Sunday, 27 September 2009

More Poor Logic From Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is hardly known for his brilliant logic. His fresh book is no exception.

Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins has written a new book, this time on evolution. He says that The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Bantam Press/Simon & Schuster, 2009) is not an anti-religious book.

Having said that he goes on to write, "God, to repeat this point, which ought to be obvious, but isn't, never made a tiny wing in his eternal life."

Logic has never been Richard Dawkins’ forte. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, for instance, has suggested that Dawkins’ arguments are exceedingly poor:

You might say that some of his forays into philosophy are at best sophomoric, but that would be unfair to sophomores; the fact is (grade inflation aside), many of his arguments would receive a failing grade in a sophomore philosophy class.

Now even New Scientist, which usually has a high view of Richard Dawkins, suspects that he simply cannot control himself. It is difficult to keep boiling anger in check.

Born in Kenya in 1941, Dawkins had to attend his school’s morning prayers or assembly as it was called in those days. Perhaps his aversion to religion stems from the time spent listening to Scripture passages and singing hymns. He might just have clothed it in a scientific garb.

Dawkins’ age is beginning to be obvious in his text. He suggests that in the good old days people were smarter and he did not have to argue that evolution had happened. They just believed it. Now the task is much harder for poor ol’ Richard.

But perhaps Dawkins should stop to think whether the reluctance to believe in Darwinian evolution really stems from ignorance. It could well be that the recent scandals involving Archaeoraptor and the Ida fossil have made people more skeptical of Darwinism, making them see the attire that Emperor Charles is sporting.


Olson, Randy. 2009. Review: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. New Scientist 2725 (14 September)

Plantinga, Alvin. 2007. The Dawkins Confusion. Naturalism 'ad absurdum'. Christianity Today. (1 March).