This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← God and Science: An Inner Conflict

AmericanGodless's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by AmericanGodless

"..the idea that evolution explains biology but God set the process in motion, does not exist in our brains."

So I guess Francis Collins, the Catholic Church, and many other mainstream religions (wherein this idea indeed does exist) have no brains (or keep their ideas elsewhere).

All they could possibly be testing here is an emotional response, not an intellectual weighing of alternatives. It used to be easy (and still is for most people) to make an emotional choice to believe in God and not worry about the details of the science. And why should it be any surprise that priming people with either a positive or negative view might affect an emotional response?

But what does that have to do with the fact that religion (in general) posits a pre-existing intelligence that has created order in the universe from the top down, while science is building on the theory that intelligence is a late arrival that is the result of mutation and selection (chance and necessity) creating order from the bottom up? It is, as Dan Dennett says, the difference between skyhooks and cranes. The conflict is one where the human intellect must decide which is a more coherent and probable story. Neither Galileo nor White had the benefit of Darwin, Mendel, Watson and Crick, and all of modern biology and cosmology to frame the question (and neither does the average undergrad taking part in this kind of experiment).

This article says nothing at all about the intellectual conflict, and nothing of interest about people's emotional response to a perception of a conflict.

Thu, 15 Jan 2009 17:58:00 UTC | #306341