Richard Dawkins’ Brave New World

11 Sep

I think it is unfortunate that much of Evangelical Christianity is better known for its political point of view rather than what it preaches about Christ. Personally, I think it is a serious responsibility to vote, but I also believe it detracts from the Gospel to become a political activist. I don’t like politics in the pulpit, and I’ve actually voted against my local church’s position, simply because I was irritated with their attitude concerning the opposition. I believe change, if and when it comes, will come only through Christ, not political activism—especially religious political activism.

Having said that, I thought it quite surprising to hear the position taken by Richard Dawkins in a YouTube video I watched, inaccurately named Richard Dawkins DEBUNKS Noah’s Ark by the upload provider.[1] I don’t mean to imply that I expected Dr. Dawkins to embrace a Christian point of view, but I do believe it unexpected of a man of his stature to appear so ‘afraid’ of the opposition—especially if a Biblical point of view is supposed to be so ignorant and illogical. If I understand the methodology of critical thinking correctly, then truth and ignorance will rise or fall upon its own merit. But notice how Dr. Dawkins addresses the problem as he sees it:

“Once again I am sorry to take a sledgehammer to so small and fragile a nut, but I have to do so, because of the more than 40% of the American people who believe literally in the story of Noah’s Ark. We should be able to ignore them, and get on with our science, but we can’t afford to, because they control school boards, they home-school their children to deprive them of access to proper science teaching. And they include many members of the United States Congress, some state governors, and even presidential and vice-presidential candidates. They have the money and the power to build institutions, universities and even a museum where children ride mechanical life-size models of dinosaurs with saddles, which they are solemnly told co-existed with humans.”

The problem that Dr. Dawkins doesn’t seem to recognize is that his personal point of view is not science. It may be a model that seeks to predict what he observes in the world around him, but his personal point of view has not been empirically proved—nothing that he believes concerning our origins has been observed, but only presumed to be so. This understanding is more like an ideology or a worldview than science.

Noah’s Ark is a model—a Christian model—that answers to what we observe in the world today. And, using this model we are able to make certain predictions concerning what we should be able to observe in geology and biology. While Dr. Dawkins’ model is the theory of evolution, ours is not. Ours happens to be “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” and those things that later developed immediately before and after the Noahic Flood.

The school boards that Dr. Dawkins is talking about are religious schools, funded by churches. He couldn’t mean state-funded schools, because there is a curriculum there that must be followed. In fact, even schools funded by churches must follow the state’s curriculum. The only difference is that we are able to teach church history and the Bible. We may also teach intelligent design alongside of the theory of evolution, but we still must abide by the state’s curriculum. State-funded schools teach Dr. Dawkins’ worldview, so he probably doesn’t have these schools in mind. Does he?

I fail to understand why the religious point of view of our politicians would be of such a concern to Dr. Dawkins, unless his concern is over one of two possible reasons: first, that American politics is being taken over by ignorant and illogical people; or secondly, that his understanding of the ignorance and/or illogical attitude of Christians would be proved wrong, if Christian politicians would begin to take leadership in America. His concern, as I see it, could be over only one of these two propositions. Is there a third?

Brave New World (Image from Google Images)

Brave New World
(Image from Google Images)

Finally, Dr. Dawkins expresses concern over the power and financial state of Christians in America to fund and build educational institutions, including universities and museums. Why should this be a concern of his? Could it be he is afraid of critical thinking? After all, if people who actually believe the Bible is true are so ignorant and illogical, shouldn’t all of their labor come to naught? Isn’t the position expressed in the YouTube quote above by Dr. Dawkins counterintuitive? Isn’t the theory of evolution based upon the survival of the fittest—the species that are stronger and better? Doesn’t the fittest always win out in the end—according to the theory?

It would appear to me that Dr. Dawkins’ “Brave New World” is one where the opposition is done away—not through critical thinking or education, but through intimidation, ridicule and a rather bulling attitude. I would expect such behavior from the ignorant and illogical among us, no matter which worldview one embraces, but I am a bit shocked that a university professora real mover and shaker in western civilization—would embrace such a fundie attitude.

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in naturalism, theory of evolution


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