Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Logic That Makes Puppies Sad

I saw this photo at Pharyngula today, and just had to have it.

I was looking for a Hallmark card with [My Regrets On Your Traumatic Brain Damage] on the cover (and also, preferably, a sad-eyed puppy dog) to send to Josh Rosenau and Chris Mooney, but they didn't have one, so I had to settle for a blog post. Here's the sad puppy, at least.

Oh, Internet, you are like a giant greeting card store that is always well-stocked with lovely cliches.

My Regrets On Your Traumatic Brain Damage

What Prof. Myers is on about has something to do with people who love to take short quotes from a rather mindless interview out of context and assume that they mean the individual has had a profound change of heart on an issue he recently wrote a lengthy book to explain. I don't want to spoil the rest of it though, so just go and read the article and enjoy the well-deserved browbeating.

Frankly, their logic was starting to make this puppy sad, too.

UPDATE: Another thing that bothers puppies about this logic is that Mooney and Rosenau have clearly not done their homework. If they had, they might have noticed on pages 4 and 5 of Richard Dawkins' new book, The Greatest Show On Earth, this paragraph:

It is frequently, and rightly, said that senior clergy and theologians have no problem with evolution and, in many cases, actively support scientists in this respect.This is often true, as I know from the agreeable experience of collaborating with the then Bishop of Oxford, now Lord Harries, on two separate occasions. In 2004 we wrote a joint article in the Sunday Times whose concluding words were ' Nowadays there is nothing to debate. Evolution is a fact and, from a Christian perspective, one of God's greatest works.' The last sentence was written by Richard Harries, but we agreed about all the rest of our article. Two years previously, Bishop Harries and I had organized a joint letter to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair ...

I transcribed this from the copy of the book I'm reading, so any spelling mistakes or typographic errors are mine. I added the bold emphasis to highlight the time when Prof. Dawkins and Lord Harries cooperated on these letters. It should be clear from this that Dawkins is both used to cooperating with Christians in the name of science, and, since these events happened before he published The God Delusion, the opinions he expressed there were opinions he held at that time, also.

In short, Dawkins has not had a problem ignoring his differences of opinion on religion in order to foster a greater appreciation and understanding of science in the public. This is something that Mooney and Rosenau either don't know or chose to ignore before assuming that Dawkins had suddenly changed his tune.

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