In this section: Chance or
Design? • The Scientific Method •
Life in a Test Tube? • The
Eye • Irreducible Complexity •
Anything Can Happen? •
Evolution or Selection? • Real Examples of
Evolution • "Do You Feel Lucky?" •
(Abio)Genesis 1:1 • Life
from Comets? • Life on Mars? •
Richard Dawkins • A
Brief History of Slime...
my years of running this site, I've received a number of letters from
those who have clearly been influenced by the writings of Richard Dawkins, one of the
world's most famous biologists, evolutionists and atheists. Dawkins
list of books is impressive, including "The Selfish Gene," "The Blind
Watchmaker," "The Extended Phenotype" and "Climbing Mount Improbable." We're all
entitled to our beliefs, but I ask those who see Dawkins as a source of
reason and scientific truth to apply some critical thinking to his
Dawkins is obviously very intelligent and appears to write very logically, making
his position seem not only very convincing, but even highly appealing to
those who pride themselves on their intellect or hold negative views of religion and spirituality, and
who are looking
to support their beliefs with a foundation of science and reason.
Half truths make the best lies
Half truths, however, make the best lies. Do Dawkins' views
really represent those of an open-minded scientist, or are they really
just the rationalizations of a passionate atheist who can only see the
world in one way?
Consider, for instance, some quotes from his books:
"It is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of
children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the
other available religions."
"It is the genes that, for their own good, are manipulating the
bodies they ride about in. The individual organism is a survival machine
for its genes."
"Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we
may then at least have a chance to upset their designs, something that
no other species has ever aspired to do."
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should
expect if there is, at bottom, no design."
"Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the
hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might
be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply
callous--indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose."
When carried to their logical conclusions,
Dawkins' statements lead you right back to God
Are these statements of scientific fact, or are they simply the
viewpoints of one who starts with a preconception that God does not exist and
then sets out to justify his beliefs?
Can you scientifically determine the existence of God based on the percentage of
who people follow the religion of their parents? An equally telling
fact is that while there are differences, the common teaching of all the
major religions is that there is but one God, our Creator, whose greatest
command for us is that we love Him and one another. Of course by
Dawkins' own logic, it would also be a telling fact that those raised among
atheists would likely follow in those footsteps as well, begging the
question of how Dawkins' own background was a factor in predetermining his
Does a universe that produced sentient beings capable of creative
thought, art, music, love and pondering their own existence really exhibit
"precisely the properties we should expect of no design," or would a
universe with no design more likely be nothing but lifeless matter? Are conclusions
such as this the product of of science and reason or simply an atheistic
If Dawkins concludes that nature itself lacks
all design or purpose, is it consistent to then conclude that genes,
which are part of nature, have "selfish" purpose while man, also a part of
nature, does not?
He states that the gene must
survive and that it doesn't care which life form is used to accomplish
this goal. Humans are no
better than rats. A
dismal view, to say the least, but does reason let you stop there or
are we just looking at a half truth concocted to support a
particular viewpoint of life? Why not say instead that matter itself doesn't care whether it
exists as hydrogen or uranium atoms, organic or inorganic molecules,
as long as it continues to exist?
Why not go one step further yet to say that all that really
counts is the infinite source of energy from which all matter itself
came and to ponder ITS purpose rather than that of supposedly "selfish" genes? If Dawkins would
take his thinking to its logical conclusion he might be well on the
road to finding the God he so passionately wants to prove does not
Consider the other rationalizations that
Dawkins present in his books to support his views:
one instance, Dawkins tries to demonstrate that God is unnecessary by
developing computer programs which apply random changes to pre-defined
forms, saying this mimics the evolution of life.
By the very act of “programming” and
defining the rules, however, he is playing the role of God in his own
creations, yet he fails to realize that fact, and fails to even
question if another intelligent being might have played the same role
in our own creation.
another instance, Dawkins shows how strings of random letters with no
meaning can be “mutated” one by one into a Shakespearean
phrase, as supposed evidence of what happened to DNA in the evolution
of life. This model falls
short of real life processes, however, in which only intermediate steps with
completely defined and meaningful life functions survive to reproduce
the next variation. Dawkins
never even accounts for the origin of the incredibly complicated
process of reproduction, which he assumes in his model to have just
happened on its own.
Atheism masquerading as science?
Dawkins writes logically, but he writes
only to support his own personal beliefs and never really engages the
alternate hypothesis, as any good scientist should.
If you don’t share his ideologies, the weaknesses and
shortcomings in his logic become very apparent. He uses his position as a scientist,
however, to add
credibility to an overriding, and highly charged, personal agenda of
atheism and secular humanism.
By contrast, greater
scientists such as Einstein and Hawking, even though they may not
speak of faith in a personal God, still express a deep sense of wonder
and awe for our existence. For others
yet, such Von Braun, the universe itself is undeniable evidence of
their God and Savior. Dawkins
writings though reveal someone who thinks he has it all figured
out and that anyone who doesn’t see it his way is ignorant, using
terms like "cowardly flabbiness of the intellect" to describe those
with other views.
As noted by Richter, a man never discloses his own character so
clearly as when he describes another’s. If you read Dawkins, look
beyond the clever logic to the heart, character and motives of the man and
there you will gain understandings into life that go far beyond the mere text of
Religion is not God
Dawkins strikes out against religion, but note
his target. Religion is not God, and e
is not the same as experiencing God. Religion
is a human social
institution and its failings do not prove or disprove the
existence of God. They just demonstrate shortcomings in mankind
that pervade all human institutions, from government to sports to
Does Dawkins show any recognition or understanding of the spiritual
experiences of knowing God that change a life to one of love and
service or does he just strike out against the worst parts of
religion: the ritual, hypocrisy, anger and self-righteousness?
Read any one of the gospels and you'll find that Jesus Christ strikes
out against the very same things! (Matthew 23, for example)
Christ, however, completes the picture with the insight that true worship of God is none of these,
but instead is a relationship of love with God as a person.
Dawkins' logic on religion and you might as well also throw out science just because
there are some scientists who fall short of the disciplines of
science, abuse science to justify their own selfish agendas and
and mislead others in the process.
Is he consistent with his own rules?
When you read Dawkins, consider first the belief
system from which he writes. He is affiliated with the Co
for Secular Humanism, an organization with an atheist agenda. He
write articles for them such as "When
Religion Steps on Science's Turf" in which he quotes:
"The net of science covers the empirical
universe: what is it made of (fact) and why does it work this way
(theory). The net of religion extends over questions of moral meaning
As evidenced from the marquee text above from his
however, Dawkins freely crosses this manmade boundary whenever it
serves his own interests by affording him the opportunity to promote his atheism as science, describing the
meaning and values of "selfish" genes and drawing conclusions on life's
value and purpose, or lack thereof.
Does he challenge us to seek deeper
meanings or just extinguish our desire?
Let Dawkins think want he wants, but don't let
him or anyone else think for you or extinguish your thirst to know life's meaning,
purpose and origins. Think for
yourself and ask whether his agenda is science, open inquiry, a pursuit of deeper understandings
of all that life is, or simply atheism. Genes may not have the ability to be selfish and manipulative, but
humans clearly do.
“Education is the kindling of a flame,
not the filling of a vessel.”
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information,
which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a
man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to
" HERBERT SPENCER
Go beyond theory to experience...