Who Are the “Enemies of Truth”?
Richard Dawkins is a professor of zoology at Oxford University. He describes himself as “a fairly militant atheist, with a fair degree of active hostility toward religion” (Bass, p. 86). According to Dawkins, “religion is very largely an enemy of truth” (Bass, p. 87). He characterizes the idea that man was created by God as “blasphemy,” and insists that “we [atheists] have to fight against” this ideology (Watson, p. 11).
The fact is — it is he, along with those of his anti-intellectual ilk, who are the real enemies of truth, and the adversaries of common sense.
Dawkins has achieved a degree of fame from several books he has written. In 1976 he authored The Selfish Gene, in which he set forth his theory of genetic determinism (although he would deny that appellation). Akin to E.O. Wilson’s concept of “sociobiology,” Dawkins’ work attempts to explain animal/human behavior on a genetic basis. “Genes,” the professor contends, are the key to understanding animal behavior.
But aren’t men animals — according to evolutionary theory? In an effort to escape the logical consequence of the argument (that man is not responsible for his behavior), it is claimed that humans, in their evolutionary progress, have been able to break free from the genes that program them.
Of course not all agree with the “break free” theory. In recent years so-called “experts” have justified almost every variety of human evil — from adultery, to rape, to murder — under the protective umbrella of “genetic predisposition.”
If, however, as Dawkins argues, man can “break free” from his genetic shackles, how is it that the human family is plagued still with a host of genetically transmitted diseases? And is not every “bald” man a refutation of the “break free” premise?
The prominent professor boasts that his book brings home the reality of the ruthless, mechanistic explanation of human existence.
“You are for nothing. You are here to propagate your selfish genes. There is no higher purpose to life,” he says.
If that is the case, where is the “virtue” in virtue? And why do humans choose to remain in this “meaningless” maze of human existence?
Dawkins brags that he is gratified by the fact that in reading his book, people are “losing religious faith” (Bass, p. 60). If religion growth statistics are reliable, it would appear that not many are reading his book!
The truth is, those who acquaint themselves with the evidence, and use common logic, cannot but conclude that naturalism explains nothing; skepticism leaves one in a fog of intellectual and ethical confusion.
In 1986, Dawkins authored his book, The Blind Watchmaker. In this treatise he attempted to negate the influence of William Paley’s classic work, Natural Theology (1802), in which the English philosopher eloquently argued that the design that is quite apparent in the Universe (kosmos — order) is evidence of a grand Designer (God).
To Dawkins, the blind force of natural selection is the basis for the “apparent design” around us that appears to cry out “for an explanation” (p. ix; see also, “The Blind Bookwriter”). “Apparent design”? What is that? Does a jet liner have only “apparent design”? Is the human body, the most complex machine known to man, only “apparent” (thus not real) in its complicated “design”?
Atheists need to abandon their “black hole” world of intellectual void, and try “reasoning” for a change.
Christians must not let these challenges go unanswered. Enemies of the truth must be opposed in a firm and rational way.
- Bass, Thomas. 1990. “Interview with Richard Dawkins,” Omni 124:58-60, 84, 86-89, January.
- Dawkins, Richard. 1988. The Blind Watchmaker. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
- Watson, David C. C. 1987. “A Reply to Richard Dawkins,” Origins. May, pp. 10-11.