Thursday, October 14, 2004

Arnold on Wright/Dennett

Blogger Geoff Arnold has some insightful comments on the whole Wright/Dennett affair. Start here and follow the links contained therein. I especially liked Arnold's concise summary:

The obvious solution would be for Wright to simply state:

“When I wrote the Beliefnet piece, I believed that Dennett's statements during our interview constituted an acceptance of a 'higher purpose' viewpoint. However it is clear from what Dennett has said, in that interview and subsequently, that he does not hold this viewpoint. I therefore recognize that my inference must have arisen from a mutual misunderstanding.”

Would that be so hard?

Exactly right.

In this post Arnold mentions that Robert Wright's website has a wide selection of interesting interviews with various prominent scientists and theologians. I am happy to concur with this assessment. I'm disappointed with the way Wright handled his interview with Dennett, but with this one exception (well, OK, two exceptions. That article about Stephen Jay Gould was pretty weak) his writing is always interesting and thoughtful. His website has a lot of food for thought.


At 10:43 AM, Blogger Steve said...

I'm glad you added this post. Like Arnold, I went from Andrew Sullivan's site to the Wright article, and in turn to Wright's website. I was less interested in whether or not Dennett was agreeing with Wright or changing his mind (that would be a long shot!). I'm more interested in the underlying notion of searching for any common ground between evolution and scientific naturalism on the one hand and the idea that there is some sense of purpose infused into the world on the other (not by a traditional theistic god). The set of interviews on the website are good food for thought on this and other issues.


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