Richard Dawkins has a new book out soon; ‘The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.’ An unfortunate title perhaps, bearing in mind the type of acts that have performed under that banner headline in the past. So is Dawkins no more than a travelling conjurer pulling bunnies out of hats in the name of science? Is his show cart of evolution just a charade of smoke and mirrors?
Let’s be frank, Dawkins is in reality more dangerous than a harmless travelling charlatan – the type of twisting rhetoric that Dawkins engages in is the type that leads to tyranny, not to respectful dialogue or family entertainment. He should be more careful, but he seems to have sacrificed his cares on some high alter; perhaps the million dollar book deals are clouding his judgment, but in reality his atheism leaves him unaccountable to anyone but himself or his atheist friends in the Royal Society. Yes, his rhetoric often appears to be as dangerous as that of the atheism of the twentieth century that led to fascist and communist regimes that abused human rights and led to the deaths of millions.
Dawkins is currently being serialised in The Times. A first article is Creationists, now they’re coming for your children.’ 24th August 2009 in which he makes unsubstantiated, fear-mongering statements and compare those who disagree with evolution to ‘Holocaust deniers.’ You only have to read some of the responses to his article to see the irrational fear that he has stirred up in people who claim to be acting purely in the name of reason. One wrote; “We must act now. Free people everywhere should unite and stamp out this menace” All in the name of reason of course.
How stupid is that? I won’t grace him with the platitude that he does not know what response his words have. He is too intelligent for that, but why is he doing it? Any belief on his part to moral superiority is pure fantasy.
I am sure Richard Dawkins is aware that Holocaust denial is illegal in some countries; perhaps it is his aim to make evolution denial illegal in those countries where there is a resistance to Darwinism. ‘If evolution cannot win in the market place of scientific ideas, then we’ll sure win in the courts once it is a mandated belief’ would appear to be the direction of his rhetoric. What is Dawkins afraid of? Can’t evolution hold its own in the science arena?
Next Dawkins thinks he ought to tell the Vicars and Bishops how to preach. He notes of course that all the leading clerics accept evolution, as if the authority of theologians will establish a truth in science.
But what of Dawkins’ scientific smoke and mirrors?
Nowhere in this article does he seek to qualify what he means by evolution. Evolution is a fact he asserts, a statement that even Henry Morris would have agreed with in part, but what type of evolution is ‘fact’? Natural selection of pre existing genetic information does not explain causally where that genetic information came from. Dawkins peddles the simplification that the process that gave a dalmatian spots is the same process that turns a bacterium into an ostrich, or a fish into a hippo. But Dawkins knows that neo-Darwinism is more complicated than that. The problem for Dawkins is that belief in evolution is dependant upon such over simplifications, because if people really understood the complexity of organic life and what is being claimed then they would not accept unguided molecule to man evolution. In other words evolution is rejected because people understand it too well, not too poorly, and Dawkins has to keep to the simple text to keep the illusion going.
So we may ask – why cannot Dawkins and others conduct the discussion of origins in a more rational manner without the type of smoke and mirrors and fear-mongering rhetoric that is being engaged in with his article? What is at stake really? Is it science or is it his atheism?