Michael Ruse

Michael RuseIn hmolscience, Michael Ruse (1940-) (CR:11) is an English-born Canadian-American philosopher and anti-new atheism atheist, who argues the position that it is possible to reconcile Christian faith and evolution theory.

In 1973, Ruse reviewed Michael Simon’s Matter of Life, which he deemed as similar to Thomas Goudge’s The Ascent of Life (1961). [1]

In 2000, Ruse stated the following:

“Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refute me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to this. The point is that there is not scientific answer.”
— Michael Ruse (2000), Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? (see: chemistry professor paradox) [4]

In 2004 Ruse was a co-editor with William Dembski of the multi-author work Debating Design. [2]

In c. 2007, Ruse, in commentary on Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, stated the following:

“The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist.”
— Michael Ruse (c.2007), Source

This was cited by Ravi Zacharias, in The End of Reason (2008), in his “Atheists Divided” section, along with anti-new atheism atheist Scott Atran, as examples of atheists embarrassed to be atheists.

Royal Society | Belief polls
In 2015, Ruse, in his Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know, Ruse, chapter “The Matter of Science”, opens to the following 2005 poll results of a query of 1,074 members of the Royal Society, of which 253 responded (243 male, 10 female), with the following four questions (results shown): [6]

Royal Society Poll results

Ruse then compares these results to the 1996 and 1998 studies, conducted by American science historians Edward Larson and Larry Witham, of randomly polled US scientists and a portion of the over 2,000 members of the National Academy of Science (see: belief in the existence of god by scientists). He then mentions the Napoleon Laplace anecdote, wherein Pierre Laplace (1802) dismissed god with a wave of the hand; after which he the he attempts to elaborate on the point that the atheism controversy is not just a matter of the facts, but a matter of "burning moral concern", both about the stand one should take on the issues and the consequences of one's commitment.

Beliefs | Religion
Ruse was raised in a Quaker family. In the 1970s to 2000s, seems to have been an skeptical agnostic-atheist looking for Darwin + Christ reconciliation. In 2015, with the publication of his Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know, amid the wake of the new atheists movement, seems to be coming out as nonbeliever moving into atheism category. [5]

Ruse completed his BA in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Bristol. In 1962, he emigrated to Canada and did graduate work at McMaster University in Ontario. He returned to Bristol to do his doctoral degree in philosophy. He taught at the University of Guelph from 1965 to 2000, and then to avoid compulsory retirement moved south to Florida State University. His academic interests are in the history and philosophy of the biological sciences and he is an expert on the work and influence of Charles Darwin. In recent years, his attention has been turned increasingly towards the relationships between science and religion. He is not a believer, but thinks that the two can exist together harmoniously.

Quotes | Employed
The following are quotes employed by Ruse:

“If we begin with the individual, we shall be able to understand nothing of what takes place in the group. In a word, there is between psychology and sociology the same break in continuity as between biology and the physico-chemical sciences. Consequently, every time that a social phenomenon is directly explained by a psychological phenomenon, we may be sure that the explanation is false.”
Emile Durkheim (1895), The Rules of Sociological Method [3]

1. Ruse, Michael. (1973). “Review: The Matter of Life: Philosophical Problems of Biology” (abs), Dialogue, 12(1):157-58.
2. Dembski, William A. and Ruse, Michael. (2004). Debating Design. Cambridge University Press.
3. (a) Durkheim, Emile. (1895). Les Regles de la Methode Sociologique (pg. #). Publisher.
(b) Durkheim, Emile. (1938). The Rules of Sociological Method (translators: Sarah Solovay and John Mueller; editor: Georg Catlin) (pg. 104). University of Chicago Press.
(c) Ruse, Michael. (1984). Sociobiology: Sense or Nonsense (pg. 192). Springer.
4. (a) Ruse, Michael. (2000). Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? The Relationship Between Science and Religion (pg. 73) Cambridge University Press.
(b) Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pg. 307). Zondervan, 2009.
5. Ruse, Michael. (2015). Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know (abs). Oxford University Press.
6. (a) Stirrat, M. and Cornwell, R.E. (2013). “Eminent Scientists Reject the Supernatural: a Survey of the Fellows of the Royal Society”, Evolution: Education and Outreach, 6(33).
(b) Ruse, Michael. (2015). Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know (abs) (Royal Society polls, pgs. 100-106). Oxford University Press.
7. Zacharias, Ravi. (2008). The End of Reason: a Response to the New Atheists (pg. 23). Zondervan.

External links
‚óŹ Michael Ruse – Wikipedia.

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