27 December 2005

God's shrinking job description

If the deluge of coverage afforded Federal Judge John E. Jones III's trouncing of intelligent design in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School Board has sparked your interest in the philosophical underpinning of either creationism or evolution -- and if it hasn't, why not? -- the current issue of Spiegel Online has just the thing: an interview with one of the biggest names in the field, Daniel C. Dennett.

The interview includes a brilliant explanation of just why it is that intelligent design is so darn attractive to so darn many people and explores the big G's shrinking job description. Dennett doesn't have all the answers, but even when he comes up short, it's clear he's on to something:
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for why the belief in Intelligent Design is nowhere so widespread as in the United States?

Dennett: No, unfortunately I don't. But I can say, the alliance between fundamentalists or evangelical religion and right wing politics is a very troubling phenomenon and this is certainly one of the most potent reasons for it....
Dennett's written a number of books exploring the more subtle shades of the scientific method, and he's got a new one on religion, as seen through the lens of evolutionary biology. The Spiegel interview is a good place to start.

And I promise to have something pseudo-original to say Thursday. The subject: Narnia.

2 Comments:

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9:25 AM  
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3:54 AM  

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