Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Genius of Charles Darwin Part 3

After part two of Richard Dawkin's show, I was quite hopeful that part three would also be interesting to watch. Sadly, it was awful and almost criminally misleading.

The message that had been explicit in the first two programmes now became explicit. Evolution means atheism. Because there is overwhelming evidence for evolution, there is also overwhelming evidence for atheism. At the start of the programme, Dawkins said evolution had made him an atheist and then explained (somewhat tendentiously) that it had also caused Darwin to lose his faith. We saw his daughter Annie at last and the famous case of the parasitic wasp, but it was not explained that what actually destroyed Darwin’s faith was the problem of natural evil, not the theory of evolution.

We got Dawkins talking to some hardcore young earth creationists and a scary blond American woman. But the scientists who were interviewed were atheists and Dawkinista cheerleaders. Where were Professors Simon Conway Morris, Kenneth Millar, Francis Collins (a bona fide evangelical evolutionist) and Alister McGrath? Instead, we got Rowan Williams as the sole representative of moderate Christianity with the clear implication that there are no Christian scientists who accept evolution. This is a downright lie and it cannot be an accident that the show gives this impression.

The question that this show raised is what is Dawkins actually trying to do? Is he a passionate scientist trying to communicate that wonderful subject to an audience who might otherwise not be exposed to it? Or is he an atheist evangelist who will use any tools at his disposal to spread his faith? On the evidence of this show, he is the later. This is very sad because science needs all the communicators it can get.

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