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Regis Nicoll Christian Blog and Commentary

Dawkins Recants After "Expelled"

  • Regis Nicoll
    Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He spent 30 years as a nuclear specialist, and is now a freelance writer who writes on current issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. He currently serves as lay pastor of Hamilton Anglican Fellowship (www.hamiltonaf.org) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • 2008 Apr 22
  • Comments

In Expelled, Richard Dawkins does an unexpected turn-about...or does he? After stating that he didn’t know how life went live on earth, he suggests that it may have been jump-started with the help of super-advanced aliens—in other words, intelligent causation! But I thought that intelligent design was not a scientific theory—at least according to Judge John Jones and Darwinian evangelists like Dawkins.

Was Dr. Dawkins serious or did he misspeak? (He seemed, to this reviewer, quite uncomfortable at this point in the interview with Stein.)

According to Dawkins himself, he was merely handing an “olive branch to these people by pretending to take their ‘space aliens’ political ploy seriously.” Yep, that’s his story and he’s stickin’ to it.

I’m sorry, but that dog just won’t hunt.

Dawkins suggests that the intent of his “olive branch” was to contest ID “by setting up its most plausible version and dismissing it.” Problem is, he never dismissed the ET theory in the interview—without prompting by Stein, he offered it as a possible solution to the origin-of-life question without reservation or qualification.

In rapid retreat from his Expelled disclosure, Dawkins explains:

“Entities capable of designing anything, whether they be human engineers or interstellar aliens, must be complex—and therefore, statistically improbable. And statistically improbable things don't just happen spontaneously by chance without an explanation trail.” (Emphasis added.)

Dr. Dawkins, I think you’ve finally got it!. Wait, but no…

“In fact, natural selection is the very opposite of a chance process…”

Huh? Quite the contrary, Dr. Dawkins. As long as natural selection is fed by random variation (genetic shuffling and mutation) it remains very much a chance process.

“…and it [natural selection] is the only ultimate explanation we know for complex, improbable things.”

We “know"? I think you mean we trust.

“Even if our species was created by space alien designers, those designers themselves would have to have arisen from simpler antecedents—so they can't be an ultimate explanation for anything.”

Maybe you've got it after all! For since those "simpler antecedents," be they quarks, neutrinos or the quantum potential, have proven unable to account for the arrival of the first gene on earth, they can’t be the ultimate Explanation either.

Looks like that ET theory is not only a dog that won't hunt, but is one that has turned on its master.

What do you think about Dawkins' recantation? Comment here.