Eastern Kentucky University, in the heart of the Bible belt (Richmond, KY), played host to atheist biologist Richard Dawkins this past Thursday with a crowd of over 2200. Dawkins promoted his latest book titled “The Magic of Reality.” He left the bulk of the program of questions and criticism of religion (mainly Christianity) to his disciple, Sean Faircloth.
Faircloth runs the American office of Richard Dawkins’ Foundation and is the author of “Attack of the Theocrats.” He formerly served in Maine’s legislature.
Some points Dawkins made during his presentation:
- Darwin’s process of natural selection showed that “non-random mutations over many generations” brought forth complex adaptations in life forms.
- It’s foolish to field questions about who the first person was.
- If you go back 185 million generations, you will discover that the “great-grandparent of humans today was a fish.”
- Most of Faircloth’s knowledge of the Bible came from his reading a children’s (illustrated) Bible when he was 12 traveling on vacation with his family.
- It was ridiculous for God to test Abraham’s loyalty by commanding him to kill his son Isaac.
- He criticized a mother in Tennessee who believed in faith healing and caused her teen daughter’s death when she refused medical attention to have a tumor on her daughter’s shoulder removed.
- He mocked the Creation Museum’s account of how baby dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s Ark since dinosaurs were too big to fit on the ark.
- It is unfair for atheists to be asked how they can be moral without God when the focus should be on repealing laws that defer to religion that end up causing the suffering and death of children.
My response to Dawkins’ points:
- If the first & third points that Dawkins mentioned above were true, then why is it indisputable scientific fact that mutations, even when non-random, are replication errors in the DNA of all life forms? Mutations have never been improvements like we see in the fantasy world of Marvel’s X-Men. Science has proven DNA errors happen in spite of environmental conditions and that the environment does not cause new or additional mutations to pop up. Additionally, environmental changes that may lead to mutations result in sickness or death, not in the improvement of the life form.
- If fish are a distant ancestor of humans, in the 185 million generations of changes that Dawkins claims happened, there should be overwhelming evidence in the fossil record of how a certain type of life form was the bridge leading to other types of life forms after it. If fish were our ancestors, science would be able to prove notable advantages of mutations and notable biological advantages of specific changes in specific life forms that possibly could be transitional. Furthermore, it would be possible to “identify genetic models that demonstrate that such intermediaries [transitional life forms] could have arisen.” [Vij Sodera. One Small Speck to Man: the Evolution Myth. [London?]: Vij Sodera Productions. 2nd ed. revised. 2009, p. 263]. Since the evidence is non-existent on all of these counts, we can conclude no type of life form has morphed into a totally different type of life form. Humans have always been human.
- If Dawkins thinks questions about who the first human was are nonsense, why does he examine questions about who the first human ancestor was? Knowing who the first human was helps us know about why we are the way we are today and gives us an idea of where we should go from here. Isn’t this one of the reasons why he’s so preoccupied with evolution?
My response to Faircloth’s points:
- Having knowledge of the Bible based on a children’s edition is very limited knowledge of the Bible.
- God never intended for Abraham to kill his son and Abraham knew God was so righteous that death would not be the ultimate outcome for Isaac. God knew Abraham and Isaac’s faith would be stronger by going through this test. A parent of a sick child faces a whole lot more than what Abraham went through when they let their child undergo serious surgery for an ailment knowing they could possibly die in the end. But do atheists attack such parents?
- The Bible doesn’t condemn seeking medical treatment & teaches that God prefers mercy over sacrifice, so the misguided views of a few cannot be used to validate the condemnation of Christianity in general. Paul told Timothy to take wine medicinally (a medically-proven remedy) to help his stomach and other sicknesses in 1 Timothy 5:23. The woman with an issue of blood was not condemned for seeing doctors in Luke 8, but only after the doctors failed did she go see Jesus for healing. God gives us wisdom, knowledge, and faith and they work in tandem when God points us to the right doctor for our needs. They also work when God tells us not to put our complete faith in doctors.
- The Creation Museum in northern Kentucky is correct in its view of dinosaurs on the Ark. Their view is based on the fact fossils of young dinosaurs have been found and they are small enough for the ark. Fossils (though few in number) have also been found showing that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. Evolutionists hide this evidence or shoot it down because it debunks their myths.
- How can questioning atheists about their morals be unfair when they feel its their right to question the morals of those who don’t share their views? Faircloth is basically saying “We can question Christians all we want, but who are they to question us?” This highlights their hypocrisy and delusions of grandeur, telling themselves they are too superior to be questioned.
For men who claim to be so scientific, they apparently lack scientific knowledge. For these men to claim they have such advanced reasoning skills, their arguments certainly lack reason.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. …How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:7, 22.
Bill Robinson. Overflow audience hears less strident Richard Dawkins. Richmond Register. October 8, 2011.
Bill Robinson. Dawkins associate takes on religion in EKU address. Richmond Register. October 8, 2011.
Vij Sodera. One Small Speck to Man: the Evolution Myth. [London?]: Vij Sodera Productions. 2nd ed. revised. 2009, pp. 83, 263
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–