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For Jerry Coyne a Hypothetical Choice: You May Knock on One and Only One Door

Eric Metaxas recommends:

Can't argue with that. Dennis writes there:

Years ago, I interviewed Pearl and Sam Oliner, two professors of sociology at California State University at Humboldt and the authors of one of the most highly-regarded works on altruism, The Altruistic Personality. The book was the product of the Oliners' lifetime of study of non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust.

The Oliners, it should be noted, are secular, not religious, Jews; they had no religious agenda.

I asked Samuel Oliner, "Knowing all you now know about who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, if you had to return as a Jew to Poland and you could knock on the door of only one person in the hope that they would rescue you, would you knock on the door of a Polish lawyer, a Polish doctor, a Polish artist or a Polish priest?"

Without hesitation, he said, "a Polish priest." And his wife immediately added, "I would prefer a Polish nun."

That alone should be enough to negate the pernicious nonsense that God is not only unnecessary for a moral world, but is detrimental to one.

This struck me as providentially well timed. If you follow biologist Jerry Coyne's blog Why Evolution Is True, you'll know he's currently in Poland on a visit with friends.

To Prager's list of choices -- "Polish lawyer, a Polish doctor, a Polish artist or a Polish priest" -- perhaps add "Polish scientist." Now imagine you're Jerry Coyne and you've been transported back about seventy years into the past, to Poland under German occupation.

You're on the run from the Nazis who don't care whether, as a Jew, you're a believer or an evangelizing atheist. You have the choice of two doors to knock on: one belonging to a Polish scientist, or even better an evolutionary scientist; the other to a priest or nun.

Time is running out. You hear the scuff of pursuing boots behind you. What's your choice, Jerry? I encourage Coyne's readers to press for an answer.

I'm on Twitter. Follow me @d_klinghoffer.