Saturday, February 26, 2011

Faith defeats Intellectual Humility

Dr. Coyne has a good post where he exposes the arrogance of Intelligent Design (ID) theory once again.

I am often a critic of religious thinking and I realize that makes some of my friends angry but this post by Dr. Coyne exposes the danger of how too much religious faith presents a problem to knowledge and explains my criticism (in a way).

One of the leading proponents of ID is William Dembski and he gets biology wrong again so he might cherry pick observations in service of his preferred religious belief.

Dembski seems like a nice guy but his credulity is beyond reason.

He wishes we all would be subject to his level of credulity and ignore the foundation of health science rooted in Darwinian evolution for the sake of Christianity.

William Dembski is an engineer and a fundamentalist Christian and a smart man but he is not an evolutionary biologist yet feels he has the authority to try to falsify known science for the sake of Jesus. He is either a cynic or a dupe animating the Intelligent Design community's political campaign to over-turn Darwinian evolution because it defeats the notion of a personal creator god. He fails with facts, intellectual charity and reasoning but believes he is right (and is well-funded in this belief) due to the emotional benefits Jesus belief brings.

It is obvious to me that his assertions have no intellectual humility because he wishes to be an authority on a subject he has no formal training in simply because he has made an emotional commitment to a creation myth with societal privileged protection.

It frightens me because it undermines the course of intelligence in intellectual humility which can make us all better for a faith commitment that makes the believer feel good despite its dubious claims on reality (like Mr. Dembski's experience with the faith healer and his son).

It also angers me because when I challenge the theological assertions by believers (e.g. The phenomenon of an invisible intelligent agent known as "The Holy Spirit" that becomes part of a human's reasoning faculties when an acceptance of Jesus is entered) I am told that I don't know the theology I am citing. My inexpert stance obviates my criticism despite the fact I am simply relating the theology taught to me when I was a Christian but Christians have no problem avoiding the intellectual charity they demand of critics when looking to challenge ideas that hurt their thesis.

1 comment:

Sue Botchie said...

The ID people are looking for validation from the worldlings. Stupid move. Yep, if the Bible says it, I believe and don't give a flying hoot what the egg-head kowtowin worldlings think. Worldlings may be smart but they're wrong and they're annoying as the place they're headed if they don't shape up and plead for mercy at the Cross.