“World’s Worst Creationist” — a message from Chris Bateman, author of The Mythology of Evolution

Nov 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Uncategorized

The following is Chris Bateman's response to the frequently hilarious and misguided denunciations of his book, The Mythology of Evolution (Zero Books, 2012):

It has come to my attention that a number of people on Facebook have decided that I am a Creationist, and that my book "The Mythology of Evolution" is propaganda aimed at furthering the agenda of Intelligent Design. While I'm truly honoured to be worth denouncing, I must confess to being a very bad Creationist, given my commitment to the view that life on Earth has emerged through billions of years of gradual refinement and intermittent mass extinction. Also, my claim that Kant demolished any rational basis for ID two centuries ago must surely seem like an own goal, given that I'm clearly a Creationist.

Is everyone who criticises Professor Dawkins a Creationist by default now? That must seriously improve the number of supporters for Intelligent Design! It is true that "The Mythology of Evolution" is highly critical of Richard Dawkins. However, I also use Dawkins' own work to help disentangle the many fictions that have represented and misrepresented the evolutionary processes. My principal complaint against Dawkins is that his theology (or rather atheology) has made it terribly difficult to teach evolution in the United States, which is something he claims to want. Anyone who wishes to keep theology out of science should probably make more of an effort to practice what they preach.

I welcome rebuttal to the arguments I advance in my latest book, but I would most appreciate these if they came from people who had actually read and understood those arguments. The difficult process of discerning knowledge depends upon this kind of critical engagement - those who prefer to idolise "Science", rather than engaging in the difficult practices of the sciences and philosophy, ought to reflect on how akin to Creationists they have become. 

Chris Bateman

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3 Comments to ““World’s Worst Creationist” — a message from Chris Bateman, author of The Mythology of Evolution”

  1. Glade says:

    Why would a person read the book if you’ve advanced epistemic arguments attacking messengers instead of ideas? I wouldn’t waste the money unless you convinced me (you’ve done nothing to do it) that your book was honest, scholarly and without motive.

  2. Jorge says:

    I could not agree more with glade… can be the objective of a book to criticise Richard Dawkins? May be, but that would make a book rather uninteresting. You may be right about Dawkins but in his books he criticises ideas, he does not single out any particular person.

    I also disagree that Dawins position on religion is making hard to teach evolution in the US. A bunch of religious zealots and tea-partiers are responsible for that. Don’t blame Dawkins!

  3. Chris Bateman says:

    Glade: the book advances arguments intended to improve our understanding of the relationship between metaphysics and science, including explicating why Intelligent Design doesn’t qualify as scientific (and indeed, why Kant recognised this two centuries ago). It is honest and scholarly, but it not without motive (is any book without motive?) – my hope is to elevate discussion on these topics beyond the usual knee-jerk partisan arguments advanced on either side of the metaphysical divide. I doubt I can succeed, but I believe it is worth the attempt.

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