10/25/2008

Has Richard Dawkins changed his mind?

A very interesting article, “Is Richard Dawkins still evolving?” by Melanie Phillips (The Spectator.co.uk; Thursday, October 23, 2008), notes an interesting statement in Richard Dawkins’ last debate. It seems Dawkins recently made the statement: “A serious case could be made for a deistic God.” The article is a very interesting read.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

...I asked Dawkins whether he had indeed changed his position...He vehemently denied this and expressed horror that he might have given this impression. But he also said other things which suggested to me that some of his own views simply don't meet the criteria of empirical evidence that he insists must govern all our thinking.

For example, I put to him that, since he is prepared to believe that the origin of all matter was an entirely spontaneous event, he therefore believes that something can be created out of nothing -- and that since such a belief runs counter to the very scientific principles of verifiable evidence which he tells us should govern all our thinking, this is itself precisely the kind of irrationality, or ‘magic’, which he scorns. In reply he said that, although he agreed this was a problematic position, he did indeed believe that the first particle arose spontaneously from nothing, because the alternative explanation – God -- was more incredible. Later, he amplified this by saying that physics was coming up with theories to show how matter could spontaneously be created from nothing. But as far as I can see – and as Anthony Flew elaborates – these theories cannot answer the crucial question of how the purpose-carrying codes which gave rise to self–reproduction in life-forms arose
out of matter from which any sense of purpose was totally absent. So such a
belief, whether adduced by physicists or anyone else, does not rest upon
rational foundations.

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