Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dawkins Googlie

It is cruel to mock but I was amused by the pompous old "high Pope of Darwinism", Dicky Dawkins whose doctoral thesis "The ontogeny of a pecking preference in domestic chicks" was rather overlooked in '68 when everyone else was rioting, was bowled a rather nice googlie by the slightly less pompous Giles Fraser on BBC's Today Programme.

Listen here


Anonymous said...

Well done that man!

Jonathan said...

Well Father after listening to that I would have expected you to agree with Dawkins in this case. If someone doesn't go to church, doesn't read the bible and doesn't think Jesus is the Son of God then they really are not Christians.

Many of the problems you identify in the liturgy and poor catechesis are allowed to continue because the census figures are misunderstood. The leaders think the status quo is successful because the majority of people identify as Christians. Dawkins is doing us a favour by making us wake up to the true extent of the problem.

Paulinus said...

"The ontogeny of a pecking preference in domestic chicks" was rather overlooked '68 when everyone else was rioting,

Do you think that's why he's so anngry at God? Interesting theory, Father. Might explain a lot.

gemoftheocean said...

Why does the British public give this Darwin-botherer so much attention?

Amfortas said...

And why does Rick Santorum see evolution as some sort of radical standpoint, which is quite at odds with the Magisterium?

gemoftheocean said...

Amfortas, I think you are buying into the liberal media's portrayal of Santorum's beliefs as one who comes from a knuckledragger idiot mindset.

If you read what he actually posited, there should be no argument. I suggest you start here and here.

A relevant pull quote from the former: "The Santorum Amendment did not mandate teaching intelligent design, nor did it encourage teaching creationism or religion in the classroom. Instead, it encouraged open discussion and inquiry by teachers and students of the evidence both for and against controversial scientific theories such as Darwin's theory of evolution."

People trying to paint Santorum as someone who believes the earth is only 4000 years old are the ones in the wrong.

As far as I was told in my Catholic high school was that as long as you believe that at some point God decided to infuse a soul in a being, and that all us humans on earth were descended from the same lineage, we were 'good to go.' Santorum and I are of the same age, so I can't believe he was taught any different.

What Santorum objects to (as do most Americans) is the belief that creation was caused by randomness in the universe i.e. things just floating around in the void. Well, fine but where do those things come from? Intelligent design and creationism are not the same. Intelligent design is compatible with many parts of evolution, but it does not buy into the Darwinian belief that evolution is a blind and undirected process. [You know, like those Darwin Botherers promote.]

Santorum merely wished to put a stop to Darwinism being taught as a slam dunk and water tight.

Amfortas said...

Gem, what worries me is the description of evolution as a 'controversial scientific theory'. I guess it is controversial in the United States. It would be unfortunate if we started to adopt this view in Catholic circles as a reaction to the rhetoric of Dawkins and co. As I understand it creationism is in large part an Evangelical Protestant invention (Creation is quite a different thing and it is compatible with evolution). Intelligent design is really a rhetorical device to slip a creationist view in by the back door. Having said all of this, I'm quite willing to accept that I may have misunderstood Santorum's position. On the whole he looks like a more credible candidate than Newt.

nickbris said...

Most of us have always thought that Atheists and Humanists are a bit fraudulent and not really worth bothering about.

Muslims don't give them a second thought because they know how ridiculous they really are.

They do get plenty of time on TV and Radio but this time it badly misfired.

Amfortas said...

To clarify, I have a problem with trying to establish something called 'intelligent design' as a scientific theory to rival evolution. That way lies obscurantism. Theology is not another branch of the natural sciences, just as Genesis is not a literal description of the beginnings of the universe.

Et Expecto said...

This is a transcription of the relevant bit:

Frazer: "If I asked you to give the full title of Darwin's book, I am sure that you could."

Dorkins: "Yes I could."

Frazer: "What is it?"

Dorkins: "On the origin of species.....err...um...with...urr...I cannot think...urr... on the origin of...species...um...err...with respect... to preservation of favoured...races in the fight ...in the struggle for...life..."

At thie point the interviewer interupts.

Mr Grumpy said...

Everyone's massaging Fraser's already healthily-developed ego over this but it seems to me he bowled a rather tame delivery and Dawkins fortuitously tripped over his feet. All he had to do was point out that he doesn't regard "The Origin of Species" as a sacred text.

I imagine you have a fair idea as to which members of your flock are Bible-readers, and that you would take it for granted that those who are could name Matthew as the first Gospel. It's a problem that there aren't more of them, as the Pope clearly acknowledges in Verbum Domini.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Quite right!

Lynda said...

Fr Spitzer's books on cosmology and the Supreme Intelligent Designer are highly recommended reading. As for biology, Darwin's theories of evolution, have become rather overtaken in recent decades by wild speculation on the part of evolutionist ideologues. The currently available evidence, as regards mammalian species, at any rate, is that there were not gradual changes of one species into another, but that new species appeared fully finished, as it were. And the Life Sciences, and indeed the whole scientific mode of enquiry into the material world, developed out of the inspiration and wisdom of Theology.

Delia said...

What a chump the man is! If one were to do a survey of the people who accepted the theory of evolution, and only 0.1 per cent said that they did, would Dawkins accept that it was any less true? Of course he wouldn't! Well, same goes for Christianity. He really is scraping the barrel for ideas now. Must be getting desperate.

nickbris said...

There wouldn't be lot of intelligent design coming from this neck of the woods.God help us.

Anonymous said...

I heard this interview live on the To-day programme and was so irritated until Dawkins in his stumbling reply to Fraser's question said........." Oh God " Yes, he did ! At that point my heart melted and I think God smiled.


RJ said...

Perhaps we need to tackle atheists on their own ground. If they are materialists, we should point out that their position is irrational since materialism implies determinism, i.e. everything, including Dawkins arguments and conclusions and those of his opponents, are merely the product of physical laws. If this were the case, then neither Dawkins or those with whom he disagrees would be telling the truth because there wouldn't be such a thing as truth telling. Clearly, however, Dawkins does believe he is telling the truth. Therefore, he can't have noticed what his materialism commits him to.

Paulinus said...

The more I've thought about it the more important question might be to ask atheists the names of prominent atheist thinkers, other than the Great Chicken Counter.

Ask a Christian, even a nominal Christian, to name prominent Christians, they might reply Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul, St Francis of Assisi.

Do you think most 'atheists' could name Daniel Dennet, AC Grayling, Alex Rosenburg or Bertrand Russell? I suspect not. An even smaller, vanishingly small proprtion will have read any, but they'll still take time to witter in blogs about 'sky-pixies' and 'imaginary friends' and 'Flying Spaghetti Monsters'.

'Atheism' is about as unthinking in most cases as nominal Christianity. Which is why the NSS is so reluctant to give the size of its membership (<10,000 members IIRC).

Like Islamists they make a lot of sound and fury, but are representative of a very small proportion of the population.

It's a good evolutionary strategy, however, rather like those small animals that can make themselves look much bigger by puffing out their fur.

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