Paul Taylor of Answers In Genesis critques 'The God Delusion'

Continued from page 1

He moved up the hierarchy of American universities, from rock bottom at the "Moody Bible Institute", through Wheaton College (a little bit higher on the scale, but still the alma mater of Billy Graham) to Princeton in the world-beating class at the top. (p95)

Why are the three institutions arranged hierarchically? What is the basis for Dawkins assessment of standards at each place? He doesn't say, but we assume that it is to do with belief in the Bible. Why is it implied that, because they number Billy Graham among their alumni, that this is a negative for Wheaton College?

The book is full of such examples.

Straw Men

The well-known "straw man" logical fallacy occurs when the debater invents their opponent's position for them, then argues against their own invention, rather than the real position of the opponent. An example of this is seen in the mocking tone used, as he attempts to dismiss arguments based on intelligent design.

I [insert own name] am personally unable to think of any way in which [insert biological phenomenon] could have been built up step by step. Therefore it is irreducibly complex. That means it is designed.

Although Dawkins uses this argument frequently, it is a complete misrepresentation of the intelligent design position. A biological mechanism is not labelled as irreducibly complex, because it is complicated and the labeller cannot think how it could have evolved. It is so labelled, because it can be shown that it is not possible for it to have evolved.


The God Delusion is far from being a reasoned argument for atheism, it is a hysterical rant. Maybe there will one day emerge a book that has a little more intellectual rigour. Dawkins' new book is weak, even by atheist standards. We note that Dawkins is now planning to send atheist material to government schools in the UK. That might be a good opportunity for British school pupils to exercise their critical thinking!

1 Edwards, B., Nothing But The Truth, (Third Edition), (Evangelical Press: 2006)

2 A longer version of this article appears on the Answers in Genesis website CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.