Often when I write something and it sits for awhile at the back of my mind, it prompts some additional reflection on my part. Ever happen to you?
The essay by JAMES M. TOUR, PhD I linked to in may previous post, especially the last paragraphs, prompted a “why didn’t I see that before?” reaction. Let me explain.
DR. Tour’s piece was well reasoned and civil, devoid of ad-holmium attacks and insults, and thus was actually a pleasure to read and reflect on.
Another fellow comes to mind as well, and for the same reason. Professor Edgar Andrews, Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys.) is Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London and an international expert on the science of large molecules. He has written a wonderful book Who made God? The book is written by an unabashed Christian, and a renowned scientist and he expresses his view point quite eloquently and in an easy and humorous style. I’ve reported on him before at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/who-made-god/ and also at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/who-made-god-a-response-from-the-author/.
As impressed as I am of the professor’s arguments, I am equally impressed at how he responds to his readers, even his critics. He is kind but firm in his replies, and does not resort to insults and attacks. The two of us have taken up a sort of internet friendship and have exchanged several e-mails.
These two men, Professor Andrews and Professor Tour epitomize the spirit in which disputes, even scientific disputes, should be argued; with dignity and respect towards others of a different viewpoint.
On the other hand, the viciousness of the attacks from the materialistic and atheistic Neo-Darwinists towards those of the Intelligent Design or Creation persuasion seem to reflect the spirit that Dr. Tour points out in his quote from Viktor Frankl, and I repeat it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl), a former Auschwitz inmate wrote in The Doctor and the Soul, that the source for much of the 20th Century’s inhumanity has come from the very origins being discussed here.
“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.
“I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, ‘of Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers [emphasis added].”
Some of the flavor of these attacks can be seen in Jerry Coyne’s blog at http://WhyEvolutionIsTrue.Wordpress.com and the reviews of Dr Stephen Meyers’s book Darwin’s Doubt. Some of the attacks against me personally in web conversations include:
“quibbling with the educated”, “don’t EVER quote … It just makes your ignorance clear”, “grow up”, “ridiculous rhetoric.”,”believing in an imaginary friend”, “Ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule”, “your statements are so ridiculous they deserve ridicule”, “utterly ridiculous”, “I’m assuming your[sic] just a little educated”, “to get more money out of your wallet “, “your comment again deserves complete ridicule”, “I hire and fire code monkeys “, “you are lacking education … you are ignorant”, “These are evil, immoral and dishonest men”, “then you too are an evil, immoral and dishonest man. Period”, and more.
The contrast between the two approaches to argument is stark, and in the end I hope the approach by Tour and Andres wins the day.
Don Johnson – July 2013