Pharyngula

A revealing review

Barbara Bradley Hagerty has lately been polluting NPR with a series of superficial fluff pieces on religion — I’ve just groaned and turned the radio off when she comes on. She also has a book out, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, and just the title is sufficient to tell you it’s noise to avoid. If that’s not enough, though, you can also read a revealing review of the book.

That is why the work of a religion writer is different than that of a science reporter or a sportswriter. Most journalists — or at least most good journalists — are supposed to question everything. They are supposed to write about facts.

Religion writers, on the other hand, could care less about the facts – or at least about the basic facts. They write about faith, not facts.

Heh. Yes. Exactly.

And the conclusion of her book?

Nevertheless, Hagerty concludes by erring on the side of amorphous belief, concluding that “the language of our genes, the chemistry of our bodies, and the wiring of our brains – these are the handiwork of One who longs to be known.”

If he longs to be known, why not just come out and say howdy? Is this god shy or something? Otherwise, this is just the standard Intelligent Design creationist malarkey: something that is complex has the appearance of design because a) people conflate complexity with intent, and b) people have brains that have evolved to explain the world in terms of agency, therefore it must be designed by an intelligent agent for a purpose.

It’s a good review. It convinced me that I don’t need to read the book, ever.