jottings from tertius

views of the world from my worldview window

"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton


SITES OF NOTE

Tektonics Apologetics Ministry
blogs4God
The Adarwinist reader
Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
He Lives
Mike Gene Teleologic
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
one-eighty
Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
Shandon L. Guthrie
Clayton Cramer's Blog
Andrew Bolt columns
Ann Coulter columns




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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton


"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton


"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

head to head with the Darwin enforcer

 
Brian Appleyard goes to tea with Richard Dawkins

...[Richard Dawkins...] is one of the strangest men I’ve ever known. We go back a long way. Our relationship started well, descended into hate-hate, recovered somewhat to love-hate and, latterly, has drifted into respectful acceptance.

He is a highly strung, frequently petulant man. I’ve seen him storm out of an amiable dinner because he didn’t like the music and I’ve heard of him muttering to his companion, when a lady cleric entered the room, that dog collars are always a sign of low IQ. But when relaxed, he is charming, deferring politely to opinions with which he disagrees and displaying a conscientious desire to understand...

...But the importance of Dawkins, though based on the brilliance and popularity of his writing, is mostly to do with what he represents. He is Darwin’s enforcer. Darwin discovered evolution through natural selection, but, a quiet man with a religious wife, he did not engage in the ensuing public debates. Dawkins does, combining evolutionary theory with anti-Bush, left-wing politics, expressed through the occasional article but mostly through pithy, angry letters to newspapers.

Dawkins is the supreme meta-establishment thinker, the eloquent defender of the dominant but seldom expressed world view of our time — aggressive atheism and secularity, soft leftism, scientism and faith in progress. To his fans, he is reason incarnate. And so if Dawkins says George W Bush is an idiot, which he frequently does, then Dubya must, rationally, be an idiot. But, in fact, reason has nothing to do with it...

The intrusion of these irrationalities — combined with the peculiarities of his character — indicate that the dominant image of Dawkins in the public mind as the patron saint of contemporary reason is wrong. In reality... he is as much driven by prejudice, faith and conviction as the rest of us...

All of this, to me at least, makes the human reality of Dawkins much more interesting than the public persona. Even his anti-religiousness is not quite what it seems. His language is steeped in the vocabulary of Anglicanism. I once offered a bet that he would be converted on his deathbed but found no takers. Dawkins assures me I would lose. I’m not so sure.

...He interprets his role in the world as the banger of the drum for science. But a deep caution about the power of science is an equally logical interpretation of what he is actually saying.

Dawkins is a paradox, one of the strangest men I have ever met, but not necessarily, as I used to think, the most wrong-headed. His problem, I muse as I leave his souped-up rectory, is that he can be just so damned unreasonable.





7:33:00 pm