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Stephen Baldwin has been ridiculed for his comments on Celebrity Big Brother regarding evolution.  He said:

If we're descended from apes, how come there are still apes?

Ok, a misunderstanding of the theory.  But is the theory more or less silly than the misunderstanding?

Here's Richard Dawkins answering the very objection Baldwin makes.  See if you can watch it with a straight face:

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh0F4FBLJRE"]

What we have here is a Professor of Zoology faced with a line up of four apes and an accountant from Swindon.  And he refuses to identify the odd one out.  The whole story he invests his life in says that none are superior to any other - all are equally well adapted to their environment.  It's just 4 monkeys and Pam sitting in a tree -  M-U  T-A-T  I-N-G.

To say that Dawkins has put Baldwin right is like saying:

Ohhh.  Sorry for thinking your theory was nuts.  I thought you believed in alchemy.  Now I realize you have a magical goose to lay your golden egg.

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Dawkins was asked in an article - Where does evolution leave God?  He answered:

“Before 1859 it would have seemed natural to agree with the Reverend William Paley, in “Natural Theology,” that the creation of life was God’s greatest work. Especially (vanity might add) human life. Today we’d amend the statement: Evolution is the universe’s greatest work. Evolution is the creator of life, and life is arguably the most surprising and most beautiful production that the laws of physics have ever generated. Evolution, to quote a T-shirt sent me by an anonymous well-wisher, is the greatest show on earth, the only game in town.

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“Where does that leave God? The kindest thing to say is that it leaves him with nothing to do, and no achievements that might attract our praise, our worship or our fear. Evolution is God’s redundancy notice, his pink slip. But we have to go further. A complex creative intelligence with nothing to do is not just redundant. A divine designer is all but ruled out by the consideration that he must at least as complex as the entities he was wheeled out to explain. God is not dead. He was never alive in the first place.”

Again ask the question - who or what has Dawkins taken aim at?  He's railing against a divine designer entirely dependent on its own creation.

Rail away Richard.  Christian theology does a far better job, but if it makes you feel better - go for your life.

And if you want to lay the smackdown on some god-of-the-gaps who is posited simply to explain the inexplicable, then please don't let us stop you.

And if you're invigorated by venting splenetic rage on a god 'ruled out' by the logic of its own creation well Richard, who isn't?  I'm regularly energized by such disdain.  And we certainly have no wish to spoil your fun.

While you heap adolescent contempt on those gods, we'll be over here - stoning modern-day Paleys for providing you with such irrelevant and idolatrous targets.

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By the way - if you read the Dawkins quote and thought to yourself 'Aha, but who created the laws of physics!?' - you are Paley.  And I'm coming to get you.

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Dawkins was asked in an article - Where does evolution leave God?  He answered:

“Before 1859 it would have seemed natural to agree with the Reverend William Paley, in “Natural Theology,” that the creation of life was God’s greatest work. Especially (vanity might add) human life. Today we’d amend the statement: Evolution is the universe’s greatest work. Evolution is the creator of life, and life is arguably the most surprising and most beautiful production that the laws of physics have ever generated. Evolution, to quote a T-shirt sent me by an anonymous well-wisher, is the greatest show on earth, the only game in town.

[...]

“Where does that leave God? The kindest thing to say is that it leaves him with nothing to do, and no achievements that might attract our praise, our worship or our fear. Evolution is God’s redundancy notice, his pink slip. But we have to go further. A complex creative intelligence with nothing to do is not just redundant. A divine designer is all but ruled out by the consideration that he must at least as complex as the entities he was wheeled out to explain. God is not dead. He was never alive in the first place.”

Again ask the question - who or what has Dawkins taken aim at?  He's railing against a divine designer entirely dependent on its own creation.

Rail away Richard.  Christian theology does a far better job, but if it makes you feel better - go for your life.

And if you want to lay the smackdown on some god-of-the-gaps who is posited simply to explain the inexplicable, then please don't let us stop you.

And if you're invigorated by venting splenetic rage on a god 'ruled out' by the logic of its own creation well Richard, who isn't?  I'm regularly energized by such disdain.  And we certainly have no wish to spoil your fun.

While you heap adolescent contempt on those gods, we'll be over here - stoning modern-day Paleys for providing you with such irrelevant and idolatrous targets.

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By the way - if you read the Dawkins quote and thought to yourself 'Aha, but who created the laws of physics!?' - you are Paley.  And I'm coming to get you.

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dawkins_southpark

I think, actually, [Richard Dawkins is] a pre-Christian atheist, because he never understood what Christianity is about in the first place! That would be rather like Madonna calling herself post-Marxist. You’d have to read him first to be post-him. As I’ve said before, I think that Dawkins in particular makes such crass mistakes about the kind of claims that Christianity is making. A lot of the time, he’s either banging at an open door or he’s shooting at a straw target.

Terry Eagleton (via Halden)

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But before we feel smug.  Let's allow him (and others) to critique a knee-jerk theism that too often passes for Christian apologetics:

[Conservative Evangelicals] despise Richard Dawkins while actually believing in the kind of God he rightly rejects, as if the existence of God were, in principle, demonstrable, as if the proposition “God exists” were a hypothesis to be affirmed or denied, as if God were simply the hugest of individuals. 

Kim Fabricius (I object to his other points, but this one has a lot of truth to it).

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One God furtherDawkins himself says that all he does is stretch his disbelief one God further than the Christians. 

Which is absolutely right.  Both Dawkins and the Christian reject Thor and Vishnu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster and any other super-being you care to imagine.  The task of the Christian apologist is not to establish a deity but to proclaim the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Mike Reeves recommends - the question for the atheist is 'Which God don't you believe in?'

And once they've described it, the response to have ready is 'I don't believe in that either, let me tell you about the cross.'

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