Why are there no atheistic critics of evolution?

The controversy over evolution has been in the news with the dust up in the small town of Dover, Pennsylvania regarding additional resources for biology class that describe intelligent design (ID). This disagreement over whether ID should be mentioned rages also in Ohio and in Georgia the controversy is over putting labels on biology books saying evolution isn't the only explanation.

One of the "higher beings" of the blogosphere has cited comments from Kevin Drum who opposes ID on establishment clause and definition of science grounds, gotten email from Michael Barone who is agnostic and intrigued by ID and quoted John Derbyshire who is against ID over at conservative NRO.

One item that has come up is that criticism of evolution is religiously motivated; thus, the ideal critic of evolution would be an atheist. Instapundit wonders aloud, I suppose there are atheistic Intelligent Design fans out there somewhere, but I don't think I've met one.

I asked a philosophy professor friend of mine if she knew any atheist critics of evolution and if there weren't any why was that the case?

She mentioned that there are some agnostic critics like Michael Denton author of "Evolution: a theory in crisis."

She explained further that those who don't believe in god invariably support evolution (many authors of pro-evolution books state in the preface their atheist views) because if they don't believe in god AND don't believe in evolution they have no starting point for the origin of life discussion.

Diagrammatically:
















Believe in god Don't believe in god
Believe in evolution of life theistic evolution many pro-evolution writers
Don't believe in evolution of life intelligent design critics unstable position

Obviously, those who believe in god fall into two camps: those who also believe in evolution (Kenneth Miller, author of "Finding Darwin's God" for instance) and those who doubt evolution (those in the ID movement, like Michael Behe, author of "Darwin's Black Box").

For those who are atheist, support of evolution is necessary and Richard Dawkins' comment, "Evolution allows atheists to be intellectually fulfilled," makes sense.

Indeed, Anthony Flew, a life-long atheist, recently began to doubt evolution and soon found himself as a deist. Without evolution to account for the origin of life, he was intellectually given this choice: I don't know what is the origin of life OR maybe some god was involved.

Thus, all four positions in the logic matrix are possible but in practice only three have intellectual coherence.

Comments