Darwins God

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Tony Rook
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Darwins God

Here is a link to an article by By Robin Marantz Henig that was published on March 4, 2007 in the New York Times. The extensive articles deals with the "search for an evolutionary explanation for why belief in God exists not whether God exists, which is a matter for philosophers and theologians, but why the belief does."

Here is an introduction to the article, but I encourage all to follow the link for the full article.

God has always been a puzzle for Scott Atran. When he was 10 years old, he scrawled a plaintive message on the wall of his bedroom in Baltimore. God exists, he wrote in black and orange paint, or if he doesnt, were in trouble. Atran has been struggling with questions about religion ever since why he himself no longer believes in God and why so many other people, everywhere in the world, apparently do.

Call it God; call it superstition; call it, as Atran does, belief in hope beyond reason whatever you call it, there seems an inherent human drive to believe in something transcendent, unfathomable and otherworldly, something beyond the reach or understanding of science. Why do we cross our fingers during turbulence, even the most atheistic among us? asked Atran when we spoke at his Upper West Side pied-à-terre in January. Atran, who is 55, is an anthropologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, with joint appointments at the University of Michigan and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. His research interests include cognitive science and evolutionary biology, and sometimes he presents students with a wooden box that he pretends is an African relic. If you have negative sentiments toward religion, he tells them, the box will destroy whatever you put inside it. Many of his students say they doubt the existence of God, but in this demonstration they act as if they believe in something. Put your pencil into the magic box, he tells them, and the nonbelievers do so blithely. Put in your drivers license, he says, and most do, but only after significant hesitation. And when he tells them to put in their hands, few will.

If they dont believe in God, what exactly are they afraid of?

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
I read it and found it to be

I read it and found it to be very interesting. Worth a look for anyone interested in the subject.

R Bishop
R Bishop's picture
Agreed. Truly worth a look.

Agreed. Truly worth a look.


JayM's picture
I read part of the document

I read part of the document and I do have the intention to finish it. I find it very interesting though that scientists are displaying an all consuming passion to convert the world and its secrets to trivial issues they can explain. I always ask myself that who is more afraid of the unknown the scientist who attaches 'logical diductions' to things they obviously do not understand or a creationist who accepts the overwhelming evidence favouring the existence of God.

I am sure we are all familiar with issues surrounding the discovery of the all too famous Eoanthropus dawsonii (Piltdown man); Or the case against the Japanese archaeologist Shinichi Fujimura who is said to have been caught on film planting relics in the pre-dawn hours; Or the case against the Germany professor (remember this):
["Anthropology is going to have to completely revise its picture of modern man between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago," said Thomas Terberger, the archaeologist who discovered the hoax. "Prof Protsch's work appeared to prove that anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals had co-existed, and perhaps even had children together. This now appears to be rubbish."

Apparently Prof. Protsch began his career as a forger when he returned from studying in America decades ago and discovered that he was unable to work a carbon-dating machine. So he just started making up the ages of things.]

Why the need for so many forgeries to explain a 'logical scientific fact'? Are there any hidden agendas here that would lead respected scientists to bludgeon creationist views with 'hoaxes' why not just stick to facts and established evidence?

I remain unconvinced that there is any other 'logical' explanation that would challenge intelligent design. What I have come to understand about the world and the complex dynamics that hold things together 'thanks to science' tends to harden my stance against evolution. I mean the world is too complex and 'orderly' for something that arose by chance. There seems to be a begining for everything even the proverbial 'biological soup' came from somewhere, now where is that somewhere and how did it come to be?