My crime is not being a fundie religious bigot – the kind (my colleague tells me; Professor Dawkins himself may of course differ) Dawkins can just dismiss as beyond any kind of reason. I commit the faux pas of believing the world to be billions of years old, based on all available evidence, and yet continuing to believe in God too. I cherrypick the best of all worlds and so fall squarely between them. Neither hot not cold, therefore will I spit thee out of my mouth. My colleague says Dawkins says.
The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker are books beyond compare – they should be on every bookshelf. They are two very good reasons I am not a young earth creationist. When I’ve tried to devise various alien species, I’ve always done it from a Dawkinsist point of view, creating creatures that are viable for the environment in which they live. On the other hand, I admit I’m unlikely to be reading his latest work, The God Delusion, unless possibly I get it for Christmas. Which is not impossible, as apparently it’s tipped (not without irony) to be a popular Christmas present. Maybe anyone given a copy to mark a religious festival should return it on principle.
The BBC site is having one of its discussion forums on “Should modern Britain be a more secular society?” (To which I reply, yes.) One of the respondents has said that The God Delusion should be taught in schools to help us all get over this religion thing once and for all. To which I reply, that’s the equivalent of teaching intelligent design. It’s one man’s opinion, it answers nothing and it blithely ignores astonishing amounts of evidence to the contrary.
Why do I believe in an old world? Because people told me so? Well, yes, at first, that was exactly it. Then I got older and looked afresh at the evidence, and drew my own conclusions based on what I saw. Which is that, regardless of the sophistical gymnastics performed by the intelligent design crowd and all that, I see OVERWHELMING evidence for Earth being billions of years old.
Why do I believe in God? Because people told me so? Well, yes, at first, that too was exactly it. And again I took a fresh look at the evidence as I grew up. First it was just the evidence of other people’s lives. God’s Smuggler was the first Christian book I read and it marked me for ever. Further evidence came with time and experience, from sources much closer to home. I just can’t ignore the evidence of testimonies from trusted individuals known to me, who are not fools. And finally there’s the accomplished healings and miracles and fulfilled prophecies – and that’s just the ones that have happened to me, never mind anyone else. So, my worldview has to accommodate both these facts, because both have been experienced by me.
- The world is old
- God is real.
I’d read that.