Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Dawkins Proof

 I have used this blog chiefly to criticize the arguments of a creationist ex-coworker living in Busan.  Another creationist ex-coworker (and pretty-good friend), who I met in Gangneung, Gangwon Province has asked me to discuss a book by Richard Barnes, The Dawkins Proof.  This book attempts find errors in  Dawkins' The God Delusion.  I have not read it completely yet but I will review the book here and discuss it in the comments with my friend.

Firstly though, I need to address the connection between the evolution v creation debate and the Christianity v atheism debate.  More properly, the latter debate might be religion v atheism, rather than Christianity alone.

Atheists famously think of themselves (we think of ourselves) as akin to cats: difficult to herd.  I feel that all atheists are evolutionists but there may be scattered exceptions.  The reverse is not true or even close to true:  By no means all evolutionists are atheists.

Ironically, the huge variety of claims and beliefs of people and groups that call themselves Christian means that they may better exemplify catlike behavior.  The leaders of many Christian denominations have publicly announced that they see no conflict between evolution and (their form of) Christianity. Others are Young Earth creationists, Old Earth Creationists and IDists.

 Although I am an atheist, it is not something I normally go out of my way to argue.  This is a choice I have made and am knowledgeable enough that I am satisfied with my choice but I am not certain I am knowledgeable enough to argue the point.

On this blog, I normally stick to arguing evolution and have worked to avoid religious arguments. I guess, as a half-hearted excuse, I can point out that Barnes' apparent understanding of evolution is appallingly bad.  Certainly the claims he makes in that area makes me question his claims in other areas.

More to come after I read the book.
Updated: I am slowly reading the book and still intend to discuss its contents.  My favorite science radio show, Quirks and Quarks, aired two segments that discuss religion and science.  I wanted to make note of them, particularly as this show has in the past offered strong science content without any political content and religion is often argued in the  political sphere.  Scroll down to find the segments.
This is probably the wrong place for this video, but Barnes does seem surprised that anyone could find the Bible's teachings to be child abuse.  He needs to see it.