Ever wonder why Richard Dawkins is such a staunch defender of evolution? Here’s why:
The first cut in this clip is from an interview with Ben Stein — Buller? Ferris… Buller? — taken from the famous (and questionable) Intelligent Design documentary Expelled.
Here, Dawkins clearly admits to the possibility of some “Intelligence” behind the “design” one sees in the (created) universe, although he does not admit to the possibility of creation.
The second cut is far more interesting. Most notable is that he openly admits his aim to kill religion.
By the way, I did mention that he just published a new book, aimed at spreading his doctrine to kids, right? If you missed it, see Friday’s post.
So, were’s the Biltrix? Here it comes…
It’s a hard point to miss, it seems, since Mr. Dawkins’ logic is impressively clear, almost impeccable. Fortunately, whether he intends it this way or not, his argument also allows me the opportunity to explain why I am not an atheist (to give one of the reasons, anyway).
He says (paraphrasing, slightly):
Since evolution is manifestly true, if there are people who really believe that if you’re an evolutionist then you’ve got to be an atheist, all I’ve got to do is persuade them of evolution, which should be comparatively easy, since the evidence is overwhelming. And I’ll turn them all into atheists.
The argument depends on two things being true, which Mr. Dawkins assumes to be true.
First, he assumes that there are people who believe that if you’re an evolutionist, you must also be an atheist. Unfortunately, there are people who believe this. I’m not one of them. (By the way, though I believe that evolution is possible, even highly probable, I would not call myself an evolutionist, but if you think my strong belief in the possibility of evolution makes me an evolutionist, then call me an evolutionist, just for the sake of argument).
Someone like myself could respond that even if you were to convince me that evolution is an undeniable fact, I would still not be compelled to be an atheist. Dawkins thinks that evolution and atheism are coextensive beliefs. I don’t.
Here’s the Biltrix: According to his argument, the success of his victory — converting you into an atheist — depends on whether you think all evolutionists are atheists. I don’t think that evolutionists have to be atheists. That’s one reason why I’m not an atheist.
Second, Dawkins says that all he has to do is persuade the listener of evolution, which he believes should be comparatively easy (compared to what, may I ask?), and then he’ll turn him into an atheist. The comparative ease of his persuasion depends on what he means by evolution.
If he is referring to his theory of evolution and thinks that persuading someone to buy into his theory is sufficient to kill religion (and this is certainly what he means), I have to disagree with him there too. I do not think his theory is compelling enough to force anyone to be an atheist.
That will be the topic of tomorrow’s post. Dawkins will present his own theory (in the video clip). Then we’ll see what his theory accomplishes, and what it fails to accomplish.
Comming up… My encounter with an athiest.