Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The False Dichotomy Zone.

Religious fanaticism vs. a cool head

When Barry Arrington took over from William Dembksi as moderator of Uncommon Descent that blog took an intellectual down turn. Arrington sees the evolution debate very much in the frame of the “God did it vs. Evolution did it” dichotomy. Arrington, it turns out, is a fine example of the polarized naturalism vs. supernaturalism habits of mind that dominate the American debate. What brought this small post of mine on was a post by Arrington that typifies his views. I’m not going to a spend my time systematically working through Arrington’s article exposing his philosophical naiveties except to provide this link which deals with the God did it vs. Evolution did it dichotomy. (See also here)

I don’t particularly want to make enemies of Uncommon Descent; a lot of worthwhile posts and commentary can be found there and I am an open ear when it comes to criticism of the mechanism of evolution as it is currently understood. However, there are some contributors at Uncommon Descent that have thoroughly alienated me. American ID appears to have become bound up with the very dangerous political polarization we see in that country. Fanatical commentary emanates from high places, such as, for example, the denouncement of evolution as Lies straight from the pit of hell. With this sort of fulmination the musty smell of irrational fundamentalist zealotry hits you straight away; it comes straight from the seething cauldron of authoritarian, sectarian and cult religion. It gives me the creeps.

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