Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Writing in American Scientist, Michael Ruse compares Richard Dawkins's collection of ephemera, A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love, to second-rate wine. "How often has one had a wonderful, local wine in a little restaurant in Spain or Italy, and on bringing a bottle home been amazed at how thin and sour it tastes when served up proudly to one's friends? It is much this way with the contents of A Devil's Chaplain."
Some of Ruse's criticism parallels my own quarrel with Dawkins's anti-religion crusade. Ruse writes:
In recent years, his attention has swung from writing about science for a popular audience to waging an all-out attack on Christianity. In the name of Darwinism, he has become the scourge of the religious, the atheist's answer to Billy Graham. At every opportunity, he preaches the hard truth—there is no God, religion is superstition, and Darwin proves just this. Essentially, what ties this volume together is the crusade of nonbelief, for just about every piece carries this same message.
Ruse isn't religious himself, but he recognizes where Dawkins has ceased to think critically and turned into a zealot:
I would like to see Dawkins take Christianity as seriously as he undoubtedly expects Christianity to take Darwinism. I would also like to see him spell out fully the arguments as to the incompatibility of science (Darwinism especially) and religion (Christianity especially). So long as his understanding of Christianity remains at the sophomoric level, Dawkins does not deserve full attention.
Science deserves a better champion.
(Thanks for the tip, Kenneth!)
Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 5 November 2003 at 5:32 PM