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evolutionary biologist, and

author of The God Delusion


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In our last post, based on Belinda Luscombe’s interview with Richard Dawkins (“10 Questions,” Time, Sept. 30, 2013), we reported on Dawkins’s comment, part of which was that “Just about everything [humans] do doesn’t have a simple, naive, evolutionary explanation.”

We agree with him on that (we feel) more than he agrees with himself.

Time and again we’re highly pressured to think of evolution as fact when all of the facts, or a great many of them, simply are not known. But among naturalists there’s great faith that as the facts finally appear, they’ll line up the “right” way.

But Luscombe had other questions. While they’re handy, in this post we’ll look at two.

Question 8:  “You were at UC Berkeley in the late ’60’s. Yet you never took LSD. How did that happen?”

Dawkins:  “Not only did I not take LSD, I didn’t even take cannabis¹.”

ADS comments:  Notice, contrary to popular opinion, everybody didn’t do it². He thought and decided for himself. We respect that.

From Question 10:  “…Given how little we know about the universe, how can we possibly be sure there is no God?”

Dawkins:  “There are all sorts of things we can’t be sure of–we can’t be sure there are no leprechauns and fairies. Science in the future is going to be revealing all sorts of things which we have no idea of at present, but it’s extremely unlikely that it would happen to home in on an idea from a Bronze Age tribe in the desert.” [emphasis ours]

ADS comments:  Recognize the “Bronze Age tribe in the desert”?  That’s us, our ancestors (most of us by adoption), and our Bible. Our time of influence is over. The issue of leprechauns and fairies still hangs by a thread, however. Richard Dawkins is enjoying public acclaim. Perhaps we should admire him for his ability to exercise great faith…based on little hard evidence. But he does have friends. And many are presently paying to hear him solo in the atheist choir.


¹Cannabis is another name for marijuana.

² A personal note:  In the ’60’s the drug LSD was highly controversial. My father, doing a residency in psychiatry then, was the only doctor studying in the psychiatry department who refused to take it to explore its hallucinating effects. And we have to say here, in the tradition of Dawkins, when in school, Dad still thought for himself.