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Did Darwin Kill God? - Comments

Lapin Diabolique's Avatar Comment 1 by Lapin Diabolique

'The idea of reading the Book of Genesis literally is essentially a 20th century American phenomenon '

What is the polite word for bullshit again?

This falls under the, what I'd like to call, the 'Vaseline-greased weasel' apologetics from the moderate Xians.
Anything is compatible with the believe in Jeebus if you just squint hard enough and throw out all of your intellectual integrity.

It is also a flat-out lie.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 11:43:00 UTC | #343465

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 2 by Rodger T

It`s a bit hard to kill something that has never existed.
But,if anything killed god I think the Beatles claimed they did.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 11:48:00 UTC | #343467

ingodwerust's Avatar Comment 3 by ingodwerust

I watched this and was constantly irritated by it. Typical apologist bullshit from start to finish.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 11:49:00 UTC | #343468

OrbitalMike's Avatar Comment 4 by OrbitalMike

What a crappy question, "Did Darwin Kill God?" It's impossible - the God character doesn't exist.

About as meaningful as asking "Who shot JR?"
(wow that dates me)

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:08:00 UTC | #343477

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 5 by Diacanu

To heck with JR, who killed Cock Robin!?!?!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:09:00 UTC | #343479

paul fauvet's Avatar Comment 6 by paul fauvet

To make any sense of this, we have to know what Cunningham understands by the term "God".

He tells us: "For me, God is the source of the gift of life, of all life. God is He in whom we live, move and have our very existence.
And this is what traditional Christianity tells us. God is existence itself. He is the creator of time itself".

This is meaningless waffle. Of course a god that is defined so vaguely cannot be killed by Darwin, Dawkins or anybody else.

Defining god as "existence itself" is not "traditional Christianity". It's not remotely Christian, and sounds more like pantheism to me.

The God that Cunningham worships is obviously not the malevolent tyrant of the Old Testament, and the Jehovah-lite of the New Testmane doesn't fit his definition either.

It's difficult to understand how such an obviously intelligent and well-read man as Cunningham can swallow such concepts as the incarnation and the atonement.

What really kills the Christian God isn't evolution, or the natural sciences at all - it's straightforward study of the Christian scriptures. They are such a contradictory mess, and are so full of violent and hateful ideas, that people like Cunningham have to use intellectually dishonest acrobatics in order to accept them.

Take the contradiction in Genesis, which Philo so ingeniously "solved". There is a much easier solution that anyone trained in literary studies
would immediately suggest. The two Genesis chapters contradict each other because they were written by different people and were run togeter by an incompetent editor.

If we apply to the Bible the same rules we would apply to any other test, the mysteries disappear. So does any reason to believe that it is anything more than a collection of old legends, plus highly propagandistic versions of bits of Jewish history, plus second or third hand accounts of what a radical preacher named Jesus is supposed to have said and done.

Look at the Bible like that and the foundations for belief in the Christian god just evaporate.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:15:00 UTC | #343481

Tzsak's Avatar Comment 8 by Tzsak

Sure you can take a none literal interpretation of Genesis, but then you're still left with the brutality of natural selection to explain.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:17:00 UTC | #343483

Diogenes of Sinope's Avatar Comment 7 by Diogenes of Sinope

Dawkins is the flag bearer of a strand of Darwinism called ultra-Darwinism, which believes the theory of evolution implies atheism

OF COURSE evolution (properly understood) implies atheism; only astonishing intellectual dishonesty can make it compatible with theism. Showing that complexity arises from simplicity deals theism a mortal wound, and keeping it alive through the faintly remote possiblity of compatibility involves the same twisted mental gymnastics as finding the basis for an acceptable moral code in the bible.

I guess this sillyness is an inevitable consequence of BBC neutrality..

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:17:00 UTC | #343482

jon_bailey's Avatar Comment 9 by jon_bailey

This programme made my blood boil, I felt frustrated and cheated. The BBC has aired some brilliantly entertaining and educational Darwin stuff recently. This one simply did not cut it ... Presented with poor arguments and distorted half truths in attempt to give credibility to the lie that Natural Selection was in fact part of God's big master plan.

Presenting Richard Dawkins (without interviewing him) and Dan Dennett as extremists Conor Cunningham comes across as a misguided fool. Come on BBC Lets get back to having proper objective educational informed programming. There is so much more to be gained from developing and exploring honest scientific ideas in this great Darwinian year rather than resorting to this kind of crap.

As somebody else has already commented, No Darwin didn't kill God .... God never existed!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:21:00 UTC | #343485

Tom Morris's Avatar Comment 11 by Tom Morris

Yeah, it's a boring apologetic programme that doesn't get near the actual tough issues. "Darwin kills God" is silly. No, Darwin is one part of the argument against gods.

Why should you watch it? Some pretty nature pics, a few gawpingly stupid creationists to giggle over and some chat with Dan Dennett.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:22:00 UTC | #343487

squinky's Avatar Comment 10 by squinky

So when Xtians finally trot out the Biblical allegory argument and then embrace science, they never genuinely do so. If they accept evolution then they MUST also accept that we are kin with modern apes as were early hominids. That means humans were never created (underscore Adam and Eve allegory) and so spontaneously occurred on the Earth. That means that there is no soul. When did God breathe the soul into Xtians£ In 2450 BC£

Harris had it right: religious moderates betray both religion and science equally with their disingenuity.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:22:00 UTC | #343486

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 12 by Dhamma

I'm getting increasingly annoyed they label us fundamentalists. I'm not saying god cannot exist, I just find the idea rather pointless as nothing suggests it.

I change my mind all the time on various issues, would fundamentalists do that? If new data suggests god may actually exist, I will be more than interested in it.

Evolution makes god unnecessary. If he exists and we're the pinnacle of his creation, I just wonder why it took him almost 15 billion years to create us. And when our species is dead, everything will continue without us. What's the point in that if everything was made for our existence?

God really WANTS us not to believe in him. Could he really blame us?

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:26:00 UTC | #343489

bjornove's Avatar Comment 13 by bjornove

Just saw this program and actually found it quite entertaining in a rather annoying way. Basically, the same old NOMA nonsense we are used to from liberal theology. And I agree with Paul (#359765) that the concept of a deity or god argued in this program was just meaningless babble....
Just another example that theology is a non-subject and that theologians just make up stuff and have no real arguments based on evidence. Anyway, I actually recommend people to watch it just to get some insight into how intelligent people can get seduced by theology into believing fairy tales from a old desert religion. It's already out on torrent if you are not in the UK.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:34:00 UTC | #343493

ennui's Avatar Comment 14 by ennui

It was clear that many Christians have easily dishonestly been able to reconcile compartmentalise their belief in God with from the theory of evolution.


fixed.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:35:00 UTC | #343494

siflrock's Avatar Comment 15 by siflrock

There's so much bullshit in this article, it's hard to know where to begin. Why would the BBC treat this retread of the old "where the bible does not conflict with science, it's fact. where the bible conflicts with science, it's powerful allegory and poetry" argument as if it were new or important? Sickening.

"It was clear that many Christians have easily been able to reconcile their belief in God with the theory of evolution. How was this possible?" Why, intellectual dishonesty, of course!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:39:00 UTC | #343495

Tom Morris's Avatar Comment 16 by Tom Morris

Just watching the last section about memes, where the presenter suggests that if you accept memes you end up having to accept a kind of Agrippan scepticism about reality and personhood. That's just bullshit though. You can't be totally certain about reality, but you can accept it as a reasonable enough explanation.

I don't see that there's any incompatibility with memes and an epistemology that tracks truth. It may make certain epistemological stances untenable - and I would lean and say that it's probably more likely to make internalist epistemologies untenable than it is externalist ones - but that doesn't mean that it cuts through all epistemologies. It just gives us a natural unit of causal explanation for culture. The fact that you come to believe something for a 'memetic' rather than some other reason doesn't automatically make that false. Just as if you happen to come to believe that Tony Blair was the prime minister because it was mentioned in a soap opera or police detective show doesn't mean that this belief is wrong, but just not arrived at through a reliable and justifiable process.

The meme theory or something like it is surely right though: ideas do not spread through culture because of their truth value. In some areas of life truth is valued quite highly - scientific journals, maybe courtrooms. But the sort of memes likely to flourish inside the pages of Nature are selected for quite differently than the memes likely to flourish inside Hello! magazine. If all environments were all as susceptible to valuing truth, then there would be no need of argument. We'd have complete agreement everywhere - a society of informed, logical sceptics who believe nothing more than what the evidence allows. But beliefs spread on things other than truth value - they spread based on fashion, profit, gossip, propaganda, 'interestingness' and so on. We would have no notion of epistemic duties if this were not the case: if everyone was naturally wired to have only true beliefs all the time, then the idea that one would have to do one's intellectual duty to investigate things fairly and honestly before believing them - that concept would be as meaningless as a duty to breathe or a duty to drink water.

The meme section is really sloppy rubbish. Bloody piss-poor rubbish. 'Ultradarwinism' is a straw man.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:47:00 UTC | #343498

Duff's Avatar Comment 17 by Duff

This is just more of the same old "that is not my religion" hogwash. If they don't believe in the god of the old testament and don't accept everything about the god of the new, what is it exactly that makes them christians as opposed to deists?

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:49:00 UTC | #343499

BJPentecost's Avatar Comment 18 by BJPentecost

If anything killed god it was his own sorry scientifically illiterate hate-filled Dumbies' Guide on how NOT to live your life otherwise known as the Bible.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:49:00 UTC | #343500

Metch's Avatar Comment 19 by Metch

Dhamma.. we both know that Mike Patton is God, wouldn't you agree?


...well at least the god of music.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #343502

notsobad's Avatar Comment 20 by notsobad

And ironically, evolution is also responsible for these kinds of delusions.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:54:00 UTC | #343504

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 22 by the great teapot

The gist of the program was no one took the bible literally 150 years ago. So Darwin changed nothing.
Uhm.. it begs the question then just what in the bible is truth if some is and some isn't.
Perhaps it is just the shit written by the perfidious jew we shouldn't trust.
Darwin didn't kill god. No, but he did kill most peoples notion of what god is.
A non or sometiimes intervensionist god would never have survived 2 millenia and he knows it.
I suspect he is a disingenuous liar.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:56:00 UTC | #343507

Harko's Avatar Comment 21 by Harko

I had a good idea, after thinking about this documentary for a few days:

Conor Cunningham suggests that it has always been Christian doctrine that Genesis was a metaphor, and it was only recently that it has started to be read literally.

The reason for his assertion? It was noticed early on that the biblical account of creation was not consistent. Even within Genesis itself, there were contradictions. Therefore, it _must_ be read metaphorically.

Where am I going with this?

Why don't we take the King James Bible, and the well published list of biblical contradictions and apply The Cunningham Principle (as it shall be called henceforth) ad nauseum? Anything that is contradictory must be read as a metaphor, not literal truth. I wonder what we have left "true" at the end of this process?

Jesus born of a virgin?
Is he resurrected?
Is he the son of God?
What about Moses and the 10 Commandments?
...the list goes on, and on.

My guess is that there is not much of Christianity left, other than one great, big, unholy METAPHOR!!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:56:00 UTC | #343506

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 23 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Sounds like a nod to Nietzsche's Madman speech...

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:05:00 UTC | #343509

MrPickwick's Avatar Comment 24 by MrPickwick

It's misleading to say that evolution implies atheism...

EVERYTHING implies atheism!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:08:00 UTC | #343510

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 25 by the great teapot

No Mrpickwick
Nothing implies atheism.
The big nothing we see when we look for evidence of god.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:10:00 UTC | #343511

exchemist's Avatar Comment 26 by exchemist

... in the drawing room with the candlestick!

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:11:00 UTC | #343514

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 27 by Mr DArcy

My guess is that there is not much of Christianity left, other than one great, big, unholy METAPHOR!!


I think Harko hits it with one swing. I watched the programme. According to Cunningham, mainsream Christianity never believed the creation story of Genesis, therefore no conflict with evolution, they always knew it was "just a story". So if that crucial creation bit is "just a story", what about any, or all, of the other bits. At what point does metaphor or allegory end, and reality intrude?

It was a programme I loved to hate. I suppose the BBC made it in the interest of "balance".

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:14:00 UTC | #343515

brian thomson's Avatar Comment 28 by brian thomson

Calling Prof. D a "crusader"? Bzzzt: you just failed the test I apply to every article of this type I see. Use a word with a religious connotations to describe an atheist, I stop reading. Adios.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:22:00 UTC | #343517

CallumW's Avatar Comment 29 by CallumW

At least it won't drive christians away from evolution. I think that's about all that can be said in its favour though, it was incredibly trite and pointless. Francis Collins has to be the most irritating part of the whole programme, that man never ceases to enrage me. Trotting him out as some kind of character witness seems to be a fixture of every argument for the compatability of religiosity (or at least christian religiosity) with science.

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:23:00 UTC | #343518

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 30 by Steven Mading


comment 1, by Lapin Diabolique
'The idea of reading the Book of Genesis literally is essentially a 20th century American phenomenon '

What is the polite word for bullshit again?

This falls under the, what I'd like to call, the 'Vaseline-greased weasel' apologetics from the moderate Xians.
Anything is compatible with the believe in Jeebus if you just squint hard enough and throw out all of your intellectual integrity.

It is also a flat-out lie.

If you spend much time in the forums here, you'll see plenty of "atheist butters" falling in line with that flat out lie (and usually with an undeserved haughty way as well, not noticing how it is that their citing of one person having noted that Genesis might not be literaly true does not constitute evidence that this was the norm. They also conveniently ignore the fact that the entire moral code of the Babble is dependant on the idea that obedience to god is key to being moral, so it cannot be the case that the book allegedly telling you what god wants is just meant to be a metaphor)

Fri, 03 Apr 2009 13:31:00 UTC | #343522