Dawkins’ Unholy Trinity: Incoherency, Hypocrisy and Bigotry

Earlier this month, the BBC interviewed E.O. Wilson (a highly reputable emeritus Professor of Entomology at Harvard University) asking him about his differing views on natural selection with Richard Dawkins. He responded that:

There is no dispute between me and Richard Dawkins and there never has been, because he’s a journalist, and journalists are people that report what the scientists have found and the arguments I’ve had have actually been with scientists doing research.

Although Dawkins possesses a PhD in zoology, the majority of his scientific research ended in the 1970s according to his publication list. Since then he has been, as Wilson states, nothing more than a science journalist. Yet, Dawkins has consistently declared that, “there is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.” My motivation here is not to dispute the findings of evolutionary biology but to point out Dawkins’ hypocrisy. The truth is that there are many scientists, even biologists, who deny that evolution is a fact but are light years ahead of Dawkins in terms of research and peer reviewed publications. Here are just a few verifiable examples: Dean H. Kenyon, John C. Sanford and Henry F. Schaefer III. Clearly Dawkins is not in a position to make declarations as to what constitutes a “serious scientist.”

In his treatise on Darwinism, The Blind Watchmaker (1986), Dawkins writes:

In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

Nothing Dawkins has written since then indicates that he’s changed his mind. If he hasn’t, then he still believes that, in our universe, there is no good or evil. And yet, Dawkins made headlines this August, twenty-eight years later, with a proclamation that it’s immoral for a mother not to abort a foetus that has Down’s syndrome. Has Dawkins changed his mind? Has he decided we can say certain actions (like abortion) are not “indifferent” but either “good” or “bad”—for the troubled mother, or for others in her family, or, on any of a number of grounds, for society?

Several questions arise from Dawkins’ recent declaration in light of his atheistic materialism. First, how can something be declared immoral when the universe is ultimately comprised of “pitiless indifference”?  Either something is amoral or immoral: they cannot be both at the same time. Secondly, do objective moral standards exist without God? And third, how do we make sense of the content, seriousness and knowledge of morality in the absence of God? These are questions Dawkins must address in order to avoid incoherency. Perhaps he could consult Friedrich Nietzsche, who declared that the death of God meant the annihilation of all meaning and value in life. Nietzsche, unlike Dawkins, was a critical and consistent atheist. The most amusing element to Dawkins’ incoherency is that he unwittingly affirms that God exists through agreeing with the first two premises of what is known as the moral argument for God’s existence:

1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
3) Therefore, God exists.

A detailed explanation of this can be found in William Lane Craig’s article dealing with the new atheism and arguments for God.

It had been quite some time since I had given the new-atheists and their rhetoric much thought. This was inspired recently by an acquaintance who had an unusual admiration for Dawkins and his “argumentation” against religious belief and God. He reasoned that anyone who didn’t agree with Dawkins’ logic was either ignorant or completely brainwashed by religious superstition and fear tactics.  Although many atheists hold this view uncritically, I still found it remarkable that anyone could hold such a view at all—especially eight years after the publication of The God Delusion.  Following the publication of his “magnum opus” many refutations were published or appeared on YouTube.  I thought that no real thinking non-believer could hold to most of these popular treatments espoused by Dawkins and other neo-atheists. Moreover, one can easily find debates dismantling popular atheistic arguments one by one, including Dawkins’ encounter with John Lennox (a professor of mathematics and philosophy) in 2008. If people want to think clearly about these issues, many resources are at their fingertips.

“Man of Science” Promotes Bigotry
Despite all this, Dawkins has continued to promote his ideas. In 2012, at the “Reason Rally” in Washington, D.C., he urged atheists and agnostics to mock religious believers. He encouraged them to question Roman Catholics’ belief in transubstantiation: “For example, if they say they’re Catholic: Do you really believe, that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?” He then incited non-believers to “mock them” and “ridicule them! In public!” if they responded in the affirmative. He also encouraged them to ridicule belief in the virgin birth and the resurrection. Christians have good historical grounds for believing in the resurrection. However, Dawkins rarely shows interest in a rational discourse about religious claims. Instead he would rather encourage bigotry among his followers.

Dawkins takes pride in thinking he is a man of science. He believes that science is a self-correcting discipline.  He also perpetuates the myth that a scientist would rather die at the stake than knowingly maintain a false idea.  Does he know that scientists sometimes fudge their data in the hopes of being published and recognized for their work? I wonder if he may be ignorant to the fact that sometimes peer review journals ensure orthodoxy over quality. In 2008, an article in the Financial Times argued that peer review journals are becoming increasingly sloppy, by rejecting scientifically valid papers while accepting invalid ones: “[T]he process is under assault from critics who say it is ineffective at filtering out poor research, while it perpetuates predictable work at the expense of more imaginative thinking. In the long run we all suffer, argues Don Braben of University College London, because economic growth depends on unpredictable scientific advances.”

In The God Delusion, Dawkins gives the example of a scientist admitting that the Golgi Apparatus is in fact real after denying its existence, demonstrating that scientists let go of their pride for the sake of scientific progress. He admits that if the evidence were forthcoming against evolution he would admit that he was wrong.  This is an interesting admission considering all the slew of invalid arguments found throughout his book. These have been pointed out by philosophers and theologians such as Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Paul Copan, Scott Hahn, and Benjamin Wiker. For example, on pages 157-8 of The God Delusion, Dawkins lays out the main argument of his book. It contains six premises that do not logically follow to its conclusion. W.L. Craig has thoroughly shown why the argument is invalid. It can be found in Contending with Christianity’s Critics. One wonders why Dawkins, who claims to be a man of reason and science, hasn’t rebutted Craig’s refutation. And if he can’t respond to the criticisms, why hasn’t he admitted this publicly? If not solely for the sake of truth and scientific integrity? One wonders if book sales are more important than truth. It is no wonder that Dawkins has avoided a one-on-one discussion or debate with Craig.

In 2011, he was invited to defend The God Delusion in a public debate against Craig at Birmingham University. Dawkins never attended and had preferred to obfuscate the real issues with ad-hominem attacks on Craig accusing him of being an “apologist for genocide” for Craig’s defence of God’s commandment in Deuteronomy 20: 15-17 in a piece in The Guardian the day before. Atheist philosopher Daniel Came has stated in response to Dawkins’ piece, also found in The Guardian, that: “[I]t is quite obvious that Dawkins is opportunistically using these remarks as a smokescreen to hide the real reasons for his refusal to debate with Craig—which has a history that long predates Craig’s comments on the Canaanites.”

Questions Dawkins Does Not Answer
How does one assess Dawkins’ thought in light of his many intellectual shortcomings? It is well known that Dawkins has claimed that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” He has stated that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has fueled his atheism. It seems to me that he must have an extraordinarily low standard for being intellectually fulfilled. If evolutionary biology is to be treated as a scientific theory then it remains neutral regarding religious and metaphysical questions. Many secular evolutionary biologists have speculated that the whole process of evolution is purposeless, wasteful, and directionless. They have notoriously utilized metaphorical language that is not necessitated by scientific observation to describe natural selection as “a blind watchmaker.” Yet such reflections are philosophical and not scientific. This creates a conflation between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. So, Dawkins’ atheism is based on a naïve interpretation of evolutionary biology.

Even if, for argument sake, Dawkins were to have the correct interpretation of evolutionary biology, there still remain many important questions to be answered regarding the nature of reality, such as: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the best explanation of the finitude of the past? What is the best explanation for the finely tuned laws and initial conditions of physics and chemistry that permit life? What is the correlation between existence and scientific observability? What is the best explanation for the specified information necessary for the origin of a self-replicating system? What explains the high level of consciousness that humans possess? How can we account for the correspondence of our minds with reality that permits us the use of logic and language? What is the source for objective morality? These are questions that reasonably transcend the purview of Darwinian biology. Without a coherent system to address these questions it’s difficult to see how someone can be intellectually fulfilled. Furthermore, the distinguished naturalist philosopher Thomas Nagel has identified numerous flaws in Dawkins’ reductive materialism.

Given all this, how is it even possible that Dawkins is consistently recognized as one of the top public intellectuals of our time? We know it’s not based on rational argumentation nor scientific reasoning. His views should be met with scorn, not with the popular unmerited adulation. Ultimately, I believe that it is because we live in an age of theological and philosophical illiteracy. Critical reasoning has been swept aside by emotive responses to religious claims and practices. So much so that as a master’s student I remember some theologians (albeit third rate ones) embracing Dawkins’ shallow reasoning against religion. Some may think it is better to ignore Dawkins. But all that does is permit the perpetuation of ignorance.

One thing that Dawkins is extremely good at is self-promotion and selling copies of his books by the millions. The best way to counter this is to educate people in critical thinking, and to encourage erudite philosophical and theological thought. As we have seen, Dawkins has ridiculed his critics for not being serious scientists, but many of them tower over him in terms of publications and research. He has unknowingly admitted God’s existence with his sloppy reasoning. He has urged the mockery of Christians and their beliefs without ever providing one shred of evidence against those beliefs. He has never been able to even engage in a serious intellectual discussion about the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. And he continues to coward away from defending his views publicly against serious critics like W.L. Craig. I suppose John Lennox’s spanking was enough for one lifetime. Dawkins surely does not merit the self-title of “bright.”

Dawkins’ level of hypocrisy should severely undermine his credibility among his followers. Unfortunately, self-styled skeptics and “free thinkers” like the acquaintance I mentioned above, will continue to uncritically accept Dawkins’ superficial argumentation. But hopefully those with an open mind will gain a new perspective. The only way to defeat this ignorance is through education. It is our responsibility to humanity. It is regrettable that Dawkins will most likely continue to mock the Holy Trinity while worshipping at the altar of his own unholy trinity: incoherency, hypocrisy and bigotry.

Scott Ventureyra

By

Scott Ventureyra earned a doctorate in theology from Dominican University College in Ottawa, Canada in 2017. He has published in academic journals such as Science et Esprit, The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Studies in Religion and Maritain Studies (the journal of the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association). He has also written for magazines such as Crisis and Convivium and newspapers such as The National Post, City Light News, The Ottawa Citizen and The Times Colonist.

  • jacobhalo

    There is a great book entitled,”The Last Superstition” by Edward Feser, which refutes Atheism and such men as Dawkins. Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

    • St JD George

      Thanks for sharing that. I haven’t read but I will seek it out.

    • Matt

      I would also recommend “The Devil’s Delusion” by David Berlinski. It’s really smart and funny too.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      I would also recommend GK Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man” to combat Atheistic attitudes. “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything Except his reason.”
      . One of the best books I’ve read. GKC’s “Orthodoxy” & “St. Francis of Assisi” are also good to combat Atheism. You’ve got to ask: Why Atheism (or even Secularism/Modernism) not been able to produce a person as colorful & amazing as St. Francis of Assisi? In Dawkins’s small little universe (in his mind), there’s no room for Christian Grace, imagination, fairy tales, beauty, art, Transcendence, goodness, hope, faith/trust, & love.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Militant Atheist Richard Dawkins is a prisoner of his mind’s illusions.

    • John200

      Richard Dawkins. Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens never knew what they were talking about.

      The late Mr. Hitchens knows, and one hopes he passed judgment. He seemed to be a good guy. I always thought he was clowning around with atheism, making a jolly little game out of it. I hope so.

      • Truth Seeker

        I liked the first three people you mentioned. I didn’t care for Hitchens. He was too eager to send other people to die in Iraq.

        • John200

          Insertion of an unrelated and irrelevant point duly noted.

          I suppose you meant something.

          • Truth Seeker

            I’m just sick of hearing Christians describe Hitchens as their favorite new atheist. The guy was a jerk.

    • genuine Truth Seeker

      A book well worth reading and re-reading. Others are: “The Language of
      God – evidence for belief” by (former atheist) Prof. F. S. Collins; “The
      Godless Delusion” by Madrid /Hensley; “Deluded by Dawkins by Andrew
      Wilson; “God and Stephen Hawking” by Professor John Lennox.

      And
      in fascinating CONTRAST to the irrationality of the “new atheists” we
      have an entirely different mindset from other scientists with a genuine
      openness to serious scholarship of other scientists:

      The logical and scientific data pointing to God’s existence is so overwhelming,
      that
      an increasing number of scientists are publicly acknowledging the
      metaphysical implications of both the ‘Big Bang’ and the ‘fine-tuning’
      characteristics of the universe. Here below is a sample of their views,
      beginning with one great name from the past:

      * Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize 1921): “Everyone who is SERIOUSLY involved in
      the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws
      of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face
      of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

      *
      Allan Rex Sandage (famous astronomer, dubbed the ‘Grand Old Man of
      Cosmology’ by the New York Times, and a former atheist): “It was my
      science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more
      complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the
      supernatural that I could understand the mystery of existence.”

      *
      Dr Arno Penzias (Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist): “I invite you to
      examine the snapshot provided by half a century’s worth of astrophysical
      data and see what the pieces of the universe actually look like…In
      order to achieve consistency with our observations we must…assume not
      only creation of matter
      and energy out of nothing, but creation of space and time as well. The best
      data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but
      the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”

      * Professor Vera Kistiakowski (professor of physics at the Massachusetts
      Institute of Technology and former president of the Association of Women in
      Science): “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the
      physical world calls for the divine.”

      * Dr Stephen Meyer (a geophysicist with a Cambridge doctorate in origin-of-life
      biology):
      “If it’s true there’s a beginning to the universe, as modern
      cosmologists now agree, then this implies a cause that transcends the
      universe. If the laws of physics are fine-tuned to permit life, as
      contemporary physicists are discovering, then perhaps there’s a Designer
      who fine-tuned them. If there’s information in the cell, as molecular
      biology shows, then this suggests intelligent design. To get life going
      in the first place would have required biological information; the
      implications point beyond the material realm to a prior intelligent
      cause.”

      The advance of science over the last half-century has revealed powerful new
      evidence
      that life and the universe are the product of intelligent design,
      especially in the fields of astrophysics and microbiology. At the
      cosmological
      level, it has become increasingly apparent that the
      physical laws and parameters governing our universe (e.g. the force of
      gravity, the energy density of empty space, the difference in mass
      between neutrons and protons, etc.) are so exquisitely fine-tuned to
      permit the emergence of life, that even the tiniest alteration in any of
      these laws and parameters would have catastrophic consequences.

      * Astrophysicist, Dr Hugh Ross, for instance, has identified 148 astrophysical
      parameters that must be ‘just so’ for a planet to exist that can support human
      life, yet the odds against this happening by chance are, he calculates, many
      times greater than the total number of stars in the entire universe! Given such
      facts, even so great an astronomer and former atheist as Fred Hoyle, has
      written: “I do not believe that any scientists who examined the evidence would
      fail
      to draw the inference that the Laws of Nuclear Physics have been
      deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce
      inside
      stars.”

      * Hoyle (the “militant atheist” Richard Dawkins
      of his day), eventually conceded that he “HAD TO GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE
      TOOK ME” (see his book “There IS a God”).

      And
      this is just a miniscule sample of the scientists who have truly not been
      afraid to confront the attestation and have also gone “where the evidence” has
      taken them.

  • St JD George

    The funny thing about intelligence is that there is really less than a human hair difference between insanity and genius, not that I’m suggesting Dawkins is in that camp, just that he clearly believes he is. Genius is also a blessing and a curse. It’s an abundant gift from God to go a do great things but when undeveloped spiritually can do great harm to them and to others with their powers of persuasion.
    If you want to experience a true buzz kill as joebisonnette so eloquently put it yesterday, profess your joy in the Lord with self confidence when ridiculed, think about today’s reading from Luke, and be not afraid. And remember to feel sorry for people like Dawkins, because their intelligence blinds them from their own hypocrisy and their ability to reason that which they can not know.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      Intelligence and Pride unfortunately seem to be frequently paired, don’t they?

      • St JD George

        Well said Glenn, I absolutely agree. The great root sin.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          My man Alexander Pope said it so well:

          Pride, where wit fails, steps into our defense,
          And fills up all the mighty Void of sense….

          A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
          Drink deep, or taste not, the Pierian spring.

      • WSquared

        …that’s why there’s a difference between intelligence and wisdom.

        One can be intelligent, but like in the Indiana Jones movies, when it comes to using that intelligence, one can choose wisely, or one can choose… poorly.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          Yes, witness Professor Moriarity.

    • ookie19

      Ironically, I just came off of 3 days of doing just want you said( professing my joy in the Lord) on a blog with people ridiculing everything about our Church and sadly they were anti Vatican Council II haters who profess being devoutly Catholic. Not a joyful word came from these bloggers about Our treasure of A Church. Not a word of Faith, hope or love! Truly the worst can come from members of our own household.

      • St JD George

        Take solace in the reading from Luke today. My perspective has changed immeasurably since I’ve embraced Christ. Not that I stand on the street corner and shout, but I feel that if I can plant little seeds here and there maybe someday when a sliver of doubt emerges in these noisy but fertile minds, well maybe some blooms will form. Nobody ever converts in an instant, it’s a process for most, so being strong and steadfast, and full of joy is the best most of us can do. And you are right, family is the hardest, bloggers and strangers come and go but family you know and know you for life. But, it’s the most challenging and most rewarding too because you might have the joy of sharing in and experiencing a loved one’s conversion that you might not otherwise have in a stranger.

        • ookie19

          Thanks for your words of encouragement…they mean so much. I should correct what I meant when I said “own household”. I didn’t mean within my own family but rather within the church family (Catholic) speaking ill of Bishops, Cardinals and even the Holy Father on blogs and these are daily Mass communicants! They are not happy and they spew venom without ever seeing the true gift of the Church, all the while feeling that they somehow are saviors themselves out to save the Church, again.

          • St JD George

            I understand that the rhetoric seems heated and over the top at times, but in reflecting on the greater issue also remember that they are at the end of the day humans also subject to the same worldly distractions as you and I. In other words, they wake up and put their socks and shoes and pants on the same way. A healthy discussion about issues should always be welcome (a hard concept for “tolerant” liberals). Most of all, remember what our beloved Bishop Fulton Sheen said about how we must be ever vigilant in keeping our priests and bishops accountable. Over time they being human will gravitate towards comfort and likely respond the loudest voices that they hear – let it be those who love Christ and his Church, not those that want it to be of this world.

            • ookie19

              You are right that they are human. I know too that I have a different perspective having worked for priests “within”, so I have a vantage point of priests that most do not. I was blessed to have served the good and holy priests of my diocese for over 20 years. Most don’t understand that Mass is only one part of their day. They tirelessly and joyfully serve all day and often into the night. Working so closely with them, two things could have happened. I could have become completely disenchanted and disillusioned seeing their human side or (thankfully) see what a true and utter treasure they are and a gift Jesus gave the Church. Now retired, not a day goes by that I don’t thank God that he allowed me, for a time, to have such a special place within His Church. It was a little piece of heaven 🙂

      • John200

        You are never sure who you are talking to on a blog (Liars ‘R’ Us).

        Don’t be surprised to receive a, “Hey, Ookie, what was that about…..?” note.

        Then you can get busy. A soul is in play, maybe.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      George, in the wise words of GK Chesterton, Richard Dawkins is mad & has more in common with people in insane asylums than he thinks. “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”
      .
      In Dawkin’s small little universe (that he has created in his mind), there’s no room for imagination, art, beauty, hope, faith, love, charity, Grace, & Transcendence. Dawkins’s small little universe is more like a prison- no Transcendence & no Grace may enter.

      • St JD George

        Love that quote, should have thought to include it here – I’m glad you did. For the record, St George is my baptismal/confirmation name .. the JD I threw as it’s my favorite tractor.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          I didn’t know that. Cool! I love St. George & his many artistic depictions (as a knight valiantly slaying a dragon). I’m assuming JD as in John Deer as I don’t know many tractor brands except for JD & Ford Company.

          • St JD George

            Yup, with 3 e’s for the record. StG was a patron saint of things I’m close to too so a good fit.

      • John200

        Mr. Dawkins is not close to being/becoming the pure intellectual that he thinks he is. “Bright” — well, no, “dim” is a better descriptive adjective. “Dumb” is another strong contender. “Blighted” works…. enough of that, I am picking on the helpless little Dawkins as he shrinks before our (surprised!) eyes.

        Delusional, easily contradicted, avoids public debate, pitiful. He is no longer a serious opponent to the faithful millions who can easily pass him by. He is also left behind by the biologists/evolutionists who have passed him by.

        Pray for him.

        Always pray for a pitiful opponent.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          Yes, thank you, I will keep him in my prayers.

      • former atheist

        Imagine being confined to a prison of your own making – where not a single shaft of light is allowed to enter – a prison devoid of hope.
        Let’s all pray for Mr. Dawkins. Let’s pray that he may, like Hoyle (the Richard Dawkins of his day), take courage and finally admit that he “must go where the evidence takes him”.

        • WSquared

          Imagine being confined to a prison of your own making – where not a single shaft of light is allowed to enter – a prison devoid of hope.

          And that is a very, very small and narrow world, indeed.

          What I certainly pray for is that Dawkins will come to see that belief in God will take nothing away from him as a scientist– and that he might find that clear thinking enabled through God’s grace will make him an even better scientist. Faith doesn’t obliterate thinking; it elevates it, giving it more room to breathe.

        • Truth Seeker

          There is no evidence for god. Each time a theist is asked to provide evidence, they just ask questions like “What do you want?” or “What do you mean by evidence?” They then start in with the philosophical BS. That tells me they have no evidence. Keep it in church.

          • genuine Truth Seeker

            “no evidence for God”???

            Interesting then – that even atheist scientists inadvertently make admissions to the reality of God:

            Professor George Wald (a Harvard biologist) admission: “There are only TWO possibilities as to how life arose.

            “One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is NO THIRD POSSIBILITY.

            He notes that “Spontaneous generation, that life arose from non-living matter, was scientifically DISPROVED 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others.

            “That leaves us with the ONLY POSSIBLE CONCLUSION — that life arose as a SUPERNATURAL creative act of God. [But] I will NOT accept that philosophically because I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE in God.

            “Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically
            IMPOSSIBLE…” (Scientific American 199, September 1958, p.100).

            NOTE: In other words “I DON’T WANT TO BELIEVE IN GOD and this decision WILL PRECLUDE all my scientific observations. I DON’T CARE FOR TRUTH because IT DOES NOT SUIT MY EGO – so I wil continue to believe what I can see is SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.”

            NOTE how:

            – This kind of approach to science of IRRATIONAL ABSENCE of LOGIC and un-paralleled ARROGANCE is described by Professor Edward Feser as the ULTIMATE “SUPERSTITION” (his book: “Atheism – The Last Superstition”).

            – That in fact it is “atheistic materialism” which actually UNDERMINES science!

            – Important to NOTE that Professor Austin L. Hughes (Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina) also WARNS us that this type of “science” [as practiced by Stenger and Lewontin and Wald] is actually “SCIENTISM”
            – and WARNS that the DANGER of this “SCIENTISM” (science distorted by incoherent criteria) is that it has much in common with SUPERSTITION.

            • Truth Seeker

              Could you tell me how Louis Pasteur replicated the conditions that existed on earth early in its history? It seems like something I would have heard about before now.

              • former atheist

                There is much information on the internet on Pasteur, eg
                http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/louis-pasteur-145.php
                or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Pasteur
                or http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/timelines/pasteur

                In 1862, Louis Pasteur demonstrated to the French Academy of Sciences that life does NOT arise from nonliving materials. In repeated experiments he demonstrated that in sterilized and sealed flasks no life ever developed, yet in sterilized but open flasks microorganism could grow – which meant the Death of Spontaneous Generation — In 1860, the French Academy of Sciences had issued a challenge to French scientists: they should try to shed light on the concept of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation is the idea, which still persisted in the 1860s, that life can arise from nonliving materials, such as mud or water.
                Louis Pasteur took on the challenge, using a precise series of experiments to show that flasks of broth and water did not spoil when he prevented organisms from entering the flasks. Pasteur’s Pasteur demonstrated to the French Academy of Sciences that life does not arise from nonlivin findings in fermentation led him
                to debunk the myth of spontaneous generation from non-living materials. The Academy awarded him the prize on December 1, 1862

                This is much to the chagrin on Atheists many of whom still insist that life can arise spontaneously from non-living matter – eg one atheist scientist recently allegedly claiming to have created
                life in a test tube – but was found to have used parts of an “ALREADY-living cell material” – leaving him open to allegations of scientific fraud.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    I’ve always avoided ‘God talk’ with atheists. Their image of a random, meaningless universe is so patently absurd that I’ve found all the ammunition I need to fight them using science and the ordinary shared experience of being human.

    • St JD George

      Think of them differently. I know many will remain hardened, but many more are like lemmings having been led astray but deep inside begging for someone to show them the way home, not that they’ll admit it. In case you haven’t noticed, the world is crying out right now for people to be bold in their faith in Christ. You will not ever have the satisfaction of seeing their eyes light up, but you can find happiness in knowing that if you plant seeds many will take root and grow. If you don’t plant, for sure they never will. I’m not afraid of those that scream the loudest because I see them as the most insecure. Fundamentally it is human nature to understand that there is a creator even if we can’t put a face on him, or describe him to others, or bring ourselves to believe his word. Just because people run their lips doesn’t mean that deep inside they’ve truly reconciled all those little pesky inconsistencies and lack of closure on what the perceive of reality. They aren’t the enemy, they are all lost sheep.

      • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

        When John XXIII was still Cardinal Roncalli, he sat next to the atheist filmmaker Rossellini as they screened together his beautiful film ‘The Flowers of St. Francis’. This lovely movie in which the circle of Francis is played entirely by Franciscan monks is one of my favorites. All through the film the future pope kept patting Rossellini on the arm and saying “You poor man! You poor, poor man!” Expressing sweet and simple grief for an artist’s lack of faith. Rossellini remembered this always. Do you think hours of heated argument would have been as effective?

        • Catholic pilgrim

          Reading GK Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man” (where he defeats the prisons of Atheistic illusions), “Orthodoxy”, & his master book “St. Francis of Assisi”. I always wonder why Atheists/Modernists have not been able to produce a person as radically awesome & human as St. Francis of Assisi. It’s because their Atheism & their narrow, false views of the universe (where they say dumb things like “God is dead”) is so deficient & prison-like that they can’t fathom how wonderful creation & its Creator truly are. St. Francis of Assisi fully embraced Grace & Transcendence in all his humanity, & the world was better for him who did foolish things to others for the love of Christ (like walking barefoot & being with the poor & preaching/talking to birds & even getting naked in front of a town square). Atheists are so concerned with not being thought of as “pro-Reason”, that they’re mostly too afraid to show their full humanity & do foolish things for the sake of love.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      The Atheists I know from my personal life (most from work) are too militant, loud, religious, bitter, profane, vitriolic, & reactionary for me to even say one word over their talking (shouting, rather) points when the topic of God or anything pops up. If they’d ever let me respond, I’d gladly have a dialogue. Right now, all I can do is pray: “Father/Abba, forgive them for they do not what they’re talking about.”
      .
      As for Dawkins, I go with GK Chesterton (who had to debate several Atheists whom he even befriended), Dawkins is mad & has more in common with people in insane asylums than he thinks. “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”

      • St JD George

        He we have to pick and chose to be sure, and probably work is not the wisest because we are trapped with these blokes for seemingly eternity. Plus with the DC PC police ensuring corporate compliance with their edicts there are legitimate fears of retaliation and loss of livelihood. Still, I’m sure you can find some clever non verbal communication skills to let them know the joy you feel and not to feel dejected by there insecurity.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          Yes, good advice. “Spreading the seeds of faith” with joy & the little things. It’ll definitely take a lot of creativity.

    • Truth Seeker

      I’m thinking your avoidance is based on the fact that you can’t handle the truth.

  • ” In 2012, at the “Reason Rally” in Washington, D.C., he urged atheists and agnostics to mock religious believers.”

    Hitler encouraged his followers to mock and ridicule Jews. This has a familiar, acrid, sulphorous odor to it.

    • St JD George

      Hmmm … wasn’t there a night where the didn’t discourage breaking the glass store fronts of their businesses, and looting everything off the shelves too?

      • Long before Krystallnact and “The Final Solution”, there were “comic books” and posters, Julius Streicher and Der Sturmer with dehumanizing depictions of Jews as hegemonistic hook-nosed predators.

        Make no mistake, it’s not hard to imagine that in his inner thoughts, Dawkins might seek his own final solution.

        • St JD George

          Sorry, I was thinking about the last two nights.

          • Good point. I need more caffeine.

        • Truth Seeker

          Before that Jews were living the good life in Europe.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            It was certainly a lot better by comparison, don’t you think?

    • Truth Seeker

      Next he will advocate burning people at the stake like the Nazis did. Oh wait? That was the Christians who did that.

      • genuine Truth-Seeker

        1. No, Nero and Caligula were not Christians. They were Roman authorities determined to wipe out Christians – as brutally as they could.

        2. The other lot later were Protestants (following the so-called “reformation”) trying to wipe out Catholics – but we have forgiven them a very long time ago. We still regard them as brothers and hope they will “return home.”

        3. If you are talking about the Inquisition – Several Historians attest that it was the Spanish Crown who was responsible for many deaths. The Catholic Church – seeing so many injustices carried out by the Crown – was eventually allowed to take over the cases of allegations concerning “religious” apostasy – where allegations were discovered to be nothing more than about jealousy and minor neighbourhood disputes. Under the Catholic Inquisition not even one person died.

        4. If you are talking about the Salem Witch Trials – these were in fact precipitated by a con-man self-declared “clergyman” whose real agenda was the unlawful aquisition of property owned by the people he “identified as witches” and whom he wanted to get rid of.
        Here nineteen people died – not the hundreds of thousands as some of the “new atheists” have declared AND in fact the incident had nothing to do with religion – it had everything to do with avarice of a cunning con-man.

  • cestusdei

    The new atheism isn’t about science, but about faith that there is no God.

    • Religion is – at its core – a statement about the existence of a deity or deities and the nature of that deity or deities, that defies our ability to offer proof.

      Atheism asserts that there is no deity or deities and absence or nullity is impossible to prove, so it requires blinder and more strident belief.

      Atheism is a religion.

      • St JD George

        I thought statism was the most dangerous religion, just that the adherents were mostly unbelievers.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uVV2Dcqt0

      • Tervuren

        The standard, and accurate line is that atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color; or off is a TV channel.

        Most atheists are willing to look at any evidence that anyone can show for god; but evidence.

  • Mr_Perceptive

    Dawkins’ illogic was demolished in this lacerating review of his book, “The Devil’s Chaplain” by physicist Stephen Barr back in 2004.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2004/08/001-the-devils-chaplain

    It is amazing how much credibility is accrued simply by sporting a tweed jacket and an OxBridge accent.

    • I say old chum…

      • St JD George

        I need to see the tweed jacket to be fully convinced of your credibility.

        • I’m having elbow patches installed for full effect.
          Besides, it only goes so far without a Trilby hat and a pipe filled with an aromatic Cavendish..

  • St JD George

    Thanks Scott for the great article, and to everyone .. have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

  • Randall Ward

    Scott, this is probably the best short article I have read about Dawkins and evolution. Very well thought out. I have been reading for years about this subject and have come to the conclusion that if anyone studies the most up to date information about the cell, from an honest source, there is no way to believe that evolution, as it is currently put forth, is true. The more scientists learn about the cell, science moves further and further away from the theory of evolution.
    The discovery institute is a good place to search for information for non scientists. Read about “mount impossible” on their web site.
    In the movie “Expelled” Ben Stein made a fool of Dawkins, just by asking him simple questions, yes, Ben Stein.

    • John200

      Understand that Ben Stein is not a man to be trifled with, at least intellectually. He is a Very Capable Intellectual (my caps) — fluent in Law and Economics and, by implication, Political Economics.

      I think the Eminent Foole Dawkins walked into a logical/philosophical grinding machine, and was made a SuperFoole by God (for our edification and inspiration), by Mr. Ventureyra (our author), by Dr. Stein, by Dr. Edward Feser (and other serious students), and by the Eminent Foole Dawkins himself. The E. F. Dawkins got out of his field, exposed his bum, has been kicked repeatedly, and has never made a coherent response. In terms of intellectual development, he wears a “kick me hard” sign everywhere he goes.

      The tempter makes good use of E. F. Dawkins. The temptation arises when we consider that E. F. Dawkins is more famous than all of those who made a fool of him. Myself included.

      I know you see the answer to all that.

      • Randall Ward

        Ben Stein is about five grades above Dawkins, as you say. If anyone believes Dawkins is smart, all they have to do is watch the DVD “Expelled”. But the fact that people think Dawkins is worth listening to says much about the world we live in.
        When I was growing up in the fifties, all my friends wanted to be engineers, now ???
        Good post John, God Bless You.

    • former atheist

      Re “there is no way to believe that evolution”
      Not necessarily.
      When Darwin published “The Origin of Species”, all the Christian Churches (including several Popes) welcomed the theory as an “elegant explanation of life on earth” (and NOT at all as atheists, wishing to re-write history, falsely portray a clash between faith and science).
      They saw the “days” in Genesis as a simplified explanation of “eras”.
      They saw God as a Creator in a new way: as a painter, who keeps adding extra colours in stages as the previous applications of colours have time to dry.
      The “days” in Ancient Hebrew (as well as today’s) refer to “spans of time” with several shades of meaning:
      1. a span of time of 24-hours, or
      2. in expressions of “in my grandfather’s day”, or
      3. spans of time of even billions of years
      So when we read Dawkins or any of the “new atheists” we must read them with an enormous dose of skepticism. We must keep in mind they are desperately trying to re-write history in their own distorted image.

      • Randall Ward

        Yes they are trying to rewrite history, and trying to make history by leaving God out of history. We know the end of history though, don’t we. Well written post.

  • Adumbrodeus

    Yes, we know Dawkins is not exactly the most upstanding figure in new atheism, but commenting on his stances in regards to evolution? Really?

    There are more serious scientists named steve that support evolution then serious scientists who don’t support evolution. To criticize him on the basis that he made an “every” statement that did not account for the law of large numbers having a few examples when he was making the point that there is a clear consensus on the issue is pure sophism, nothing more nothing less.

    Also, why no mention of his sexist statements?

    • Scott W.

      He doesn’t need to account for the many scientists that support evolution (whatever that means) because the point is to take aim at the “settled science” or “brute fact” mantle that guys like Dawkins try to run around in. While his sexist comments may be worthy of remark, the article is not really attempting to be an official compendium of Dawkin’s shortcomings.

  • msmischief

    One wonders what he would admit would falsify evolution.

  • Dawkins’ central thesis is that the gradualism of sub-cycles solves the problem of improbability of evolution in a one-off event, but that there is no such solution to the improbability of God. Although false, both in its mathematics and in its underlying philosophical tenet, namely that mathematical probability can be inferred from material reality, this thesis goes unchallenged by Dawkins’ main critics. In “The Last Superstition”, Feser completely ignores Dawkins’ thesis, preferring to argue against the arguments of atheists of prior centuries. In “God’s Undertaker”, Lennox completely agrees with Dawkins that sub-cycling ‘drastically increases the probabilities’. Then Lennox erroneously claims that Dawkins’ exposition of the Darwinian algorithm is circular. Hahn and Wiker come closest to addressing the thesis, but fail miserably even to the extent of defining mathematical probability as a secondary shadow of other beings and causes. I have addressed the arguments of its critics as well as Dawkins’ thesis at catholicstand and at my own blog.

  • FW Ken

    Good article and comments. The one thing I think could use a little more mention is the obvious ignorance Dr. Dawkins displays regarding transubstantiation. The obvious answer to that is to suggest he read Aristotle. If he doesn’t want to read St. Thomas, of course.

  • Daniel

    You wrote:

    “1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.2) Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    3) Therefore, God exists.”

    I might be wrong, but it seems like your argument is improperly worded. The conclusion is only vacuously true. One could argue that your argument does not include the possibility that God exists and moral duties do not exist. Would it not be more succinct to simply state that moral duties are contingent upon the existence of God?

  • Pitter Rafael Hidalgo

    He sounds more as someone envious of Dawkins’ fame and worldwide reception than as someone seriously critical.

  • Tervuren

    I am surprised to see an article like this in a Catholic magazine. This reads more like a screed from a Fundie site. Denying Evolution just makes you look silly. When you try to find scientists that deny evolution I am reminded of the Steve’s List. http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

    • Scott Ventureyra

      I suggest you re-read the article which I doubt you have in its entirety. One looks silly when they blatantly misrepresent someone’s argument: “My motivation here is not to dispute the findings of evolutionary biology but to point out Dawkins’ hypocrisy.” How someone can ignore this line is beyond me.

  • Victorinox

    “The New Atheism- The New Age- Paganism. Idol Worshiping, Scientology, Mormonism, Scientology. False Televangelists, False Prophets, False Messiah’s etc., Anathema. Spreaders of Men’s Doctrines, False God’s, etc., etc,, etc., …

    So for all. I love you and spite of having “The Truth:. read, documents, compare. use all branches of science, but specially;

    1, Catholics’
    2. Protestants’
    3. Calvinists’
    4. Lutherans’
    5. Baptists’
    6. Messianic Jews’

    The so called “New Atheism” is like the revival of “The Catholic Church” under the wings
    of “The Vatican” who so ruthlessly ruled without impunity from 475 AD on whose eventual plans are “The Masons” becoming; “State & Church ” (as it once was) remembering that the history of the end of the “Western Roman Empire” is comparable to the fall of “The Ottoman Empire-“The Sick Man of Asia.”

    Just like “The Jews” betrayed and broke “The First & Original Covenant’ falling into materialism, paganism, idol worshiping, and in the 21st Century becoming a Fascists State living a Religion based on rituals, not love. Controlled by “The Zionists.”

    On the other side of the spectrum, “The Catholic Church.” Controlled on “The High Echelons by “The Masons” who are sworn enemies whose aim is first to destroy “Catholicism”, then control all other Christians thus wiping Christianity from “The Face of The Earth” First by having “The West” get into a War with “The Muslimns,”

    So for my Catholic Brothers & Sisters: “The Catholic Church” has been infiltrated by “The Masons” and joined by “The Liberals” already who were inside and always using “Sheep’s with Wolfe’s Clothes.”

    1. “Inside The Church” but rejecting it,
    2. Reading “The Bible”, thus (“Christ” – “The Word Incarnated”) being belittled him while you cheer an Apostate and a Heretic;
    3. a) Pope Francis I, b) “The Masons”, c) “Mormonism”, d) “Other Secret Societies.
    & the financing & printing New Bible versions with subliminal changes on what was said talking between the lines thus Transforming the original message to another were 8-10 generations and we have a “New Profane Adulterous Bible”,
    4. Pope Francis God was not powerful enough to create “The World.” God os “Omnipotent” and needs not man to do His work. This is blasphemy. I got spme more with it’s Holy Scripture answers, but it would take too long. Another time!

    Today I am Catholic. but I am tired of their (The Vatican) lies. For a “Catholic” we are all (I now there are good pure, saintly true Catholics) dead meat because on all Christians on the face of the earth WE DO NOT KNOW THE BIBLE; CHANCE????????????????

    My Father was a Physician turned Minister for “The Catholic Church” right after work from Mon – Fri and Sundays. At first I thought he was crazy, but when I asked him and confronted him with “The Sins of the Church”, that is when I really began to pay attention: “Stay Inside The Church, Never Leave it as we Give Testimony to the Truth, and “The Truth Shall Set Us Free!”

    He stayed and served till He died at age 70. for 40 – 50 years of his life. I still keep his sermons, was humble and meek two qualities I lack

    This was done on purpose, so next time you remember Martin Luther and his “95 Theses, he expose “The Church for it Was.”

    God is Science. The World was created with Science. Satan has used Science against men helping them create abominations, and/or off the wall Hypothesis that have not been proven.

    We live in an almost “Godless World.” Men doubt God and Satan has done a great job of creating havoc, panic, dissent among nations and/or Religions, hate for other ethnic groups, love of money and power with disregard from where that money came from.

    The more man has, the more he wants, so even if “Adam and Eve” are a book for morals and not true, it is a Road Map of the History of Mankind before he had History or knew what it meant.

    Then History the History of God, Satan, The Fallen Angels, Demons, or none of their History has proven man to be capable of the most immoral crimes against humanity and we are ruled by a few who pass a Christians, but are in reality monsters.

    All Christian Religions are in danger, as we have already been infiltrated by “The Masons” and/or other “Secret Societies”. These Societies do not worship “TheTue God.” They are Luciferian

    Do not believe be, but do it because of your descendants and “The World” we have left them. I am nothing it so happens that I have done a great deal of reading and research and more now! Now, for what I wrote, for your loved ones and project yourselves 6-10 generations downs the line. Scary future!

    We really bankrupted the World, destroy it’s habitat, we have poisoned the 7 Seas, create pandemics, destroy “The Ozone Layer”, Now 1% of the population (out of 7,1 Billion) control 50% of the riches of “The World”, 870 Million eat out of garbage cans or city dumpsters,.

    2.5 Billion human beings making between $1.50 – @2.00 a day. How are the 870 million making less, and still live? Can you just eat garbage with $2.00 dollars or less all you life, and raise a family? Out of these 870 Million, 50 million, mostly children the old, the feeble, the weak, the sic, etc. will help the overpopulation problem, WWIII can wipe out several Millions or Billions.

    Evolution and the Big Bang are both discredit by just one single happening in our complex “Eco System.”

    “The Food Chain.” Even if it took Billions of years to developed such a complex food chain where almost every species has some output or/and gets outputs.

    Without a”Higher Life Form” – “God”, these interdependencies being at the right place, at the right time, with the right foods to suit their needs, how other species help the survival of others even if they are microorganisms etc., etc., etc.,

    Evolution, Too Weak, Too many holes. No Animal has been Found Changing into Another Species.

    Big Bang – Ridiculous, Crazy, No Tangible Proof!

    Creation – Have you done proper research? Many comment, but offer nothing. If you are one of those, do you read what others better than us have to say and compare several opinions, not the one you like or tickles you. Then I greet you with open arms.

    Also, my Mother is dead. If you start the debate cursing and using foul words, I do not want to talk with you. I want peace and love. There is too much hate in this World already~

    LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, I RESPECT YOU EVEN IF WE DO NOT AGREE, BUT NEVER MOCK YOU, PUSH MY IDEAS, IF YOUR IDEA MAKES MORE SENSE THAN YOUR, WE WILL EXPLORE YOURS!

MENU