Richard Dawkins cites fraudulent research, runs from public debate

Before discussing Dawkins’ latest antics, I want you to recall that he cites a professor of who teaches German as an authority on the historical Jesus, and that he believes that a plausible scenario to explain the origin of life is that unobservable aliens evolved on an unobservable planet and (unobserved) seeded the earth with life. So we’re dealing with a real first class intellect, here. Not a brain-damaged ideologue on the order of Kent Hovind.

Dawkins cites Haekel’s embryo drawings as evidence for Darwinism

Darwinian fundamentalist Ernst Haeckel’s embryo drawings were discredited as a fraud in the 19th century.

So why is Dawkins using discredited hoaxes to preach to the faithful?

What does scientific progress matter? Just keep clinging to that old-time religion.

Dawkins trips on his yellow belly while running away from debate with Stephen Meyer

Here is the transcript of Dawkins on the Michael Medved radio show.

Excerpt:

Bruce Chapman: …Your new book apparently doesn’t really deal with intelligent design. But it seems to me, that in your previous book, you said that it’s a question of science, that it is a scientific argument – I congratulate you for that — But if it is, how about having a debate with Stephen Meyer, who is the author of another new book, Signature in the Cell, which deals with this question, and have this in a respectful, civilized, scholarly fashion where you look at the scientific arguments, pro and con?

[…]Put that scientific argument to the test, not with somebody who’s a straw man that you bring up, but have somebody like Meyer, who has written a very scholarly book, to actually debate this topic with you…

Michael Medved: All right, the proposal’s on the table, response from Professor Dawkins, thank you, Bruce.

Richard Dawkins: I will have a discussion with somebody who has a genuinely different scientific point of view. I have never come across any kind of creationism, whether you call it intelligent design or not, which has a serious scientific case to put.

The objection to having debates with people like that is that it gives them a kind of respectability. If a real scientist goes onto a debating platform with a creationist, it gives them a respectability, which I do not think your people have earned.

Dawkin’s new policy is only to debate with people who agree with him. You see, he’s looked and looked for qualified opponents in his echo chamber, and there just aren’t any.

Dawkins’ new book features no credible intelligent scholars

You’d think that his new book would encounter the work of ID scholars. But you’d be wrong.

Excerpt:

Richard Dawkins’ new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, is being touted as a scathing rebuttal to intelligent design (ID), yet an actual response to mainstream ID thinking can hardly be found in the book. Though the book makes passing mention of “irreducible complexity” in a couple places, there are zero mentions of leading ID proponents like Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, Phillip Johnson, Stephen Meyer, or any other well-known ID proponent. Instead, Dawkins refers extensively to “creationists,” repeatedly attacking young earth creationism, while also making heavy use of fallacious (and dubious) “poor design” examples that rebut no argument made by a leading advocate of design since perhaps the 19th century. It seems that Dawkins didn’t have the stomach to tackle the actual modern theory of intelligent design in his new book.

His popular brand of invincible ignorance coupled with foam-flecked fanaticism sells a lot of hymnals written for the kool-aid drinking choir. It’s not about science, it’s about creating your own private world where everyone is stupid except you. Dawkins is a self-help author for those raised by fundamentalist parents. It’s escapism. And if anyone asks them to debate, they can just deploy some insults and call it a day. Whatever sells books, right?

UPDATE: I note that the pro-intelligent design team have organized a debate with their critics. Speakers include Stephen Meyer, Rick Sternberg, Michael Shermer and Don Prothero. Say what you want about Michael Shermer, he is not a coward.

UPDATE: (from the comments) “Just for the record, Dawkins turned down ANOTHER request to debate Dr. William Lane Craig a couple of weeks ago.”

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26 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins cites fraudulent research, runs from public debate”

  1. Just for the record, Dawkins turned down ANOTHER request to debate Dr. William Lane Craig a couple of weeks ago.

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  2. Michael Shermer is certainly not a coward, nor is Dawkins. I have great respect for both, but Shermer is a leader in the skeptic community, and debates of these kind is his cup of tea. Dawkins is a scientist, and would rather engage in scientific discussions.

    You show terrible ignorance of Dawkins views to bring up the prodded view that life was seeded by aliens. He was asked if he could conceive of that possibility, and he said “I suppose so”.

    I just finished Dawkins book. It is far more based on science than “The God Delusion”, and has some very compelling arguments.

    He has written a whole book, so isn’t it up to you to disprove some of his arguments? For instance, do you have a good “intelligent design” argument for the examples he brings up?

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    1. Thanks for you comment. Naturally, I disagree.

      Please provide a list of intelligent design books cited by Dawkins in his new book. Also, please provide a list of upcoming debates in which Dawkins will defend his views in a public forum. If the two lists are blank, we know that we are dealing with the Darwinian equivalent of Kent Hovind. Or perhaps a televangelist. I understand that it is natural to want to hear only the views you agree with, but there is the risk that you are not being told the truth. That is why it is important to listen to BOTH SIDES, not just the side you agree with.

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      1. The reason that Dawkins does not debate ID proponents is that almost every one of them employs methods of “proof” that extend beyond the boundaries of science. I’m sure he will talk to anyone about new evidence, and he would change his mind in a second with enough evidence that points strongly to design.

        Have you read The Greatest Show on Earth? What did you think about his arguments? He does not cite any ID books, but he goes through their arguments quite thoroughly. For each one he offers extremely compelling evidence for the case of evolution.

        Dawkins is a frustrated man. He has an incredible love for science, and for finding out how things work. Like all great scientists, he has a lot to offer to the world, but he is constantly told by people who have no idea what they are talking about that his evidence is bunk, as is the evidence of thousands of scientists before and after him.

        No ID proponent is ever willing to discuss with me the “design” of the laryngeal nerve in mammals, or explain to me why whales and dolphins have tiny pelvis bones still buried deep within their blubber, some even with tiny little legs.

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        1. OK, now you didn't answer my questions. What you did is change the subject. So I'm going to make it very clear.

          NUMBER OF ID SCHOLARS DAWKINS HAS READ: ZERO
          NUMBER OF ID SCHOLARS DAWKINS HAS DEBATED: ZERO
          NUMBER OF ID SCHOLARS DAWKINS HAS REFUTED: ZERO

          The purpose of Dawkins' books is to preach to the faithful. There is no effort made to sustain an argument against dissenters. He is a coward. He may as well be writing poetry. He hates science, because he hates to search for the truth. What he loves is his pre-supposition of materialism, and taking that as far as he can go into absurdity (e.g. – unobservable aliens), regardless of the evidence.

          He cites PROFESSORS OF GERMAN as authorities on the historical Jesus. Do you understand what those words mean? He thinks a professor of German is an authority on the historical Jesus. Dawkins is just a rage-filled bag of gas – he is not a scholar, and nothing he writes in his books could survive two minutes in a lecture hall. Don't you see that? That's why he will not debate. The man is a FOOL.

          Here is everything you need to know about Dawkins from his own lips:

          Creationists are deeply enamored of the fossil record, because they have been taught (by each other) to repeat, over and over, the mantra that it is full of “gaps”: “Show me your ‘intermediates!’ ” They fondly (very fondly) imagine that these “gaps” are an embarrassment to evolutionists. Actually, we are lucky to have any fossils at all, let alone the massive numbers that we now do have to document evolutionary history—large numbers of which, by any standards, constitute beautiful “intermediates.” We don’t need fossils in order to demonstrate that evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution would be entirely secure even if not a single corpse had ever fossilized.

          According to Dawkins:
          We don’t need to observe the aliens who seeded the earth with life to know they evolved. They evolved whether we can see them or not. Observations don’t matter. WE DON’T NEED SCIENCE. It’s all about faith – faith in materialism. We don’t need no steenkin’ observations. Dawkins is the atheistic equivalent of Kent Hovind.

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          1. According to Dawkins:
            We don’t need to observe the aliens who seeded the earth with life to know they evolved. They evolved whether we can see them or not. Observations don’t matter. WE DON’T NEED SCIENCE. It’s all about faith – faith in materialism. We don’t need no steenkin’ observations.

            Are you quoting him? Please cite the reference.

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          2. The quote is right above the part you cited. He says we don’t need fossils.

            In the movie Expelled, he is asked to produce a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life. He says there is none, (which is correct). Then he speculates that a race of unobservable aliens may have evolved on an unobservable planet and unobservably seeded the earth with life, (as Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe suggest in their directed panspermia solution to the origin of life problem). Ben Stein says “how do you know that the aliens evolved?” and Dawkins says “what else could have happened?”. DAWKINS IS A FIDEIST. He believes Darwinism because he subscribes to a philosophical pre-supposition of MATERIALISM. The problem is that we now know that materialism is FALSE because of the big bang – in which all of the matter in the universe come into being FROM NOTHING. Therefore, matter is not all there is.

            WATCH THE VIDEO.

            Evidence of evolution is not required on the unobservable planet for unobservable aliens, because he KNOWS THEY EVOLVED WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE. AND EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION IS NOT REQUIRED ON EARTH EITHER. There is Richard Dawkins in a nutshell. It’s faith. All faith. And nothing but the faith. He is a snake-handling fundamentalist as much as Kent Hovind is. And he refuses to debate. Why bother when he can continue to sell so many books to those who don’t value open debate and discussion? If he really had a case, he would be debating up and down the world, like Michael Shermer does. I like Shermer – he’s a good atheist. He likes to fight.

            If I cited a professor of German as an authority on the historical Jesus, I would never go out in public again. Why is Dawkins not similarly shunned by the atheist community as the poseur that he is? I’ll tell you why – because atheism is all about rage, rage and more rage. Facts are IRRELEVANT. Debates are SHUNNED by the true believers.

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          3. Is this about who you like, or who you agree with? If you like Shermer, and the way he argues, then what about his arguments? He agrees with Dawkins on virtually everything.

            Your analyses of the big bang is strange. Almost everything we know about the big bang is open for debate, yet you use it to disprove something for which real material proof exists?

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          4. Evolution (the five types other than micro evolution) is a religion. There is no proof for evolution, and belief in it requires faith. So a debate on the matter does not require an ID proponent to supply evidence to the contrary of evolution. I think a lot of evolutionists are jealous/frustrated that they have been wasting time on working out were animals and people came from, and in the process have forgotten about the real issue of “who is the life giver”. This is an ideas debate from the beginning. I believe our designer is Yahweh.

            Some might say (as Dawkins does), “why does God hide Himself”. I think it’s kind of like this. God wont be mocked. He wants people with him that love Him and His ways. I don’t think he wants people who just want to be on the winning side. Have some empathy and think about it. Though, i do think there is plenty of evidence of a Grand Designer, and if you have to ask “what” you are figuratively blind.

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          5. OK, I though we could have a discussion about this, but you apparently are a little too far gone.

            To call Dawkins anything but a genius is to not understand the advancements in science he has helped to achieve. Call him arrogant, and say he should not be speaking about philosophy, and I’ll probably agree with you, but to criticize him as a scientist is ludicrous.

            It is absolutely true that we do not need the fossil record at all to prove evolution, and Dawkins shows this in his book. Darwin had no fossil record. After the fossil record began to develop, everything fit in line with the predictions made by Darwin’s theory. We have all the proof for evolution we require just by looking at genetics and physiology. The fossil record has provided confirmation of what is shown by other means.

            Are you one of those that thinks we’ve never “observed” evolution? That is completely untrue. We’ve observed every mechanism involved in evolution, and have seen it happen before our eyes. Before MY eyes, in fact.

            And who are these ID scholars, and what is “scholarly” about them?

            I did answer your questions. I admitted that Dawkins did not cite ID scholars. He also did not consult any astrologists or mediums to the conclusions in his book.

            Now can you answer my questions?

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          6. The issue is macro-evolution. Please cite for me where in the fossil record that I can observe the gradual transformation of one body plan into another. I accept bacterial resistance and speciation due to geographic isolation.

            I will accept computer calculations on genomes showing a change from one body plan to another as well, but I need to the the probability of the required mutations occurring. I will not accept molecular phylogenies as these give inconsistent results depending on the portion of the genome that is used in the analysis, and they also contradict fossil phylogenies.

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          7. If you accept bacterial speciation, then you accept the fact that at a molecular level, an organism can change enough to become a different species. It works the same way with larger animals.

            As for a more obvious example, here is a diagram showing the changes from land mammal back into the sea as whales.

            We have real examples of each of these fossils, and evidence in modern day whales in the form of rear appendages with no use whatsoever.

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          8. First, bacterial resistance is an adaptation in which a capacity is turned off. No new genetic information is produced. Bacteria have a very short generation time and huge numbers of offspring, unlike larger animals. I want a change in body plans caused by NEW biological information produced by mutation and selection. Not something being turned-off.

            Second, your sample is about TWELVE FOSSILS. I want to see a smooth change involving HUNDREDS of transitional forms. What you have there is a collection of fully formed animals that appear to be similar. I would also accept a genome analysis showing the required mutations to change from the one body plan to another.

            Thirdly, even if I admit that this animal evolved, what am I to make of the collection of phyla that appear in the fossile record 543 million years ago in about 5-10 million years with NO PRECURSORS. Phyla are the major body plans, and they appear in the fossil record after billions of years of single-celled organisms. My two arguments against evolution are the origin of life and the Cambrian explosion. Why won’t Dawkins debate on those topics? They have to have naturalistic explanations in order for evolution to be true.

            If the evidence is so good for evolution, why is Dawkins re-sorting to embryos that have been proven to be fraudulent since the 19th century?

            And finally, can you please point to me an example of where these whale fossils are cited in an actual debate? What I need to see to believe you on the evidence is a real debate between two scholars. Will you please show we where this is used in an actual debate as evidence of macroevolution?

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          9. I don’t get it. The fossils exist, and there are in fact hundreds of them. Just because there 12 drawings of the major steps does not mean that there are not more. Do you not see that the nostril moves further back in each step? If these are simply 12 different kinds of animals, why did the progression of the nostrils (just one of the many obvious changes) occur in fossils found in successive layers of sediment? Why do the modern animals still have tiny legs that are no longer used for propulsion? Why do whales undulate their spine to swim in the same way as land mammals do, instead of side to side like fish?

            All of these things point to an evolutionary model.

            PZ Myers has debated the evolution of whales on several occasions, one time finding that the person sent to debate him (from the Discovery Institute) had not heard of the fossils found despite having written a book on ID, specifically mentioning whales.

            Why debate a group of people who lack a hypothesis?

            As for Haeckel’s embryos, Dawkins has never used them for any type of evidence for evolution. Just because some graphics guy at the BBC used the imagery does not mean they are being cited as evidence. Haeckel’s theories were famously wrong, but remain a vital part of biological science history. Isaac Newton was wrong too, but is still featured prominently in all intro physics texts

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          10. Ryan, you’d have me convinced if you could show me an example where we’ve observed the evolution of a functional organ.

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          11. Sure, I’ll even let you pick the organ. Any one. I’ll tell you how it evolved and show you the evidence.

            Unless this is one of those “I need to watch something that usually takes 100 million years in a petri dish this afternoon or you are a liar” things. In which case, I can’t help you.

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          12. I’m not sure you quite understand the concept of a theory. Anyways, my offer stands, if you are ever interested in learning something.

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          13. “observed evolution”. What do you mean by this? I understand that micro evolution (different dogs can breed to produce different dogs etc) happens but any other type is not observable. The only thing you can tell from fossils is that there was an animal and it died. Anything else is pure rhetorical speculative nonsense that requires a lot of faith to believe in.

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        2. “The reason that Dawkins does not debate ID proponents is that almost every one of them employs methods of “proof” that extend beyond the boundaries of science.”

          Is this the same Richard Dawkins who uses the Multiverse theory? Neither provable nor testable just a guess and absolutely unscientific. Used largely to try and get around the problem that our universre is so finely tuned. Yes our universe – the only universe we will ever know about. This is a guy who thinks life may have been seeded here by aliens!! Again proof please RD. Or failing that thinks life came about from lifeless chemicals – a known impossibility. He dosen’t debate ID proponents because he will lose.

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        3. You said:
          The reason that Dawkins does not debate ID proponents is that almost every one of them employs methods of “proof” that extend beyond the boundaries of science.

          I could not help but laugh. That same argument could be turned around by a creationist refusing a debate with an evolutionist…. that the “proof” that there is no intelligent design, etc extends beyond the boundaries of science.

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