Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dinesh D'Souza is at it again!

Dinesh D'Souza has written an excellent book defending Christianity against the irrationalist pseudo-scientific atheists called, What's So Great About Christianity. In Monday's Townhall, a column by Dinesh highlights the myths behind the Galileo versus the Church arguments. Here is the opening paragraphs:

Many people have uncritically accepted the idea that there is a longstanding war between science and religion. We find this war advertised in many of the leading atheist tracts such as those by Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Every few months one of the leading newsweeklies does a story on this subject. Little do the peddlers of this paradigm realize that they are victims of nineteenth-century atheist propaganda.

About a hundred years ago, two anti-religious bigots named John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White wrote books promoting the idea of an irreconcilable conflict between science and God. The books were full of facts that have now been totally discredited by scholars. But the myths produced by Draper and Dickson continue to be recycled. They are believed by many who consider themselves educated, and they even find their way into the textbooks. In this article I expose several of these myths, focusing especially on the Galileo case, since Galileo is routinely portrayed as a victim of religious persecution and a martyr to the cause of science.
As always, Dinesh is fresh and precise in his research and analysis. I highly recommend the article and the book!


Anonymous said...

I have read the book and found it generally helpful, but I do have difficulty with his acceptance of the Inquisition.


The Byzantine Rambler said...

Ultimately, D'Souza is arguing for a more factually based understanding of the inquisitions. Popular interpretations of these episodes depict sadistic churchmen torturing hapless villagers into submission to the Church. It is suggested that this was a centuries old practice, knowingly cruel and callously applied with the goal of maintaining power and control. The facts reveal a much more complex history and variety of causes, motives and methods. This is not to excuse the perpetrators of torture, for torture is never justified. Rather, it is to understand the mindset of a culture and world vastly different from our own and to avoid judging yesterday's history with the simplicity of today's prejudices.