Archbishop Infected With Dawkins Delusion


Noted atheist Richard Dawkins caused a bit of buzz yesterday by saying he’s less than 100% certain that there is no God. Technically this would make him an agnostic, not an atheist, and he even claimed yesterday to be an agnostic, not an atheist, but actions speak louder than words, and it’s pretty clear that even if he’s not fully sure of atheism, he most definitely hates the idea of God and doesn’t want Him to be true.

But that’s besides the point. And even Dawkins’ “admission” is besides the point (in fact, he’s previously said he wasn’t “100% certain” about atheism). What struck me wasn’t anything Dawkins said. He was having a one-on-one with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in a “public dialogue” at Oxford University that culminated a week of intense national discussion in Britain about the role of religion in British public life. Unlike much of what transpired during the week, Dawkins and Williams kept things civil, even lighthearted at times, but Dr. Williams disappointed me greatly in some of his comments. In fact, at times it seemed to me that there wasn’t a great difference between the two men, other than that Williams espouses “belief in God.”

I’m not saying that Dr. Williams isn’t a Christian. It just seems that some Christians—perhaps in an effort to win acceptance from the secular world?—sound the same as atheistic evolutionists. For example, Dr. Williams said yesterday that he believes that humans evolved from nonhuman ancestors (though he did add that he believes we’re nevertheless made “in the image of God”). This is completely un-Biblical. He also said that the Genesis explanation for the creation of the world couldn’t be taken literally. Well, it can, and it is, by many people, including myself.

The wise one went on to say: “The writers of the Bible, inspired as I believe they were, they were nonetheless not inspired to do 21st-century physics.” Really? How do you know they weren’t inspired to do such things? Regardless of whether you believe in God, logic dictates that if people receive divine inspiration from the all-knowing, all-wise God of the Universe, they could be inspired to know anything He wants them to know—even things that would make 21st-century physics look like play time at the local kindergarten.

The idea that science, especially modern science, is sophisticated is hogwash. I respect science, and I recognize that it involves a lot of intelligence and ingenuity, but people need to realize that when you get down to brass tacks, science, at best, merely uncovers truths that are already there. Science itself doesn’t “do” anything. It certainly isn’t deserving of reverence. If someone discovers a cure for a disease, they didn’t create the cure (that is, make it out of nothing, of their own power, as God would create), they simply uncovered the pre-existing truth that certain properties of certain things have a beneficial (healing) effect on certain ailments. They then make the proper application of those healing properties (which were bestowed by God) to the ailment in question, and voila, good things happen. It’s awesome, but it doesn’t make science divine. And people shouldn’t bend over backwards to make their beliefs palatable to the secular world.

Perhaps, though, that’s not Williams’ motivation. Perhaps he truly believes what he stated. If that’s the case, though, he needs to change his approach to Scripture.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NotAScientist
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:15:27

    “Noted atheist Richard Dawkins caused a bit of buzz yesterday by saying he’s less than 100% certain that there is no God.”

    Why is that buzz-worthy? If you’re intellectually honest, you know that you can’t be 100% certain of most things. If I’m intellectually honest, I have to admit that I’m not 100% certain that if I drop my pen it will fall to the floor. But I’m very certain.

    There are levels of certainty. And I imagine Dawkins is very certain that there isn’t a deity of any kind, but not 100%. No one is.


  2. Craig Brann
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:01:59

    Canterbury is not Durham and Williams is not Wright, i.e. the best thing (along with McGrath) the contemporary anglican church has to offer. Still, the anglicans are fundamentally incapable of disarming brilliant men like Dawkins. Without a firm grasp of fundamental Biblical epistemology, they will be playing in the same paradigmatic sandbox. And frankly, Dawkins is better at it.
    However, the frame of the debate is simply incoherent. The existence or non-existence of God (or anything, for that matter) is not subject to whether or not the mind of man has subjectively appropriated the matter. The problem is the hubris of man, or as Cornelius Van Til aptly put it, “What MY net can’t catch, ain’t fishes.”


  3. jasondrexler
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:04:52

    Craig Brann? THE Craig Brann, formerly of Windsor, Maine? Good to hear from you. And thanks for looking into my blog!


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