But enough frivolity; Dawkins appeared defending himself in the debate and lost.
For Dawkins it is is either science or religion, he can't deal with both, this is not the position any religious person ever adopts. It is worth considering what the great scientists of the past would have been like without faith, is it conceivable to think of Copernicas or Galileo without the Catholic faith, even Newton with his odd breed of Anglicanism and what about Gregor Mendel and Georges Lemaître, wasn't their faith behind their science?
The more I read about Dawkins, the more I feel he is not a very nice man, it is because hatred of religion seems to fuel him and most religions seem to teach hatred diminishes a man and is an indulgence to be overcome.
Sciences in the hands of a man who hates is very dangerous. I am sure who ever first dis covered how to make fire would, if he was approaching it scientifically, have used it to burn out his neighbour, the man who discovered flint knapping would have used a nice sharp spear to kill an enemy. As a Jewish friend says, "Dr Josef Mengele was a scientist". "
Science in the hands of scientists is truly dangerous, it has given us the Atom Bomb, better armaments, better torture methods. Scientific theories have justified slavery, racism, lobotomies, chemical castration of homosexuals, selective abortion of female foetuses. Weird scientific theories have moved in out of fashion, Mussolini's fascism was supported by scientists in the futurist movement. Hitler's racism, like apartheid South Africa was backed up by claims of scientific theory. The devilish Communist regimes claimed to be "scientific" and ripped the soul out of their people.
Dawkins arguments against religion seem essentially to be that religion claims to be right; the lived experience of most religious people is that it causes them to wonder and to ask about the ethics of an action. For someone with a religious sense, "God" is the unknown, the factor "X". In Aquinas' "Five Ways", he ends up by saying at the end of each by saying this is what we call God. It is not God but what we call God, God is the great unknown. In fact to say there is no God, seems to demand as much faith as to to say there is God. For believers religion acts as the grit in the oyster.
Expecting science to be able to give all the answers is so, err..., unscientific.
A few months ago, when Dawkins had said we "Catholics are vile" one of my parishioners suggested a campaign, of sending sweets to Dawkins, with a tag "from a vile Catholic", I don't think it will take off, would it?
If you want to try his address is New College, Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3BN