SUPRISINGLY, MANY ATHEIST BLOGGERS, LIKE PZ MYERS, AGREE: Dawkins, on faith alone, has concocted a religion meme, an invisible undetected virus that infects people and makes them believe in God. It makes me wonder if there isn’t an atheist meme that keeps Dawkins and Myers and a host of others from being truly rational. Libby Purves writes, perceptively:
. . . As for his reverence for Darwin and evolutionary theory, I share it. Have done ever since school.
My convent school, to be exact. The chief science-nun, despite her wimple and veil, was dead keen on Darwin. Most educated Christians are. Which is why the first episode of the professor’s Channel 4 series, The Genius of Charles Darwin, had me alternately cheering and cursing. Talking about evolution, he is terrific. But every few minutes he spoils it by announcing that natural selection means there is, categorically, no God. Not needed as wildlife designer – ergo, non-existent.
Professor Dawkins met a class of children, some of them indoctrinated by that crazily literal minority who think the world began 6,000 years ago on a divine drawing board. Instead of explaining natural selection and letting them work out that maybe the Creator works in more mysterious ways than the Genesis myth, he offered them a choice as stark as any bonkers tin-hut preacher from the Quivering Brethren shouting: “Repent or burn!”
Evolution or God – take your choice, kid! The moment one of them found an ammonite on the beach, Professor Dawkins demanded instant atheism. OK, he is provoked, as we all are, by nutters. But most believers are not creationists. Some are scientists. They reckon that an omnipotent being capable of giving humans free will is equally capable of setting a cosmic ball rolling – Big Bang, abiogenesis, all that – and letting it proceed through eons of evolution, selection and struggle. . .
. . . Teaching children real science is one thing, making them choose God or evolution is another.
Stupid, too, in a Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. If you offer a choice between science on one hand and faith and tradition on the other, too many people will reject science. A subtle and well-evolved species like us can accept both ammonites and Alleluias. Live with it, Prof.
Read Richard Dawkins, the naive professor | Libby Purves – Times Online A fair number of comments, too: 42 as of this minute.