Monday, February 26, 2007

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

It reminded me of the logic I held in phases as a teenager. The book practically holds up placards to crystallize feelings that many would harbour in varying nebulous forms. Its easy to bare conventional religions to ridicule. Also, the Darwinian arguments have always made perfect sense to me.

The trouble is that we think too highly today of our current intellectual and scientific abilities. We are still minions in our knowledge of what the heck is going on. A small example in this book related to Dawkins' sneer on the Sun appearing to come down from the sky as witnessed by thousands of people at Fatima. He took the classical irrefutable line that no matter what they all witnessed - the Sun clearly did not come down from the sky - the whole planet would have been destroyed otherwise. Good smart-arsed teenager Physics logic. He doesn't bother trying to analyse it any further - not worthy. That's the trouble with conventional scientists. Anything unknown which doesn't fit into currently understood measurement tools is completely dismissed.

We all know that there are many things unexplained. Scientists try to analyse everything with conventional detection systems for energies in the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays and for subatomic particles etc. It's poetry in motion when everything can be explained, controlled, repeated. We use it to ultimately build the predictable solutions we enjoy in our 21st century lives. But the weird stuff doesn't play ball. Try repeating the same experiment in the so called paranormal and it's different every time. Ghosts would be great if you could control them - very handy to be able to exploit something which goes through walls. Today's scientists don't seem to know where to begin in this area. It's much easier to rubbish everything. But many open minded scientists have called for a newer super-science. Face up to everything unexplained. Keep open minded and push the boundaries.

I agree with Dawkins in so many things. I agree it is reasonable to expect more answers from science. But science needs to discover more and more of the dynamics which drive the universe and life. We are only scratching the surface.

I want to know why people dying in operating theatres can describe in uncanny detail what is happening in other parts of the hospital. I want to know how my 2 year old daughter suddenly made detailed claims of contacts with her Grandad who died when she was a small baby before she could know him (see here). I want to know how truly bizarre things line up when loved ones pass away.

Scientists like Dawkins reckon that we are deluded. But if we are patient and continue our work, science will eventually provide answers and may even fuse with philosophy. However, here in 2007 Richard Dawkins does not have the answers, he instead offers ridicule at the obvious soft targets.


Paige A Harrison said...

Nice one, John. Dawkins is really persuasive and I'm a sucker for a rational guy. But the thing that gets me with scientists is that they seem to want to seek an answer to every question (based on the current body of knowledge) but don't seem to want to find any questions.

If, as you rightly point out, science allows us better understanding of the universe, then clearly what we know now is but a fraction of future knowledge. Hence it seems to me that only thing that we can be confident about is identifying the things we don't know.

John of Dublin said...

Thanks for you comments Paige. I agree.

that girl said...

I'm with you on that one Paige - if no time is spent coming up with interesting questions then what's the point in seeking answers? Frankly I find questions far more interesting than the answers that accompany them!

brian said...

Nice post. I too have been reading the book, but it has disappeared from the house and I cannot find it anywhere. So my wife says I'm searching for the proof of no God - literally.

John of Dublin said...

Hi Brian. Yes, and I had the irony of receiving this book as a Christmas present.