Forget global warming, the recession, the Taliban,over population,rising crime,
Run screamming into the streets!
Protect your children… I’m  coming to get them …here I come …who’s that knocking at the door ?…those heavy footsteps upon the stair are they the boots of the evolutionist deniers ?…apparently yes according to Richard Dawkins latest article in the Times!
Isn’t it  great that this debate can be painted by Dawkins in such  broad  simplistic strokes; there are  the good guys (the evolutionists of course )  there are  the bad guys ( the creationists) …thats it!
To  foster that simplistic approach nowhere in the article is the theory of evolution or the term creationists defined, perhapse the choir know the words to this song already ?
Nowhere in this article is a single scientific fact regarding evolution expounded upon, thats  ok though as this isn’t a scientific article.
What there is plenty of from Dawkins is the use of the argument from authority (argumentum ad verecundium) should I take note  of senior clergy -sadly with the state of the authorised version of the church I think not.
The arugment from authority like his other favoured method of attack, the ad hominem argument against the character of his oponents; apart from providing an echo chamber for the Dawkins faithfull proves exactly nothing and contains no scientific arguments.

Equating evolution with historical facts such as the holocaust elevates evolution from a theory to a fact that cannot be challenged unless your one of those nasty Islamic fundies or one of the uninformed Christian laiety on a par with holocaust deniers- who should be pitied,patted on the head and told to go away.
Equating those who question a purely naturalistic approach to evolution with holocaust deniers -history deniers  will do wonders for encourgaing scientific discourse… thats the way to create healthy debate !Way to go Richard!Science is served -I think not!

Richard continues his name calling :

‘Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips . . . continue the list as long as desired. That didn’t have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. It didn’t have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it. ‘

Intelligent design theory is very catholic in that  it encompasses both those who believe in a metaphysical reality and those who don’t.
The theory is defined as :

‘The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.’

Intelligent design proponents, which, despite Dawkins efforts still exist (that is a fact in the same sense as it is a fact that Paris is in the northern hemisphere) allow for evolution but not for a completely closed universe where all the complexity and funconatlity we see in nature  was caused by unguided accidents.
As a broad church, Id proponents some of which have no issue with common descent for instance  -all agree however that the complexity and functionality  found in the cell are beyond the power of  multiple accidents to produce.
What remains to  be proven is that the breathtaking complexity that the cell for instance  is unfolding before us -was  caused by purely naturalistic process.
Still we can stifle that discussion by name calling and demonising.Here I come Muhahahaaaa!!!

  1. mike says:

    Just letting you know, the article you’re quoting is actually an excerpt from chapter one of Richard’s latest book. It’s not an entire piece in and of itself, he lays out the justification for saying this in the next 300 pages.

  2. Mike Godfrey says:

    Hi Mike -thanks for visiting.
    I was quoting from ‘The God delusion’ There surely is no justification for any form of judgement from a atheistic standpoint , of those who do not hold the same point of view?
    C.S.LEWIS says it in characteristic style; this oft quoted quote:
    ‘My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? – Mere Christianity ‘
    Just as Lewis had no external reference point when he was a atheist neither does Dawkins -all judgements are just personal.
    Calling those who do not hold to a naturalistic evolutionary position insane as he does -I dont think his book has show this to be the case ?

    • mike says:

      Haven’t actually read ‘The God Delusion’ yet but I’m part way through ‘The Greatest Show on Earth- The evidence for evolution’ which is the book you’re talking about in this article.

      I know Dawkins can sound harsh and judgmental but he feels about evolution the way you would (I hope) about someone believing the universe revolves around the earth. Dawkins judges based on science. In ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ he tackles many supposed objections to the theory such as: there are “missing links”, it’s untestable, it’s unobserved.

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to say about external reference points. If you’re not Christian all judgments are personal and therefore invalid? Since an atheist believes in nothing they can’t prove anything?

      Feel free to mail me if you’d like to borrow a pdf copy of ‘the greatest show on earth’ or you’d like to keep discussing. Peace

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