Maybe it’s happened to you. Conversations with friends or acquaintances veer somehow onto the topics of creation, evolution, intelligent design, faith and various other equally innocuous notions guaranteed to heat the blood and bring tempers to the boiling point in short order. Perhaps someone you know has thrust a book by Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris in your face, telling you to “read this and get yourself free of those antiquated notions” of God and faith (and, of course, that madman Jesus), all those things that have kept you in chains of ignorance all these years, so you can set your intellect free to soar with them the Empyrean heights of atheistic realism—
Pardon me. I may have to barf.
Well, I’ve been reading and listening and talking and writing as I struggle to answer the many charges leveled against myself and my religion in the course of the conversations I’ve been having with an acquaintance who happens to be an atheist—and of a particularly vocal strain, not to mention, aggressive and fairly hostile, to boot. Just in case you’ve been going through something similar in your own life, I’m going to list below some resources I’ve found recently. I’m downloading a bunch of podcasts as I type this and I’ll let you know later what I think about them.
- Dr. Benjamin Wiker co-authored with Scott Hahn a book called: Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God. I haven’t read it yet. I can’t find it in a bookstore around here, so I’m going to order it online. Funny, ain’t it: all the stores have Dawkins and Harris, et al. But not one of them carries the Catholic response to their hostile (and ridiculous) accusations. What a world we live in.
- Dr. Wiker has written many articles about evolution, Neo-Darwinism, and the New Atheists.
- Intelligent Design The Future “carries on Discovery Institute’s mission of exploring the issues central to evolution and intelligent design (ID). IDTF provides listeners with the most current news and views on evolution and ID through brief interviews with key scientists and scholars developing the theory of ID, as well as insightful commentary from Discovery Institute senior fellows and staff on the scientific, educational and legal aspects of the debate.”
- Discovery Institute aims “to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Our mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus media coverage and the Institute’s own publications and Internet website.”
I’m still downloading and reading at this point, but I can tell you I’ve heard Dr. Wiker speak before. I heard him on Franciscan University Presents a little while back, and I heard him recently on Johnnette Benkovic‘s The Abundant Life, and I thoroughly enjoyed both shows.
I’ll write more about all this after I’ve had time to digest some of what I’m learning. My conversations have shown me where I need to concentrate on learning and clarifying my understanding and also my ability to express and share those ideas. Friday night’s conversation was particularly humiliating, but it did show me exactly what I need to work on right now. So I guess that is a silver lining, after all.