familiar, here), it has almost a satirical ring to it.

    Rather like saying of WWI, for example, that total war, initially involving most of Europe plus part of North America, and then finally involving the rest of North America, on the face of it, in response to the assassination of a European princeling by a member of a small band of terrorists, seems to have been quite significantly disproportionate.

  2. as to:

    “Seeing death made me question the spirit: what it is, where it comes from, where it goes. So by this point, I was developing a spiritual awareness,”

    Here is a fitting song:

    September When It Comes – Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash – song about life and mortality
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2WilM6ljUg

  3. “People are resigned to the absence of God and are organizing their lives independently, for good or for ill, and without any reference to God.”—One Hundred Years of Debate Over God—The Sources of Modern Atheism.

    “Sometimes atheism refers simply to the practical rejection or ignoring of God,” notes The Encyclopedia Americana. For this reason, The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives the following second definition of “atheist”: “A person who denies God morally; a godless person.” Yes, atheism may entail a denial either of God’s existence or of his authority or of both. The Bible alludes to this atheistic spirit at Titus 1:16: “They profess to acknowledge God, but deny him by their actions.”—The New English Bible

    A subtle atheism is manifested in a quest for independence. “People today are tired of living under the eye of God,” observes the book One Hundred Years of Debate Over God—The Sources of Modern Atheism. “They . . . prefer to live in freedom.” The Bible’s moral code is renounced as impractical, unrealistic.

    Whether they have observed the hypocrisy of religion or not, many atheists simply cannot reconcile belief in God with the suffering in the world. Simone de Beauvoir once said: “It was easier for me to think of a world without a creator than of a creator loaded with all the contradictions of the world.”

    Do the world’s injustices—including those instigated by hypocritical religionists—prove that there is no God? Consider: If a knife is used to threaten, injure, or even murder an innocent person, does this prove that the knife had no designer? Does it not rather show that the object was put to a wrong use? Likewise, much of human grief gives evidence that humans are misusing their God-given abilities as well as the earth itself.

    Some, however, feel that it is illogical to believe in God, since we cannot see him. But what about air, sound waves, and odors? We cannot see any of these things, yet we know they exist. Our lungs, ears, and noses tell us so. Surely, we believe in what cannot be seen if we have evidence.

    After contemplating the physical evidence—including electrons, protons, atoms, amino acids, and the complex brain—natural scientist Irving William Knobloch was moved to say: “I believe in God because to me His Divine existence is the only logical explanation for things as they are.” (Compare Psalm 104:24.) Similarly, physiologist Marlin Books Kreider states: “Both as an ordinary human being, and also as a man devoting his life to scientific study and research, I have no doubt all about the existence of God.”

    According to physics professor Henry Margenau, “if you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.” Neither the advances of science nor the failure of religion need force us to abandon belief in a Creator.

  4. The converse of the promise of Matthew 7/Luke 11 is true too:

    “Don’t ask, and it shall not be given you; don’t seek, and ye shall not find; don’t knock, and it shall not be opened unto you: For every one that does not ask does not receive; and he that does not seek shall not find; and to him that does not knock, it shall not be opened.”

    Simple as that.

  5. ‘According to physics professor Henry Margenau, “if you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.”’

    This is a point which needs to be belaboured on here continually, Barb and other IDers, as I do in relation to the top-notch scientists of the past.

    The adolescent weenies who are forever touting atheism as the intellectually superior world-view need slapping down hard, again and again, until they get the message: They are wet-behind-the-ears know-nothings. And the public is given the true picture.

  6. #5 Axel

    ‘According to physics professor Henry Margenau, “if you take the top-notch scientists, you find very few atheists among them.”’

    You could rely on a reported comment by single physics professor or you could look at a systematic survey.

  7. …In the course of her research, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them.
    She finds that most of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong.
    Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are what she calls “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion…Only a small minority are actively hostile to religion…
    Within the survey, she discovered individuals who identified no religious tradition but considered themselves to be spiritual (spiritual atheists). Among those who were religious, she found varying beliefs about the ultimate nature of things, including intelligent design, evolution, and creationism.
    Professors presented their convictions or silenced them, either bringing religious thinking into classrooms or keeping it out. Many saw religion as useful in teaching ethical behavior in society. Ecklund concludes by dispelling myths about today’s science professors, offering an evidence-based peek behind the doors of academia.
    One issue of contention is whether the atheist scientists became atheists upon being confronted by the scientific conclusions to which they came. This is very, very unlikely as very many atheists become so in childhood. Thus, it is noted that these personages got into the sciences in order to delve into their chosen worldview: materialism. They seek material explanations and end up restricting their thinking.
    Podcast
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....e_2013.mp3

    Moreover, atheists who practice science are actually living in denial of their deep seeded beliefs in teleology:

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

  8. #6 Mark

    Considering the climate of hostility engendered by the consensus towards religious belief and believers, that almost half of them own up to having a current religious affiliation, surprises me no end.

    And this last paragraph, though a little tentative, must be very discouraging for militant atheists:

    ‘RAAS data reveal that younger scientists are more likely to believe in God than older scientists, and more likely to report attending religious services over the past year. “If this holds throughout the career life-course for this cohort of academic scientists,” Ecklund says, “it could indicate an overall shift in attitudes toward religion among those in the academy.”

    In any case, yes, I would often rate entirely voluntary anecdotal testimony above the pseudo-scientific testimony of surveys, partly because surveys tend by their nature to be unsolicited and intrusive.

    In this case, Margenau’s statement tallies with the fact that there has been a marked incidence of the greatest scientists having been not merely religious, but passionately so. Newton may have been an oddball, but he was more typical in the passion of his religious belief than atheists, even since atheism came out of the closet. At both ends of the scale, macro and micro, stand respectively, Lemaitre and Planck – theists and evidently believers in ID, as was Einstein, the essentially panentheist.

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