Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Tis the season for epistemological adventures....

Speaking of epistemologies, and for those of you who haven't already discarded Richard Dawkins as a spent force in the "atheist v. believers" wars (a "war" which deserves as much regard as the annual "War on Christmas"), Mad Priest has the link to Dawkins shooting himself in his own epistemological and intellectual foot:

'Do you ever worry that if we win and, so to speak, destroy Christianity, that vacuum would be filled by Islam?'
That's Dawkins to Christopher Hitchens, in an interview by Dawkins. Click through Mad Priest's link to the source, it's really worth the effort (short and sweet). What bothers me is less the violence of the attitude (the Rev. Pitcher takes that on nicely) than the arrogance of it. Really, Mr. Dawkins? Do you honestly think you are any threat at all to Christianity? Really?

What a sad little joke of a man. I understand he's actually contributed something to science. Wonder on what scale that contribution to humanity should be weighed?


  1. Anonymous7:11 PM

    I suspect that if this period is ever written up Dawkins' contribution to science will be seen as his having driven it up a dead end from which it will have to get out. He has, effectively, inserted the usual state of affairs in the social sciences, where huge edifices of "science" grow and then topple into the bone yard, an embarrassing relic to be ignored, into evolutionary biology and other areas of intellectual life. I think that as behaviorism was at its highest point even as it first showed signs of decadence before it toppled, evo-psy already is. I believed that was the real motive behind Dawkins' late life career move to make himself the TV age's Bertrand Russell even before the recent furore over E.O. Wilson's apostasy over H.D. Hamilton's "altruism" equations. I'd thought that Wilson's far more rational and worthwhile parachute into species conservation was similarly motivated though far more laudable.

    Dawkins' "ultimiate 747" argument is a good example of his idea of a coherent, make that "brilliant" bit of cogitation. His idea of subjecting The Virgin Birth to scientific method (in the absence of any physical evidence to inspect an event which, by definition, is unique in all of biology) and other assertions of reason as pure as it comes from him is also illustrative of what that means in a media addled generation.

    Dawkins, in other words, isn't much more than a figure of fashion.

    Anthony McCarthy

  2. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Make that "W. D. Hamilton's altruism equations".


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