Thursday, December 07, 2006

Atheists on the March

Aggressive and militant materialist atheism is on the march and coming to a bookstore near you:

If Dennett and Harris are almost-scientists (Dennett runs a multidisciplinary scientific-philosophic program), the authors of half a dozen aggressively secular volumes are card carriers: In Moral Minds, Harvard biologist Marc Hauser explores the--nondivine--origins of our sense of right and wrong (September); in Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast (due in January) by self-described "atheist-reductionist-materialist" biologist Lewis Wolpert, religion is one of those impossible things; Victor Stenger, a physicist-astronomer, has a book coming out titled God: The Failed Hypothesis. Meanwhile, Ann Druyan, widow of archskeptical astrophysicist Carl Sagan, has edited Sagan's unpublished lectures on God and his absence into a book, The Varieties of Scientific Experience, out this month.

The popular press is picking up on this topic, too. For example, a writer from Wired spent some time yakking it up with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris.

Meanwhile, Time recently devoted space to covering the "Evolution Wars" and also printed snippets of a debate between Dawkins and Francis Collins.

The most interesting thing from my vantage point is to see how starkly presuppositions shape the debate. They effectively talk past one another demonstrating that worldview commitments form and mold the ideas and convictions that govern talk about belief or disbelief in God.


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