MUST-READ: How good are the arguments in the new book by Richard Dawkins?

Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 has written a nice review of Dawkins’ new book. He is very polite in this review, but also very effective.  He also posted the audio for the recent debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins.

Brian starts his review by explaining Dawkins’ plan for the book:

Dawkins seems to place all doubters into the young-earth category, while the illustrations he employs put them on par with “well-financed and politically muscular groups of Holocaust-deniers.”

That’s right. He is not refuting the work of intelligent design theorists – he is refuting young earth creationists. He spends an entire chapter on the age of the earth. The names of intelligent design scholars hardly even appear in the index of his book! This book is not a refutation of the likes of William A. Demsbki, PhD, PhD or Jonathan Wells, PhD, PhD. (That is not a typo, they each have two PhDs, and from top-tier schools)

And then it goes from bad to worse.  He uses intelligent selection by human dog-breeders as proof of the efficacy of random mutation and natural selection. Intelligent design that produces micro-evolution is used as evidence for unguided macro-evolution.

[…]”The difference between any two breeds of dog gives us a rough idea of the quantity of evolutionary change that can be achieved in less than a millennium. The next question we should ask is, how many millennia do we have available to us in accounting for the whole history of life? If we imagine the sheer quantity of differences that separate a pye-dog from a peke, which took only a few centuries of evolution, how much longer is the time that separates us from the beginning of evolution or, say, from the beginning of mammals? … Can you imagine two million centuries, laid end to end?”

Actually, this “can you imagine” argument is a lot better than his fraudulent drawings of embryos argument. Neither of them works, but at least he isn’t using fraudulent evidence with this “can you imagine” argument.

Oh, but here’s the “you’re stupid and evil” argument, which taken together with the “can you imagine” argument and the fraudulent embryos, forms the beginning of a very persuasive case for macro-evolution.

“If the history-deniers who doubt the fact of evolution are ignorant of biology, those who think the world began less than ten thousand years ago are worse than ignorant, they are deluded to the point of perversity.”

Did you know that human pregnancy is actually evidence for macro-evolution? Yes – babies evolve in a Darwinian fashion from a fertilized egg until their birth! That’s macro-evolution!

Chapter eight is entitled You Did It Yourself in Nine Months. Here Dawkins cites an interaction between J.B.S. Haldane, a leading architect of neo-Darwinism, and an evolution skeptic. The skeptic poses a complex question of how, even given billions of years, a single cell could develop into a complicated human body that thinks and feels. Haldane’s one-liner response was, “But madam, you did it yourself. And it only took you nine months.”

Brilliant! Sheer brilliance! Let’s call this one the “pregnancy is macro-evolution in action” argument. Put that with the rest.

Dawkins says that scientists don’t even need to observe any fossils in order to know that evolution happened, even on distant planets.

“I love speculating on how weirdly different we should expect life to be elsewhere in the universe, but one or two things I suspect are universal, wherever life might be found. All life will turn out to have evolved by a process related to Darwinian natural selection of genes.”

He knows that aliens evolved because what else could have happened? Evidence is irrelevant when you have blind faith. Let’s call this the “fossil record? we don’t need no stinking fossil record!” argument. And of course you know that Dawkins thinks that these aliens who evolved unobserved may have seeded the Earth with life – that’s his solution to the origin of life problem.

OK, one more quote from Brian’s review before I really have to stop. It’s Christopher Hitchens’ “I wouldn’t have done it that way” argument!

“…the overwhelming impression you get from surveying any part of the innards of a large animal is that it is a mess! Not only would a designer never have made a mistake like that nervous detour; a decent designer would never have perpetuated anything of the shambles that is the criss-crossing maze of arteries, veins, intestines, wads of fat and muscle, mesenteries and more.”

Oh, just one more! This is the “origin of life? what’s that? (nervous titter)” argument.

“We don’t actually need a plausible theory of the origin of life…”

OK, I really have to stop. You will all go to Brian’s site and read his review. It is awesome. It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims to believe that Dawkins is NOT a lazy-brained ignoramus, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

Note to Darwinist commenters. If you want to defend Dawkins here, then pick one of his arguments that I cited here, and go for it. For everything else, comment on Brian’s site.

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