Roger Ebert, liberal, Darwinist

James S. writes:

At his blog Roger Ebert writes that evolution is the “most consoling” of all the sciences and then goes on to say that he is comforted by Richard Dawkins’s theory of memes. I barely believed I was reading it as I read it.

LA replies:

Why did you barely believe it?

James S. replies:

Because I’m sure Darwin would not have called his theories consoling. And if Dawkins calls his meme theory comforting it would only be in deception. I’ve always assumed that atheists/materialists/Darwinists know that their theories preclude the concept of “good” but believe it anyway because it’s true. But in this case Ebert seems truly to believe that there’s something warm and good about the theories and he will die happy with their ideas in his mind. I never would have expected it. A world in which human beings have no free will and are mere radio relays of intangible, meaningless, memes, and the portly guy is comforted on his death bed.

LA replies:

I haven’t read the whole article, “Go gentle into that good night,” which is about death, but I have read the below passage. Apparently Ebert does not try to reconcile what he says here with his belief in Darwinism. But if he believes that his wife had the experience that she said she had, which led to the doctors saving his life after they had given up on him, and which points to a non-material reality, then he has no right to believe in Darwinism.

He writes:

In a moment or a few years, maybe several, I will encounter what Henry James called, on his deathbed, “the Distinguished Thing.” I may not be conscious of the moment of passing. I have already been declared dead. It wasn’t so bad. After a ruptured artery following my first cancer surgery, the doctors thought I was finished. My wife Chaz said she sensed that I was still alive, and communicating to her that I wasn’t finished yet. She said hearts were beating in unison, although my heartbeat couldn’t be discovered. She told the doctors I was alive, they did what doctors do, and here I am, alive.

Do I believe her? Absolutely. I believe her literally—not symbolically, figuratively or spiritually. I believe she was actually aware of my call, and that she sensed my heartbeat. I believe she did it in the real, physical world I have described, the one I live in with my wristwatch. I see no reason why such communication could not take place. I’m not talking about telepathy, psychic phenomenon or a miracle. The only miracle is that she was there when it happened, as she was for many long days and nights. I’m talking about her standing there and knowing something. Haven’t many of us experienced that? Come on, haven’t you? I admire Skeptic magazine, but I’m not interested in their explanation or debunking of this event. What goes on happens at a level not accessible to scientists, theologians, mystics, physicists, philosophers or psychiatrists. It’s a human kind of a thing.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 16, 2009 12:33 AM | Send

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