Thursday, 21 July 2011

Bizarre Opinion Piece in Los Angeles Times: “God didn't make man; man made gods”

Readers of Los Angeles Times were recently entertained with Darwinian monkey tales.

Joel Kontinen

German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1804- 1872) was an early advocate of the view that man made God in his image. It is no secret that he did not have any empirical evidence to support his claim but it sprang from his espousal of atheism.

In a recent opinion piece in Los Angeles Times, J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer attempted to clothe Feuerbach’s old thesis in a scientific garb:

In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion's ‘DNA.’ They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including ‘imaging’ studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to ‘no heaven … no hell … and no religion too.’ "

However, it is beyond the ability of brain scans to find the answer to puzzling theological questions. Anderson, a trustee of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, certainly has his bias that makes the whole opinion piece suspect. His mentor Dawkins is not actually known for letting facts spoil a good theory (or even a bad one).

Anderson and Aukofer base their thesis on the assumed evolution of humans, explaining religion as a means of survival in a typically Darwinian just-so way.

Actually, if brain research has taught us anything, it has shown that the brain is much more complicated than we ever thought and that it is designed extremely well.


Thomson, J. Anderson and Clare Aukofer. 2011. Science and religion: God didn't make man; man made gods. Los Angeles Times July 18.