Posted on | March 3, 2014 | 23 Comments
— by Wombat-socho
One of the most annoying things about the new crop of evangelical atheists – the people who not only don’t believe in God but are insistent that you shouldn’t either – is their ingrained belief that no intelligent person could possibly believe in God, and therefore anybody who does is stupid. This says more about their smug ignorance of history than anything else; the history of Western Civilization is rife with learned men who were also men of God, Roger Bacon and Gregor Mendel being merely two of the most prominent. The landscape is also studded with universities founded by Catholics and Protestants alike, many of them ranked among the greatest in the world, while one can search in vain for colleges founded by atheists that have accomplished anything of note.
This came to mind over the weekend when I was visiting Smitty in search of relief from the drudgery that the FMJRA had become, as he had a copy of Donald Knuth’s Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About. For those of you that don’t recognize the name, Dr. Knuth is one of the foremost computer scientists; he holds a doctorate in mathematics, is a professor emeritus at Stanford, and has a list of accomplishments as long as both my arms. He is not, by any sensible definition of the word, stupid; rather, the man is a genius, and a humble, humorous one at that. He is also a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, which came as a shock to me since the Wisconsin Synod Lutherans are more than slightly hardcore, and precisely the sort of people the atheists tend to mock as being dumb Christer sheeples.
Perhaps another useful example of the type is the famous science fiction writer (and scientist in his own right) Isaac Asimov. Dr. A saw no conflict between science and religion, and in fact published a well-regarded guide to the Bible despite being an avowed atheist and humanist. His ire was reserved for superstition and pseudoscience, as opposed to organized religion and its adherents. There are many others like Knuth and Asimov, but I just wanted to throw a couple of examples out there to illustrate the type rather than provide an exhaustive list.