CIVIL DISCOURSE NOT TOLERATED BY DARWINISTS [Excerpts]
TBC: Comments from Intelligent Design (ID) writer Clive Hayden: Jason Rosenhouse has written a blog about Michael Ruse and William Dembski. His complaint against Ruse, among other things, is that Ruse is too cordial, too civil with ID supporters, Dembski especially.”And while I may dislike and disagree with Ruse’s thinking, it is his actions over the last several years that I loathe and detest. I hate the way he has been doing everything in his power to prop up the ID folks. I hate that he persuaded a prestigious university press to publish a book co-edited by William Dembski, which featured four essays defending “Darwinism” that seemed tailor made to make evolution look bad. I hate that he contributes essays to anthologies designed to celebrate ID promoters and that he tells debate audiences that Dembski has made valuable contributions to science.”
Rosenhouse hates quite a lot. What Rosenhouse also finds intolerable is that Ruse would even entertain the idea that an atheist Darwinist like Ruse gives any credence whatsoever to the proposition that religion is not the world’s greatest evil….
Ruse writes: “Unlike the new atheists, I take scholarship seriously. I have written that The God Delusion [by Dawkins] made me ashamed to be an atheist and I meant it. Trying to understand how God could need no cause, Christians claim that God exists necessarily. I have taken the effort to try to understand what that means. Dawkins and company are ignorant of such claims and positively contemptuous of those who even try to understand them, let alone believe them. Thus, like a first-year undergraduate, he can happily go around asking loudly, ‘What caused God?’ as though he had made some momentous philosophical discovery.”
Indeed, it is an uneducated question that Ruse is right to point out. It is based on the assumption that everything, even supernatural things, need a first cause. Natural things do need a first cause, but I don’t see how we could logically apply natural rules to supernatural things. Yet Dawkins is so steeped in materialism, that I presume he smuggles in material necessities, such as the necessary first cause argument, even when thinking about the immaterial and supernatural. I appreciate that Ruse is trying to understand the argument, while the new atheists and Rosenhouse don’t seem to be, or maybe they are just too dense to understand, or too lost to care, or both.