Ruse says Eugenie Scott called him “dumb”

The ubiquitous Michael Ruse has yet another post explaining about non-overlappings and the new atheists and atheism is religion. (Jerry Coyne has already explained what’s wrong with Ruse’s explaining.)

Ruse says another word for NOMA, favored by “those who work on the interface between science and religion,” is independence. He says it’s the position of the NCSE and also of him.

 It is also my position, as I argued in a recent book…Basically, I argue that science is inherently metaphorical, that today’s science has at its core the metaphor of a machine, that metaphors rule certain questions out of court—not wrong, just not asked—and that it is legitimate for religious people to try to provide answers.  Religious answers not scientific answers, about ultimate origins and purposes, about morality, and perhaps also about consciousness.

Science is not “inherently metaphorical” in any way that makes a real difference to anything. It’s not “metaphors” that make certain questions seem too meaningless to address. Of course it’s “legitimate” for religious people to try to provide answers, but that’s not the issue; the issue is whether the answers are any good or not.

Gould was not a believer and neither am I.  We both think that you can be an agnostic or atheist—I like the term skeptic.  We recognize that of course science and religion can conflict.  That was why we were in Arkansas.  But our argument—my argument, let me speak for myself—is that much that conflicts with science is not traditional religion…

That part just illustrates why Ruse is so irritating. He’s so lazy. He lazily uses the present tense about Gould and he lazily goes on talking about the two of them for no apparent reason, and then he suddenly decides to stop doing that, but instead of going back and re-writing, he just tells us to let him stop. What a buffoon! And that kind of thing is characteristic – slovenly uncorrected off-the-top-of-his-head notes treated as a finished article.

As so often happens with these sorts of things, those closest to each other are often the greatest enemies.  Freud called it the “narcissism of small differences.”…In the case of people like me, those who endorse the independence option, our fellow nonbelievers are scornful to an extent equaled only by their comments about Pope Benedict.  We are labeled “accommodationists” or “appeasers,” and reviled.

Dude – mirror.

He goes on to repeat his old claim that a conflict view of religion and science could get science in public schools in trouble with the current Supreme Court, a claim which seems very strained to me, although he’s right that with this court…well who knows.

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