Academy turning on Thomas Nagel big time, for not spouting nonsense against design in nature
|May 24, 2013||Posted by News under Philosophy, Intellectual freedom|
Look, it was okay when the guy just wrote an essay about what it is like to be a bat, refuting materialist nonsense harmlessly. But he went too far, as a piece in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education details. Here are some of the guy’s crimes:
Joan Roughgarden, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the -Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, agrees that evolutionary biologists can be nasty when crossed. “I mean, these guys are impervious to contrary evidence and alternative formulations,” she says. “What we see in evolution is stasis-conceptual stasis, in my view-where people are ardently defending their formulations from the early 70s.”
Nagel really got their noses out of joint by sympathizing with theorists of intelligent design. “They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met,” he wrote. “It is manifestly unfair.” To be sure, he was not agreeing with them. He notes several times that he is an atheist and has no truck with supernatural gods. He views the ID crowd the way a broad-minded capitalist would sum up Marx: right in his critique, wrong in his solutions. But ID, he says, does contain criticisms of evolutionary theory that should be taken seriously.
Whatever the validity of this stance, its timing was certainly bad. The war between New Atheists and believers has become savage, with Richard Dawkins writing sentences like, “I have described atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity, as vicious, sadomasochistic, and repellent. We should also dismiss it as barking mad. …” In that climate, saying anything nice at all about religion is a tactical error.
So what you think? Hanging? Hanging, drawing, and quartering?
Could be gruesome. Darwinists’ unearned incomes are at stake.