I can agree debating creationists solves nothing. In the particular instance of the Hamm/Nye debate, science will not be served well by Mr. Nyes efforts and Hamm will enjoy a boost in publicity and funding for his halfwit enterprise. The rest of the article is opining and fabrication made up whole cloth as far as I can tell.
I can’t find anywhere that Bill Nye is a declared atheist.
He’s publicly stated he’s NOT anti religion.
“If you want to exercise organized religion, knock yourselves out… if you get comfort from it, if it enriches your life, you have that community… that’s fine, but the Bible is not a science textbook.”
Atheist activists overwhelmingly oppose his participation in the debate.
How Mr. McElwee and Ms Salvatore arrived at the conclusion that “debating creationism” is a “new atheism” effort is mystifying. I can only gather from McElwee’s twitter feed that the purpose of the article wasn’t to persuade or inform, but rather to provoke a “hate response” from twitter atheists. He may be successful, I don’t know.
McElwee and Salvatore also make a number of unsupported assertions about fundamentalist christians, how they arrive at their political views, American anti intellectualism, and scriptural interpretation. The article ends on the only other point we agree on. Attacking religion isn’t the answer.
Religion should not be free from criticism, but the answer, contrary to Sean’s thinking, is to meet it head on in the political arena. Society will not progress by trying to reach an accommodation between science and religion. They are as opposite in goals as two things can be. Furthermore, conservative ideology is a rapidly shrinking demographic, with no hope of regaining a controlling influence in US politics, because bitter white men can’t stomach the thought of publicly aligning themselves with Latino and Black religious communities who agree with their twisted ideology.
On a final note, I expect way more journalistic integrity from Salon. Whoever is editing the magazine should familiarize themselves with the concept of “fair and truthful” criticism as opposed to being a yellow rag to promote readership.