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September 30, 2006

Evolution’s Evangelist

Albert Mohler offers a critique of the forthcoming book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins's latest attempt to wrestle humanity from the clutches of religion and place it safely in the care of naturalism.

Dawkins admits his "presumptuous optimism" in hoping that his book will cause persons to set aside their faith. "If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down," he asserts. Time will tell....

In one of the central chapters of his book, Dawkins attempts to accomplish two simultaneous purposes: to undermine the intellectual movement known as Intelligent Design and, in a twist of its logic, to suggest that belief in God is itself a refutation of the very notion of an intelligent design. As Dawkins sees it, "the existence of God is a scientific hypothesis like any other." As he sets out his case, he denies that there could be any legitimate basis for belief in God. The very notion of a supernatural agent flies directly in the face of his presuppositional naturalism. Therefore, by definition, such a God cannot exist and those who believe in such a God prove their intellectual inadequacy or gullibility.

If nothing else, one has to appreciate the work of Richard Dawkins for its clarity in depicting the logical ends -- and moral confusion -- of Darwinism. For if science has truly relinquished the possibility of (or the need for) a transcendent creator, then what foundation do we have upon which to build any discussion of rightness or ethics? Dawkins seems unsettled by this thought, but he is satisfied with the faith that evolution will someday produce an adequate solution. History suggests otherwise.

Perhaps it is too ethereal -- too "unscientific" -- to thus suggest that the presence of conscience voices an argument in favor of God's existence. Yet naturalism offers no conclusive rebuttal. Meanwhile, as Regis Nicoll points out in a new piece at BreakPoint Online, the deep complexity of life refutes the notion that biology is an act purely of nature.

In what must have been a “Eureka!” moment, the Microsoft geeks realized the macromolecules of life contain information—a complex string of characters carrying a message that derives its meaning, not from the characters themselves, but from the conventions, associations, and contexts defined by rational, creative thought.

But according to the metanarrative of materialism, DNA is the fortuitous product of a blind, undirected process that began after some subatomic particles mysteriously appeared, then haphazardly collided, eons ago. It’s an enchanting story, but one that conflicts with everything we know about information: it only comes from intelligence!

Yet Richard Dawkins is quite the established apologist for that "blind, undirected process." And he apparently yearns for the rest of us to abandon any ideas to the contrary, particularly Christian ideas. But what is it exactly that he's trying to save us from?

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Comments

Puzzled

Ahh, yes. "I presupose that there is no God, therefore I prove that there is no God."

Uhuh. Yep.

Chunky

I'm 2/3 done reading a book called Darwinian FairyTails by David Stove. The author is brilliant, though not a Christian, an agnostic I presume. He reveals the absurdities of the basics of evolution but not in the manner of Geisler or ID proponents. He breaks down completely the idea that "survival of the fittest" applies to much of nature & certainly not to humans. Many species did not die off due to natural selection but for other reasons. There is no explanation for altruism in evolution & yet parents will give up their lives to save their children. Etc, etc. Stove portrays the idiocy of Dawkins in a way I've never read before. It's not an easy read but it certainly illustrates that anything Dawkins comes up with is highly likely to be a load of crap.

al Hartman

What is Dawkins trying to save us from? Why, from Salvation of course. Ask yourself what (who!) is Dawkins' inspiration... (hint: "Has God truly said...?)

DaveL

Perhaps Dawkins, and many others, see what havoc religionists can bring -- Islamic radicals, Protestant & Catholic militias taking "justice" into their own hands in Northern Ireland (and elsewhere), Islamic & Hindu fighting in Kashmir, etc., etc.

Their thought is that, as compared to religionism, "rationalism" (their viewpoint) offers a better hope for world peace.

This "rationalism" overlooks what Christians would call man's "fallen nature." It leaves unexplained any supernatural miracles. It also leaves unresolved the source of any moral absolutes. And it overlooks what has been wrought by athiestic governments (e.g., previous Soviet Union).

But, it is an enticing viewpoint to believe that the world would be a more peaceful place if it would be rid of religion. It can cause those who hold it to ignore its pragmatic and philosophical shortcomings. How does one counter this?

Dave

Doug

al,

I would agree that Dawkins' ultimate source is satanic, but I sincerely doubt Dawkins is aware of that inspiration. He would certainly deny the existence of anything to inspire him.

I think the question might be better phrased, "from what does he think he's saving us?"

My answer would be that I suspect he is attempting to saving us from our old-fashioned, anti-scientific, backwards, outdated religion, not realizing that his understanding of Christianity is worth every bit of the trouble he's put into investigating it.

Dennis Babish

One thing is certain, Dawkins is popular.
I went to my bookstore to purchase this book, when I need to read something funny I always like to go to one of these guys books, and they were sold out.
They sold out in a week.

Garrett

Sam Harris writes books with this same premise - the world would be better without religion. Everyone believes in something - these guys believe in humanity. But humanity stinks - 100 to 125 million killing by Nazism and Communism last century. I'll take Christianity.

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