This is an entry, below, to the Evolution and Atheism debate at academia.edu. The debate over theism and atheism is pointless. Dawkins is obsessed and in the process has wrecked the science of biology, along with a whole cohort of strangely mesmerized biologists. When the spell of this delusion lifts people will ask how it is that so many men with PHD’s could fall into such a pitiful naive ‘theory’ based on the statistics of natural selection. What else can people do? The theory of natural selection should provoke mistrust in science. Scientists have gone nuts.
Part of the problem is the obsession over design, and the secular humanist obsession with atheism. The question of design generates paranoia in Dawkins et al. Even the hint of design smells like ‘god’. But that is nonsense. We can take the most extreme version of ‘intelligent’ design and call it true and still that tells us nothing about god. The proponents of ID have their own confusions: they have rightly critiqued Darwinism, but have been unable to really escape their own framework. Again to say evolution/organisms show design is right, but to call that ‘intelligent’ implies something in nature that seems like ‘god’ all over again, OR, as the ID in retreat now say, something ‘intelligent’ in nature. Let’s say they are right, but that is not specific, is about nature not ‘god’ and misuses the predicate ‘intelligent’ for a void we don’t understand.
A massive AI computer at the level of evolution on a planet would explain everything in a minute. I don’t believe that as such but he question of design, as so often is a puzzle for a new branch of math, or a something related.
In many ways the Marx/Hegel debate is the grandfather of the current debate. The debate of Hegel and Marx was a stalemate because Marx ended up in the Darwin camp while Hegel was one of first or else best of the ‘ID’ philosopher/theologians. Note however that ‘Geist’ is the ‘intelligent’ X, but it is not’god’, so what is he talking about?
Whatever the case it is almost urgent get science/biology unstuck here and move on. The confusion over Darwinism has destroyed the reputation of science for millions and not just on the religious right. But the conservative twist is important to understand. Several generations of religious conservatives have been told about the absurdity of Darwin’s theory and now we see the rejection of science in a pandemic.
The reality of design requires explanation, not religious debate. The factor of design simply shows our science is still primitive.
This debate is an echo, intentional or not, of the Dawkins strategy to use Darwinism to prove the case for atheism. The fanaticism of Dawkins is counterproductive and atheists don’t need Darwinian theory to justify atheism. Atheism and theism suffer mutual incoherence and the question of atheism has a slight edge because the conventional theism is almost primitive nonsense. The Old Testament is a remarkable document but after all its thunder bequeaths a conception of god that belongs to the childhood of man. Its status plummets and that has nothing to do with evolution theory. The latter is a set of facts about the appearance of species in deep time but those facts have as yet no theory. The theory of natural selection is almost idiotic: focus on the complexity of an organism and consider the statistical impossibility of chance evolution. Please do it and help to rescue a social disaster in the mass delusion of Darwinism. The issue of atheism stands on its own terms, and challenges the childish myths of ‘god’. The connection with evolution one way or the other is not there.