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Richard Dawkins' Atheism

Posted by Matt Postiff October 19, 2007 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Society 

Atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins wrote in a 1989 New York Times book review, "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." He later added a fifth possibility, that such a person is a victim who has either been tormented, bullied, or brainwashed (see his essay Ignorance is No Crime).

If Dawkins would subject his own statement to careful scrutiny and objective measures, he would see that it does not hold up to scientific standards.

Consider the number of scientists who hold doctoral level degrees from secular universities, and are at the same time Christians. I personally know several, and know of many others. Because they have been granted doctoral level degrees, they can hardly be called stupid or ignorant. Their intelligence and knowledge has been objectively validated by the secular establishment. Dawkins might argue that they are stupid or ignorant in the areas of physics, astronomy, geology, paleontology, and other such specialties. The trouble with such an argument is that there are many Ph.D.s in those very fields that do not accept the evolutionary worldview. And many Ph.D.s whose specialties are in other fields are still well-read and intelligent thinkers.

These well-educated, Christian scientists are also not considered insane by any objective measure, even by secular psychiatrists and psychologists. They behave normally, hold jobs, have good interpersonal skills, are well-balanced, and so on.

In addition, these Christian "non-conformist" scientists behave very well and do not have any hidden agenda to promote their views of God and creation. They are not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, they are of good character, and are quite clearly not "wicked."

Furthermore, Dawkins' statement was overly general. Almost everyone believes in "evolution" in one way or another. Basically everyone understands evolution of technology, or micro-evolution of germs. What creationists object to is the "macro-evolutionary" theory of one species changing into another species.

Finally, I'll give a little personal testimony. I don't feel like I'm a victim of others trying to keep me in the dark on the issues of creation. I've made a careful decision for young-earth creationism. If I am tormented or bullied , it is by scientists like Dawkins who keep calling me names. If I am brainwashed, it is by educators like Dawkins who try to keep views such as ID or creationism out of the public square. Too bad Dawkins does not use the scientific method he embraces to measure his own statements. If he did, he would find them wanting.

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