Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dawkins Refutes Himself

In some of my first blog posts back in February, I made the claim that modern science was uniquely born out of a Judeo-Christian worldview. In brief, my argument was that ideas basic to conducting science--things like the existence of order in the universe and the reliability of our senses and reasoning to perceive and understand that order--are logically grounded in a biblical understanding but not in a naturalistic one. My point was that not only when modern science was founded but still today doing science really only makes sense if there is a transcendent Creator who specially created us in His image.

In His book The God Delusion (chapter 3), Richard Dawkins comes close to addressing this claim (at least as close as he comes to dealing seriously with any of the true claims made by Christians). He says, in effect, that the incorrect belief in God of the founders of science was simply an artefact of the times in which they lived.

I have asked my readers--in a more recent post--to be on the lookout for self-refuting statements. Well, Dawkins' logic here is a good example. Dawkins is claiming that there is no God, and that the brilliant men and women who gave birth to modern science were wrong in thinking there is one. According to Dawkins, their inability to discover the truth on this issue stems from the fact that they were influenced by the thinking of the times in which they lived. But the same holds true for Dawkins--his understanding of the existence of God is influenced by the times in which he lives. So if being influenced by the thinking of your generation disqualifies your conclusions, then Dawkins himself is wrong for the same reason he applies to Kepler and Pascal et al.

This assertion on Dawkins' part is, of course, fallacious, and irrelevant to the question. It would be so much more valuable had Dawkins dealt with the logical proofs given by monotheists for the existence of God (instead of offering up straw-man versions of them) and with the relevant evidence from the study of the universe (a small branch of which, at least, he is purported to be somewhat of an expert). His case against God fails miserably precisely because of his failure to interact with the logical arguments or the evidence from science.

No comments: