Does Dawkins Really Love Science?

We are told that Richard Dawkins is a man who deeply loves science.  In fact, it is this public perception that Dawkins exploits in order to serve the Gnu atheist movement.  But is it really true that Dawkins loves science?  Or is this just a public image that he has carefully crafted and nurtured over the years?

Let me provide four reasons to open your eyes and seriously begin doubting Dawkins’ love of science.

1.  While Dawkins loves to use the word “science” and make money by writing popular books about science, he really has not done that much science over his life.  For example, I have already demonstrated that Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian, has done a whole lot more science than Dawkins.  How is it that someone who claims to love science so much has so little interest in actually doing science?

2.  While Dawkins “love” of science is found almost entirely in his popular books and writings, if you think about it, it’s not really science that he loves there.  All of his books seem to be about the same thing over and over again – evolution.  And they are not so much about evolution as they are about one particular view of evolution – neo-Darwinism.  Now, there is nothing wrong with this.  And while neo-Darwinian evolution is certainly part of science, there is a lot of science that is not neo-Darwinian evolution.  Dawkins does not seem to have any great interest in science if the topic is other than neo-Darwinian evolution.   Maybe that’s because he has said that such a view of evolution makes it possible for him to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist and his true love is really atheism.  And that leads naturally to the third point.

3.  Retirement is a time in a person’s life when you finally get to focus all your time and attention on your true passion.  This is especially true if the person who retires is both healthy and wealthy.  Dawkins is all three – he has retired, he is healthy, and he is very wealthy.  If his true love really was science, he would use all this free time and money to pursue scientific quests.  For the first time in his life, he could focus on any unanswered question he wanted to.  He would not need to write grants or go to meetings, or play any other of the social games needed to pursue his scientific passion.  He could just go out there and do the experiments and make the observations!  But alas, he has continued to be the man he has always been – a man with little interest in actually doing any science.  Instead, his love for atheism has emerged in all its glorious splendor.  Dawkins, the wealthy, retired scientist, invests all his time and money on atheist activism.

4.  The final point is the one that first opened my eyes about Dawkins.  Back in the 2000s, when he was still at Oxford, his university was under constant harassment and attack from animal rights extremists.  Oxford was building a new science lab where animal experimentation was to take place and the animal rights activists tried to stop it by burning down an Oxford building and making constant threats to the faculty and students at Oxford.  The situation got so tense that even the construction workers felt the need to hide their identities while working.  And what did Dawkins say or do?  NOTHING.  He did not use his access to the public arena to defend science, his colleagues, or his students.  Someone who truly loves science would not have remained so silent when science was under attack.  What’s more, does anyone really believe Dawkins would have remained just as silent if Oxford was under the same type of attack from creationist extremists?  Of course not.  Creationism would tie into his love of atheism; advances in science tied to animal experimentation do not.

To sum it up, Dawkins has never done much science, his popular books focus on one aspect of science that he believes to prop up his atheism, his passion since retirement is to be an atheist activist who plays a lead role in the atheist movement, and when science was under attack by a group not tied to Christianity, he remained completely silent.

This is not a pattern of facts that emerge from someone who loves science.  This is a pattern of facts that emerge from someone who loves atheism/hates Christianity and simply wants to leverage a history of crafty public relations to advance his personal and cultural agendas.

And they say we Christians are gullible.

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2 Responses to Does Dawkins Really Love Science?

  1. TFBW says:

    Not only do his popular science books fawn over neo-Darwinian evolution, but, as a corollary to his using it to support atheism, he never passes up an opportunity to say something negative about religion and/or the religious, regardless of their lack of relevance. In his first book, The Selfish Gene, he introduced the term “meme” as a sort of virtual analogue to the gene, apparently for the primary purpose of belittling theism. “The survival value of the god meme in the meme pool results from its great psychological appeal,” he says (p.193), shortly after introducing the term, without the faintest hint of evidence to back up the claim.

    Anyhow, I’d say that Dawkins loves science only in the sense that he loves to use it as a cudgel against theism. He also loves to use concepts like “meme”, which have the form of science without the substance (experiment, observation, analysis) to the same end. The common element is a desire to occupy the intellectual high ground and beat down on theism, and science is only precious to him to the extent that it serves that purpose.

  2. The Deuce says:

    TFBW:

    The whole meme thing is an especially good example. Ever since he introduced it, Dawkins has vacillated between the pretense that it’s a legitimate scientific concept he came up with because he loves science, and the reality that it’s an incoherent mess of poorly-conceived armchair philosophy he came up with just to bash the Christian concept of God because he’s an intellectually lightweight ideologue.

    So, when talking about the “god meme,” Dawkins makes it clear that “meme” is meant as a pejorative – that it implies that belief in God is irrational because it is the product of mindless entities mechanically and mindlessly reproducing themselves in peoples’ brains like viruses, rather than the result of a rational self applying logical analysis to abstract ideas, and thereby rejecting or accepting them.

    But if memology really is a scientific account of how ideas spread and are accepted or rejected by people, then it applies to thoughts in general, not just the thoughts that Dawkins doesn’t like, and therefore implies that all thoughts are as irrational as he believes the idea of God to be. Last I recall (if I recall correctly), Dawkins answered that atheism is *not* a meme when asked about it, thereby giving away the whole ruse that it’s actual science (Some other proponents of “memology” like the Churchlands and, I believe, Steve Pinker, have attempted to be consistent by saying that it is a meme. There’s no actual empirical data to cite for either position, and no vigorous debates between these two diametrically opposed “scientific” positions, which just goes to show that the whole “science” of memology is a farcical game of mental masturbation rather than a serious idea).

    It’s all very reminiscent of something….

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