Friday, December 01, 2006

The God Delusion 4

A series of posts noting my reaction to Richard Dawkins latest book

Chapter four is called 'Why there almost certainly is no God.' Don't you just love that bet-hedging 'almost?'

Do priests, as a Thomas Jefferson quote at the beginning of the chapter suggests, really, 'dread the advancement of science?' Only, I reckon, if their God is what they have left at the end of science rather than in, of, over, under and around science. The priest who has God backed into a corner by science has a god who is getting smaller and smaller.

I don't completely understand the precise moment when a new species is produced - a branch of the family so different it cannot breed with its distant cousins only its brothers and sisters - but I can see that it happens. I fully accept the argument of evolution by natural selection which explain why organisms become increasingly complex. Accepting this argument, according to Dawkins, means accepting that a prime mover cannot be more complex than its descendant but must be simpler. If God isn't above science somehow he is right.

What Dawkins wants more than anything else is to hear an explanation for the existence of God, a rational explanation, that he can accept. He rubbishes the idea of a god who set the mathematical constants of the universe so as to lead to life - he calls such a god the DKT (Divine Knob-Twiddler).

Dawkins says that Christians haven't had their consciousness raised and they miss natural selection's ability to tame improbability. Strangely Christians could say the same about him. He hasn't had his consciousness raised and is '...ever hearing but never perceiving, ever looking but never seeing...', to quote the gospel writers quoting Jesus quoting Isaiah.

Dawkins suggests that the name 'God' has much baggage attached to it. Would it surprise him to learn that in Exodus 3 this 'God' is said to resist the very idea of being known by a name? Again and again our Bible anticipates our scientific questions by thousands of years.

Anyway a bigger question is troubling him. If natural selection ensures the survival of the fittest only how come those he considers less fit, the religious, seem to have done so well. Answer next chapter. It's getting better.


gone said...

Religion seems to have done so well because, God rocks!!!!!


Hello Steve, it's the gobby one checking up on you.

The book sounds good; is he really looking for the truth or just spouting off?

I got my mocks in January and my expected AS levels are A's and B's...kool huh?! I am working my nuts off.

H :)

St said...

The aim of the book is to stop people being religious. It is interesting though. Well done for your predicted grades.

Caroline said...

"they miss natural selection's ability to tame improbability."

Hmm, does God play dice?

I'm afraid Prof Dawkins, that 'improbability' strikes back somewhat in the shape of Chaos Theory

but then

you'd probably just dismiss that as well

oh well, there's no talking with some folk.

Caroline Too

Anonymous said...

I did see the Paxman interview when Paxo asked him what got him through the night, given this bleak atheism. He referred to music, love, beauty... sounds remarkably like the qualities Aquinas identified as having their perfect origin in...God.

Keep reading - one day I'll get round to it.