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Why there is almost certainly no god

This is the second instalment of (former Reverend) Eric MacDonald's replies to reviews of The God Delusion, following the one we posted yesterday. He promises more, and I, for one, look forward to it.

And now we come to James Hannam’s review of The God Delusion. This is timely, since Ophelia has something up about James Hannam over at Butterflies and Wheels this morning. Some critics call Dawkins smug, but for smugness squared you have to pay a visit to James Hannam who, as Charles Freeman says, seems to have found a home with the Tea Partiers in the United States. I also think, if his review of The God Delusion gives anyone a little insight into how James Hannam reads, he does it very poorly indeed, as we will see. Hannam says, for example, that Dawkins

claims that he cannot believe that Stephen J. Gould, Michael Ruse and C.S. Lewis believe what they say. This is a reflection of Dawkins’ own failure of imagination.

I can’t find where Dawkins has said this. He does speak of Ruse and Gould and Lewis, but does not, to my knowledge, express befuddlement at their beliefs, though he disagrees with them. He considers Gould’s NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria) proposal for separating religion and science (54-61), and expresses his disagreement; he makes short work of Lewis’s “Mad, Bad or God” trilemma (92); and finally, he acknowledges Michael Ruse’s part in the fight against creationism (67); but I do not find anywhere where he simply throws up his hands in defeat. Perhaps Hannam has something else in mind, but I do not recall it. (And, as for good scholarship and references, for which he takes Dawkins to task, Hannam has not one page reference throughout his review!)

Read on



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