Further Readings on ‘Clash Of The Atheists’

Here we go, another attempt to round up the happenings and syndicate all the correspondences in this Epic Clash of Titans.

This one’s slightly older, but Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance explains exactly how science and religion are actually incompatible, and this is an excellent starting point for understanding why pro-science folks are so adamant that any accomodation of religion necessarily erodes the very science an accommodationist claims they’re trying to boost.

Mike Haubrich chronicles the actual war between science and antiscience, and places on an atlas of the war effort where exactly this atheist schism lies. Definitely worth a read if you need to get your bearings on this blogo-epic.

Jerry Coyne links in a ton of backstory in this epic as well. This is an excellent starting point if you’re just catching up.

ERV also has a linking post up congratulating Sheril Kirshenbaum and Chris Mooney on successfully reinventing themselves. Hilarious sarcasm and snark aplenty here, and a good place to go after Coyne’s.

Skepacabra posts along much the same lines, focusing as I did on the quote-mining engaged in by Mooney as “representative” of the “New Atheists” cause.

Stephanie Zvan has some interesting analysis up at Quiche Moraine of a specific quote pulled from Mooney’s book that should get a lot more focus than anyone at The Intersection is allowing for:

Dawkins and some other scientists fail to grasp that in Hollywood, the story is paramount—that narrative, drama, and character development will trump mere factual accuracy every time, and by a very long shot.

She breaks this quote down into its constituent components and eviscerates it. Accuracy is paramount in science, and sacrificing accuracy on the altar of public popularity to bring the public more into the fold is a sin against the very science you’re trying to get people to adopt.

Dan J builds on the theme, and goes on to explain exactly why it is that we as humans demand internal consistency in our worldviews, using the examples given in video games and movies. If there is no consistency, the dissonance builds up until someone no longer feels the worldview “works”.

Oh, and Mooney actually “responds” to PZ’s review by claiming PZ is biased because he was directly attacked in the book as “part of the problem”, and therefore none of his criticism is worth responding to for real. Let’s not forget that the attacks on New Atheists comprise only two chapters of the book, and PZ actually talks a significant amount about other stuff in the book that’s worth attacking — including the quote Stephanie focused on earlier.

Too much reading for one day. I’m off to Windsor to watch SWIG play, and go yell at the furniture people for having my money for two months and still no sign of any furniture.

Further Readings on ‘Clash Of The Atheists’
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3 thoughts on “Further Readings on ‘Clash Of The Atheists’

  1. 1

    The “battle” rages on. I think most of it comes down to a matter of “style”. One groups prefers “in-your-face conflict” with religion, while the other prefers the quieter “let’s not piss them off” approach. There’s room for both approaches, and it’s simply not right for one to say the other is “ruining it” for everyone else.

    Have you have a fun evening at the Spitfire Arms watching SWIG. I’m working on the car while I think about another new Accommodationism post, and prepare to pick up Mrs. J from work so we can have our Anniversary dinner. WIth all the work, it isn’t much of an anniversary.

  2. 2

    Happy anniversary to you and Mrs J!

    I agree — there’s room for both approaches. It doesn’t really behoove us to throw elbows at one another in the meantime, is what I’m saying. Problem being, Mooney et al seem to think they need to do so. This leads to retaliation, which leads to escalation, which leads to a hundred-years-war where we don’t even remember who the hell did or said what.

    Skepacabra: it was worth including. As for staying rational, I’ll certainly try.

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