Monday, November 27, 2006

Darwin's own Billy Graham

Richard Dawkins Interview

Richard Dawkins, the posterchild for Darwinian evolution, has a new book out called The God Delusion. In this interview he expressly states his desire to convert people to atheism. Is evolution compatible with Christianity? Not in Dawkins' eyes.

Is there a large-scale effort to try to teach our children a worldview based on evolution which makes God appear non-existent? Yes, and they aren't even trying to pretend as if there isn't.

Dawkins may be hampering his own agenda by exposing the ambitions of evolutionary science to remove God. If he wasn't so obvious about it as one of evolution's primary spokespersons, then Darwinian evolution might just continue to be taught in schools, while parents believe that evolution and faith are not at odds.


Art said...

Jason, I disagree with you (imagine that, laugh) in that I don't believe evolution and faith are necessarily at odds. I think it is in how we define 'evolution'. If we simply define it as natural changes in species that occur over time (mutation, extinctions, etc.) then I don't see how that can be at odds with my belief in God. It is only when evolution becomes a basis for an atheistic worldview and, in essence, becomes a god or a faith itself, that is is troublesome to me.

But I agree with you (!) that Dawkins is in that latter group and he is not only hampering his own agenda but is probably turning some people of faith away from reasonable scientific belief. That is unfortunate.

Jason Woolever said...

Art, I agree with this 100% in this:
I think it is in how we define 'evolution'. If we simply define it as natural changes in species that occur over time (mutation, extinctions, etc.)

I think we are not in any position to deny this basic evolutionary activity within species.

Good to hear from you! And even better to agree with you!

Anonymous said...

Art and JD,

I agree with you both on Mr. Dawkins.

Admittly, I feel it is a cop-out to come up with a response such as, it depends how we define 'x'.

Here is one view of "Natural Selection". (It is from an National Enquirer point of view one might say.)

We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it...ensuring that the next generation is one idiot smarter.
Of necessity, this award is generally bestowed posthumously.


Aside from prayer time, sermon preparation, do you ever do any light reading before bed?

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

CBrulee said...

"Is there a large-scale effort to try to teach our children a worldview based on evolution which makes God appear non-existent?"

The correct answer is "No", not "Yes". There's no conspiracy out there. There may be a very few atheists who think that way, but for the most part, science teachers and administrators are just trying to educate our kids in how science explains the world around us, using the scientific method. None of that inherently excludes God and I don't think that teachers or administrators intend that either.

Jason Woolever said...

I would argue that where where natural selection is taught as fact rather than theory, then Creator God is pushed into the myth category.

Listen to the words of Dawkins himself.

JD said...

Hey John, I did not think I posted yet. Maybe you meant Art.

Anyway, I have always looked at the understanding that if you study science hard enough, you ultimately are able to truly understand God and that there actually is a God. I have always been a Theistic Evolutionist before the Intelligent Design Theory really took hold.

To make comments here about the previous post as well, I really did like the fact that Darwin truly understood what he was getting himself into with his studies and theories. I believe we could all learn from that in our daily life and our discussions about theology and faith. Sometimes really studying what we do not understand brings up more questions than answers. I am up for that one. Good to challenge the brain.


PS: Thanks for the input Art and John. I appreciate your ideas.

Art said...

For the record, I DO NOT think it is a 'cop out' to state a definition of one's position in the course of an argument. I do think it can sometimes be a cop out to avoid such definitions...

Regarding Jason's comment on natural selection, I would say that it does not deny God's existence unless one already ascribes to that belief (or disbelief). Who is to say that God is not in control of 'natural selection'? Perhaps that is one of God's methods of control.

Personally, I won't let Dawkin's words define this for me. He is not the supreme authority on this subject:)

Besides, 'Myth', in the popular usage of the term, means a belief that is widely held but is false. In scholarly usage, though, it means a story that is used to explain the essentially unexplainable while making no judgement about the truth of the story itself. By that definition, we could say that both God and evolution are 'myths'.

Jason Woolever said...

I've always had a hard time fully understanding what the academic use of the word Myth meant.

ouini said...

I'm with cbrulee, here. If a teacher goes into a science class and teaches the empirically-based most-likely scenario that mainstream science founds much of its work on, that teacher is simply teaching science. That teacher may be a raving atheist or theist.

So yes, there is "... a large-scale effort to try to teach our children a worldview based on evolution ...", that is to say, "science". But whether learning science "... makes God appear non-existent," or not, depends very much on the student, and on whether the student's understanding of god involves an entity that supposedly drives processes that are already firmly established, scientifically.