by Denyse O'Leary
Last November, the Center for Inquiry/Transnational got started, sharing a home in Amherst, New York, with the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), publishers respectively of FREE INQUIRY and SKEPTICAL INQUIRER magazines.
For these people, science is applied materialism, and they are very concerned about developments that challenge that perspective, including the intelligent design controversy. Indeed, to judge from the press release, anyone who thinks that "evolution" is neutral on the question of religion, as Darwin lobbyists routinely claim, should know better.
Indeed, Darwinist PZ Myer made this quite clear in his comments on the National Center for Science Education's executive director Eugenie Scott's soothing claims that Darwinism is not opposed to religious traditions:
Take off the comfy cardigan, Dr Scott. Scientists have a role to play in our culture, and it's not as the pleasant, soothing flim-flam artists, mumbling consolation and excuses in return for a donation on the offering plate. We're supposed to be clear-eyed and critical, even when it's easier to play the priest and lie. I think you're doing a bang-up job of accommodating the American citizenry to the fluff and nonsense of woolly religious thinking, but that's not a job that needs to be done, and it's not your job.
And if anyone wonders how Myers would regard a professing Christian, his comments on columnist Mike Adams, who spoke at the University of Minnesota (where Myer teaches) are instructive:
Mike S. Adams, columnist for TownHall, Horowitzian shill, anti-feminist, creationist clown, homophobic bigot, warrior for free speech, professional racist, gun kook, academic-by-accident, beauty contest judge, and just generally contemptible far, far right-wing nutcase.
and that's not the half of it. Go here for some sense of how serious Darwinists view religious types in general. And here is Myers' comments on Catholic Darwinist Ken Miller. In the end, Darwinism cannot tolerate any meaningful non-materialist perspective, and views it as a form of "endarkenment" , not to be tolerated.
Of course, some would argue, not every Darwinist is like that. Perhaps not, but it is a reliable indicator of the true state of affairs that the "moderates" tolerate the "extremists" quite well.
Indeed, the Beyond Belief conference makes the true direction quite clear: Those theistic or Eastern traditions that are willing to morph slowly into materialist atheism, treated as a religion can spare themselves many attacks by increasingly militant atheists, who have, in many cases, found public funding for their cause. Anyone who so much as wants equal time for evidence for non-materialist views faces a storm - made all the foggier by Christian clergy who wish to converge with the materialists. Perhaps such clergy hope to be eaten last?
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming The Spiritual Brain (Harper 2007).
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