Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Must evolution be true for atheism to stand?

I doubt the Religious Right has anyone as vicious, stupid and purely greedy as Ann Coulter. Personally I think she is taking them all for a ride, hence the $1.5 million dollar property in Palm Beach (isn’t she the one who ridicules liberals as all living in million dollar mansions?).

It’s not as if she says anything intelligent. She is the walking stereotype of the blond, anorexic bimbo right down to dressing like a $2 hooker while lecturing everyone about morality. She also lectures about family and marriage and remains unmarried to this day. (Can anyone spell l.e.s.b.i.a.n perhaps?)

Even on the issues where she and I agree she is embarrassing in her viciousness and irrationality. Where we don’t agree I’m glad she is out there for the same reason -- she discredits the arguments I find absurd by her irrationality and cruelty.

I would like to address one silly statement she made: “Although God believers don’t need evolution to be false, atheist need evolution to be true.” Typical of Coulter she packs more falsehoods and twisted logic into a sentence than anyone else.

So “God believers”, her stranger term for theists, can be evolutionists. I agree. I know many people who are theologically infested who are evolutionists of one type of another.

But as an atheist I can’t think of a reason why it is necessary for atheism for evolution to be true. Coulter doesn’t really say except by quoting someone saying evolutionary theory made lots of people atheists and quoting Dawkins saying it makes him a “fulfilled atheist.”

Neither of those statements indicates that the veracity of evolution is necessary to atheism. Neither of them say that. I suspect that what Coulter meant to say was something else entirely. She is a bad writer in my opinion and often says things in a confused way -- but that is how her thinking works -- badly.

If she said: “Although God believers don’t need creationism to be true, atheists need it to be false,” then she would be correct. If there was a creation by a God then atheism false. But atheism can be true and evolution false without a problem.

Atheism pre-existed Darwinian theory. And if Darwin never came along, and no one else replace him, I’d still be an atheist. My atheism has nothing to do with evolution. And the atheists I know are not atheists because of evolution.

What would happen if evolution were disproved? Nothing in regards to either atheism or theism. A god is not proven if evolution is disproved. Only the fundamentalist needs to disprove evolution, not all theists because only the fundamentalist needs a literal creation to support his reading of the Bible. Most other Christians are more intelligent than that and thus don’t have to disprove evolution. So if evolution were false that does nothing to prove the existence of a god.

And neither does it falsify atheism. If evolution were disproved (and I don’t think it will be) neither theism nor atheism are touched in any manner whatsoever. Coulter is just off her rocker -- again. Still!

What it means to the atheist is simple. It would only mean that we don’t know the answer to a question. Now I know a lot of people use God as a gap-filler. Anything they don’t know they explain away by dragging a deity into the picture. But the atheist sees no need for that. The lack of an answer to a question, even an important question, is not a license to invent answers. That is what the theist does. He invents a deity to explain that which is not explained any other way.

We don’t know everything. We never will know everything. We learn more each day but what we don’t know is immeasurable. There will always be questions for which we don’t have answers even as the number of questions answered grows. Because each new bit of knowledge gives us more questions.

The atheism does not need evolution to be true. He does not creation to be false if he is to remain a rational atheist. If evolution is wrong then it just means that there is some other way that life came into existence and that doesn’t necessarily mean a supernatural way.

Let us go back prior to germ theory. The Christian of the day attributed disease to God’s will or demonic powers. Perhaps it was God punishing sin or Satan trying to test the faith of someone. The atheist didn’t accept those witch-doctor theories at all. But prior to Pasteur confirm the germ theory of disease the atheist simply didn’t know the answer to what was the cause of disease.

Before Pasteur other thinks formulated the theory of germs, men like Fracastoro, Bassi and Henle) but he was the first to prove it. Sure some religiously infected individuals still dream of other explanations but even most theists accept the germ theory of disease. By the way it is still called the “germ theory of disease”. I note that because some of the scientifically illiterate fundamentalists argue that since we speak of the “theory of evolution” that proves it isn’t a fact. The same people would normally say that germs cause disease even though that is still called a theory as well. But they don’t know that. There’s a lot they don’t know. But unlike them we atheists, don’t invent a God to explain anything we don’t know.

There is no reason that atheism needs evolution to be true. None. If falsified tomorrow atheism would still be a sensible position since atheism never rested on evolution. Coulter once again has no idea what she is talking about. But if she did make sense the Religious Right wouldn’t be showering her with millions of dollars in book sales.

PS: This is our 400th posting here.

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Blogger Joe said...

I agree, Evolution and Atheism are two separate issues, though many Atheists believe in Evolution, as do some Xians. Excellent post.

March 13, 2007


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