Richard Dawkins
I believe in evolution but I cannot prove it, admits Richard Dawkins

Dawkins admits he can’t prove Darwin’s theory

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Prof Richard Dawkins has spent his career attacking Christians for their ‘blind faith’, yet admits he can’t prove his own beliefs, writes Andrew Halloway in popular booklet The Delusion of Evolution.

The world’s best-known evolutionist and atheist, the scourge of those who believe in God, has declared that he holds a belief that isn’t proved. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has sold millions of books promoting evolution as a fact, and toured universities ridiculing those who believe in a Creator because he says they have no proof of their belief. Yet Dawkins has admitted that he holds a belief that cannot be proved – evolution.

Responding to the question, “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?” posed by a science website in January 2005, Dawkins’ answer was: “I believe, but I cannot prove, that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection.”*

In an open letter to his daughter Juliet on her tenth birthday (published in his book ‘A Devil’s Chaplain’), Dawkins advises her to accept only beliefs supported by evidence: “Have you ever wondered how we know the things that we know?” asks Dawkins.

The answer, he says, is evidence. Dawkins advises Juliet: “Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself: ‘Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence?’

“Or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?’ And next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.”


So if Dawkins asked himself his own question, “What kind of evidence is there for that?”, his answer when it comes to evolution as an explanation for all life is, “There isn’t enough evidence, I just believe it!”

Because of Dawkins’ atheism, he is inevitably blinded to the full possibilities of science. Because he begins by assuming that God doesn’t exist, the only question he can ask when he begins his research is, “How must creation have occurred if we assume that God had nothing to do with it?” This is not the same as asking, “How did creation occur?”

Anyone who asks that question can follow the evidence wherever it leads, like a true scientist. Someone like Dawkins, who has already determined the answer before he begins to look at the evidence, inevitably can’t consider the facts in a scientific, non-biased way. And so he has to explain away any evidence that disagrees with his pre-determined belief – like his absurd argument that things aren’t designed even though he admits they look like they are.

So we find Dawkins, who regularly uses evolution as a stick to beat belief in God, admitting that his stick is a matter of faith – the same kind of faith that he mocks in religious believers. For example, during a lecture at the Edinburgh International Science Festival Dawkins said, “If you ask people why they are convinced of the truth of their religion, they don’t appeal to evidence… I will respect your views if you can justify them. But if you justify your views only by saying you have faith in them, I shall not respect them.”

Would he say the same about his own ‘faith’ in evolution? But even in this quote Dawkins misrepresents believers by saying they don’t appeal to evidence. They do. Christians believe in Christ not just on the basis of faith but also because of his bodily resurrection, witnessed by hundreds of people, many of whom laid down their lives rather than change their view. Believers also base their faith on their personal experience of God, logical argument, and evidence from the Bible, history, archaeology, cosmology and other sciences.

* Also published in ‘What We Believe But Cannot Prove’, John Brockman (Editor), Free Press, 2005

From iBelieve Magazine issue 78

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