Anglican Samizdat

October 23, 2009

A circular argument from Richard Dawkins

Filed under: Richard Dawkins — David Jenkins @ 12:08 am

Richard Dawkins frequently posits that the mechanism of evolution has made a world that presents the “illusion of design” and is “dripping with apparent design”. He does it here.

But there is no scientific evidence from which one can deduce that the appearance of design is an illusion created by natural selection – as if it were imbued with the purpose to deceive. It follows from the assumption that there is no God. The (unstated) reasoning is:

God does not exist;
the universe and especially life, presents the appearance of design by an intelligence – God;
since God does not exist the appearance of design is an illusion.

Yet Dawkins stoutly asserts that evolution removes all likelihood of the existence of God (the idea of God “goes out the window”): circular reasoning, since, in declaring the appearance of design a trick of natural selection, he as already made the assumption that God does not exist.

It is no more or less scientific to make the obverse case: God did indeed design life, but he used evolution to create the illusion – for the gullibly obstinate atheist – that life spontaneously developed without any assistance outside of the mechanism of natural selection. And people like Dawkins have fallen for it. Would God do such a seemingly absurd thing? Perhaps, since for those that wish to see, the evidence for his existence permeates the universe; he does allow those who wish to do without him to have their way, though and – Dawkins and his acolytes are having theirs.

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