Monday, March 30, 2009

A Wonderful Exchange

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Richard Dawkins interviewing George Coyne for The Genius of Charles Darwin. Enjoy:


GbiZ said...

I knew you wouldn't be able to stay away for the whole rest of the month. Is there a 12 ste-p program for blogging addicts?

ps: this is good an civil, but coyne is dancing around the fact that dawkins is laying it out.

pps: have you watched dawkins reading his hatemail on youtube? its pretty funny.

Spencer Troxell said...

I just watched the thing with Dawkins reading his hate mail. Pretty funny. The last one (when he starts laughing) is the funniest.

I think any honest person adhering to a revealed religion is likely to behave a little awkwardly in this kind of confrontation, especially a person who is a part of the religion apparatus. Basically, Coyne accepts all of Dawkins's points, except for his rejecection of the immaculate conception and ressurection stories, because if he went there he'd be out of a job. Largely though, Coyne is thoughtful, and surprisingly honest. Were I Catholic, I would want to attend his parish.

I'll look into the blog addicts anonymous program ;)

Willie Y said...

I just watched Bill Maher's movie Riligulous. One of the interviews was with Father George Coyne and he was one of the two people, in the movie, who, I thought, talked intelligently on the subject.

Spencer Troxell said...

Hey Willie, I was just reading your blog. Good luck with your new 'less spin class' format.

You know, I didn't realize it was the same person until you mentioned it, but I thought Coyne was good in Religulous too.

Thanks for taking me to beer pong school. You can learn alot in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

"Father" Coyne is an useful idiot for the secular "progressives". Ive read articles about this guy before and all he wants is to be popular and on tv. Clearly he doesn't have any respect for his congregants, regular people who work five days a week to support there families, people who are the backbone of America and the church, "Father" Coyne would rather have tea with Richard Dawkins and be on TV as an "enlightened" believer. But he has painted himself into a corner by accepting so much secular "science" as you said. God is superfluous? Maybe someone should write a letter to the bishop and say "Father" Coyne is superfluous. Its tough economic times, so if job cuts are needed in the church, start at "Father" Superfluous Coyne. I'm not catholic myself, but I think religion is under attack in this country, and all believers have to join together, whatever they're faith. People like "Father" Coyne dont help any by bowing at the alter of the liberal secular "media" and big science.

I think Ive made my point.

Spencer Troxell said...

Anonymous: Thanks for stopping by. It's a shame you don't want to claim your comments.

I didn't think Father Coyne was disrespectful in an way to his congregants, or regular believers at all. He is put off by fundamentalists, but was polite in expressing this distaste. When I listen to him, I hear an intelligent, compassionate man trying to reconcile two apparently divergent worldviews, and being relatively successful at it.

Other than putting snarky quotation marks around alot of words, you've failed to demonstrate how Father Coyne is wrong, or even cite an example. This is unfortunate.

I agree with you that there are many people in this country who would like skepticism and empirical thinking to be more dominant in our society than blind faith, reliance on authority,and revealed truth. I'm one of them.

But this isn't an insideous thing. It's a public discussion, and all are free to weigh in.

What specifically do you disagree with Father Coyne on, and what evidence do you have that he's wrong?

I'm not sure your point is made quite yet.

Willie Y said...

I think anonymous is clearly missing the point of what Father Coyne is saying. As I listen to what he is saying, he is a very religious man and probably holds most of the beliefs that anonymous believes. He is just a man that thinks and questions his religious teachings, and where they come from. He, I feel, has just as much or more faith then Mr or Mrs anonymous. Because he questions the teachings and history of his religion and still is a devout believer in God.

The buzz word that anonymous used, "secular progressive" is a Bill O'Reilly phrase for anybody who thinks any differently than Bill.

Spencer Troxell said...

I agree Willie. Father Coyne may be even MORE faithful than your regular run of the mill believer, because not only is he willing to believe in his God without evidence (everyone that believes in God is willing to do that, whether they think so or not), he is willing to believe in the face of contradictory evidence (at least in relation to his particular religion). Coyne humbly submits to the 'best scientific answer available' which is evolution theory, while maintaining his belief in a real (albeit superfluous) God. I admire the honesty in this position. Rather than making questionable and tenuous connections via Intelligent Design gimmicks, he defers to the available evidence. This is admirable.

Whether or not Coyne's faith is an admirable thing I'll leave to another post. Whatever it is, it's certainly not blind.