One of the things devotees of the Darwin Mythos frequently hyperventilate about…

…is the catastrophe of a scientifically illiterate population which will surely slide into utter ruin if every single American does not believe and confess the theory of evolution and (most important) the atheistic materialism that undergirds the constant public expositions of the doctrine.

All this is done, of course, with the claim that this is all about science, critical thinking, reason, rationalism, etc. blah blah. Curiously, nobody says this sort of stuff about those who don’t know or care about aerodynamics, hydraulics, quantum physics, or electrical engineering. Our pop sci philosophers do not panic and fret about the massive ignorance of the American populace and our disgrace in the eyes of the world when it is revealed that the average computer user has only the dimmest idea of what actually takes place inside a microchip when you type “the average computer user has only the dimmest idea of what actually takes place inside a microchip” on your keyboard. Everybody pretty much grasps that the average person is average and often has no time to learn science when he’s trying to earn a living and feed his fambly.

But when it comes to the Darwin Mythos, the panic levels are cranked up to 11. Anybody who betrays the slightest ignorance of, doubts about, or questions of any aspect of the project or the philosophy behind it is shouted down as a disgrace to the republic, a fool, and a danger to civilization. I’ve long been inclined to think that the reason for this is not really a love of reason or scientific inquiry, but a religious zeal for the philosophy of atheistic materialism for which the Darwin Mythos has provide such excellent cover for over a century and a half.

And when I read of spectacles like the Richard Dawkins Award this inclination hardens into a conviction. What’s the Richard Dawkins Award?:

The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who through work or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins.

So who is this year’s winner? Which advocate of science and reason has done the most lately to “advocate increased scientific knowledge”. Why, Bill Maher, of course! You know, Bill Maher who tells us that germ theory is bunk, who says vaccination is a fraud, who knows more than the whole medical community about the illusion we call “AIDS”, who is a vocal and dangerous advocate of all manner of scientific quackery. That’s the guy the Apostle of Reason and Science Richard Dawkins selected to receive his prize. Why? Because he’s a noisy atheist and that’s all that matters.

Naturally, of course, PZ Myers makes excuses, cuz he’s all about science and reason. But some aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid and have a number of pertinent questions for the Great Apostle of Science and Reason.

What cracks me up about all this is that, quite simply, nobody will ever die from thinking God created the universe or having some doubts about the proposition that hydrogen is a substance which, if you leave it alone for 13.5 billion years, will turn into Angelina Jolie. Myself, I can’t help getting the impression that Paul is just speaking common sense when he says of the Creator, “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” I think you have to work extra hard not to see hand of God in creation and that guys like Dawkins are living testaments to the fact that the trouble about making yourself stupider than you really are is that you can often succeed.

And the proof of this is that Dawkins has chosen to lionize a guy whose scientific ignorance and quackery really could lead to actual physical harm and even death for people who take him seriously. But no cost is too great when your real project is not “promotion of science and reason” but “attacking Jesus Christ, no matter how stupid and irrational your ally is.”

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