by Denyse O'Leary
What's all the fuss about? Why the big atheist putsch?
Ever since the Big Bang, materialist science has come in for a lot of trouble. As I set out in By Design or by Chance?, things that cannot happen by chance in the lifetime of the known universe cannot happen - unless some force or law has overruled chance.
In that case, the most reasonable assumption is that the universe and life forms did not come about by chance, but by design. That does not prove that any specific intelligent design thesis is true; it just makes design a reasonable proposition. Denunciation of the fact base or anyone who asks questions about it changes nothing.
To make matters worse, life sciences are not confirming that everything just sort of happens by a Darwinian pathway and neuroscience is not confirming that mind comes from mud. It's just not happening the way it was supposed to.
Another development in recent decades is that the collapse of worldwide communism removed huge numbers of people from the percentage who could technically be described as atheists. So they are in the mix now, clamoring for attention to their real perceptions.
And, worse still for materialists, increasing numbers of people are refusing to permit employers, bureaucrats, and other "minders" to divorce them from their spirituality.
As if that wasn't bad enough, a growing number of biologists acknowledge that the way in which evolution is taught often promotes materialist atheism rather than science as such.
Put simply: Materialist science is in trouble. And the trouble does not stem from traditional religions, though materialists are - as one might expect - quick to blame their troubles on traditional religions and to reassure themselves that - despite all the evidence - traditional religions are doomed. But, materialists are also smug and thus cannot imagine or respond to any source of trouble arising from their interpretation of the evidence.
They have apparently decided instead to target the Christian religion as the source of their problems. One outcome is that, as we shall see, many materialists want to start a new religion to compete with the traditional ones, including a Darwin Day (Christmas, Eid al-Fitr, and Chinese New Year all rolled into one?). The new religion lacks at least one ingredient that you hear about every Sunday in a Christian church ... any guesses?
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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