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.


October 17, 2009

Richard Dawkins and his merry band of bigots

Filed under: Richard Dawkins — David Jenkins @ 12:16 pm
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English eccentricity is a time-honoured and necessary part of what used to make Britain such a likeable culture. Patrick Moore, whose TV programme The Sky at Night I enjoyed many years ago, is a typical eccentric: he is an astronomer who was a member of the Flat Earth Society.

This impulse for self-mocking comes from a gentler time when people who held strong opinions (Patrick Moore doesn’t believe the earth is flat) still had a sense of humour. Oh that Dawkins and his ilk were as civilised. Here is a typical Dawkinism:

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

Now the assertions of young-earth Creationism may have the appearance of being scientifically untenable – and I don’t subscribe to them – but Dawkins consistently lumps anyone who questions evolution’s dogma into one category, that of mindless folly.

Dawkins enthusiasts take their cue from their master:

By the way, the reason biologists ridicule and insult creationists is because they are too lazy to learn anything, and too bloody stupid to understand anything.

That’s funny that a believer in magical creation would call the basic facts of evolution “pseudo-scientific nonsense”. You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.

Humourless, arrogant, unreasonable, tedious and bigoted.

August 25, 2009

Richard Dawkins, raving incoherently

Filed under: Atheism — David Jenkins @ 5:32 pm
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Dawkins has a new book:

Richard Dawkins, the author of controversial bestseller The God Delusion, says that people who reject the theory of evolution are as misguided as those who deny the Holocaust.

In his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, the world-renowned evolutionary biologist states that evolution is “beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt… [and] no reputable scientist disputes it.”

He compares creationists, or ‘intelligent design’ proponents to the Holocaust deniers.

“Imagine that, as a teacher of European history, you are continually faced with belligerent demands to “teach the controversy”, and to give “equal time” to the “alternative theory” that the Holocaust never happened but was invented by a bunch of Zionist fabricators,” writes Dr Dawkins.

Richard seems to be bent on trumping prior inanities with yet new Dawkinisms – as evidence of committed glaikery one presumes.

First of all, the fatuous creationist-Holocaust denial comparison: creationists, be they right or wrong, are not about to use their belief as justification for wiping out a race of people. In contrast, for Hitler’s Nazis, Darwinism was an inspiration for their eugenics program, racism and Fascism; even through Dawkins rejects this variety of social Darwinism, it follows easily and logically from Darwin’s theories and Dawkins has little reason to reject it other than English fastidiousness.

Secondly, there are many reputable scientists that are Christians and would dispute the Godless variety of evolution that is the subject of Dawkins’ proselytising.

Thirdly, even though Dawkins works hard to obscure it, the battle that he is engaged in has never been between science and Christianity but between a view of reality that includes God and one that doesn’t. Science itself has nothing to say about the validity of either view and neither – as a scientist – does Dawkins even though he does like to play the theologian-manqué much of the time.

April 28, 2009

Melanie Phillips lays into Richard Dawkins

Filed under: Atheism — David Jenkins @ 3:22 pm

Read it all Here:

The most famous atheist in the world, biologist Professor Richard Dawkins, poses as the arch-apostle of reason, a scientist who stands for empirical truth in opposition to obscurantism and lies. What follows suggests that in fact he is sloppy and cavalier with both facts and reasoning to a disturbing degree.

Dawkins seems to be more interested in his celebrity status than the truth; I really don’t think he can be in it just for the money, but a combination of cash, fame and glory appear to be what motivates him.

Richard Dawkins: the Elmer Gantry of atheists.

Richard Dawkins: the 4 commandments

Filed under: evolution — David Jenkins @ 1:45 pm

In his book, “River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life” Richard Dawkins maintains:

“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

This is an honest, bleak assessment of a universe without God. Dawkins does not manage to live down to his own belief system, however: in “The God Delusion“, in spite of the absence of good or evil, Dawkins maintains that atheists can be “moral”.

What does it mean to be “moral” in Richard Dawkins’ view? Here, we find the 4 commandments, written in naturally selected primeval  soup, fossilised  and handed personally to Richard by Darwin himself:

Richard Dawkins’s Commandments

1. Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.

2. Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.

3. Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate science, and how to disagree with you.

4. Value the future of things on a timescale longer than your own.

It would be hard for any belief system to come up with a more bumper-sticker-worthy set of banalities.

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