Teaching people to think may have the ancillary effect of destroying their credulity

Jerry Coyne says why it’s nonsensical to say that atheists have to be quiet or else the Supreme Court will rule the teaching of evolution unconstitutional:

And yes, it’s likely that teaching evolution probably promotes a critical examination of religious beliefs that may lead to rejecting faith. But teaching geology, physics, or astronomy does that, too. In fact, education in general leads to the rejection of faith…What Brown is really saying is that we should be worried about promoting rational values of any type, or any notion that beliefs require evidence. He doesn’t seem to realize the difference between cramming atheism down people’s throats and teaching them to think, which may have the ancillary effect of eroding faith…I repeat, so that Brown can get it: teaching evolution is not promoting atheism, it’s promoting a scientific truth. And the promotion of any scientific truth may have the ancillary effect of dispelling faith. This is almost inevitable, for the metier of science — rationality and dependence on evidence — is in absolute and irreconcilable conflict with the with the metier of faith: superstition and dependence on revelation. Too bad.

Jason Rosenhouse points out how helpful Michael Ruse has been to the fight against creationism and ID:

In 2004 he edited a book with William Dembski called Debating Design, published by Cambridge University Press. In doing so he effectively cut the legs out from under those fighting school board battles on the ground. It’s pretty hard to argue that the evolution/ID issue is a manufactured debate when Ruse has one of the most prestigious university presses in the world certifying that it is, indeed, a real debate. Making matters worse was the fact that the four essays Ruse chose to represent “Darwinism” added up to a very weak case for the good guys…More recently Ruse said, in a public debate with Dembski, that the book The Design Inference was a valuable contribution to science…When the ID folks were putting together a book in honor of Phillip Johnson, Ruse was happy to contribute an essay to a section entitled “Two Friendly Critics.”

Oh…really? How odd then that he emailed Jerry Coyne just the other day to say: “I don’t know who does more damage, you and your kind or Phillip Johnson and his kind. I really don’t.”

Strange fella.

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