21 October 2008

Richard Dawkins

We had a great discussion about 'Dawkinsism' at our regular meeting for postgraduate students, staff and general misfits at the University Chaplaincy last night. We were led by an emeritus professor of Biology, who provided an interesting critical angle on some the notable omissions from Dawkins' books. He highlighted the fact that whilst Dawkins paints himself as an advocate of modern science, he only advocates a narrow part of the scientific landscape. Further to this, it seems to be the case that most biologists wouldn't name Dawkins as one of the notable academics in the field of evolutionary biology. So if he's not a leading figure in the world of biological research, and he doesn't even see theology as a legitimate academic discipline, where does his authority come from? For which academic community is he speaking? Anyway, there was much more in last night's discussion - I can't represent it all here.

I was amused to see that Dawkins was featured on the Church Times blog today, and I love the ironies that run through the story.

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