David Sloan Wilson has joined ScienceBlogs of the SEED consortium. You can read the new version at: Evolution for Everyone.
This is going to be fun since Wilson is a strong advocate of group selection and, in addition, he is a firm opponent of the co-called "New Atheists."
Here's his opening salvo in Goodbye HuffPost, Hello ScienceBlogs: Science as a Religion that Worships Truth as its God.
Thinking of science as a religion that worships truth as it god enables me to praise its virtues and criticize its shortcomings at the same time. In my previous blogs, I have played the role of scientific reformer for two major issues. The first is the "new atheism" movement spearheaded by the so-called four horsemen: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Samuel Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Isn't it wonderful how scientists and rationalists reflexively adopt religious imagery? I am an atheist in the sense that I regard religion as 100% a human construction, but I'm here to testify that the "new atheists" depart from factual reality in their own way. So did Ayn Rand, the "new atheist" of her day, as we are learning to our sorrow from the collapse of the free market belief system that she helped to create. If we worry about religions for their departures from factual reality, then we should really worry about "stealth religions" that do the same thing without invoking the gods, because they do a better job of masquerading as reality. As someone who is seriously committed to studying religion from a scientific and evolutionary perspective, I'm here to say that the new atheists can't bring themselves to accept the facts about religion as a human construction. Read my six-part series on "Atheism as a Stealth Religion", now archived on my ScienceBlog site, for more. Even better, start acquainting yourself with the emerging field of evolutionary religious studies, whose members are more serious about holding each other accountable for what they say about religion.Hmmmm ... my sympathies lie with Dawkins et al so I guess this is aimed at me. I was completely unaware of the possibility he mentions; namely, that I don't accept the facts about religion as a human construction. I'll have to think carefully about that one. Is it possible that, as an atheist, I was secretly thinking that religion might actually have been constructed by supernatural beings? Nope, I don't think so.
I was also under the impression that I was "acquainted" with the emerging field of evolutionary religious studies. After all, didn't I just post an article about Michael Persinger [Religion Makes Women Stupid?]? Perhaps David Sloan Wilson is confused about the difference between "getting acquainted" and "recognizing scientific nonsense"?
The second major issue that requires scientific reform is group selection, a theory that explains how groups can become well adapted to their environments in the same sense that individuals do. The theory of group selection began with Darwin and involves a simple set of issues that anyone can understand. Yet, it remains endlessly controversial. Next year marks the 35th anniversary of my first publication on group selection and I'm confident that the controversy will continue for decades more unless something is done. That "something" is a truth and reconciliation process, similar to the resolution of political conflicts that otherwise might continue forever. The idea that a scientific controversy might require a truth and reconciliation process similar to a political controversy speaks volumes about science as a fallible and culturally influenced process.I don't have a dog in this fight. It will be interesting to watch and learn.