Here’s an interesting blog post written by a biochemistry professor at Seattle Pacific University. I call attention to it for two reasons. First, it is a harshly negative, but also highly substantive, review of Stephen Meyer’s ID manifesto Signature in the Cell, written from a Christian perspective:
So w/r/t this whole book you’ve just written, about how the Creator must be inferred to explain the origin of DNA? I very much wish you were right.
But you aren’t.
I don’t say this because I fear for my job. I have a feeling I could have a very nice job at the Discovery Institute if I pushed for it, speaking to churches and other groups across the land, defending Intelligent Design. After all, you’re in town here, I could just commute. Here I’ve already got plenty of grant money and tenure, and I’m at a place where I could defend such a defense of ID as part of my job, even if all the rest of that was not true.
I say it because, as a scientist who prays and studies scripture, I do not buy your argument.
Well said, though I find it interesting that the author admits that he wishes Meyer’s argument were correct. I find this easy to understand. That the facts of science steadfastly refuse to provide any evidence for theism has to be troubling to a religiously-inclined person. At some point you start wondering about whether absence of evidence really is evidence of absence.
The other part that caught my eye was this:
I believe what you do: In one God, almightly creator of heaven and earth, and Jesus Christ, his only son … you know the rest. I have worked in science, too, and have a big interest in the questions of how life started. In both of these matters, I am on your side and am also theoretically predisposed to accept your arguments about Intelligent Design. I have no philosophical opposition to it, in fact, I believe, no, scratch that, I know that the creator stepped into creation as Jesus and gave us a glimpse of the future with the physical resurrection on Easter morning, an act of new creation unexplainable any other way.
We New Atheist types like to emphasize that religion ought not to be exempted from the usual requirement that assertions of fact be supported by evidence, and that both the methods and findings of science tend to weaken the case for traditional religious beliefs. For this we are accused, with tiresome lack of originality, of being arrogant. We are lectured about the limits of science and about how we can not prove there is no God. Sometimes we are even described as being like fundamentalists.
Such charges are nonsense, of course. It is not arrogant to grow irritated with those who demand respect for their religion without providing a shred of evidence in support of their beliefs. Arrogance is when you claim to know, with “know” in italics and clearly distinguished from “believe,” that some dubious bit of religious dogma is true.
Phony claims of certainty are far more typical of religion than they are of atheism.