What's Richard Dawkins so mad about?
In his controversial, two-part, anti-religious program, “The Root of All Evil?”, Richard Dawkins expressed great concern at the direction religious thinking is taking the world. In his eyes, any belief in a god, or God, amounts to a capitulation to superstition. While he has much of value to say to those of us “religious folk” who are guilty of unscientific, superstitious thinking (and it's all too common), his fundamental contention that God does not exist, indeed cannot exist (on the grounds that someone bigger and smarter must have made Him), betrays a religious mindset on his part. Against all the evidence of a brilliant and all-powerful designer and maker of all things, he clings to his conviction of no-God. The universe and everything in it is either eternally self-existing or has arisen out of an eternally-existing singularity which has, luckily for us, wondrously evolved into our world of sea creatures, sunsets and sex. What faith!
But I'm getting off the track. Those who have seen the programs would probably agree that Dawkins is pretty upset at the folly of religious thinking. In his view, it is bringing civilization to the brink of doom. I ask, what's he on about? As an utterly committed evolutionist, he is convinced that everything that exists does so because of alleged “laws” of natural selection. In short, everything got
here by an evolutionary process. In the evolutionist's world, all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds because the god of natural selection weaves its wondrous work of weeding out those mutants that are not fit to survive. When a species goes extinct through evolutionary processes, those who love natural selection cannot grieve. It lost out because it didn't fit. How sad; too bad.
In an evolutionist's world even human thinking processes have been crafted by the marvel of natural selection. All religious thought processes are the result of mutations in those genes that sequence codes for brain proteins. A committed evolutionist such as Dawkins must acknowledge that his own vaunted powers of rational thinking likewise spring from arrangements of bases along the “pearl necklace” that is DNA. A really, really, really honest evolutionist will have to acknowledge that just maybe the “religious thinking” that he despises so much will end up proving superior from an evolutionary viewpoint by taking over the world!
It strikes this writer as rather ironic that the world's most outspoken evolutionist is so hot-under-the-collar at the current course of evolution. And should some nasty quirk of natural selection lead religious extremists to drive Homo sapiens to extinction… well… that's evolution for you! Take it on the chin, Prof Dawkins.