Friday, December 15, 2006

Richard Dawkins, fundamentalist

Not unlike the religious simpletons he claims to disdain, Dawkins sees the world in terms of a battle of Good vs. Evil, cloaked here as Science vs. Religion. Where Religion is corrupt, tyrannical and false, Science offers intellectual integrity, freedom and truth. As Robinson notes, Dawkins fails to acknowledge Science's less admirable achievements, be they eugenics, Hiroshima, or the more mundane travesties committed by unethical doctors or fat-cat researchers in service of corporate funding.

"Dawkins implicitly defines science as a clear-eyed quest for truth, chaste as an algorithm, while religion is atavistic, mad, and mired in crime," Robinson writes.

In this version of atheist theology, Science attains the same status as Dawkins' loathed "alpha male in sky," whose laws rule all things known and unknown. If we do not quite understand how the universe was created or the human brain works -- or the competing, contradictory claims about the virtues of, say, table salt -- all we need to do is wait and keep faith in the scientific method, which will reveal all in good time. The ways of Science are no less sacred or mysterious than that of God.

Lakshmi Chaudhry @ AlterNet

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