Home » Intelligent Design » The old order changes, … amid a storm of abuse!

The old order changes, … amid a storm of abuse!

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

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

14 Responses to The old order changes, … amid a storm of abuse!

  1. It’s good, Denyse, that your faith and clear thinking enable you to cope with the abuse that inevitably comes your way. But there’s something seriously wrong with a world where such abuse can be so prominently posted and easily disseminated.

    We don’t allow children to play with loaded guns; since the pen is mighter than the sword, perhaps we shouldn’t allow children to play with loaded words either!

  2. Actually, Gerry, my impression of most of the Darwinists who write abuse about me is that they are “adult” toddlers*, so it’s technically legal.

    *Adult toddlers – a term originally used by a teacher friend to describe school board admin staff and parents who are essentially in retrograde motion with respect to the task of teaching the kids to be good citizens.

  3. Since we live in a moral universe, we should expect to find ourselves in a culture war that defines moral boundaries. That means we have two choices: [1] Play it safe and stay away from the front lines, or [2] enter into the fray and make our share of enemies.

    If we are going leave the sidlines and get in the game, we should take on the mentality of a warrior who loves. It is easy to fight without loving, and it is easy to love without fighting; but to do both, that is a beautiful thing.
    Our job is to make sure that we make the right enemies for the right reasons. Congratulations for doing your job.

  4. Denyse, the abuse, in my opinion, is a psychological phenomenon born out of fear. It’s the result of a siege mentality reminiscent of medieval times. The inhabitants of a walled city under attack would use catapults to hurl putrefied animal corpses and fecal matter at the enemy camp. It was a sign of desperation with little military consequence if any. In fact, it would strengthen the attackers’ resolve and cause them to redouble their efforts.

  5. 5
    Unlettered and Ordinary

    Greetings!

    If we look at history it’s been one continuous culture war. This is just another big battle in an one Big War.

    As I see it there is two ways to control a population [1] Fear and ignorance, and [2] Education (accurate knowledge) and encouragement. It seems to me that a great many don’t want the second way to prevail, because it is a lot more difficult to control knowledgeable, educated, couragous people.

    People who are warriors for truth will always frighten those who hid in the shadow of lies. Nothing terrifies those who weave lies to hold a grip of power over the great unsuspecting masses. That’s why they invented propaganda.

    As it stands the boundaries were drawn long ago, and good and right morals have long been under siege. Our enemy as hydras go, we cut off one head and two replace it. Still virtue will prevail because it is pure and it still stands today untarnished. Our bolts of correct understanding and accumulating evidence will rain down and our foes will burn with their own tears of dissolution. Our onslaught will leave the twisted thoughts of the corrupted science smashed and crushed beyond recovery.

    LOL, Take no prisoners. Free the slaves.

    Okay back to reality, O’Leary, I am glad you don’t lower yourself to level of these adult children. All I can say is “Well Done!”

  6. 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 they do ”shooting the messenger”. Is that caused by poor coping skills and possibly, unhappy lives?

    Poor coping skills indeed. The guy linked in that paragraph really should seek professional help for anger management.

    It is an interesting phenomenon, this anger and abuse on the part of atheists and materialists. When, as an atheist up until 1994, I discovered that almost everything I believed about almost everything that ultimately matters was wrong (materialism and atheism, with its attendant nihilism), I didn’t get angry, I just admitted I was wrong and switched teams. Abandoning an entire, lifelong-held worldview can be difficult, but so what? I guess for some people, pride just won’t permit pursuing the truth if it means admitting that one is wrong.

  7. 7
    Unlettered and Ordinary

    Greetings again!

    Nothing terrifies [them more,] those who weave lies to hold a grip of power over the great unsuspecting masses.

    Oops, I got ahead of myself there.

  8. Gil says: “I didn’t get angry, I just admitted I was wrong and switched teams. Abandoning an entire, lifelong-held worldview can be difficult, but so what? I guess for some people, pride just won’t permit pursuing the truth if it means admitting that one is wrong.”

    I agree that pride is root of most (if not all) sin. But perhaps some of these other guys have more to abandon than you did, Gil. You were allowed to bring pieces of truth that were already yours with you when you switched sides – music, chess, computers, etc. But for some people, their incorrect worldview is the defining factor in their lives – they live to promote that worldview and have no other compensating truths to help them bridge the gulf. What, for example, would Richard Dawkins be without his rabid atheism?

  9. How would a Darwinist explain his own abusive behavior in Darwinian terms? Why has nature selected for such behavior in him, but tolerant and patient behavior in the likes of you?

  10. re: #9, Is there any way of guessing which of these very different behavioral patterns is a better adaption to the environment—patience and forebearance, or hostility and abuse?

  11. Gerry Rzeppa

    But perhaps some of these other guys have more to abandon than you did, Gil. You were allowed to bring pieces of truth that were already yours with you when you switched sides – music, chess, computers, etc. But for some people, their incorrect worldview is the defining factor in their lives…

    I believe that this is a critical insight. I have been overwhelmingly blessed in my life. I checked out your website — what a beautiful and inspiring piece of poetry.

    Gil

  12. Thanks, Gil. You might also find our approach to natural language parsing interesting:

    http://www.osmosian.com

    Write me directly and I’ll get you an evaluation copy of the whole thing.

  13. I have long wondered about all the psychological and sociological reasons for the reflexive abuse heaped on ID advocates. It must be complicated, but fear seems to be the main underlying component. With intellectuals and scientists, many years of indoctrination create a deeply embedded reductionist materialist world view. Any evidence for intelligent agency in nature, the paranormal, etc. threatens to create a very uncomfortable state of cognitive dissonance, and years of established work and thought seem to be threatened.

    So much time and effort have been invested in the life in science (defined as reductionist materialism) that any attack on reductionist materialism is automatically interpreted as an attack on the Self. Fearing these consequences, it is much easier to reflexively dismiss the evidence without detailed examination. It won’t be studied mostly because of this fear, that there might really be something there that would shake the foundations of the perceived personal Self.

    Such a deep dynamic could explain, for instance, why parapsychology is nearly as implacably opposed today as in the early days of psychical research, 1870-1900 (at least this is my impression).

  14. [...] Here, commenter Magnan writes, in response to my recent post on dealing with Darwinist hate, Such a deep dynamic could explain, for instance, why parapsychology is nearly as implacably opposed today as in the early days of psychical research, 1870-1900 (at least this is my impression). [...]

Leave a Reply