Saturday, June 27, 2009

PZ Myers On Science And Religion

The other day, NP asked a question at her blog Coffee Stained Writer:

If you had a DeLorean, what book (or books) would you snatch away before it made it to bookshelves? Why?

Should I Seek Publication? Should You?

My answer was Rocks of Ages, a largely nonsensical attempt by paleontologist Stephen J. Gould to explain how religion and science were not incompatible. In that book, he espoused the idea that science and religion were Non-overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA. The basic idea of NOMA was that science and religion aren't in conflict, because they try to find answers to different problems. As with all attempts to explain away the conflict between religion and science, it was a muddled mess. Considering the quality of Gould's mind, his book should serve as an example of how absurd his proposition was.

Yesterday, biologist P.Z. Myers did a great job of explaining why Gould and others are wrong. As John Pieret wrote about Myers' essay:

PZ Myers has a good post up on the accommodationist/incompatibilist flap that is, despite the unnecessary slap at "feeble accommodationist claptrap," a reasonable attempt at clarifying matters that I can agree with in large part.

PZ Explains

Others, such as Richard Dawkins, have tried to cover this ground with varying degrees of success. I think PZ's essay is well worth a read, because it's both succinct and thorough. Rather than try to quote it, I'll just suggest you go read it for yourself.

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