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Outgrowing Atheism – It’s Time For Richard Dawkins to Grow Up

(This weeks article on Christian Today – you can read the original here).

Outgrowing Atheism: it’s time for Richard Dawkins to grow up

Richard Dawkins
Atheist bestselling author Richard DawkinsYouTube/Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

Although its readers were to name him one of the top three intellectuals in the world, Prospect magazine gave a scathing review to Richard Dawkins’ anti-religion polemic The God Delusion, writing at the time, “It has been obvious for years that Richard Dawkins had a fat book on religion in him, but who would have thought him capable of writing one this bad? Incurious, dogmatic, rambling and self-contradictory, it has none of the style or verve of his earlier works.” That did not stop TGD becoming a multi-million copy bestseller.

At a personal level I am thankful to Richard Dawkins because he opened the door for me1845502612 and others to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to tens of thousands who would not have heard it otherwise. In fact, I have met more people who were converted to Christ through Dawkins, than have been converted to atheism. I wrote a book called The Dawkins Letters, which the Lord still continues to use.

There was however a down side to this – the level of vitriol from what I came to recognise as the New Fundamentalist Atheists, was at times overwhelming – something which rather sadly was encouraged by Dawkins with his mocking and sneering tone. And the arguments Dawkins used (largely borrowed from previous atheists such as Bertrand Russell) although simplistic and naïve, were repeated ad nauseum in schools and through the secular media.

31g9piv4-TL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_Which brings us on to Outgrowing God: A Beginners Guide, Dawkins latest book, published on September 19. It is designed for young people so I was interested and intrigued by what he would say. Had his argument developed? Would he have taken account of the weaknesses? Would he be able to explain and discuss in such a way that young people could grasp and think for themselves?

The arguments he uses are just a rehash of those in TGD, as are many of the illustrations and stories. So we have all the old ones – atheists just worship one god less; evolution proves there is no God; you don’t need God for morality; and of course the oldie but goldie, ‘who created God, then?’.

He’s even got the same old stories and illustrations – the cargo cult, the universe where you have a green moustache, the (mis) citation of Hitler etc.

Dawkins pontificates as though he were an expert in subjects which he knows very little about. Space does not permit me to list all the subtle and howling errors. But here are a few of the simplistic lowlights.

People worship Jesus all over the world today because of a historical accident in AD 312; the Trinity is polytheistic. Paul says virtually nothing about the life of Jesus. Until now nobody doubted the Gospels. Revelation was the inspiration for the doctrine of the rapture. There is little or no evidence for the existence of Abraham, David, Moses and perhaps Jesus didn’t even exist. If he did, he may have said some cool things but he really was not nice.

Dawkins does strain at gnats while swallowing camels. He is so desperate to disprove the Bible that he will grab any bit of confirmation bias he can. He confidently asserts knowledge he does not have. One example is his claim that Abraham could not have existed when Genesis said he did (2nd millennium BC) because camels (mentioned in Genesis) were not domesticated until hundreds of years afterwards – and yet we have evidence of camels being used in the 3rd millennium BC.

If you want to understand how Dawkins works, take this example: “No serious scholar today thinks that the Gospels were written by eye-witnesses.”

Serious Scholar?

Here you need to grasp how Dawkins uses language. “Serious scholar” means ‘someone who agrees with me’. If they don’t they obviously can be neither serious nor a scholar. Which is why he can dismiss, if he even knows about, Professor Richard Bauckham of the University of St Andrews, whose serious scholarly work Jesus and the Eyewitness is an authoritative piece of academic research.

Likewise when Dawkins confidently asserts that no “educated theologian” believes that Adam and Eve, or Noah is history. But I’m educated (two degrees) and I’m a theologian, and I believe they are history. I may be wrong. But Dawkins’ simplistic Emperor’s clothes attitude – ‘any intelligent person will see that the Emperor is wearing the finest clothes’ – is easily exposed.

One of my favourites is his repeated argument that there is very little about Jesus in the contemporary written histories of the first century. Why should there be? Jesus was a Jewish peasant on the fringes of the Empire who died an ignominious but not uncommon death. Why would any contemporary historian write about him?

Or how about this: “‘Isn’t it remarkable that almost every child follows the same religion as their parents, and it always just happens to be the right religion!” Dawkins misses out the rather obvious point that this is also true for secular atheists – whose children happen to follow their position – which remarkably happens to be just the right position!

Then there is the unlikely anecdotal hearsay evidence that he uses, for example, when he asserts that when he asks Christians what the Ten Commandments are, they can only remember one – ‘thou shalt not kill’. Either his Christian acquaintances are extremely limited or he’s not telling the truth. Most of us can remember about not stealing, committing adultery, keeping the Sabbath, etc.

He is also not averse to twisting the Bible to make it mean what he wants it to mean: “What the Sixth Commandment originally meant was ‘Thou shalt not kill members of thine own tribe.'”

The Atheist Faith

But it’s not just in his attempt to diss the Bible that Dawkins shows both illogicality and a lack of knowledge. It’s also when he asserts his own faith. To him evolution is much more than a scientific theory that explains how life develops – it is the theory of everything. It proves that things are getting better – including wars, human morality and the world in general.

Whilst mocking the God of the gaps argument (an argument that we do not use) he sets up his own blind faith – the science of the gaps. We don’t know but one day science will be able to explain (and sort) everything. He believes so passionately that science and Christianity are opposed that he cannot seem to comprehend the many Christians who are scientists.

One area where I was surprised was his argument for abortion:“You can define a fertilized egg as a human being if you like. But it doesn’t have a nervous system, so it can’t suffer. It doesn’t know it’s been aborted, feels no fear or regret. A woman has a nervous system.”

If Dawkins were being consistent and logical, this would mean that he is opposed to all abortion after a few weeks – when the baby does have a nervous system.

He is hopelessly all over the place with morality.  On the one hand, he argues that the universe has no moral properties, and that there should be no lines and boundaries. On the other, he argues against the “immorality” of the Bible and for the absolutist belief that “causing suffering is wrong” – unless of course it is the suffering of the unborn child, or the Christian who is refused the right to educate their child according to their faith.

Conclusion

In summary, all I can say is that he’s done it again. Richard Dawkins has managed to produce a book on theology, history, philosophy, ethics and science that is even worse than his first.

Outgrowing God is a dumbed down version of TGD, which itself was a dumbed down version of more classical atheist arguments. Apart from the half of the book that is about evolution and where the writing is at times beautiful and often informative, it is poorly written, badly researched and relies on ridicule and ad hominem rather than rational and intelligent discussion.

Dawkins wants to assure us that the atheist emperor is covered in a fine robe of scientific rationalism. He argues that those who do not see this are ‘uneducated’ and to be frank, quite thick. Of course there are those in the fawning interviews and book reviews who will declare that the emperor is fully clothed and in his right mind. But his book only demonstrates that the emperor is naked.

The childish arguments and sneering mockery only show his inability to see beyond his own prejudices and preconceptions. It’s time for him to outgrow his atheism and mature in his thinking. If our society follows the philosophy and faith of Dawkins we will be heading into a dark abyss. It’s time for another Christian Enlightenment.

David Robertson is director of Third Space in Sydney and blogs at www.theweeflea.com

Quantum 60 – The One with Israel, Dawkins, Qantas, Freedom, EU Empire, Social Constuctionist, Pride at Proms, Hong Kong Anthem, Extinction Rebellion, Plant Prayer

A.S.K 10 – The Uncreated God

The Atheist Cacangelist

PS.  If you want a book for teenagers then I would suggest this one instead!

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44 comments

  1. On the basis of his own beliefs, Dawkins should acknowledge that religions, too, are the product of evolution and have appeared because they serve the purposes of the ‘selfish genes.’ If religions have evolved to provide a survival advantage, then isn’t Dawkins at odds with evolutionary progress when he disses religions?

  2. Excellent article David, absolutely right on target. Sadly RD was given a slot on the Jeremy Vine Radio show on BBC Radio 2 yesterday (20th), flaunting his new book. Also sadly, were some of the Christians who rang in to ‘confront’ RD with their own testimonies of the reality of God in their personal experience, but he just swatted them away as mere anecdotal evidence that can’t be supported by Science. RD needed a more robust reply from someone like you, and it’s a shame that the BBC bias against Christianity means that the leading apologists won’t be invited to challenge RD’s poorly constructed arguments, and share the other half of the story! A lively lunchtime debate between RD and yourself/John Lennox would give the listening public a chance to make up their own minds, rather than be fed the rather arrogant view that those who have faith are uneducated and need to be taught what to think!

  3. David,
    There are no people so bound to the tenets of their religion as those who think that they don’t have one.
    Yours,
    John/.

  4. That’s absolutely right, Ark,
    except that those who falsely claim to have the relationship with Jesus Christ are in a double bind.
    I, of course, am bound to make the claim for my fellow Christians — being in that same binding relationship — that what we are bound to is the Truth. If — in order to avoid being ‘ritualistic’ — we forego the daily comfort and challenge of reading the Bible: that’s just plain daft. The need to acknowledge both religion and relationship makes ‘speaking the truth in love’ [Ephesians 4:15] the epitome of Christian maturity.

    For Richard Dawkins and all who agree with him in this, his religion-acknowledgement problem is exacerbated by his determination to pin all the evil in the world on to the granfaloon that he calls ‘Religion.’ Because of this he is constantly digging traps into which he promptly falls himself. For example, he fulminates against anyone voicing the truism that Evolution is only a theory believing that by doing so we are denying evolution’s factual basis.
    Not so in your case, at least, Richard, for with all the acknowledgement of what a theory is in scientific usage, it’s you who anathematises everyone who as much as doubts your Evolutionism, who needs to hear from someone whose scientific nounce you respect and honour, ‘Richard, Evolution is only a theory!’
    Is there such a person?
    I wonder,
    Yours,
    John/.

      1. Good question, Ark.
        I’ve already labelled it Evolutionism in my previous post because of his Evolution-is-more-than-just-a-fact attitude. What’s more important than any label, however, is that denial of being religious is a major article of his creed and he tries to impose a definition of ‘Faith’ that will permit him to say that he has none. He dug this trap for himself when he decided to attack ‘Religion’ as the root of all evil and made it necessary for him to have to repeat religiously that he has no religion.
        His point about the widespread nature of evil is better made in the Christian doctrine of the sinfulness of man; his attempt to blame man’s religiosity instead fails because of the naked intention to exonerate himself and anyone else who can pronounce his shibboleths.
        Yours,
        John/.

      1. Nice try, Ark,
        but just because you give a sectarian, idolatrous religion a label that its prophets don’t like doesn’t mean that it isn’t a religion and an organised religion to boot.
        Ironically, Evolutionism is so keen not to be classed as a religion that it attributes to many recognised religions, features that they don’t have but it actually does. John Gray — in Seven Types of Atheism — is quite pointed in his criticism:-

        The smears and fulminations of the ‘new atheists’ make sense only in a specifically Christian context, and even then only within a few subsets of the Christian religion.

        Yours,
        John/.

    1. Why link to this? Was it meant with a sense of irony? What were you trying to demonstrate? That article is reuplsive on so many levels, not just the blatant anti-semitism.

  5. Relax, Prof Oliver is safely ensconced Below. Mind you, the wearer of the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat may face some intellectual Donnybrooks.

  6. If Dawkins is right and there is no God, then what is the hope for mankind? That’s not a rhetorical question: what is the hope? Is it in the intelligence of other humans? The same intelligence that’s brought us wars, hatred, environmental destruction and The Partridge Family? But what he conveniently ignores is the millions upon millions of testimonies of people who have experienced miracles — healings, life changes, changes in thinking so diametrically opposed to one’s nature that they can only be attributed to God, getting through to us. That willful blindness is not “reason”, but defies evidence; and the denying of hope for eternity is, as CS Lewis has pointed out, a key factor in the success of totalitarian regimes.

    1. Dawkins doesn’t ignore the testimony of miracles, he just isn’t convinced by them.

      Are you convinced by the testimony of miracles performed by the gods of other faiths?

      1. David you just won’t accept the fact that there are millions of people who do not accept what people of faith regard as “evidence” for miracles.

        What evidence do you have for miracles?

        Do you accept the “evidence” for miracles ascribed to other faiths – or do you just ignore them? Well you if you are honest you will have to answer that you ignore them, because you believe the Christian god is the one true god and the rest are false.

        Atheists just believe all gods are false.

      2. Yes J know what atheists believe. It’s a special kind of blind faith. And no I don’t necessarily believe that all miracles from other faiths are false. That’s honesty for you! Please don’t make up what I believe. Learn to listen.

      3. It comes as no surprise, John,
        that there are very large numbers of people for whom unbelief in miracles is an article of faith. What remains to be seen is if those numbers are continuing to grow; there seems to be some empirical evidence that in the western world miracles are not the stumbling block for the younger generation that they were for their fathers (a.k.a. men over fifty.) Obviously there are exceptions both ways but we’re talking trends and tendencies.
        Furthermore, the normalisation of vocal scepticism about miracles took place against the background of ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius,’ etc. which is ironic when many astrologers claim that the rise of scientific rationalism is evidence that we are in the age of Aquarius. The Christian reaction to all that has not been to look for evidence for or against but simply to not read horoscopes. As the what’s-your-sign? craze has withered away, younger people who weren’t exposed to it don’t have the same antipathy towards miracles.
        Also, miracles don’t seem so quaint when compared with Big Bang theory.

        What does go across the generational divide is a demand for evidence, even for things for which there can be no direct evidence; such as most miracles. There is a danger that the clamour for evidence — driven, as it is, by people who are quite frankly evidence-resistent — could make it next to impossible to do historiography but historians are pulling back from that particular disaster.
        The heaping up of all miracle claims in order to dismiss them en masse enables a true unbeliever such as Dawkins to shrug off the claims of the Resurrection of Jesus without due examination of the evidence. It may well be the case that History as a rigid discipline cannot say that Jesus rose from the dead but by the same rule it must acknowledge that a large range of people in different circumstances indubitably saw the Risen Christ.

        It might seem like a good self-satisfying argument to say that atheists just don’t believe in one more god than Christians don’t believe in but in fact all that happens is that unbelief raises up a whole raft of new idols as objects of worship.

        Times of extraordinary numbers of miracles occurred in Bible times when there was extraordinary pressure to worship other Gods. It seems very clear to me that the extraordinary and ongoing piling up of evidence for the veracity of Scripture in the last few years flies right in the face of the demands for evidence from those with a vested interest in not seeing it when it’s there.

        Yours,
        John/.

      4. Interesting point. Since there is only one God, I would reply that those miracles are cases of Him, reaching out to everyone, even those who haven’t met Him yet. That’s the immense love He has for ALL people (that’s my favourite word in the Bible, by the way: “all”): that He will relieve pain and suffering in people, regardless of what they believe at the time. (https://twominutesforcrosschecking.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/my-favorite-word/)

      5. So you acknowledge that miracles attributed to the gods of other faiths can be genuine David as that’s what you appear to be saying.

        Correct me if I’m wrong.

  7. I hope you will allow this comment past your censorship and moderation WeeFled.

    Peer-review by equal or more acclaimed, and more achieved scholars, experts, all utilizing the most advance techniques and analytical equipment is hands down the best method for hedging against corrupting contaminating bias by ONE person’s claims and premises. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Jennifer Hecht, Lawrence M. Krauss, Michael L. Martin, Julian Baggini, Kai Nielsen, Patricia Churchland, Quentin Smith, Daniel Dennett, E.O. Wilson, Peter Atkins, Peter Singer, the late Stephen Hawking, and at least 40-50 more honored non-Theists easily qualify for an equitable contribution in critical-analysis of Superstitions or religions. The more diverse in number and viewpoint the better! In fact, if one never incorporates ALL available viewpoints, or very very little—like one person, Dawkins—then they will always be considered as biased, part of a Kangaroo court, judge, and jury. Plain and simple.

    1. Would you like to tell us when did Dawkins last have a peer reviewed paper published? And when did he ever have a peer reviewed paper in history, theology, philosophy or logic published? The fact that you think Harris, Atkins, Singer, Dawkins etc are ‘diverse’ (all of them being new fundie atheists) is quite amusing…!

      1. @ WeeFled,

        Well, everyone is entitled to personal opinions such as yours, but the information you ask about is readily available online to anyone as well as via contact with him or the University of Oxford, UK for starters. Nevertheless, I’ll give a brief list here of his citations to his work, academic-journal publications, articles, and published books:

        • Over 45 scholarly citations between 1969-2010 (source can be provided)

        • 18 articles published between 1992-2008 (source can be provided)

        • 34 academic-journal publications between 1968-2004 (source can be provided)

        • At least 16 published books between 1976-2019 (source can be provided)

        • A plethora of awards, honors, and accolades too many to list here, but most notable are ZSL Silver Medal (1989), Michael Faraday Prize (1990), International Cosmos Prize (1997), Nierenberg Prize (2009), and a prestigious Fellowship to the Royal Society (2001) which needs no explanation at all.

        Everything you seek can be found in the above list regarding Dawkin’s peer-reviewed works. Everything. It speaks for itself why he is one of the premier scholars in the world.

        History, theology, philosophy, or logic? This isn’t really relevant to my comment (explained later below) because you haven’t had any publications in microbiology, genetics, astrophysics, or Quantum Mechanics. LOL Neither have I for that matter! But many of us have a basic or novice level education/awareness of those fields. What I think you are confusing (intentionally?) or you’re not clear about is that the most elite peer-reviewed experts, scholars, researchers, etc, in the world come from the world’s most elite, reputable, peer-reviewed Top 10-20 institutions on the globe. All of which have a CV and dossier like Richard Dawkin’s I gave above.

        Now, to reclarify what my initial comment was explicitly saying was in order to guard, hedge against personal or group bias, corruption, and fallacy is to have one’s work peer-reviewed by the most renown experts in the world; the more the better. What it was implicitly saying was your work Mr. Robertson severely LACKS this level of peer-reviewed and diverse critique making your blog and writing here only visited/read by many like-minded, perhaps identically-minded, less achieved Browsers who echo your personal viewpoints. Typically you Moderate, edit, or censor/delete feedback from your opponents and those who challenge your personal postures. Nevertheless, what you missed from my initial comment is that solo, singular authoritarian proclamations within a biased group/populace IS NOT a source of truth, precision, fact, or plausibility. The bigger the review-panel, the more errors, fraud, implausibility, and poor logic is weeded out. That’s the point you missed or avoided.

        I appreciate your compliment about being amused. I find the same comical amusement every time I visit here. It’s a win-win for us, huh?

        Thanks for allowing my initial comment and hopefully this response too. Enjoy the rest of the week Dave. 🙂

      2. The question I asked was whether Dawkins had done any peer-reviewed work in the past two decades….the answer is no. Which completely negates your point.

        Given that I wasn’t writing about microbiology, genetics, astrophysics or Quantum mechanics I’m not sure why you think I should have peer reviewed articles on them. I was just simply pointing out that Dawkins does not have any knowledge or expertise in the fields he writes about in his latest diatribe – history, philosophy and theology.

        I don’t know of any scholar who would cite Dawkins as one of the premier scholars in the world- in anything other than his specialised field…microbiology.

        I’m somewhat amused that you think that my blog is read only by like minded and ‘less achieved ‘- hows that for snobbery! Given the feedback I get I know many people who read this who don’t agree….and your idea that one’s opinion only counts if it is peer reviewed academic is both elitist and logical nonsense.

        No – I don’t moderate/delete/censor feedback from opponents – I do moderate because I do not want my blog to be taken over by those who demean, mock, abuse and turn every internet forum into a cesspit. I publish plenty views on here which are opposed to mine.

        Where we do agree is in your statement “solo, singular authoritarian proclamations within a biased group/populace IS NOT a source of truth, precision, fact, or plausibility.”. Exactly. That is why Dawkins book is so laughable. If he had had it peer reviewed it would never have been published!

      3. The question I asked was whether Dawkins had done any peer-reviewed work in the past two decades….the answer is no.

        No, on the contrary, all those bullet-points either implicitly or explicitly DO show peer-reviewed discussions and challenges to Dawkins’ work over MORE than 2-decades. Thus, I completely disagree with your interpretation of what I and Dawkins has provided.

        No – I don’t moderate/delete/censor feedback from opponents – I do moderate because I do not want my blog to be taken over by those who demean, mock, abuse and turn every internet forum into a cesspit. I publish plenty views on here which are opposed to mine.

        Well, that is certainly a matter of personal opinion UNLESS you’d like to provide the hard data/statistics showing otherwise? (wink) There are many comments I’ve submitted that you never posted or allowed to continue to its end a counter-view and counter-points.

        Where we do agree is in your statement “solo, singular authoritarian proclamations within a biased group/populace IS NOT a source of truth, precision, fact, or plausibility.”. Exactly. That is why Dawkins book is so laughable. If he had had it peer reviewed it would never have been published!

        Actually in fact, you are mistaken David. We don’t agree. You feeling laughable about Dawkins’ book is a personal opinion based upon your subjective knowledge and experience on the subject(s). Let’s be fair and accurate about that. And furthermore, some type of human fear of being critiqued or corrected is never a legitimate reason NOT to publish a fine piece of work. You have done the exact same thing with several of your publications. It doesn’t make them universally true or rational. That decision is for your peers, i.e. peers of ALL persuasions, backgrounds, education, and experience.

        Once again, thanks for allowing this 2nd comment-reply and not censoring it! I hope this one gets thru your censorship as well. (wink)

        Have a good weekend Dave.

      4. You are still avoiding the question. Which is not whether other people have commented on Dawkins but has he done any peer reviewed work at all (he has not. Look at when he last had a peer reviewed paper published). And he has no expertise in the subjects he is pontificating about in his latest book (other than biology). His reliance on a dodgy website for his history being just one example.

        No it’s not a matter of personal opinion that I permit comments by those who disagree. It’s a matter of observable fact. I also feel no need whatsoever to justify my practices to you.

        My opinion about Dawkins ignorance of history is not subjective but easily demonstrated – as I already did. You seem to want to demean anyone who disagrees with you by the cheap and false jibe ‘that just your subjective opinion).

      5. You are still avoiding the question.

        No, I disagree. These initial three bullet-points in my original reply answered that question:

        • 18 articles published between 1992-2008 (source can be provided)

        • 34 academic-journal publications between 1968-2004 (source can be provided)

        • At least 16 published books between 1976-2019 (source can be provided)

        Specifically, they are published to the general public as well as available for scholarly peer-reviews from (look above) 1968 to 2019. Several peer-scholars have reviewed Dawkins works. You are missing the fact that what defines “Peer” is the problem, the ambiguity. How many would consider your review/critique as an equal Peer? That is somewhat a rhetorical question.

        It’s a matter of observable fact.

        Which is best determined by a large diverse panel/group of related experts/scholars. I’m am quite sure your personal viewpoint or world-views DO NOT represent the majority. Your “observable facts” are what you determine by your subjective, theological methods. Those are not representative of a cumulative group of wide-ranging diversity. “Observable facts” are not exclusive to any one group of faith-beliefs. Your ideology is subject to everyone else’s criticisms. It isn’t a question of whether you like your perceptions justified or not, everyone’s practices must always be weighed against the cumulative body of beliefs! Authority has never been granted to any ONE person or group—that is what I think you are mistaken about.

        My opinion about Dawkins ignorance of history is not subjective but easily demonstrated – as I already did.

        Demonstrated by whom and what objective standard? A large diverse group of secular and religious scholars in the field, or purely strictly from Reformed Protestant New Calvinism—a tiny majority in the world and in academia? And it isn’t ME that represents the rest of the educated world or historians or 1st-century Greco-Roman Christology, it is the available scholarly material and lifetime works of MANY various renown experts, some of which I listed in my original comment.

        Thanks for allowing this 3rd comment-reply. I hope you continue to NOT censor so many comments and full discussions/debates on your blog-topics. You’ve scored some Decency Points there. Congratulations. 🙂

      6. Again you avoid the question – and since this is becoming boring unless you can answer it your next attempt to avoid the answer will not be published! I didn’t ask if Dawkins was accepted or cited by people who have been peer reviewed. I asked when did he last do a peer reviewed piece of work…and the answer is not for at least 20 years. In fact it was one of his colleagues who put me on to this – pointing out that Dawkins has been doing virtually no science for many years – and certainly no serious peer reviewed work.

        I’m also sure that my views do not represent the majority – although it does depend what views you are referring to! But I have never accepted that truth is determined by majority.

        Your view of history seems somewhat weird. I’m not sure there is a Reformed Protestant New Calvinist view of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Dawkins stated it was Sumerian…it isn’t – it is Akkadian. It appears as though his source was a bizarre website called HIstoryWiz….I have given other examples of his laughable misuse of history – and yet because you like his ideology you defend his ignorance.

        I’ll leave your last comment – where it belongs – in the patronising section. Enjoy your weekend…

      7. I do appreciate you continuing our disagreements up to this point and hopefully you’ll allow my further comments on Peer-review thru to its completion rather than by your personal boredom. The former would be the more equitable choice.

        Let’s not forget my original statement/comment which is exactly this:

        Peer-review by equal or more acclaimed, and more achieved scholars, experts, all utilizing the most advance techniques and analytical equipment is hands down the best method for hedging against corrupting contaminating bias by ONE person’s claims and premises.

        I then listed 13 specific names of notable and renown scientists, some of whom are colleagues of Dawkins, as an example of a Peer-reviewing panel/group. There are probably 40-50 more reputable scientists that could be included—the larger the group, the better and more capable of hedging against corrupting contaminating bias by ONE person’s claims and premises. Now, please bear with me here David while I break this down further for you and then at the end I will answer your initial question is as much detail as is possible… and what I HOPE you will allow thru your censoring.

        What can be inferred by my original comment is that with a WIDER Peer-reviewing group of experts and other scholars/experts in the identical field as Dawkins, or whomever, would carry the most weight to the general public with their critical-analysis of a subject/theory published merely by 1-or-more in that specific discipline. In this particular case that would be all other renown Ethologists and/or Evolutionary biologists… OR from very similar disciplines where there is crossover. Because all specializations under today’s science’s umbrella are vast with numerous disciplines/sub-disciplines and have multiple crossovers with each other, it is quite easy to find (or attain) completed Peer-reviews. For starters, I have found these five:

        • Lawrence M. Krauss (as I listed initially) reviewed Dawkins as early as 2011 and has toured with Dawkins in “Something from Nothing” up thru at least 2012.

        • Daniel Dennett (as I also listed initially) reviewed Dawkins as early as 2007 and continues as an ally with Dawkins at least thru Jan. 2019.

        • Michael J. Ryan – University of Texas Austin in Palaeontology began reviewing Dawkins as early as 2005 and has thru at least 2018 with his work: A Taste for the Beautiful: The Evolution of Attraction.

        And just to show my original point of equitable Peer-reviews, here are two scientific opponents of Dawkins’ work in evolution:

        • Michael Behe – Biological Sciences at Lehigh University and grad of U Penn’s Biochemistry program is a critic of Dawkins, last in 2007.

        • Stephen C. Meyer – Physics & Earth-sciences from the Christian-based Whitworth College and doctoral grad in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, England. He last reviewed Dawkins in 2013.

        Now as a sidenote, I know you will probably not be satisfied with these legitimate five experts since I am unable to provide hyper-link references in this quantity. Sorry, that is WordPress’ restrictions or Spamming-measures, not me skirting “recent peer-reviews of Dawkins.” Please keep this in mind David. I have conclusively demonstrated here your misleading erroneous claim that “for the last two decades there’s been no peer-reviews of Dawkins.” As we see here that is simply untrue.

        By contrast however, opines (disguised as “peer-reviews”) opposing these experts (some I’ve listed here), flourish like rabbits everywhere due to the internet and saturation of social-media sites. Conventional laypeople in the public domain without solid foundations in under-grad or post-grad critical-analysis and what exactly Peer-review means and functions, spread faulty, ill-founded paradigms and ideologies as if they are universal truths and widely confirmed. Of course, this is simply NOT globally high-level, high-quality equitable scholarship! THESE are the inferences I alluded to in my original comment here.

        I think this detailed elaboration has now put to bed your obsession with a recent peer-reviewed publication on Dawkins (not really a relevant “tree” as part of the forest here) and there is no mystery whatsoever as to why Dawkins has not done a peer-review on “history, theology, philosophy or logic” as you brought up. He would defer those peer-reviews to more appropriate, better qualified (in those specific fields) experts/scholars, naturally. It’s his choice. That doesn’t mean someone with basic/crude training, education, or experience in those four fields can’t express their personal opinions on/in the field, of course they can! The public domain (e.g. WordPress readers) must recognize the differences between opinion, fact, and degrees of plausibility. Utilizing a LARGE group/panel of highly qualified, highly recognized experts and institutions of research & education—not limited to one tiny sector, but global—from many or all viewpoints hedges against “corrupting contaminating bias by ONE person’s claims and/or premises or a small group’s claims and/or theories.” Notice the generic parameters there and what I originally inferred. Perhaps that is what you’ve been confused about in our line of discussion here. This should clear it up conclusively.

        Thanks again for allowing ALL of my comments thru your Moderation. It’s appreciated.

      8. You will forgive me but you are just repeating yourself. I asked you to tell me when Dawkins last published a peer-reviewed paper – given that you know what a peer-reviewed paper is your refusal to do so (and instead supplying me with a list of his ‘peers’ who agree with his atheism) speaks volumes.

        You will also note that none of the ones you cite support Dawkins in the areas where I am critiquing him – history, philosophy and theology.

        Of course Krauss and Dennett are going to support Dawkins – they are part of the same fundamentalist atheist club….the self-styled prophets of atheism. Incidentally, I would be wary of citing the abuser Krauss – who has now largely disappeared of the scene.

      9. Now I get it, Prof.,
        you don’t check back to see if there is light at the opening of the rabbit hole. This whole tirade — and the other one, if I’m not mistaken — has been based on what is nothing less than a lie. You said:

        I have conclusively demonstrated here your misleading erroneous claim that “for the last two decades there’s been no peer-reviews of Dawkins.” As we see here that is simply untrue.

        But all you had to do to check if your memory was accurate was to use |Edit|Find in this page| and you would have found that it’s you that’s been making the erronious claim.
        If you want to get away with deliberately misreading what someone has said, don’t deliberately misquote them at the same time.
        What you were trying to say, I reckon, was that it has been far more important that Dawkins has written his books than that he should have published journal articles in his discipline (Dawkins is an ethnologist.) While most of the day-to-day publication of research results is done in peer-reviewed journals; it is quite normal for major contributions to be made in books where the pre-publication reviewing is done by an editor. In fact The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype are such important books but they were written a long time ago.
        When Oxford University accepted the endowment of the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science, they accepted with it the condition that the first holder of the chair should be Richard Dawkins. The University probably calculated that the stated purpose of the post — that the holder ‘be expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field’ — would be satisfied in part by the publication of similar books and River Out of Eden (1995); Climbing Mount Improbable (1996); Unweaving the Rainbow (1998); A Devil’s Chaplain (2003); and The Ancestor’s Tale (2004), might be said to fill the brief. However, I think Simonyi’s calculation was that Dawkins’s books would be taken for important contributions to the public understanding of science simply because Dawkins was Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science.
        Be that as it may, Dawkins ought to have known that he would have to work extra hard to keep his footing in other subjects but he didn’t put in the effort so he may yet be shown to have done far more to arouse public suspicion of science than he has public understanding. Time will tell, but isolating himself from criticism was surely a bad move and all the adulation in the world from friends and fellow travellers can’t get away from the fact that The God Delusion was a bad book.
        Maybe he should have returned to writing journal articles and maybe he can’t.
        Yours,
        John/.

      10. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia that is often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh (Sumerian for “Gilgamesh”), king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2100 BC). These independent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic in Akkadian.

        https://www.dictionary.com/browse/gilgamesh

      11. DOn’t rely on Wiki (from which this is lifted) or other Internet sources. Check them. The Epic of Gilgamesh is in Akkadian. Part of it was based upon earlier Sumerian poems.

      12. Trusting what you read on a wiki is only the first mistake, Ark.
        It is worse to put your faith in any of the ‘eddies of thought’ that accompany recent discoveries as though they were final and definitive conclusions.
        Worse still is when the tide just seems to keep on going out as it has done in the continued assault on trust in the reliability of the Bible. When such a tide turns you get a tsunami. When that happens claims to be on the right side of history and the cries of ‘Lord! Lord!’ from religious fellow travellers will prove equally futile.
        Now would be a good time to reassess the evidence.
        Yours,
        John/.

  8. It is interesting that in local Waterstones book shop, which usually has staff written endorsements for new books, say little other than it is for a younger generation than TGD. Indeed, the cover bills it as a beginners guide.
    He clearly doesn’t have a finger on the pulse of modern day Western Society that both shuns and mocks God and at the same time seeks spirituality and existential existence in all sorts of nooks and crannies, in psychology and politics, in immorality and ideology, in sport and sex, in science and sociology,in music and mutterings, in nature and nastiness, in beauty and beasts, in virulence and violence, in love and law, in education and entertainment, in mammon and motherhood, in in career and crystal, in hubris and honour, in cant and confusion, in opinion and opium, in AI and ignorance, in feelings and filibuster, in aspirations an agnostics, in mammon and munificence, in rectitude and recidivism, in greed and creed, in utopia and dystopia, in progress and platitudes , in shamelessness and superiority, in guile and guilt – the polytheism of the whirlwind gods of GODLESSNESS on which we thrive and dive, live and breathe.

  9. There have been studies, Mark:

    [R]esearch has revealed that Wikipedia’s accounts of topics at the less controversial end of the scientific spectrum, like the theory of general relativity, are regarded as on a par with accounts in the scientific literature. Choose a more contested issue, like climate change, and the content might depend on what day you look.

    Marcus du Sautoy, What we cannot know, p.6.
    What anyone with a brain will have noticed of course is that these Flood narratives don’t depend on one another and that the linking theme is that there was once a devastating flood out of which a small remnant of their ancestors were saved. But for one thing this would be taken for corroborative documentary evidence that the Genesis Flood record is not some flight of fancy, fabricated at the time of the Babylonian Empire. Dawkins can feel safe revealing that lots of peoples believed that their existence was due to an ancestoral flood survival because the only narrative that really matters is (almost) universally thought to be both late and derivative. Dawkins’s more politically correct word for ‘anyone with a brain’ is ‘educated’. Pity he doesn’t always make best use his own education.
    Things have changed since liberal theologians talked about the ‘assured results of biblical criticism’. For a start, in those days earth scientists backed up the flood-historicity deniers by affirming the Uniformitarian belief that no mass extinction of life could have been caused by a single event. Since then the discovery of the Yucatán asteroid collision and the plausible working out of its consequences has changed all that. The Yucatán event was not the Flood, it merely proves that the evidence for a universal flood could be intractable from the evidence of other global events (such as an ice age, for example.)
    Since it is at the same time emerging that archaeology never contradicts what the Bible actually says and that Exodus to Deuteronomy was written by a contemporary author, Dawkins’s carelessness may yet have a far larger influence in bringing down the temple than he could possibly have imagined. And it won’t be the temple he thought to bring down either.
    Yours,
    John/.

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