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Biology=Atheism: Physics=some form of Deism at least? April 18, 2007

Posted by Administrator in atheism, Idiots, Smart People.


PZ Myers: Committed atheist; biology professor

Richard Dawkins: Lead atheist, ethologist (study of animal behavior) and evolutionary biologist.

Sam Harris: Committed atheist, BA in philosophy, studying for doctorate in Neuroscience (a biology discipline)

Dan Dennett: Philosopher, particularly focused on philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.

Paul Geisert, founder of the arrogantly-named “Brights”; biology teacher.

Richard Roberts, molecular biologist.

Steven Pinker, psychologist. (A soft science. And I have an MS in Psych, I know whereof I speak here)

Magicians James Randi, Penn and Teller.

Amy Alkon, Advice columnist.

Edwin Kagan, lawyer.

Sheldon Glasow, physicist.

Massimo Pigliucci, professor of ecology.

ALL of those above are at best biologists, save for the lone physicist Glasow. They are all either noted vocal atheists or members of the so-called “Brights” movement.

This is by no means a compelling argument, I agree.  But if creation is so random, don’t you think we’d have more physicists declaiming the realities of atheism?

On the other side. . .

we have Albert Einstein, leading physicist, thought by many to be the greatest mind of the 20th century. Avowed Deist. Claimed that to believe in atheism was foolish, and he himself believed in a “God who reveals Himself in the harmony of all that exists.”

Francis Collins, geneticist, avowed Christian.

Is there something inherent in the study and teaching of biology that leads one to atheism? Or, is it more likely that the deeper one looks into science, the more one is stunned by the wonder and order of things?

I know that I only have one physicist on the side of the angels, so to speak. BUt it would seem to me that Einstein has a tad more intellectual heft than Glasow.



1. Bill Baker - May 12, 2007

Einstein is generally considered to be Pantheistic, rather than Deistic.
However, this is hotly debated. Leading modern Atheists such as Dawkins,Harris, Hitchens, and others often try and claim that Einstein was speaking of Spinozas pantheistic god, which they think is percieved as simply an unintellible and non-sentient/non-concious and non intelligent natural Universe; essentially god is “metaphor” for Universe with Einstein, and a few other great minds- such as Stephen Hawking.
This is debatable, Dawkins,Harris,Hitchens, and their acoloyties{and I myself am a fan of much of their anti-theistic polemics, even though I do tend to lean towards a Deistic hypothesis, I also think the deist god while fun to speculate about intellectually, is in all matters of practicalality and everyday life-irrelevent} like to claim that Einstein,Hawkings, and others was/are “sexed up atheists’ essentially. Unfortunately, for the, this is highly debatable. I think the case can be made for this, but the case can also be made against it, no one knows what Einstein really believed or what Hawkings and others really believe- except for the men/women of great scientific mind themselves.
When exaiming Eintein it seems that he probably did’nt define himself, but was closest to a somehat rationalistic form of Pantheism; perha,s but not neccaserily the “sexed up atheism” pantheism{which is’nt realy pantheism at all}, possibly a form of PanDeism or PanenDeism{though Einstein would’nt have known of those terms and what they entail probably}, but again, debatable.
Hawkings, well, it’s possible he speaks of “God” in a metaphorical and poetic sense, perhaps to be shred and sell books to theists{perhaps to subvert them},as some Atheists like to claim of Hawkings. But it’s also possible, nay, proable his conception ic close to that of Einsteins, and that leaves us with alot of unanswered questions aout Hawkings beliefs, just as with Einstein.
I highly doubt either of them is an Atheist in the same modenr sense of the word as used by todays Militant Atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and others; else they would’nt even speak of God metaphorically, let alone with the possible implication in what they are saying that perhaps they are pantheistic or deistic{at least to some degree}.

But, are they Deists? that, just like the claim that they are Atheists, is UNKNOWN.

I think, indeed, they are Atheists in the classic sense; Atheism evolving from the greek word “Atheos” which means simply “without god” or “godless”. rationalistic pantheists and Deists both{at leats more modern ones; it’s debattable whether the classc deists such as Lord Cherbertm Paine, Jefferson,Allen, and others were thus; as they were borderline liberal theists; or at least their classic deism was borderline todays liberal theism; allthough I think the case can be made that Paine was kinda the father of modern non-theistic deism, at least near the end of his life, beforehand, his deism was akin to liberal theisn; but I digress}; as I was saying, Atheism comes from the greek “atheos” meaning “without god” or “godless”, many deists and forms of deism as well as some forms of pandeism- {pantheism cannot be godless, because it is theistic- “personal” divinity, not impersonal} – are without god or godless, they simply believe that somnething intelligent kickstarted the universe; but they sitll have no god that they worship or revere or seek to have relationship with, it;s merely intellectual leanings{I myself fit this mold as an intellectually inclined towards agnostic deism type myself}- so in that classi “atheos’ sense, we are ‘Atheistic’. But in the modern usage of modern western Atheists we are not as they aded a qualifier to the “without god”, the qualifier beeing “without BELIEF IN god”.
It’s all debatable, and it’s all a matter of mere semantics

I don’t think there is somehting inherent in study of biology that leads to Atheism{or the modern defintion of it}; I think Militant Atheists like Dawkins are using science to tyr and prove Atheism, they make the same mistake that many Deists make{or theists for that matter; such as the creationosts/I.D. types}, that of having an agenda. Sceince is a tool, unconcerned with the god question, this question belongs in “philosophy”, and this inclides both the deists and the atheist assumtpions{as well as agnostic}. However, if{just to play devils advocate} science was to said to support any conclusion on theology, it would be closest to supporting Agnosticism, not deism nor atheism.

Cosmology,physicis,etc, these are the sciences that deal with universe origins, and we have a numbe rof theroies{some more supportable than others} but no conclusions or final proofs. So, at best they support Agnosticism, since these sciences are currently, like the philosophy of Agnosticism- w/out bias and still searching for the ultimate proof of how things came to be and their ultimate nature.

That is all.

In Reason:
Bill Baker

2. Richard Prins - June 8, 2007

Einstein in an argument from authority? How common. Whatever his exact views are they are nowhere near those of a Catholic, i.e. the more general vain belief in a personal god that takes an interest in the life of a believer. Einstein, as shown in one of his letters, did not believe in a personal god, but indeed as mentioned in the previous comment aligned himself with Spinoza. Of course, believers will be happy enough to see any god mentioned, but we’d do well to remember that there have been hundreds of them in humanity’s history.

There are many more physicists that can be mentioned that belong squarely in the camp of the atheists. Weinberg, Krauss, Smolin and Stenger are but a few. Hawking’s ex-wife (a believer) put him squarely in the atheist camp as well in her book. Publicly Hawking has echoed Einstein in the disbelief in a personal god as well, again putting him too outside of the Abrahamic set of myths.

3. demolition65 - June 9, 2007

Mr. Prins: Can you not read a title? “Some kind of DEISM, at least.” I said nothing about the Abrahamic God.

Mr. Baker, I said nothing about the harder sciences supporting a particular claim, only that biologists have an interesting tendency to line up on the side of vocal atheism.

Though even Dawkins is starting to waffle on this point.

4. Bennet Armstrong - October 8, 2007

The only pantheism that makes sense to physicists is pandeism, where there is no role for an active spiritual component to the universe, and the only place for a metaphysical event is before the Big Bang(or in the Big Bang); it is probable that the only deism that might make sense to biologists is pandeism too. Again, no interference from a Bible-type God at all, just a universe set up at the outset to have a better than random possibility of life.

I’m not saying pandeism is “the truth” or there is any evidence for it, just that it is the least flawed religious position, from a scientific position.

5. demolition65 - October 8, 2007

What exactly is pandeism, and how does it differ from regular deism and pantheism?

6. Corné Botha - July 17, 2008

This is deism believes:

1. God created the universe out of nothing.
2. God will never intervene in our world.
3. Its your choice if you believe in after life or not.
4. Its your choice if you believe in Jesus or not.
5. You don’t believe in answer of prayers.
6. You don’t need prove to believe theres a God.

Yes, we will never know what stephen hawking actually believes. but he said in one video i don’t know what it means can someone please explain it to me ” God has no will,but to create the universe. than the man ask him what does he believes than he answered i believe that the universe was created from nothing. but why did he said god has no will ,but to create the universe, does that mean he believes a creator could have done it or what does he mean by god has no will, but to create the universe. does that mean he believes in God.

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