Richard Dawkins: A Critical review

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Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion: A Critical Review One of the great myths propagated in popular culture, but refuted by most reputable theologians, historians and scientists, is the alleged ‘conflict’ model of science and religion. As soon as one begins to properly engage with the issues at a scholarly level, the complexities and nuances of the debate are revealed. The misleading representation of the dialogue as a battle between Evolution and Creation is a complete over-simplification which leaves one cold and unsatisfied. In truth, many respected figures from theological and scientific backgrounds are willing to address the ‘conflict’ with sensitivity, intelligence and respect. Unfortunately, as is often the case in all areas of life, it is the loudest and most aggressive voices which seem to make it to the forefront of the expansive discourse. This is certainly true in Richard Dawkins’ case, with the publication of his book The God Delusion , now a worldwide bestseller. Before beginning, it needs to be stated that this is not a polemic against Dawkins. In his field of expertise he is highly respected and has succeeded in making ‘evolutionary biology accessible and interesting to a new generation of readers’ . But theology is not his field of expertise and this is demonstrated a little too clearly in his severely polemical atheistic writing (it should be noted however, in his opinion, theological experts might not even exist, writing ‘the notion that religion is a proper field in which one might claim to be an expert is one that should not go unquestioned.’ ) In The God Delusion, Dawkins systematically goes through the main areas of apparent contention between science and religion, seeming to undermine nearly every aspect of religion, rejecting its claims and pre-emptively answering his critics. In this critique, I will focus particularly on his arguments

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