Saturday, 18 June 2016

Atheist Endows Chair for Study of Atheism; Look What He’s Got Cradled in His Hands

Atheist Endows Chair for Study of Atheism; Look What He's Got Cradled in His Hands
Theistic evolutionists are at pains to assure everyone that evolutionary thinking -- the idea that all life arose by an unguided process of blind churning -- poses no challenge to theism. Well, see this from the New York Times about anatheist businesman who's endowed a chair for the study of atheism at the University of Miami:
The chair has been established after years of discussion with a $2.2 million donation from Louis J. Appignani, a retired businessman and former president and chairman of the modeling school Barbizon International, who has given grants to many humanist and secular causes -- though this is his largest so far....
"I'm trying to eliminate discrimination against atheists," said Mr. Appignani, who is 83 and lives in Florida. "So this is a step in that direction, to make atheism legitimate."
Religion departments and professors of religious studies are a standard feature at most colleges and universities, many originally founded by ministers and churches. The study of atheism and secularism is only now starting to emerge as an accepted academic field, scholars say, with its own journal, conferences, course offerings and, now, an endowed chair.
Dawkins is excited:
"I think it's a very bold step of the University of Miami, and I hope there will be others," said Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and atheist luminary who is the author of "The God Delusion."
"It's enormously important to shake off the shackles of religion from the study of morality," Mr. Dawkins said in a telephone interview from his home in Britain.
What struck me is the accompanying photo of Mr. Appignani; find here it at theNY Times page. Look what he's cradling in his hands. It is this, shown in more detail in the Wikipedia article:
That's a famous statuette designed by 19th-century sculptor Hugo Rheinhold and endlessly reproduced, showing a chimp contemplating a human skull. The ape sits atop a pile of books, one of which is prominently labeled "DARWIN." Famously, Lenin had such a statue displayed on his desk in the Kremlin. I've commented on it before ("Darwinism & Communism, Part II").
Here's a copy a friend of ours owns, a slight variation on the original. His wife found it at a garage sale and gave it to him as a joke.
But it's no joke, really. Besides the tribute to Darwin, note this, again fromWikipedia:
The book open at the [chimp's] feet and facing the viewer has a single inscription on the right hand page: "eritis sicut deus" fromGenesis 3.5 when the serpent is enticing Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden against the Lord's command, promising "And ye shall be as God [knowing good and evil]"), however the second half of this quote is missing, ripped from the lower half of the page.
Obviously, I don't know what if any message Mr. Appignani sought to convey by posing for the photographer with this particular artwork in hand. But it was certainly an apt gesture, crystalizing some of the beliefs he'll help share with students at the University of Miami.
See here for the most recent survey data from Discovery Institute on the corrosive impact of the evolutionary style of thought on ideas about humanity's place in the universe. Our theistic evolutionary friends can say what they like about the benign influence of Darwinism, but atheists know better.
Photos: University of Miami, via Wikicommons; "Ape with Skull," by Derry, J.F.

No comments:

Post a Comment