I had so many options for naming this particular post, it was very hard to decide. And, I knew that I’d get reamed no matter which I chose. My other options were “Ignorance is… well, ignorance” and “Stupid is as stupid does.” Anyway, you get the idea.
Not that I’m calling PZ Myers names or suggesting that he’s not intelligent in his own area. I think he’s probably a pretty smart guy. I’m just referring to something that he posted yesterday, where he obviously stepped outside of his area of expertise, and led a host of his followers down a merry trail of dumber and dumber comments (hence my choice for the title).
The post I’m referring to is entitled Little imaginary beings, where he pokes fun at William Dembski, who wrote the forward for Peter S. Williams’ book, The Case for Angels. A quote from Dembski’s forward:
There exists an invisible world that is more real and weighty than our secular imaginations can fathom. I commend this book as a way of retraining our imaginations about that reality.
Myers apparently thinks this is hilarious, and ends with the brilliant and tactful conclusion: This crap is just plain idiocy.
Now, what’s “dumb” about that? But then, why does Myers think this is so funny? In fact, why should he be surprised at this at all?
Dembski has never hidden the fact that he believes in a super-natural, non-material reality. Dembski teaches at Baylor University, which is the largest Baptist University in the world (although someone needs to remind their president of that fact). Myers knows this. If Myers understood anything about religion or the beliefs of the majority of people in America (not to mention other places), he would know that belief in angels is consistent with both Christianity (remember the Christmas story?) and with Judaism.
So again, why should this be surprising? Why, in fact, even mention it at all? The proper response to this news, in any other forum, would be something like, “we already knew that, you lamebrain.” But, take a look at the stream of comments to the post. It makes you wonder. All of a sudden, Carry and Daniels seem like intellectuals. We all know that PZ Myers doesn’t believe in anything non-material. We accept that. It’s not news. Dembski, on the other hand, does, including believing in angels. For that matter, so do I. That is not news, either, but feel free to laugh. It is, as they say, a free country.
Now, on to this post at Touchstone Mag, which informs us that The Center for Inquiry is holding a conference in NYC, called “The Secular Society and Its Enemies,” which is “to address the alarming abandonment of Western secular values…”
Abandon? Western secular values?