The irrational intransigence of the Darwinist camp in the origins debate grows tiresome, as does the endless polemic and spurious argumentation. In response to yet another rant I saw somewhere about the nefarious intentions of the Discovery Institute, a rant that is supposed to fill the role of some sort of scientific argument, I realize that some really basic foundational questions need to be asked. When I get the opportunity, I'd really like to dialog (not engage in some sort of insult-slugfest) with an internet Darwinist (i.e. the kind who sport a scarlet-'A'-for-atheism on their blog and spend most of their time talking about how stupid theists are) about the following questions in a one-by-one fashion:
Would it be fair to say that a principle should be regarded as sincerely and honestly held only if it is applied consistently? And conversely, that if it is invoked only when convenient and ignored when inconvenient, that it is not, in fact, honestly held and, hence, not really a principle?
Would it be fair to say that you are invoking the principle that ideological/worldview biases can result in untrustworthy or incorrect science?
Would it then be fair to say that the degree to which faulty science will be done or asserted depends on how crucial a particular scientific stance or result is to upholding a particular ideological/worldview bias?
Would it be fair to say that if apparently unguided evolution via random variation and natural selection (AUEVRVANS) turned out to be true that a great many theists would be able to shrug their shoulders and say “well, that’s the way God did it?” For example, I personally have been informed on many occasions by proponents of AUEVRVANS that one can be both a theist and acknowledge the truth of AUEVRVANS. I believe this is the position of the NCSE. On the other hand, I’ve read frustration expressed by scientific atheists that theists go on believing regardless of scientific arguments, because they can always say “that’s the way God did it”. Thus, the atheist himself testifies that he is aware that the question has little de facto impact on many theists (even though he thinks it *should*). I’ve also seen theists berated by atheists for not changing their views due to the atheist’s understanding of the scientific evidence. In effect, these atheists are telegraphing that they hold the scientific evidence to be absolutely pivotal to the worldview question. So we have some atheists proclaiming (or complaining) that AUEVRVANS is no threat to theism, while others proclaim that it is a decisive support for atheism (otherwise why would Richard Dawkins have proclaimed “Darwin makes it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”?). In effect, they are saying that AUEVRVANS is a “don’t care” for the theist position, but very much *not* a “don’t care” for the atheist position. And a great many theists would certainly agree.
Would it be fair to say that if AUEVRVANS turned out to be demonstrably false then a great many atheists would find their atheism to be untenable? For example, I personally have never heard or read an atheist proclaim that if it turned out that evolution were a guided process that this would have absolutely no effect on their atheism. And I don’t believe that opponents of AUEVRVANS typically inform atheists that one can be both an atheist and a believer in guided evolution. After all, it is Richard Dawkins himself who said, “Darwin makes it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Do you assert that Darwin being essentially wrong would not matter?
Given this asymmetry in cruciality-to-worldview of the truth of AUEVRVANS, then wouldn’t it be at least equally prudent to consider how atheism might have skewed the interpretation of scientific evidence?
Would it be fair to say that if scrutiny only needs to be applied to theism as a skewer of scientific interpretation, then a non-existent general principle is being disingenuously invoked, and therefore that if atheism does not really *need* to be scrutinized as a skewer of scientific interpretation then neither should theism, and finally that if theism does, in fact, *need* to be scrutinized as such a skewer due to such a principle, then so does atheism?