Saturday, September 19, 2009

Questions to Ponder: Dawkins, Darwin, and being Intellectually Fulfilled

Hello everyone! This post is the first in what I hope will become a series entitled Questions to Ponder. My hope is to get some dialogue going (via the comments) between like minded persons on apologetic topics, beliefs, and arguments that are widely used or well-known. Believers and non-believers are welcomed to comment!

Celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins is well-known for the following infamous quote (and many others!):

"An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." [1]

So, my question is, "Was Richard Dawkins right when he said that 'Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist?' Or, in other words, if Darwinism was true beyond reasonable doubt, does atheism logically follow?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, p. 6.


Thesauros said...

Well it naturally leads to atheism for those who are already looking for reasons to deny the existence of God. But it doesn't logically lead to atheism.

Bryan said...

I don't think it would logically lead to atheism. In fact, it seems to me that, at best, the truth of Darwinian evolution would lead to complete skepticism. Mainly because, given that natural selection operates purely on what maximizes a species chance of survival, all of our cognitive faculties (including the way we reason and draw conclusions from evidence) would be determined by what ultimately aids in survival, nothing else - namely, what's true. So, given that the development (and results) of our reasoning processes would be aimed at survival as opposed to truth, it would seem that we couldn't really trust our reasoning and, consequently, any beliefs that stem from it. Ironically, the evolutionist couldn't really trust his belief in evoluton if evolution was actually true. Thus, in a sense, Darwinian evolution seems to lead to absolute skepticism, being necessarily unverifiable by it's very nature at best, and logically self-refuting at worst.

Unknown said...

That’s a very interesting quote especially where Dawkins refers to Hume’s statement “All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I wonder if by “better” they meant they were looking for an explanation that in actuality they simply preferred. I am curious as to if either Hume or Dawkins gave a reason as to why “God isn’t a good explanation”.

The quotation as a whole seems to imply that believing in God is unintelligent. That seems to be a common reaction for an Atheist to at some point claim superior intelligence and/or result to insults in congruence to the same claim especially when the have reach a dead end in their arguments.

As for your question, Chad, I would think that such an intricate process of multiple mutations which occurred over a period of billions of years as Darwin theorized would logically be more likely the result of an Intelligent Being rather than simply by chance. Even if it could be proven to be the result of evolution, we are still talking about a “complex biological design”. I do not see how something coming from nothing is a better explanation than something being created by Someone, especially when one considers the complexity that is intrinsic to the design.

Brian said...

I like how Frank Turek puts it: "Evolution needs God, but God doesn't need evolution."

Darwinism doesn't even touch the origin of life, the earth, time, space, and the cosmos.