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Book Review : The Dawkins Letters pt 1

April 17, 2008

I’ve also been reading, The Dawkins Letters : challenging atheist myths by David Robertson. The Dawkins Letters were written as a response to Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion”. I’ll post a proper book review next week but for now I want to just share a few interesting thoughts.

I wrote about Richard Dawkins (though not by name) about a year ago and posted it here. One of the things I felt when I wrote that article was Dawkins concept of God was far too small. I felt this again when I was reading David Robertson’s book. I’ve taken some quotes from pages 65-66, where Robertson is explaining Dawkins’ position:

(Dawkins believes) Evolution is true. Evolution explains the illusion of design. The design argument is the main argument for God. Therefore there is no God.
(Robertson then quotes from Dawkins himself)

“To suggest that the original prime mover was complicated enough to indulge in intelligent design, to say nothing of mind reading millions of humans simultaneously, is tantamount to dealing yourself a perfect hand at bridge.”

Probably you need to read it in context to get the full force of what is going on here but it says to me Dawkins doesn’t understand how ‘big’ God is. Of course God is complicated enough to indulge in intelligent design, of course God can read millions human minds simultaneously, of course God can deal Himself a perfect hand at bridge if He wanted to! It is easy to dismiss God when you have such a small concept of him, particularly if you think a God would only exist to make your life better.

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There is very little in the book about historical evidence. Scientists tend to think everything must be proved scientifically yet much of what we believe about the world is based on historical evidence. For example we believe Homer wrote two famous epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey based on historical evidence. We believe Christopher Columbus discovered America based on historical evidence. There is much historical evidence (outside the Bible) for Jesus’ life and death. There is much historical evidence about the origins of the Bible. I’m guessing this is not relevant here because the arguments in the books are more centered on the origin of the universe. Nevertheless I get a little weary of scientists demanding we prove everything scientifically when there are other ways of knowing things.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith