Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Of mind and matter: David Attenborough meets Richard Dawkins


An article was published in The Guardian today, featuring a discussion between Oxford Zoologist, Richard Dawkins, and the renowned broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.

Describing the transformation of a dragonfly larva into a dragonfly, the pair remarked,

DA: I am a naturalist rather than a scientist. Simply looking at a flower or a frog has always seemed to me to be just about the most interesting thing there is. Others say human beings are pretty interesting, which they are, but as a child you’re not interested in Auntie Flo’s psychology; you’re interested in how a dragonfly larva turns into a dragonfly.

RD: Yes, it’s carrying inside it two entirely separate blueprints, two different programmes.

DA: I couldn’t believe it! I remember asking an adult, “What goes on inside a cocoon?” and he said, “The caterpillar is totally broken down into a kind of soup. And then it starts again.” And I remember saying, “That can’t be right.” As a procedure, you can’t imagine how it evolved.

But of course, as we all know, evolution by natural selection and random mutation is true, regardless of the evidence. We know that the evidence will ultimately turn out to be consistent with Darwinian evolution, because Darwinism may be taken as an a priori fact. Any perceived challenges to Darwinian Theory ought to be taken as evidence of a lack of imagination on our part, not as difficulties for Darwinism.

Theory first, evidence later.

As a kid, I was raised in front of a TV (I no longer own one) and with David Attenborough's voice. I reckon I can almost imitate his striking English dialect and can hear it as I read his words above. Here is something fascinating from the above: "Simply looking at a flower or a frog has always seemed to me to be just about the most interesting thing there is." This is probably why DA made it as far as he has -- he was/is totally infatuated with the natural world. To be the best, you have to be dedicated. Totally dedicated. To whatever the cause. How sad that he has spent a lifetime effectively worshipping the beauty of creation, rather than the creator. Still, I think we have to admire his focus and dedication and love for his subject, while noting the fact that he marvels more in the beautiful creation than many of us who are Christians. NZer
I just don't have enough FAITH to be an atheist. Blue_Savannah

Leave a Reply