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Endless forms most beautiful, indeed! - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Wow! An interviewer who actually wants to talk about the contents of TGSoE and not TGD!

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 14:40:00 UTC | #403362

tynn's Avatar Comment 2 by tynn

Im having problems playing the video.

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 14:47:00 UTC | #403368

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 3 by mordacious1

Michael Ruse's next book is Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science. Richard Dawkins will not like it.

Michael Ruse...Mr. NOMA. Enough already.

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 16:00:00 UTC | #403387

David Blackwell's Avatar Comment 4 by David Blackwell

Of related note for some may be the review of Karen Armstrong's recent book, The Case for God, laid out conspicuously alongside the latter part of the Ruse review of TGSE in the Globe and Mail. Of possible "note" because I expect her book could be seen as an example of the "strong" version of theology atheists are accused of being so woefully lacking awareness and appreciation of. (According to the review, Armstrong is also one of those who accuse the "new atheists" of attacking only "weak" versions of theology, with the implication that this undermines their credibility. I suspect Ruse says the same thing in his Science and Spirituality.) For anyone interested in the review of Armstrong's book, it can be accessed by clicking on "Books" on the page containing the review of TGSE/Dawkins interview video on the Globe and Mail website.

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 16:53:00 UTC | #403406

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

According to Jerry Coyne, some bloggers are accusing Richard of being an accommodationist:

I suppose some people think that if you're not being strident you're pandering...

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 18:39:00 UTC | #403429

NoFearNoLimits's Avatar Comment 6 by NoFearNoLimits

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 18:51:00 UTC | #403432

j.mills's Avatar Comment 7 by j.mills

Ruse's hedging about god 'creating through unbroken law' is a little like Armstrong's fluffy-warm-feeling god, mentioned by David Blackwell above: both are accommodations that depend upon scripture not meaning what it says. A tiresome old manoeuvre whose most striking fail is that it doesn't reflect the beliefs of most believers.

Ruse suggests RD overplays the role essentialism played in hindering the discovery of natural selection. He may be right in his Aristotle quotes and such, but in the common mind I think this notion persists to this day. The other day a work colleague complained that if we evolved from some other creatures, where are those creatures now? Gah! They are US, fer cryin' out loud! The notion of one thing gradually changing into another still seems to defeat many people, even in this age of on-screen morphing!

Finally: isn't "endless forms most beautiful" a wonderful phrase? It's rarely mentioned what a fine writer Darwin was, on top of everything else.

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 19:33:00 UTC | #403437

Corylus's Avatar Comment 8 by Corylus

<!-- -->Comment #421643 by j.mills:

Finally: isn't "endless forms most beautiful" a wonderful phrase? It's rarely mentioned what a fine writer Darwin was, on top of everything else.
Yes, it makes me wonder if a found poem could be made out of that famous passage.

I have done a quick search, but I couldn't find any attempts.

It's more than my linguistic skills can manage, but I think something might be in there.

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 20:30:00 UTC | #403444

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 9 by Russell Blackford

Ruse is correct that the Problem of Evil already existed prior to Darwin. But that doesn't make evolution irrelevant to the problem.

Arguments about the Problem of Evil, including attempts by religious apologists to solve it, are based on the facts we have about the world. The more we know about life on Earth, including its history, the more intractable the Problem of Evil becomes and the more remote become the prospects of solving it satisfactorily. To take just one obvious example, evolution knocks on the head the argument that evil and suffering were only brought into the world by Adam's fall from grace 6000 years ago (and can thus all be attributed to human free will).

The point isn't that there was no evidence against the existence of a benign creator before Darwin came along. I doubt that any atheist thinks that. The point is that the totality of the evidence changes dramatically when you take evolution into account, in a way that makes it all the more likely that no loving and providential (yet all-knowing and all-powerful) God exists.

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 14:34:00 UTC | #403613