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New Scientist: Richard Dawkins shows us how to outgrow God

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Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins

In connection with Dawkins’s new book, Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide,

We met with the renowned evolutionary biologist and controversial atheist to hear about science and beauty, Twitter, vegetarianism, pernicious religions, and his cautious sense of optimism…

He chose his subjects well: during his writing career, evolution and religion have emerged as fronts in an increasingly vicious culture war between what he would characterise as the forces of darkness and superstition and those of enlightenment and reason…

I want to encourage people to think for themselves. I’ve always felt rather passionate about breaking the cycle as each generation passes on its superstitions to the next. If you ask people why they believe in the particular religion that they do, it’s almost always because that’s how they were brought up

Graham Lawton, “Richard Dawkins: How we can outgrow God and religion” at New Scientist

Would “think for themselves” include dumping Darwinism, the way David Gelernter or the Science Uprising folk have done?

Meanwhile, William Lane Craig replies, God Is the Best Explanation for the Applicability of #Mathematics to the Physical World.

Ken Francis writes to say, “It’s time for the great Dr Berlinski to write a counter book entitled, Outgrowing Dawkins.”

Hat tip: Ken Francis, co-author with Theodore Dalrymple of The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd

3 Replies to “New Scientist: Richard Dawkins shows us how to outgrow God

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    “He chose his subjects well: during his writing career, evolution and religion have emerged as fronts in an increasingly vicious culture war between what he would characterise as the forces of darkness and superstition and those of enlightenment and reason…”

    These comments are a manipulative because they are forging a narrative, it implies that people of science people that don’t believe in God Are enlightened and reasonable

    Right out of the gate he’s already trying to manipulate his audience by forcing a false narrative that people that believe in God are superstitious weirdos and people don’t believe in God are intelligent and enlightened

    This forces the reader to you immediately engaged as an atheist because nobody wants to be unintelligent and unreasonable

    In doing so he is forcing them to think the way he wants them to think, they are not thinking for themselves he’s already created a narrative that belittles people that believe in God

    This is a very typical tactic of any arguer that doesn’t agree with the opposition

    But when I read something like this I disregarded immediately for those reasons he’s already a hypocrite and a manipulator right out of the gate his opinion is meaningless

    And to the Twitter comment on RFupdate saying “nonsense what about leprechauns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster”

    Structure and order presupposes intelligence, intelligence presupposes being, the universe is mathematically structure and ordered, the order of the universe presupposes your leprechauns or your Flying Spaghetti Monster both of these fictional things fake or really require the universe first. The universe’s order and structure implies intelligence

    Most people call the intelligence behind the universe God,

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Contrary to the rhetoric of Dawkins, Darwinian evolution itself is first and foremost a religion for atheists that needs to be ‘outgrown’.

    In fact, if the reductive materialism of the Darwinian worldview were actually true, then modern science itself would be impossible.

    Reductive materialist hold that undirected randomness and/or chaos is the ultimate creator of all things. (i.e. Reductive materialism holds that undirected randomness and/or chaos is the creator of the universe and all things in the universe.) Undirected randomness and/or chaos, by definition, has no rhyme or reason for why it does anything. Yet it is simply impossible to do science if there is no rhyme or reason, (i.e. no teleology, purpose, and/or goal), behind the universe and/or life to be discovered. No scientist ever studied anything without first presupposing that he would potentially discover a reason why the something he is studying happened. i.e. without presupposing teleology.

    This puts Darwinian atheists in quite the dilemma. On the one hand they resolutely deny that teleology exists, and yet on the other hand they are absolutely dependent on the existence of teleology in order to be able to practice science in a coherent fashion in the first place.

    Although presupposed teleology is problematic enough in physics for atheists, biology brings the ‘problem’ of teleology to a crescendo for Darwinian atheists.

    As J. B. S. Haldane himself observed,

    “Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he’s unwilling to be seen with her in public.”
    – J. B. S. Haldane

    And as Stephen Talbott points out in the following article, it is simply impossible to describe the complexities of biological life without illegitimately using language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness (i.e. teleology):

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.

    Denis Noble also states that “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language”.

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.

    This working biologist agrees with Talbott and Noble’s’s assessment, “in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.”

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on. – Matthew

    Bottom line, the very words that biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their research refutes Darwinian evolution as being true.

    There simply is no undirected randomness and/or chaos to be found within molecular biology that is worth speaking about. Certainly not nearly as much undirected randomness as Darwinists have presupposed. Even the ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ that is found in inanimate matter is found to be highly constrained when it comes to biological molecules:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video

    Quantum coherent-like state observed in a biological protein for the first time – October 13, 2015
    Excerpt: If you take certain atoms and make them almost as cold as they possibly can be, the atoms will fuse into a collective low-energy quantum state called a Bose-Einstein condensate. In 1968 physicist Herbert Fröhlich predicted that a similar process at a much higher temperature could concentrate all of the vibrational energy in a biological protein into its lowest-frequency vibrational mode. Now scientists in Sweden and Germany have the first experimental evidence of such so-called Fröhlich condensation (in proteins).,,,
    The real-world support for Fröhlich’s theory took so long to obtain because of the technical challenges of the experiment, Katona said.

    Even supposedly ‘random mutations’ themselves, the supposed ultimate creator of all life on earth in the Darwinian view of things, are now found not to be random. As James Shapiro stated,

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.

    Even the recombination of parental DNA into the child’s DNA is now found not to be random as was presupposed by Darwinists

    Duality in the human genome – November 28, 2014
    Excerpt: The results show that most genes can occur in many different forms within a population: On average, about 250 different forms of each gene exist. The researchers found around four million different gene forms just in the 400 or so genomes they analysed. This figure is certain to increase as more human genomes are examined. More than 85 percent of all genes have no predominant form which occurs in more than half of all individuals. This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word.
    The gene, as we imagined it, exists only in exceptional cases. “We need to fundamentally rethink the view of genes that every schoolchild has learned since Gregor Mendel’s time.,,,
    According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe.

    Thus, since all of this falsifies Darwinism to its supposedly ‘random’ core, (and yet Darwinists refuse to accept any evidence that falsifies their theory), then Darwinism is certainly not a science in any reasonable sense of the word science but Darwinism is much more realistically classified as a pseudoscientific religion for atheists.

    One final note, the quote/unquote ‘selfish gene’, Dawkins main claim to scientific fame, has itself now been falsified,

    ,, In the following video, Dr Denis Noble states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.
    – Denis Noble – Rocking the foundations of biology – video

    “Physiology Is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology”: Another Peer-Reviewed Paper Takes Aim at Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin March 31, 2015
    Excerpt: Noble doesn’t mince words:
    “It is not only the standard 20th century views of molecular genetics that are in question. Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux (Jablonka & Lamb, 2005; Noble, 2006, 2011; Beurton et al. 2008; Pigliucci & Muller, 2010; Gissis & Jablonka, 2011; Shapiro, 2011). In this article, I will show that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved.”
    Noble then recounts those assumptions: (1) that “genetic change is random,” (2) that “genetic change is gradual,” (3) that “following genetic change, natural selection leads to particular gene variants (alleles) increasing in frequency within the population,” and (4) that “inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible.” He then cites examples that refute each of those assumptions,,,
    He then proposes a new and radical model of biology called the “Integrative Synthesis,” where genes don’t run the show and all parts of an organism — the genome, the cell, the body plan, everything — is integrated.

    Since Dawkins ‘selfish gene’ itself has now been falsified, perhaps it is time for Richard Dawkins himself to grow up and ‘outgrow’ Darwinism?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Outgrowing Atheism: it’s time for Richard Dawkins to grow up
    Excerpt: In summary, all I can say is that he’s done it again. Richard Dawkins has managed to produce a book on theology, history, philosophy, ethics and science that is even worse than his first.
    Outgrowing God is a dumbed down version of TGD, which itself was a dumbed down version of more classical atheist arguments.

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