Sometimes a simple flow chart can make things so much clearer..
Well, the one on the right certainly looks more, er.. elegant. Nice confluence of events this morning. Just finished reading The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. Page 417 contains this passage..
“… Karen finds the culprit on Bonnie’s coffee table. Weber’s new book, which the girl has been dutifully ploughing through at the rate of half a page a day over the last seven months.
“This is what’s upset you?” Karen asks. “Something in here?”
One more denying shake of the head, then the girl breaks down. “There’s a God part of the brain? Religious visions from some kind of epilepsy storm?”
Karen is all over herself, comforting the girl. And the girl takes some comforting.
“You can turn God on and off with electric…? It’s just some built-in structure? Did you already know this? does everybody? Everybody smart?”
Karen shushes her, strokes her shoulders. “Nobody knows. He doesn’t know.”
“Of course he knows! He wouldn’t put it in a book, if he didn’t. He’s the smartest man I’ve ever met. Religion is just a temporal lobe…? He’s saying belief is just an evolved chemical thing you could gain or lose…? …Oh shit. Shit. I’m too stupid to get this!”
Ha! I like the idea that, in the battle between The Darwinists and the believers, those in favour of evolution are not just saying that those with faith are wrong, but that the reason they believe is simply a mechanism caused by evolution itself. Now that’s my kind of argument..
While we’re at it – an interesting article in today’s Guardian in which the Dean of Southwark is quoted as saying “Atheists like the Richard Dawkins of this world are just as fundamentalist as the people setting off bombs on the tube, the hardline settlers on the West Bank and the anti-gay bigots of the Church of England…” Oh really?
And then, as if by some ordained fate, I stumbled upon this clip. I think I might start worshipping Richard Dawkins. That oughta get his back up. Here he is, ripping Liberty University a new one..