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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fan mail for Richard Dawkins from, of all places, New Scientist

I mean, really, whodathunkit? I haven't got the book Greatest Show on Earth yet - Bantam's publicist could always get in touch with me at, if she wants to send me a copy.

What's interesting to me is that Randy "Flock of Dodos" Olson, referring to Dawkins's constant free insults, says
Dawkins provides a transcript of his interview with the president of Concerned Women for America which reads like a Monty Python skit as the woman, a bullheaded creationist, simply answers all of Dawkins's sophisticated argumentation by saying she's not convinced - like a cartoon character standing in front of a hail of bullets taunting, "You missed me."

It's a shame Dawkins couldn't take a few tips from his atheist colleague Jerry Coyne. Coyne's powerful and popular book [Why Evolution Is True] was, to quote Booklist, "far more presentational than disputatious". That is a desperately needed attribute these days in making the convincing - and persuasive - case for evolution.
In short, Olson is virtually admitting that, in his view, Dawkins did not make a very effective case, but he does quite the fancy dance around admitting it.

But Dawkins refuses to debate educated people who doubt his theories, like Michael Behe. People like Olson and institutions like New Scientist help him get away with this because they need to believe so badly that if they suspect he laid an egg, they could not admit it to themselves, never mind to others.

Anyway, Olson's suggestion won't work. No one believes for a moment that any of these people regard the public that pays their bills with other than the contempt born of sublime, unjustifiable arrogance. Not only does that attitude leak out all over, but - in my experience - in any situation where they get the upper hand, everyone else is expected to just shut up and believe whatever they say, even if what they say is as ridiculous as the ramblings of "evolutionary" psychology.

But things are changing. As I have written elsewhere, "evolutionary" psychology has started to take a well-deserved beating, despite the fact that evolutionary biologists have generally refused to denounce it. Their attitude reveals their reckless arrogance because, apart from a few figures like "selfish gene" Dawkins, they didn't even create that monster!

They could have just cut loose nonsense like the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution without harm to their current beliefs, in the same way that the Catholic Church, which accepts miracles in principle, can say that a local housewife's claims are "not of interest to the faithful." But the Darwinists, unlike the Catholic Church, never thought that the good sense of educated non-members or doubters would matter. We'll see.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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