Home » Darwinism, Evolution » Transcript of David Quinn’s shredding of Dawkins

Transcript of David Quinn’s shredding of Dawkins

Earlier a link to the mp3 audio file of the Quinn v. Dawkins radio debate was posted on this blog. The following link has the transcript. Quinn provides an object lesson in how to take apart village atheists.

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0086.htm

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20 Responses to Transcript of David Quinn’s shredding of Dawkins

  1. Dawkins: “The origin of the universe is a mystery; it’s a mystery to everyone. Physicists are working on it. They have theories.”

    I’m sorry, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this was another theory by Miss Anne Elk…

    http://www.jumpstation.ca/recr.....n/elk.html

  2. I have always liked how the anthropic fine tuning argument resonates logically. that is, knowing the fine tuning is incredibly unlikely. I have another proposition regarding the fine tuning argument.

    We always consider the best values of the “knob” and “dials” that need to be set. Has there been any published work on not the values/settings, but on the very knobs. I mean to say [just imagined Ryan Tubridy saying "Expalin yourself"], that there are no particular reasons that these “knobs” & “dials” need to be the only set that could have existed (or be detected so far). So, obviously then, we could suppose that there could (or could have) be/been LESS knobs and dials, and this would probalby in every case be a universe where-by life could not exist not-with-standing even all the infinitude of dial and knob settings in said universe. However, going the other way, we could imagine, an unlimited number of MORE knobs and dials than we detect, all or most all having some consequence on whether life were possible or not [one caveat: this is all supposing, for sake of argument, that life could even live by purely material processes].

    I can almost think of this as a giant block. And say, how many useful things can I carve out of it.. including art. One could suppose a near infinite, but I suppose that only a handful of those would be meaningful designs. The number of meaningless carvings could/would be an infinitude of outcomes. Could this rock analogy be applicable to not the whole system of knobs and dials, but a rock analogy for each knob and dial. It almost seems pointless, like adding infinity to infinity. Anyway, the point starts to make sense when you see that there seems to be a limit that life is infinitely improbable. Maybe, I made a huge leap there. But anyone with an inkling of what I jsut said and some ideas, please respond.

  3. Check out this deft, concise, Hegelian critique of Dawkins’ delusion at

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/.....ssage/1161

    the structure of consciousness requires both the relation of consciousness to its object (or world), which is called “knowing,” and the independent or separate existence of the object (or world) from consciousness. This double nature or duality is essential to the inherent structure of consciousness. This double nature exists wherever consciousness is present, and ceases to exist when consciousness is not present. In other words, there is no independent world without consciousness – for how would we state that “there is” such a world if consciousness did not exist in order to make such a statement. How could we refer to such a world that exists prior to consciousness, when the only world we could ever be referring to is presicely the one that exists for consciousness.

    Rational thought forces us to conclude that such an imagined nascent world is a mere abstraction from the world of consciousness – a mere fantasy, and can only ever be such a fantasy. In other words, materialism in which mind has no originary role can only ever be an imaginary fairy tale, and can never be anything but that.

    R. Dawkins’ “God Delusion” itself arises from the delusion mentioned here.

  4. As Mr. Quinn demonstrates, using logic and truth, God has laid out the world to make fools those who claim to be wise. Dr. Dawkins didn’t have a prayer.

    Saxe

  5. Okay I’m convinced after reading that transcript
    Richard Dawkins is not just a village athiest but actually the village idiot! I mean first year philosophy students can put together more coherent arguments than that without blatantly contradicting themselves. In every argument Richard wants the whole cake to himself and no one can say otherwise! He is more blind and blinkered than a 20-yr old cabby horse in central park.

  6. I love this part of the interview where Dawkins says:

    Well, not really because no serious theologian takes the Old Testament literally anymore, so it isn’t quite like that. An awful lot of people think they take the Bible literally but that can only be because they’ve never read it. If they ever read it they couldn’t possibly take it literally, but I do think that people are a bit confused about where they get their morality from. A lot of people think they get their morality from the Bible because they can find a few good verses. Parts of the Ten Commandments are okay, parts of the Sermon on the Mount are okay. So they think they get their morality from the Bible. But actually of course nobody gets their morality from the Bible, we get it from somewhere else and to the extent that we can find good bits in the Bible we cherry pick them. We pick and choose them. We choose the good verses in the Bible and we reject the bad. Whatever criterion we use to choose the good verses and throw out the bad, that criterion is available to us anyway whether we are religious or not. Why bother to pick verses? Why not just go straight for the morality?

    I would love to know what RD’s critera is for determining which parts of the Bible one can take literally, and which ones can not. Obviously, there are many places in both the Old and New Testaments where the writers name names, dates, places and specific historical events, many of which are well known to have taken place. Clearly those are intended to be taken literally. The fact is RD doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Biblical literalism isn’t as straightforward a concept as he supposes, but he’s quite willing to set up a straw man version of the term in order to try and score a point.

    Then he dives into morality and tells us “parts of the ten commandments are okay…” Really, which parts, one wonders, and why those and not the rest? Again, RD doesn’t bother to tell us what the objective, verifiable criteria is to make the judgement. Of course, he doesn’t have one. His criteria is: “I like that one, but not that one.”

    How does it happen that someone comes to hold a prestigious chair at one of the world’s most respected unversities, and they put forth arguments that a first year logic student could rip to shreds?

    This interview is prime evidence of RD’s intellectual arrogance. For a “bright” he can be pretty dim.

  7. Well folks,

    If you want to hear the latest theory of right and wrong from the people who are trying to advance the Theory of Evolution, here is one of the latest publications :

    AND EVOLUTIONARY THEORY OF RIGHT AND WRONG

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10.....ref=slogin

    EXCERPT :

    ————————–
    Primatologists like Frans de Waal have long argued that the roots of human morality are evident in social animals like apes and monkeys. The animals’ feelings of empathy and expectations of reciprocity are essential behaviors for mammalian group living and can be regarded as a counterpart of human morality.

    Marc D. Hauser, a Harvard biologist, has built on this idea to propose that people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution. In a new book, “Moral Minds” (HarperCollins 2006), he argues that the grammar generates instant moral judgments which, in part because of the quick decisions that must be made in life-or-death situations, are inaccessible to the conscious mind.

    People are generally unaware of this process because the mind is adept at coming up with plausible rationalizations for why it arrived at a decision generated subconsciously.

    Dr. Hauser presents his argument as a hypothesis to be proved, not as an established fact. But it is an idea that he roots in solid ground, including his own and others’ work with primates and in empirical results derived by moral philosophers.

    The proposal, if true, would have far-reaching consequences. It implies that parents and teachers are not teaching children the rules of correct behavior from scratch but are, at best, giving shape to an innate behavior. And it suggests that religions are not the source of moral codes but, rather, social enforcers of instinctive moral behavior.

  8. Donald M:
    Have you read the Old Testament books Dawkins is talking about? If you have, I’m sure you understand what he is talking about. The Israelites are commanded by God on several occasions to kill and/or enslave innocent people. Do you accept those parts of the bible, or do you choose to ignore them? That’s his point. Christians talk about how violent a religion Islam is… take a look at the bible.

  9. cfrench,

    Judeo-Christianity has a violent history, alas so too does the rest of mankind, including officially athiest states such as the USSR and China. However, it does not seem to me there are many (if any) noticable christian sects which are at root ‘convert or die’.

  10. cfrench:

    It is so annoying when I hear that argument. It is so sophmoric and uninformed. Yes, I have read the Old Testament. Most Christians I know have. The trouble is that people who have not read the Old Testament pull a couple verses out of context and think they have some kind of clever argument agaisnt God. The Old Testament does not advocate the killing of innocent people. In fact, it upholds the rights of the individual more than any athiestic system of morality ever has or ever will.

  11. I’m not trying to argue that Christianity, or religion in general, is inherently evil. I, being a Christian, actually disagree with that. The only argument I’ve tried to make in all of these Dawkins discussions is that he makes some good points. Religion is something that can very easily be distorted and used by fundamentalist leaders to do quite dangerous things. The thing that I find unsettling is that religion is so often used to brainwash people. Dawkins argues this point quite well.
    As far as the Old Testament, I have read it. And I do find a number of things in Deuteronomy, etc. quite unsettling.
    *Sorry for using unsettling so much, it just seems to describe my feelings on the subject quite well.

  12. cfrench,

    Dawkins does not make good points. He makes extremely bad points.

    Religion is often used to brainwash people? This may be the case in certain small and isolated cults but it is not true of religion in general. By comparison, the athiestic regimes of the 20th century used brain washing for political purposes on a far larger scale than the few scattered religious cults ever did.

    The argument that religion can be distorted is also meaningless. Anything can be distorted, including science. What does that prove about either religion or science? Nothing.

    As for the unsettling things in Deuteronomy, none of those things, taken in context, would justify any kind of killing of innocent people. It is rare both historically and in modern times to see the Bible used as the basis for any kind of violence. In comparison, Darwinism and athiesm have provided the metaphysical foundations for mass genocide. It is shocking how such grissly facts are so easily ignored by the athiests who posture such moral superiority.

  13. “This may be the case in certain small and isolated cults but it is not true of religion in general…”

    When I say brainwashing, you think of some “crazy” person convincing his followers to drink the Kool-Aid. What I mean, however, is those who seem to have their fingers in their earrs, kicking and screaming “I can’t hear you!” Religious leaders cram certain ideologies down their followers’ throats, and the followers eat it up. This occurs on a very LARGE scale. I know this from experience. People accept what their religious leaders tell them as truth, without ever thinking critically about it. This is the most dangerous part of religion, and Dawkins hits the nail on the head.
    A short testimony, as I said I know from experience:
    When I was younger, I was what I’ll call an atheist… mostly due to the fact that I believed evolution disproved God. I later came to the Lord and was saved. Like many new Christians, I was quite impressionable, as I wanted to know as much as I could about God. During this early period I was, what I call, “brainwashed” (see above). I accepted everything the Christian leaders around me as fact. Once I matured mentally and spiritually, I realized that I had been lied to. This was quite a blow to my faith and led me to re-evaluate everything I thought was true. This is a very common occurence, and I see many whom I care about who are still caught in that stage where they are not critical thinkers. It is a huge flaw in organized religion.

  14. I am of the opinion that the hostility toward evolution, and science in general, from the religious right is due to the fact that these people are not critical thinkers. It is not due to objective reason. I do not blame those who are stuck in this state, I blame the leaders who know better.

  15. cfrench,

    I am of the opinion that the hostility toward evolution, and science in general, from the religious right is due to the fact that these people are not critical thinkers. It is not due to objective reason. I do not blame those who are stuck in this state, I blame the leaders who know bette

    That is interesting, seeing as how you have been unable to support any of your opinions with objective reason. I posit that you are enamored with the social prestige of the “scientific” sounding arguments made by Dawkins and are unable to assess their actual merit based on logical reason. I posit that you think the religious right are not critical thinkers not because you know what critical thinking is or recognize it when you see it but because you have been told by “scientific” sounding people that the religious right are not critical thinkers. In short, I posit that you are in fact guilty of the very thing that you accuse the “religious right.”

  16. When I say brainwashing, you think of some “crazy” person convincing his followers to drink the Kool-Aid.

    No. That is not what I think. How would you know what I think?

    The term brain washing actually comes from the Peoples Republic of China when the athiest government systemitized forms of coercive persuasion to change the thought patterns of their citizens from pre-communist revolution thinking. These methods were called “xi nao”, which means to “wash the brain.” These methods involved sleep deprivation and other forms of psychological manipulation.

    What I mean, however, is those who seem to have their fingers in their earrs, kicking and screaming “I can’t hear you!” Religious leaders cram certain ideologies down their followers’ throats, and the followers eat it up. This occurs on a very LARGE scale. I know this from experience. People accept what their religious leaders tell them as truth, without ever thinking critically about it.

    That does not happen on a large scale and it is not brainwashing. If people are persuaded to a position or choose to believe what somebody tells them without researching it that is their choice but they are not brainwashed.

    This is the most dangerous part of religion, and Dawkins hits the nail on the head.

    It is only dangerous if religious followers choose to believe something that is dangerous and false. So each religion has to be judged individually, not just lump them altogether. Athiestic systems have proved to be far more destructive and dangerous, and actually do brainwash.

    A short testimony, as I said I know from experience:
    When I was younger, I was what I’ll call an atheist… mostly due to the fact that I believed evolution disproved God. I later came to the Lord and was saved. Like many new Christians, I was quite impressionable, as I wanted to know as much as I could about God. During this early period I was, what I call, “brainwashed” (see above). I accepted everything the Christian leaders around me as fact. Once I matured mentally and spiritually, I realized that I had been lied to. This was quite a blow to my faith and led me to re-evaluate everything I thought was true. This is a very common occurence, and I see many whom I care about who are still caught in that stage where they are not critical thinkers. It is a huge flaw in organized religion.

    You are making huge generalizations based on your anecdotal experience. This idea of religious people being poorly informed, merely because you were/ still are poorly informed, is inaccurate. Furthermore, at least in Christianity, I am not aware of anybody that claims to have infallible knowledge that everybody must agree with. So I have no idea what strange obscure sect your experiences were in.

  17. Jehu:
    “It is only dangerous if…”
    No. It is dangerous. What I like about Dawkin’s POV is that he appreciates the pursuit of understanding and realizes how amazing it really is that we have the opportunity to have a deep understanding of reality. Faith tends to impede the critical analysis which is required in seeking out this understanding. That is what is dangerous, and really quite sad. Sir Thomas More said, when speaking of the Utopians’ love of physics:
    “…they reckon the knowledge of it one of the pleasantest and most profitable parts of philosophy, by which, as they search into the secrets of nature, so they not only find this study highly agreeable, but think that such inquiries are very acceptable to the Author of nature; and imagine that as He, like the inventors of curious engines among mankind, has exposed this great machine of the universe to the view of the only creatures capable of contemplating it, so an exact and curious observer, who admires His workmanship, is much more acceptable to Him than one of the herd, who, like a beast incapable of reason, looks on this glorious scene with the eyes of a dull and unconcerned spectator.”
    Faith, in a way, requires that we become “dull and unconcerned spectator[s].” People accept the Bible as infallible truth on faith. This is not done through objective reasoning or critical analysis. This faith is held widely, and religious leaders exploit it on a large scale.
    I’m not making generalizations based on solely my experience. This is the way it is all over America, particularly the Bible Belt. This is evidenced by the creation vs. evolution debate. Among the faithful, it is not a matter of scientific evidence, it is a matter of the infallible word of God vs. atheist scientists. This is the fault of religious leaders. They lead the flock to believe that every word of the Bible is infallible and you can’t question it, you must accept it on faith. If you don’t, you are a heretic.
    …there’s a reason Jesus used sheep to describe members of the church.

  18. cfrench,

    No. It is dangerous. What I like about Dawkin’s POV is that he appreciates the pursuit of understanding and realizes how amazing it really is that we have the opportunity to have a deep understanding of reality. Faith tends to impede the critical analysis which is required in seeking out this understanding.

    That is pure nonsense, the scientific method was defined and led by Sir Francis Bacon who wrote, “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion”

    That is what is dangerous, and really quite sad. Sir Thomas More said, when speaking of the Utopians’ love of physics:
    “…they reckon the knowledge of it one of the pleasantest and most profitable parts of philosophy, by which, as they search into the secrets of nature, so they not only find this study highly agreeable, but think that such inquiries are very acceptable to the Author of nature; and imagine that as He, like the inventors of curious engines among mankind, has exposed this great machine of the universe to the view of the only creatures capable of contemplating it, so an exact and curious observer, who admires His workmanship, is much more acceptable to Him than one of the herd, who, like a beast incapable of reason, looks on this glorious scene with the eyes of a dull and unconcerned spectator.”

    This quote proves nothing. Thomas More was himself a very religious person who was martyred for his faith. It is interesting that he loved physics, the greatest physicist, Sir Isaac Newton, was a man of faith who’s last six books were about the Bible.

    Faith, in a way, requires that we become “dull and unconcerned spectator[s].”

    Then how do you explain Frances Bacon and Isaac Newton?

    People accept the Bible as infallible truth on faith. This is not done through objective reasoning or critical analysis. This faith is held widely, and religious leaders exploit it on a large scale.
    I’m not making generalizations based on solely my experience. This is the way it is all over America, particularly the Bible Belt. This is evidenced by the creation vs. evolution debate. Among the faithful, it is not a matter of scientific evidence, it is a matter of the infallible word of God vs. atheist scientists. This is the fault of religious leaders. They lead the flock to believe that every word of the Bible is infallible and you can’t question it, you must accept it on faith. If you don’t, you are a heretic.
    …there’s a reason Jesus used sheep to describe members of the church.

    You really think Jesus was putting people down when he called them sheep?

    You make so many absurd points that I don’t wnat to bother to address them all. However, your claim that faith in the Bible prevents scientific inquiry and makes people “dull and unconcerned spectators” is clearly false. Apparenlty you don’t want to bother with the truth and prefer your “opinions.”

  19. “Then how do you explain Frances Bacon and Isaac Newton?”

    If you look back, I said I am a Christian myself…

    “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion”

    I agree with this. Once again, I am a Christian.

    “You really think Jesus was putting people down when he called them sheep?”

    Not putting us down, per se. I believe he was commenting on our nature. We tend to mindlessly follow the flock (or shepherd), and sometimes mindlessly wander off.

    “That is pure nonsense…”

    You totally miss my point. It’s not that I believe that religion and faith are necessarily wrong, or that those of the faith are, without exception, dull and unconcerned. My point is that it is very easy to accept everything on faith rather than use one’s own reason. This happens a great deal and the current attack by the religious right on evolution and science in general is a bright and shining example of that.

  20. 20

    The “religious right” are attacking science and evolution. I love this line! It always makes me laugh. Yes- the religious right are a dangerous bunch, don’t ya know. Those damned soup kitchens and homeless shelters…with their Christian colleges training young men and women to become great older men and women.

    How has the religious right attacked science?

    Is Michael Behe, a Catholic, a member of the “religious right”, as you seem to be concerned with anti-darwinists I sense from your comments.

    Is the Pope a religious right member? He made note of an intelligent designer. John Paul made the same mention in a similar fashion.

    There are hundreds of names on DI’s dissent from Darwinism list- are they all from the religious right?

    How can someone “attack” evolution? If someone sees the evidence in a different light and has a differing opinion- is that what’s considered an “attack”? Are the religious right burning Darwin’s books? Are they killing scientists somewhere? Are they banning science books? Are these anti-science buffoons somehow distorting “true science”?

    I just really would like to know how the religious right is so evil. Is it possible that men like Behe and Wells (and many others) disagree with Darwinism based on the evidence and not “blind faith” as you seem to think? Isn’t it possible the Darwinists might possibly be wrong? Is it possible men like Dawkins base their worldviews and opinions on blind faith?

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