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The London Times on Dawkins: Darwinism is magic, and children know it! Do the riots follow automatically?

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The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

Or is there some down time?

The Brit elite seem to be falling all over themselves to praise Dawkins’s latest, for children, The Magic of Reality. From the Times Leading Article – the Times (01 September 2011):

The cruellest and most unreasonable charge levelled against evolution is that it posits a world without wonder. The creationist, the thinking goes, has design, holy purpose and ineffable mystery. His opponent, by contrast, has only a cold puddle of mud, sparked into action by accident and chemistry. Yet as any child could tell you, the charge is baseless. For the latter to have given rise, over millennia, to the tooth, the eye, the human race, the art of music, the aeroplane, the plot of Harry Potter — is that not cause for wonder enough?

It’s also cause for disbelief, if evidence for undirected creation is lacking.

But children, perhaps, see these things more clearly. In Eureka today, Richard Dawkins — possibly the most fervent evolutionist alive today — brings us extracts from his new book for children on science, The Magic of Reality. In his preamble, he notes that evolution should be a fairly simple thing to grasp, and yet many intelligent adults seem to struggle with it. Could it be, he suggests, that we become “weighted down by misleading familiarity?” He blames the philosophy of essentialism, that of Aristotle and Plato, which asserts that categories are distinct, with clear demarcation between them. The great magic of evolution, he notes, is the manner in which one thing, so very slowly, can become another. Given time, a cell can become an eye, or an elephant, or a man.

Really? Evidence, please? Not assumption, but evidence?

Here at Uncommon Descent, we’ve been dealing with a Darwinist who genuinely believes that, on the subject of carnivorous plants, stuff just happens, and inconvenient facts can be ignored, as long as he is defending Darwin.

Yes. It’s all well suited to children, if you want your kids to grow up believing unsupportable beliefs.

At least, now we now understand the Brit riots better: Everything comes from nothing. Desire equals talent. Destruction equals creation. Anger equals rights. Believe it if you want.

4 Replies to “The London Times on Dawkins: Darwinism is magic, and children know it! Do the riots follow automatically?

  1. 1
    David W. Gibson says:

    It’s also cause for disbelief, if evidence for undirected creation is lacking.

    This is an excellent objection. Evidence is what science rests on, and conclusions not based on evidence are unsupportable in science. (Outside of science, other decision criteria may be more useful).

    Starting at the beginning, then, what WOULD be evidence for “undirected creation”? What would it look like? How would we know it if we see it? What seems to be lacking here is an operational definition, sufficiently clear and agreed on before hand, so that the results of any relevant research would be unambiguous according to that definition.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    Well David, I think we can certainly say that thousands of optimally designed nanotech machines, codes, specified information, fine tuned laws of nature that allow life to exist, chirality, self-consciousness, irreducibly complex systems, etc. would NOT be part of what would be expected.

    It seems to me we can approach it in the opposite fashion as well. If we keep find what we would not expect to find, then the theory would be in trouble. Darwin himself helps to answer your question.

    He said that he would expect to find many many transitional forms in the fossil records. The fossil record did not give support to his theory at that time. What he expected never came to pass. The fossil record still is full of gaps and transitional forms are few – if any – and far between.

    He said that if an irreducibly complex system were found, it would invalidate his theory. Meaning, he didn’t expect them to exist. Science has shown us that these are numerous, thus invalidating his theory.

    Darwin expected the cell to be a simple blob of whatever. He was wrong. It was more complex by levels of magnitude than he could ever imagine. Again, what Darwin expected, turned out to be wrong.

    How can a theory based on all these untruths have any merit? If Darwin knew back then what we know today – irreducibly complex systems abound, the cell is unbelievably complex, the fossil record still abounds with gaps, there is volumes and volumes of specified information encoded in the cell, etc., does anyone actually think he would have had the faith to believe in his own ideas?

    I don’t.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    tjguy, very interesting insight, and very well put!

  4. 4
    William J Murray says:

    It is amusing that Dawkins rants, raves and rails so hard against what is, in his perspective, nothing more than an evolutionary feature – religious belief.

    It’s exactly like a pecan tree that comes to believe that walnut trees are a harmful aberration to treedom, and that they must all be weeded out …. as if his own conviction is not the fundamental equivalent of the very thing he wants to wipe out.

    Dawkins is like a dog barking that the sounds other barking dogs make is “wrong”. If religious belief is just something evolution produced, how can it be “wrong”?

    Since ideological beliefs would be nothing more than an evolved, physical feature, aren’t Dawkins’ attacks on religious beliefs no different (under Darwinism) from attacks on people because of their skin color or ethnicity?

    Wouldn’t the act of calling a religious belief “wrong” or “evil” be, essentially, the same as saying that the color of one’s skin is evil or wrong?

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