Ruse rhymes with loose, he says so himself
Just a little note to point out the consistent rudeness and inaccuracy (to put it politely) of Michael Ruse.
I read one of the responses to my recent piece on Darwinism and the problem of evil. One of the junior new atheists — that is to say, not one of the big four of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris — took extreme umbrage to my picking on him (even more umbrage at my not naming him by name) and my suggesting that absolute reality might not correspond exactly to his worldview.
No he didn’t. Any “umbrage” he took was a good deal less extreme than the umbrage Ruse routinely takes at (not to: at) a great many people and things but especially gnu atheists. “He” is Jason Rosenhouse. Jason starts by quoting Ruse on Giberson and Collins:
the book is intended to defend Christianity against the critics who argue that science and religion are incompatible. Expectedly, it has got all of the junior New Atheists jumping with joyous ire, and all over the blogs are stern condemnations: “this is not a good book” “the authors’s [sic] frequently murky prose”; “I was struck by just how unserious they are on this issue.” You get the idea.
Jason points out that all of those quotes come from his review of the book. Now that you know that, look again at what Ruse said. Typical of him, isn’t it. “The junior New Atheists,” as if it were hundreds of them, or even three, when in fact it was one. “You get the idea,” says Ruse, sloppily, and no doubt we do, but it’s a wrong idea. We get the idea that there are lots of gnu atheists jumping with joyous ire when in fact there is only one Jason, writing a reasoned review. “All over the blogs are stern condemnations”: by which he means one.
Jason says, mildly,
Apparently describing a pro-religion book as not good, or protesting that its prose is murky, is now a level of rhetoric vitriolic enough to get you dismissed as a New Atheist, if only a junior one. Of course, Ruse might have quoted the context surrounding those criticisms, since I rather clearly expressed regret that I found the book so inadequate and recommended a better book defending the same basic ideas. But that basic nod to fairness would have required conceding that I wasn’t just writing an angry screed.
Ruse doesn’t do basic nods to fairness. Ruse does rudeness and (to put it much too politely) inaccuracy.