The Gnu Narrative Vs. Reality

According to the narrative, atheists are atheists because they love science.  They don’t just love science, they love, Love, LOVE science.

Yet, according to reality, the Gnus over at Jerry Coyne’s site were given the chance to talk about anything they wanted:

My absence in Bulgaria, and inability to post so often, has prompted this experiment: a readers’ thread.  Feel free to post links or even videos that you think might start a conversation, and see if you can keep it going. Feel free to change the subject if you’ve talked one dry.

Go!

When I checked it a week or so ago, there were a little over 200 comments.  And how many of those 200 comments tried to discuss science.  One.

One?

One.

Now that there are over 400 comments, bet if ya looked through them, you might find another one about science.

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8 Responses to The Gnu Narrative Vs. Reality

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that they are an atheist because they love science– though I have heard people say that science was influential in their move to atheism.

    Personally, science had nothing to do with my atheism. I loved science while I was a Christian, and I continue to love science now that I am not.

  2. kaleidocyte says:

    Similar to Boxing Pythagoras, I was enthusiastic about science when I was a theist, and I continue to be enthusiastic about it as an atheist. Enthusiasm for science isn’t necessarily tied to atheism, though many atheists are quite enthusiastic about it. I suspect that you’re trying to set up a caricature, however…

  3. magnocrat says:

    I’m sure there were many atheists in the world long before the scientific revolution. It has helped many to abandon faith and caused many to doubt. Technology has got us out of a few holes which enthusuasts rave about, but it has also got us into some holes which they seem blind to observe.

  4. Crude says:

    Enthusiasm for science isn’t necessarily tied to atheism, though many atheists are quite enthusiastic about it. I suspect that you’re trying to set up a caricature, however…

    I think Mike is answering a caricature. The Cult of Gnu equates ‘loving/respecting science’ with atheism, and religion/theism with a hate of science, etc.

    The reality seems to be that people like being thought of as being “pro-science” and their enemies as “anti-science”. Few seem to actually to care about it beyond the social benefits and some ‘wow neat’ aspects.

    I recall Coyne himself once complained that when he actually talked about science disconnected from atheism, interest by his regulars in his posts dived.

  5. Dhay says:

    Jerry Coyne’s enthusiasm for Sam Harris is not shared by his acolytes. Here’s a thread started by someone who has “never seen the point of meditation” but intends to read it and wants peoples’ opinions: “Has anyone read Sams’s new book?”
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/an-experiment-an-open-thread/#comment-1082685

    One person is still progressing through it, and has reached Chapter 4; she was already doing Yogic meditation, which was “helpful”, and reports, “The idea is not to do nothing but to clear your mind of the unnecessary chatter and to observe the self as the illusion that it is. That last part is very hard and the first part also difficult to do for extended times without a lot of practise.”

    Another likes the (different) Dan Harris book, “that covers some of the same ideas”.

    Another used to do concentrative meditation, but it is unclear whether they still do.

    Otherwise, the indifference to meditation is deafening.

  6. James says:

    Dhay,
    In what sense is it meant that the self is an illusion ?

  7. Dhay says:

    James > In what sense is it meant that the self is an illusion ?

    Sam Harris, whose views are being referred to in that response on Coyne’s blog, has a website containing blogs and reproductions of newspaper articles. The website also hosts a discussion forum, where you should be able to pose your query and find people able to answer.

    Good luck.

  8. Dhay says:

    > According to the narrative, atheists are atheists because they love science. They don’t just love science, they love, Love, LOVE science.

    Even Jerry Coyne has noticed his acolytes’ unshown love of science; this is from his blog dated November 17, 2014, entitled, “Proprietor’s beef of the week”:

    It takes several hours to write a science post, for when I’m reporting on a paper like the one about the cat genome yesterday, I read the paper twice, and then go over it again before summarizing it. In toto, that post probably involved four hours of effort, most of it in the evening. About a dozen people bothered to comment.

    A post on atheist issues, or on “readers’ beefs”, often takes no more than 25 minutes to write. Those posts can garner between 40 and 150 comments.

    All I can say is that this is dispiriting.
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/proprietors-beef-of-the-week/

    Do keep the proper science posts coming, Jerry. Here’s at least one Christian who values them.

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