Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Maybe the accomodationists are the ones who need to "shut up" for strategic reasons...

I was reading a post at PZ's blog today about the ongoing Moonenbaumgate fiasco, and I was struck by one of their complaints:

Long under fire from the religious right, the NCSE now must protect its other flank from the New Atheist wing of science. The atheist biologist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, for instance, has drawn much attention by assaulting the center's Faith Project, which seeks to spread awareness that between creationism on the one hand and the new atheism on the other lie many more moderate positions.

Emphasis is mine. Now tell me, who exactly was it that drew all this attention to Coyne's initial complaint about the NCSE? Oh that's right, it was the accomodationists!

A balanced history of this whole debate would be that a few "New Atheist" bloggers commented about how, as much as they love the NCSE, they think the center's Faith Project is inconsistent with the center's own stated goals, and wish they wouldn't do that. Then Chris Mooney pitched a hissy fit of the highest order, wrote a fucking book about it, and basically ensured that this little disagreement over outreach strategy got completely magnified out of all proportion.

If the accomodationists want to stop this alleged "assault" on the NCSE's "other flank", all they have to do is say, "We understand how you feel, but we think the Faith Project is useful and we're not going to stop." It's the whole, "How dare you say that faith and science are incompatible!!!11111!!!!" attitude that is "drawing so much attention."

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