Posts Tagged 'Richard Dawkins'

The Du Sautoy Code

Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science (having succeeded Richard Dawkins in the Chair), is currently presenting a series of TV programmes about mathematics and nature entitled ‘The Code’. Viewers could be forgiven for believing that what he is presenting is a mainstream view of mathematics rather than peddling his own peculiar brand of atheistic metaphysics. Since no appropriate caveats have been employed by the BBC, we feel it necessary to make a few of our own.

Firstly, Du Sautoy’s view that, as the Pythagoreans expressed it, ‘Number is everything’ is of very ancient pedigree; but, nothwithstanding, it is undemonstrable (which should be anathema to a mathematician) and a faith-based religious concept. Secondly, philosophers of mathematics and informed students of mathematics know that there is, to date, no satisfactory understanding of the relationship, if any, between mathematics and reality; to suggest that there is a relationship, and what such a relationship might be, is an act of faith. And thirdly, it is very unfortunate for scientists to be working with mathematics as though mathematics itself is the original reality to which the physical world ‘must’ conform through such things as ‘laws’; science has been hideously corrupted in the last 80 years because of this.

Some Christians might be heartened to see and hear Du Sautoy suggesting that numbers are at the root of all reality, that this is in some way all grist to the mill of Intelligent Design. Not so fast: Du Sautoy is an avowed atheist (who not very wittily gives his religion as ‘Arsenal’) who by his own admission is trying a more ‘softly softly’ approach than Richard ‘The Rottweiler’ Dawkins (whom all can see is a bigoted fanatic) and is not appealing to design, or even apparent design, but to some mysterious entity he calls ‘The Code’. A code at the very least implies information content, but The Code (as a proper noun and with the definite article) suggests something unique and powerful. Thus Du Sautoy:

…underlying everything that surrounds us, from the natural world to the cities we live in, there is a hidden code that explains why things look and behave they way they do.

[This hidden code (‘The Code’)] has the power to unlock the laws that govern the universe.

The Code is the truth of the universe, and its numbers dictate the way the world must be.

So, this hidden code, this entity that Du Sautoy calls ‘The Code’, has total and complete explanatory power, is identical to Absolute Truth, can lead us into All Truth, and is completely deterministic. This is unquestionably a religious position. And it is none other than the old heresy of Pythagoras, the pagan Greek philosopher, re-worked by gnostics, Kabbalists, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Illuminists, and now, it appears, New Atheists. What a wheeze if they can pull this one off!

Continue reading ‘The Du Sautoy Code’

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part III)

 

[Read Part I and Part II for background]

Stephen Hawking was doubtless a very intelligent man, but in his 2010 book The Grand Design (surely a title that is supposed to be ironic) he showed that even the most intelligent of scientists can write drivel, and this monograph is a classic for that very reason. He followed up his inanities in an interview on Larry King Live on September 10, 2010. It became evident to all (if anyone was hitherto in any doubt) that Hawking’s brilliance was in a very narrow field indeed. Early in his book he announces

Philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.

As William Lane Craig has remarked, such a verdict is

not merely condescending, but also…outrageously naïve. The man who claims to have no need of philosophy is the one most apt to be fooled by it.

Indeed, Hawking and his co-author Mlodinow proceed to show just how ignorant they are of philosophy, theology, the philosophy of science, the history of philosophy, the history of science, and general science itself. In the Larry King Live show Hawking was asked who his hero was, and why, to which he responded:

Galileo, the first modern scientist who realized the importance of observation.

Well, you can have who you like as your hero, of course, but the claim about Galileo is utter rot. He couldn’t hold a candle to the likes of Kepler, for one. Galileo was a second-rate scientist in the main, who continued to his dying day to deny gravitational force as constraining bodies to rotate around the sun, clinging to an Aristotelian idea that celestial bodies ‘naturally’ moved in ‘perfect’ circles because they were not acted upon by a centripetal force, and he refused to accept Kepler’s careful observations and tabulated data that planets were subject to gravitational pull and moved in ellipses. He likewise refused to believe that the sun and moon caused the tides, as Kepler showed, because he denied extraterrestrial gravity. Apart from his last work, under house arrest, on mechanics, the myth of Galileo’s supposed greatness is the deliberate invention of atheists, communists and other anti-Christians, who have cunningly warped history since the nineteenth century to promote a ‘conflict thesis’. Mighty interesting that Hawking, who has built his reputation on pushing cosmic gravity into the absurd, without observational corroboration, should have as his hero one who denied extraterrestrial gravity and who often espoused dogma over meticulous observation.

But if philosophy is dead, it is dead only in the mind of Stephen Hawking, where it was delivered stillborn, or smothered at birth. As someone has said, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And if ‘scientific’ conjecture is all Hawking has by way of explanation, it does the crudest of jobs, riding roughshod over and mangling all understanding, rationality and logic, so that he ends up making statements unworthy of an intelligent man. Just as, by definition, ‘Intelligent Design’ is not a scientific hypothesis because it deals with causes outside the realm on natural science, likewise a physical explanation cannot be an explanation for a metaphysical problem.

Continue reading ‘Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part III)’

The Atheist Delusion

There has been a torrent of books by the so-called New Atheists in recent years, diatribes from the pens of biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion, 2006), journalist Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great, 2007), writer Sam Harris (The End of Faith, 2004) and their ilk. Whatever their expertise in their specialisms, they have arrogantly marched forth into the fields of their own incompetence, and thereby done us all a great favour in showing that the New Atheism spawns intellectual pygmies of the philosophy of religion. As philosopher David B. Hart has remarked,

A truly profound atheist is someone who has taken the trouble to understand, in its most sophisticated forms, the belief he or she rejects, and to understand the consequences of that rejection. Among the New Atheists, there is no one of whom this can be said, and the movement as a whole has yet to produce a single book or essay that is anything more than an insipidly doctrinaire and appallingly ignorant diatribe.

Their writings have drawn back the curtain to reveal the clanking machinery, the hollowness and the intellectual bankruptcy of the New Atheism. For this we are forever grateful, and when their other ideas have been discarded and relegated to footnotes, historians will surely point to their feet of clay displayed by their poor judgment, their bias, nastiness, ignorance and inability to structure logical argument in their writings on religion. As Hart confirms:

The best that we can now hope for [from New Atheists] are arguments pursued at only the most vulgar of intellectual levels, couched in an infantile and carpingly pompous tone, and lacking all but the meagerest traces of historical erudition or syllogistic rigour: Richard Dawkins triumphantly adducing “philosophical” arguments that a college freshman midway through his first logic course could dismantle in a trice…

The author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker can never again be taken seriously as a clear thinker: he has well and truly shot his bolt and missed his target.

Continue reading ‘The Atheist Delusion’

Atheist Mythology

Every belief system has an account of origins, and atheism is no exception. Narratives for atheists include the Big Bang (origin of the universe) and evolution (origin of variety and complexity of living organisms). Instead of man being formed out of the dust of the ground by God, man is formed out of the dust of the ground by evolution. It never ceases to amaze how those who espouse naturalism can poke fun at the Biblical account of origins, and yet be unable to see the ridiculous nature of their own position.

One who has studied a great deal about mythology is Raphael Madu. In his work African Symbols, Proverbs, and Myths: the Hermeneutics of Destiny he refers to earlier work by Earl MacCormac in Metaphor and Myth in Science and Religion, and Madu points out (footnote, page 96):

Because men have traditionally assumed a dichotomy between myth and science, it might be shocking to talk of scientific myths… Scientific explanations are known for being falsifiable and thus temporary, but to forget these qualities of science and assume that they are absolute and final, is to create a myth. The dissimilarity between religious and scientific myths is largely on the level of content. While the former are replete with descriptions of legendary heroes and deities, the latter are filled with mathematical symbols and references.

Continue reading ‘Atheist Mythology’

Christianity and Science

It is commonly believed that there is a war between modern science and Christianity, but such a view has long been discredited by historians and sociologists. No less a figure than Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, notes that

In the late Victorian period it was common to write about the “warfare between science and religion” and to presume that the two bodies of culture must always have been in conflict. However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science.

Moreover, Gary Ferngren, a professor of history at Oregon State University, adds that

Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour.

It is certain that there is a war between Christianity and atheism, but to portray the Christian faith as being at war with science is nonsense, because the Christian faith pursues, embraces and delights in all truth, since it teaches that all truth is from God. Natural science is simply one aspect of the universe of truth: the truth about the natural world, which God created and upholds. Accordingly, there can never be any truth or fact found by natural science that is inimical to the Christian faith. Neither is there, strictly speaking, such a thing as ‘Christian science’ because such a term implies that truth can be institutionalized, whereas truth is universal, and should be universally disseminated and applied.

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Phoney War

The premise that science and Christianity are in conflict is without foundation. Many atheists have a vested interest in promulgating the idea, to the extent that it has become a myth. As with all propaganda, if a falsehood is repeated long enough and often enough it erodes and eventually supplants the truth.

Vocabulary is very useful in propaganda. At school I was correctly taught that the period known as the ‘Dark Ages’ is called thus by historians because there are few extant writings from that period – its history is dark and obscure for us. This is the view of sensible historians, but unscrupulous popularizers, and those with particular axes to grind, would prefer to put it the other way around, that the ages were ‘dark’ because the populace were superstitious and unlearned. By pushing this line, it becomes easier to get acceptance of the word ‘Enlightenment’ to describe the so-called Age of Reason in the eighteenth century, as if light came in and dispelled darkness when ‘reason’ was elevated to the highest authority, displacing divine revelation. But, of course, this ushered in unitarianism, deism, and eventually atheism, which, from a Christian worldview, were wandering in ever-increasing darkness, the blind leading the blind so that both are now fallen in the ditch.

Edward Gibbon, described by the historian Franco Venturi as “The English Giant of the Enlightenment” makes a good examplar of a prejudiced historian in his famous and highly influential work in 6 volumes (1776-88) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Not only does Gibbon excoriate Christianity for its enfeebling effect on a virile civilization (a theme recapitulated with a good deal less learning and erudition in the nineteenth century by the philosopher and God-hater, Nietzsche) and for supplanting “the great culture that preceded it”, but he also describes the Middle Ages as “the triumph of barbarism”, which is an utter travesty. Gibbon ignorantly writes off the Roman Empire that continued in Byzantium for a thousand years after the western part of the empire was overrun in the fifth century as “a tedious and uniform tale of weakness and misery” which bequeathed nothing to posterity, and his definition that “wars, and the administration of public affairs, are the principal subjects of history” is excessively narrow. To Gibbon’s credit, he did immense research on primary sources, but this simply makes his end product the more blameworthy. As J.C. Stobart pointed out

…this is one of the cases which prove that History is made not so much by heroes or natural forces as by historians.

Continue reading ‘Phoney War’

Foundations of Modern Science

In this and future posts we will show that the rise of modern science was entirely reliant on Christian theology. That modern science arose in Western Europe at the zenith of its Christian influence is incontrovertible; but this correlation is insufficient in itself to imply a causal relation (that’s the correlation fallacy highlighted in former posts). We note that wherever flickerings of science have appeared elsewhere (e.g. in Muslim, Chinese, Indian, ancient Greek and Persian cultures) they have never got any traction in the long term, and it was only in Christian societies that science took root and flourished. But this observation, though adding circumstantial evidence, doesn’t get to the heart of why Christian theology is so important for science. In this post we will touch on some of the reasons why Christian theology was necessary for modern science. Future posts will deal with the failure of other religions and worldviews (including atheism) to give birth to or sustain science, and why such worldviews ultimately destroy true science.

Modern atheistic science is arrogant that it alone holds the key to real scientific endeavour. We must realize that, in the scale of things, atheists have only been taken seriously in science for less than a century. But that’s long enough to see the fruits of their destruction of science, which they merely snatched from Christianity and could never have developed themselves. To give a historical corollary, Islam also stole the clothes of the more advanced civilizations it subjugated, and some sort of science guttered within Islam for some centuries before they burned it out. Likewise, atheism will extinguish real science, and it will need to be recovered one day from the smouldering ruins by bold Christian scholars.

Rodney Stark, Professor of the Social Sciences, and former Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion, reminds us that

…the claim of an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack on faith. From Thomas Hobbes through Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, false claims about religion and science have been used as weapons in the battle to “free” the human mind from the “fetters of faith”…

Stark agues that

…there is no inherent conflict between religion and science, but…Christian theology was essential for the rise of science…[T]he leading figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork. [italics original]

Turning to an assessment of the so-called Enlightenment, Stark notes that it was

…conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists and humanists who attempted to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by such self-appointed cheerleaders as Voltaire, Diderot, and Gibbon, who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise – a pattern that continues.

Continue reading ‘Foundations of Modern Science’

God cast out

The eminent chemist, Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Senior Member of the Oxford Secular Society, Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and outspoken atheist, has the following to say about science and religion,

Religion, it’s just fantasy, basically…and is evil as well.

But Atkins demonstrates that he himself is the fantasist (or else ‘ignorant, stupid or insane’, to use the language of Richard Dawkins against those who do not share his beliefs) by making the laughable declaration:

…there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence

According to Atkins

You clearly can be a scientist and have religious beliefs. But I don’t think you can be a real scientist in the deepest sense of the word…

So what are you then: an unreal scientist, a fake scientist, an imaginary scientist? And an evil fantasist to boot?

Thus, according to Atkins, in the subset of scientists who are ‘real scientists’, none can be theists. Only atheist scientists, like Atkins, are “beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”. That excludes Robert Boyle, the ‘father of chemistry’ – that discipline of which Atkins is a practitioner – Newton, Hooke, Franklin, Priestley, Dalton, Faraday, Maxwell, Thomson and Einstein, to name a few. Well, if these folk were not real scientists, one should be very happy to be not a real scientist, as it’s very good company to be in.


Robert Merton (Social Theory and Social Structure, 1949) determined that a majority of the founder members of the Royal Society were distinctively Puritan. Certainly, a considerable number of them were Calvinists. It was very largely the Calvinist constituency who brushed away the dead hand of the pagan Aristotle, and gave birth to modern science. They developed the necessary motivation and the methodology, logical and experimental. Modern science would never have got any traction without the Calvinists, and today’s scientists are simply building on the foundations and superstructure that they have inherited from the Christian worldview. Atheist scientists have to sit on God’s lap to be able to reach up to slap him in the face.

Continue reading ‘God cast out’

Why science in Britain is in decline

To read the rantings of fellows of the Royal Society recently, one would certainly think that the institution has been taken over by fools and bigots.

Well, it has. It is no wonder that interest in science is declining rapidly, and that physics and chemistry departments at universities are being wound up – who wants to be in a ship of fools? The issue over Professor Michael Reiss (see the post ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’) brings the matter into sharp focus. Reiss was not teaching that creationism be taught in the schools (he is an evolutionist), but that if the subject of creation is raised by a student, the teacher should engage the student and bring scientific principles to bear on the matter. One way to put pupils off science forever is to tell them to shut up and sit down if they so much as utter the C-word in class. Richard Dawkins would have them humiliated. Ring any bells? Animal Farm? That student, and many other observers in the class, will likely be lost to science forever, for asking a genuine question.

Let’s make ourselves clear. Reiss wasn’t suggesting that creationism be put on the science syllabus, he was merely suggesting that there are benefits in discussing the topic if a student raises the matter, and the fellows of the Royal Society know that’s the case. Thus Sir Richard Roberts, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine:

I think it outrageous that this man is suggesting that creationism should be discussed in a science classroom. It is an incredible idea and I am drafting a letter to other Nobel laureates – which would be sent to the Royal Society – to ask that Reiss be made to stand down.

Well, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

Sir Harry Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is even more forthright. He argued that Reiss didn’t have the intellectual integrity to teach science because he believed in God. What a daft assertion: there would be no Royal Society, and there would be precious little ‘modern science’, without the Christian worldview. It was Christianity that gave the motivation (the glory of God) and the theological framework (that God is rational, so his creation can be searched rationally; and that time/history is linear, not cyclical) for modern science. I will be dealing with this in some later posts. With atheistic science, the motivation is money, prestige and power (especially power – that involves keeping others out), and the framework is borrowed (without credit) and secularized for convenience. TRUE science turns to dust in the hands of atheists.

Continue reading ‘Why science in Britain is in decline’

Disgrace at the Royal Society

Last July, I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the President of the Royal Society, Martin Rees, using the logical fallacy petitio principii, a ‘begging the question’ argument. He, with the Royal Society, was trying to gag and censure a television programme that had taken a position against a so-called consensus position on man-made climate change. The regulator, Ofcom, had pretty much rubbished the Royal Society’s objections, it has to be said, and rightly so as they were drivel. Several thoughts went through my mind – how can the President of the Royal Society be so ignorant as to use an illogical argument? But then I thought – maybe he isn’t so ignorant after all, maybe he’s using this as a rhetorical device to bamboozle the hearers, knowing that few in his audience would pick it up. Appalling, either way, and we’re seeing more and more anti-scientific behaviour from this erstwhile paragon of scientific endeavour, the Royal Society.

The latest disgrace to come from that quarter is the forced departure of Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s Director of Education. The reason? Reiss, a thorough-going evolutionist, had dared to suggest that objections against evolution should be dealt with in the classroom, if the matter was raised by the students themselves. He said

There is much to be said for allowing students to raise any doubts they have – hardly a revolutionary idea in science teaching – and doing one’s best to have a genuine discussion

Worthy though this is, Reiss has been drummed out by pressure and bullying from prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins. Reiss, you see, also happens to be an ordained minister, so he should not be permitted to sit in the cathedral of atheism, the Royal Society. Continue reading ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’


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