Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poster boy for atheism rails against genome mapper Francis Collins in science journal Nature

Neuroscience grad student Sam Harris, who still doesn’t want anyone to know where he lives, rails against prestigious science journal Nature for publishing a respectful review of Francis Collins’s The Language of God:
The Language of God should have sparked gasping outrage from the editors at Nature. Instead, they deemed Collins’s efforts “moving” and “laudable”, commending him for building a “bridge across the social and intellectual divide that exists between most of US academia and the so-called heartlands.”

Now, I have had a love-hate relationship with Language of God, having given it both good and bad reviews, depending on the audience.

Basically, Harris hates Language of God because he hates all religions other than his own private one, but Nature likes the book because it suggests that a dumbed-down spirituality is no threat to the materialism that Nature generally espouses.

And, as for me, I have mixed feelings about it because I prefer the sort of robust spirituality that is a genuine threat to materialism - though not to sanity. But Language of God makes uch more sense than the current rants against religion.

P.S.: I don’t care if Harris lives in a yurt in Mongolia, but I wish he’d finally get his PhD. The term “neuroscience grad student” bugs me, but I can’t award him an honorary doctorate just so I don’t have to use it.

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