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All parents of mature children recognise that their offspring (interesting word that) must learn to break away from their parents. That as one’s children develop their own individuality there is plenty of scope for differences of opinion and conflict. And perhaps these differences are a normal part of the child developing an independent, autonomous personality.

Unfortunately this sometimes leads to estrangement. This is particularly tragic if it becomes permanent. I personally think that this period in a family’s life provides learning situations for parents, as well as children. And perhaps the parents, as the more mature party, have an obligation to put that learning into practice and ensure they do everything to prevent estrangement becoming permanent.

So I warmly endorse PZ Myers words of advice to Michael Behe‘s son (currently estranged from his parents) to make peace with his family while he can (see Michael Behe’s son has a surprise).

Behe’s son has abandoned the Catholicism he was raised in and become an atheist. There is obvious family conflict. But interestingly, he has announced this on reddit and is discussing it with others. He proves to be very articulate – which bodes well for his desire to become a writer. And the other participants in the discussion are proving to be thoughtful and respectful themselves. So there is an interesting discussion going on.

From what I have read so far Richard Dawkins, and his book the God Delusion (which apparently played a key role in Behe’s son’s deconversion), are being discussed. Together with evolution, Behe’s role in the Kitzmiller case, intelligent design, and morality. Quite sensibly, I thought.

In fact, I am really impressed – for an internet discussion.

It’s worth following – go to IAmA son of Michael Behe, the Catholic biochemist who coined the term “Irreducible Complexity”. I turned away from my family’s Catholic faith two years ago and am now an outspoken atheist.

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