Tag Archives: Guardian

I almost feel sorry for Richard Dawkins

Almost.  He is being rightly criticized by atheists and believers for dodging a debate with William Lane Craig.  His latest excuse is the Craig is pro-genocide, and he just can’t bring himself to debate someone of such low character (ignoring the fact that Dawkins’ worldview can’t explain why genocide would be wrong — you know, survival of the fittest and all that).

See Uncommon Descent | Dawkins for Prime Minister!

Richard Dawkins tells us that we should allow our thinking to be based solely on rational facts.

I’m all for rational thinking, but Dawkins should be reminded that his worldview says we are selected for survival, not truth.  He has no reason to trust his rationality.

If, on the other hand, you let a little emotion in, then this link might lead you to feel a bit of pity for the famed misotheist: http://thinkingmatters.org.nz/2011/10/richard-dawkins-for-prime-minister/

It’s a model demolition job, on the ex-prof’s latest excuses.

Dawkins apparently still has a loyal fan-base who believe that their master is  a serious philosopher. Seeing a live conversation with an actual philosopher would be a bit of a shattering experience for many of those fans. So Dawkins has to keep coming up with the excuses to maintain their loyalty.

It’s a bit pathetic really – all the public efforts to explain why he won’t publicly debate Lane Craig are in themselves a public debate. They are the handing of publicity to the one that Dawkins claims he refuses to hand publicity to. The pretence is hypocritical. If Lane Craig isn’t worth spending time on, then why is Dawkins spending so much time on him? If he’s unworthy to notice, why spend time writing for the Guardian’s readership about him?

I almost feel sorry for his fans, too.  That must be a huge letdown for them.

A good response to Richard Dawkins

See One Long Bluff: A Review of Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth” for a thorough dissection of Dawkins’ bad logic and philosophy.  Here’s the summary, but I encourage you to read it all.  Dawkins’ book is already outdated, for example, by his claim that the design of the eye is poor.  You’d think they’d get tired of being embarrassed about the “bad design” claim after being proved wrong on not-so-vestigial organs, “junk” DNA and the like.

Conclusion: Does Richard Dawkins have the goods?

Richard Dawkins continues in the same vein throughout his book. One favourable review of Dawkins’ new book, published in The Guardian, commented that while The Greatest Show on Earth “demonstrates once again [Dawkins’] consummate skill as an explainer,” the science covered by the book mostly rehashed “pretty standard stuff.” The book fails to address the growing problems of biological information, the origin of life, how natural selection coupled with chance mutations can account for the origin of irreducibly complex systems, which continue to defy the Darwinism he preaches. Darwin called The Origin of Species ‘one long argument’ for his theory, but Richard Dawkins has given us one long bluff. The Greatest Show on Earth seeks to defend neo-Darwinism by appealing to theological arguments, by attempting to explain away the challenge of the Cambrian explosion by means of invoking ad-hoc conjectures, by exaggerating the evidence for the potentiality of natural selection, by misrepresenting design arguments, casting down ‘straw-men’, and by avoiding mention of the most sinister threats to the neo-Darwinian model of origins.

Another point which is worth mentioning is that one should not be so taken with the evidence that is consistent with evolution that we think we can ignore the evidence that contradicts it. And this isn’t a balancing act — weighing whether there is more evidence for or against the theory. We know from common experience that even a small amount of clearly contradictory evidence outweighs a large body of consistent evidence. A common thread running throughout Richard Dawkins’ book (The Greatest Show on Earth) is the analogy of weighing up incriminating evidence in a court of law. But in a court of law, no matter how much evidence appears to incriminate someone, it would be entirely outweighed by a reliable alibi that the accused was in a totally different location at the time of the crime. The same is true of science. Even a small amount of attestable data that clearly contradicts evolution is sufficient to demonstrate that it is false, despite a much larger body of evidence that is consistent with it.

The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record and cell biology are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution. Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, the data used to prop up neo-Darwinism is weak. We know today that there are multiple critical facts which strike hard blows at the conventional understanding of the theory. These are not merely trivial problems or anomalies that are likely to be solved, but fundamental matters that appear to be without prospect of solution.

Would you have killed Stephen Hawking?

An interesting thread came up in the comments section about Stephen Hawking:

Neil, I’m interested in reading your take on what you think of Stephen Hawking’s opinion on God?  “Stephen Hawking says afterlife is a fairy story.”

My reply:

I think Stephen Hawking’s comments are morbidly and eternally ironic. He’s the one crafting a fairy tale. He thinks the universe came into being from nothing and that an explosion was responsible for the spectacularly complex and fine-tuned universe he’s dedicated his life to trying to explain. He thinks life arose from non-life and evolved to all we see today. And he thinks that by crafting this fairy tale he can comfort himself that he won’t have to give an account of his life to his creator. He is a sad, sad man, and not because of his disability. I hope he repents and trust in Jesus before he dies. Eternity is a might long time, even for a really smart physicist.

Also, Hawking may be good at physics but he is lousy at philosophy and logic — examples here and here.

Then the commenter replied with this:

Neil, you criticize Stephen Hawking for claiming the universe came into being from nothing. Please explain how your God came into being.

My reply:

God is eternally existent, so it is illogical to ask how an eternally existent being came into being. Please see the Kalaam Cosmological argument. It is a perfectly logical and coherent explanation for a “first cause.”

Then he asked this interesting question:

Do you sometimes wish Stephen Hawking’s mother had had an abortion while she was pregnant with him?

My reply:

Of course I’m glad Hawking’s mother didn’t have an abortion. I wouldn’t wish an abortion on any of my ideological enemies. Why would you ask that question? Do you wish that the mothers of your ideological enemies had killed them? Do you wish they would be killed now that they are outside of the womb?

Sadly, the pro-legalized abortionists cheer when disabilities are discovered in utero so that the (potentially) disabled people can be killed in the womb (see former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders’ comments about how Down Syndrome cases were “reduced.”). But we don’t kill disabled people outside the womb (yet). We rightfully give them parking spaces, wheelchair ramps, Special Olympics, etc.

Over 90% of people would have killed Hawking, just like over 90% kill those with Down Syndrome. Would you have wanted to abort Hawking if you knew about his physical issues? I wouldn’t have.

What would you have recommended to Hawking’s mother if his physical problems would have been discovered in utero — whether or not you knew that he would become a famous physicist?  I’d vote for life in either case.

Always remember

It is a scientific fact that the unborn are unique, living human beings from conception.  Abortion kills those human beings and is therefore immoral except to save the life of the mother.

Abortion is a sin but forgiveness and healing can be found in Jesus.