The following is a post by guest blogger Debbie - *(Modeling jeans by Levi and book by Wilson.)
My dear sweet husband Radar thought that I would enjoy the privilege of answering Canucklehead on the challenges from Richard Dawkins since I have just read a delicious little book by Douglas Wilson responding to Dawkins’ God Delusion. And I mean little; I can fit it in the back pocket of my jeans, (and I have a little butt). About a third of it is the forward written by Joel McDurmon who sheds some interesting light on how Richard Dawkins came to his place of prominence.
But to answer Cnucklehead I went to the YouTube he suggested. It had clips of Dawkins speaking to National Geographic in which he said in essence any one who believes that the world is less than 10,000 years old is ignorant of THE FACTS. That WE KNOW the Earth is 4.6 BILLION years old. And if it wasn’t for ignorant parents hammering into the minds of children their belief in the Bible, science education could show them the wonders of the world that it took such a long, long, long, long,lllllooooonnnnnggggg time to come into existence. He said that it was a “privilege to know where we came from” after 1859, NOW WE KNOW. That’s the jist of that YouTube.
On YouTube, you know, you can go to related things. I saw a really cleaver one called The Dawkins Delusion where Dawkins is a cartoon talking head denying himself; very funny and very much to the point. But that’s not really fair, I would rather hear Dawkins himself so I found a series he did called 7 Wonders of the World. I watched the one about spiders. I have transcribed a part of it that follows:
“The (spider’s) ancestors were good at solving problems…it’s a failure of imagination to think this kind of ingenuity came about by design. The spider is not being ingenious not even Natural Selection is ingenious, its just that the world is filled with spiders whose ancestors were good at solving these problems, were good at doing things the clockwork mechanisms of their nervous systems had the effect that they built the right shape web…. We find it much easier to believe in design because we do it ourselves… things we see in our artificial world designed by humans… when we see something like a spider web we naturally make the comparison with a fishing net, which is made with a conscious purpose in mind. It’s very very hard for people to grasp that it was never designed, that it came about by chance variation followed by non-random survival passed down generation after generation in the genes. That’s all there is to it. That being said, that’s all there is to it, there is a lot concealed in that… a lot of time in that. It takes a long time step by step. Human history is tiny compared to the time of generation after generation of gradual improvement not just spider webs but every single thing in the living world. This may have been why it took so long for humans to think of it. It wasn’t till
Does this not speak for itself? Does anyone really need to point out all the baseless assumptions and double speak in that illogical dribble? Oh I’m sorry, I’m too ignorant to comprehend such simple fact.
Back to the book I mentioned earlier by Douglas Wilson that answered The God Delusion. The Deluded Atheist; Wilson didn’t need to write a long tedious tome to answer Dawkins, Wilson whittles down Dawkins’ arguments with his wit and reason and gets to the heart of what Dawkins is trying to escape from, that Christian tradition in which he was raised. He relies on Christian assumptions of order and morality. One part I especially like is the discussion of what Dawkins sees as an explanation of morality called Zeitgeist. I will now quote a portion of the book because
(From page 54)
We get our morality from the contemporary zeitgeist, or “spirit of the age”. Everybody, more or less, has the same basic morality, the one notable exception (kind of) being conservative Christians in the
2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
6. Always seek to be learning something new.
10. Question everything.
11. Love pina coladas and walking in the rain.
Okay, so I added the last one. But I think you could only tell because it was supposed to be Ten Commandments, and that had an eleven by it. And what is it with that number ten? Question everything, except for stupid, arbitrary lists like this one. Whenever I see that bumper sticker that says “Question Authority,” I want to get a marker pen and write on it, “Don’t tell me what to do.”
But Dawkins celebrates the zeitgeist. He points to the suffrage of women as an example of this zeitgeist, with women gaining the right to vote in
The Zeitgeist moves on, so inexorably that we sometimes take it for granted
and forget that the change is a real phenomenon in its own right. (267)
As amusing as that is
(page 77) … Dawkins is more than half ashamed of what he is doing-and for good reason.
The last chapter of The God Delusion can be divided into two portions. The first part addresses issues like the power to console:
What have you to offer the dying patients, the weeping bereaved, the lonely Eleanor Rigbys for whom God is their only friend? (352)
Dawkins responds to this by pointing out, quite rightly, “Religion’s power to console doesn’t make it true.”(352).
Of course not, a doctor could console a terminally ill patient by lying to him and telling him he is going to get better. Lies that offer good news can console just as well as truths that actually are good news. Quite right. False gods can be consolation just as the true God can be.
But there is a deeper question. Why does the human creature need consolation? A desperate longing thirst in the desert doesn’t turn every mirage into water. But surely it argues that there is such a thing as water. Why would natural selection develop such an odd dead-end?
We try to visualize an electron as tiny as a ball, in orbit around a larger cluster of balls representing protons and neutrons. That isn’t what it is like at all. Electrons are not like little balls. They are not like anything we recognize. (363)
Quantum mechanics, that rarefied pinnacle of twentieth-century scientific achievement, makes brilliantly successful predictions about the real world. (364-365)
The entire dune walks across the desert in a westerly direction at a speed of 17 metres per year. It retains its crescent shape and creeps along in the direction of the horns. (370)
Could we, by training and practice, emancipate ourselves … and achieve some sort of intuitive-as well as just mathematical-understanding of the very small, the very large, and the very fast? I genuinely don’t know the answer, but I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits. (374)
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
It is sad that people like Dawkins substitute "chance" and "zeitgeist" for God and somehow believe they have come to some remarkable conclusion when, in fact, such words represent the unprovable, untestable and undependable in a desperate attempt by man to avoid having responsibility for the gift of life. Neither of those words represent an entity onto themselves, have any ability to confer information into matter or design any systems. Neither has intelligence nor can they be detected and separated onto themselves. They are concepts, they are descriptions, they are meaningless as an answer to any important questions of Origin.
It is hilarious that Dawkins can see the enormous complexity of the cell and the continual puzzle of quantum mechanics as in some way supporting his point of view, when in fact they defy it. Look close enough at the largest things and the tiniest things and you more clearly see the handiwork of a Designer who is brilliant beyond comprehension.
It is beyond nice to be married to my very cool wife. Thanks for the article, Honey!!!!!