Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is Dawkins sliding down the pit to self-destruction?

Some quotes from an article by Melanie Phillips, in The Spectator, 23rd Oct, 2008. The article concerns a second debate between Dawkins and John Lennox, author of God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?

At the very beginning [of the debate, Dawkins] made a most startling admission. He said: A serious case could be made for a deistic God.

This was surely remarkable. Here was the arch-apostle of atheism, whose whole case is based on the assertion that believing in a creator of the universe is no different from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, saying that a serious case can be made for the idea that the universe was brought into being by some kind of purposeful force. A creator. True, he was not saying he was now a deist; on the contrary, he still didn't believe in such a purposeful founding intelligence, and he was certainly still saying that belief in the personal God of the Bible was just like believing in fairies. Nevertheless, to acknowledge that ‘a serious case could be made for a deistic god’ is to undermine his previous categorical assertion that

...all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection...Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.

In Oxford on Tuesday night, however, virtually the first thing he said was that a serious case could be made for believing that it could.

Read the rest of the article, in which Dawkins digs himself deeper and deeper into a confused mire, and seems more inclined to believe in some alien force creating life than God. As the King of Siam says, 'Tis a puzzlement.

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