|Tree in my backyard|
Sadly, the atheism of Richard Dawkins has convinced a few people that atheism is a position arrived at rationally and scientifically. (I say "a few people" because my philosophy classrooms are filled mostly with students who have never heard of Dawkins). Dawkins's relative influence is sad since he is so uneducated in the science of physics and, like a person whose only tool is a hammer, he sees every problem (including every religious problem) as a nail.
I'm reading Amir Aczel's Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Aczel did his PhD in statistics at Berkeley. In 2004 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was a visiting scholar in the history of science at Harvard and is currently a research fellow in the history of science at Boston University. Take the title of Aczel's new book literally. That's mainly what Aczel wants to prove. So he is against the Dawkins-idea that science provides proof against God's existence. Not at all, argues Aczel.
I remember reading Dawkins's claim that natural selection works not only on biotic life but on physical matter. I thought, "Just what does evolutionary theory have to do with cosmology? Aczel's book just confirmed the validity of my question. Aczel writes:
"Since Dawkins does not have advanced training in physics and mathematics, his arguments about the universe as a whole are easily disproved; in fact, no serious physicist would argue that "a mechanism similar to biological evolution" somehow operates in the purely physical universe." (14)
But no thanks to Dawkins who pushed some people (including Christopher Hitchens) into the abyss of irrationality and non sequitur.