Analysis of R. Dawkins’ “Is Science a Religion?”
Richard Dawkins is a self-proclaimed hater of religion and the enemy of God. He used words like indignation and charlatanry so his readers will never forget how he despised religion and the people who are confident enough to say that they belong to one. He was poetic in his arguments regarding the supremacy of science over religion, and he gleefully rebuffed what he believed to be the feeble-minded adherence to faith by refuting down believers’ arguments using evidence and integrity, the two important traits that he said religion does not possess. In other words, Dawkins insisted that science is not the same as the religion because scientists are not likely to assert a belief system that is not supported by logic and evidence. However, objective criticism of Dawkins’ use of a rhetorical framework bounded by logic, evidence, and honest reporting can be used against his beloved theory of evolution. Dawkins’ insistence that science is not the same as religion would have been an undisputed statement of truth if he had not included the theory of evolution in his attempt to discredit religion and belittle its value in the present age.
Integrity in the Process and Honest Reporting
One can make an argument that Dawkins had no choice but to bring into the discussion the theory of evolution because he stepped into the realm of the spiritual and the religious; therefore, he needed something scientific to counter the claims of origin and the meaning of life. If he had stayed within the boundaries of the scientific method and the conventional rules governing the scientific pursuit of knowledge, then he would have created an airtight case that once and for all would have separated both realms and created an unbridgeable gap between science and religion. To defeat his opponents by his argument, he used evidence, logic, and honesty in reporting the facts. However, the same tools and armaments that he utilized in the hope of causing irreparable damage to religion had an unexpected effect on his position. Consequently, these intellectual implements inadvertently created holes in his argument.
If Dawkins had focused on verifiable facts like the elements that comprise the water molecule, the speed of light, the distance between the Earth and the moon, and the organic composition of a cockroach, he would have demolished his opposition. He could have easily proven his point because the use of verifiable evidence in established scientific laws and natural phenomena possesses a certain level of exactness that is unmatched in the world of religion. This assertion is true, especially if the scientifically verified claims of biology, chemistry, and physics had been arrayed against the dubious claim of religious fanatics all over the world. One of the claims that the religious fanatic made was that there as something supernatural in his pilgrimage in one of the holy sites in the Middle East because he was able to survive several hours of trekking on foot with nothing more than water and a handful of dates. This is an example of an unconvincing claim that Dawkins’ analytical framework can easily refute by simply stating that dates, which is a type of fruit that grows in the Middle East, are loaded with calories, the kind that doctors say are good for gaining weight (Bruso). However, Dawkins brought in the theory of evolution, and it affected his position in a significant way.
First of all, Dawkins violated the principle of honesty and integrity that he passionately promulgated in his article because he did not say it out loud that natural selection’s evolutionary premise is, in fact, a theory. It is interesting how the author introduced this concept because he wrote it down as “the fact of evolution,” and once again, there was an unconscious attempt to sell the idea as a verified scientific law when in fact it is a theory (Dawkins 1). Be that as it may, Dawkins was so close to admitting that the idea he was hawking was just a theory when he used the phrase “evolutionary theory” (Dawkins 2). There is a hint of dishonesty here because he made it sound as if evolution was already an established fact.
Logic and Evidence
It is not clear in the article why he had never mentioned the phrase “the theory of evolution” at least once. However, if he had been forced to say this phrase, it would have been difficult to prevent the inevitable ripple effect, which is for his critics to point out that, since it is still a theory, the body of evidence that was needed to remove the label “theory” is not yet existent. At least, it would have been not enough for scientists to declare that they have proven this theory in the same way that a scientist proposing a theory to explain a phenomenon suddenly acquired the exact evidence to prove his idea, elevating the theory into the annals of scientific laws – the one that scientists can no longer dispute.
Dawkins’ so-called “fact of evolution” can be easily assailed using scientific logic. For instance, one may consider the logical framework that evolutionists use to provide a rationale for the natural selection of certain species. They say that certain species had to adapt, evolve, and undergo a process of transformation because they were desperate to survive. If this was the case, it would be hard to explain the presence of numerous species of monkeys, and these species are disappearing from the face of the Earth not because of evolutionary changes but as a result of poaching. There is also no fossil evidence of a chimpanzee mutating into a super-chimp so that it can walk erect like a human being. This is a crucial chain of evidence because, according to the rules of logic, it is impossible for a chimpanzee to metamorphose into someone as sophisticated and gorgeous as a supermodel without first evolving into mammals that can walk with an erect spine and hands-on their sides.
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Dawkins made an error in bringing up the theory of evolution into his discourse because, using the same rules of logic and the appreciation of evidence, it became obvious that he did not possess the right type or degree of evidentiary support to declare evolution as a scientific law. Thus, he was obligated to declare it as a theory, not a “fact of evolution.” In this regard, Dawkins inadvertently revealed himself as someone not entirely different from religious men and women he despised so much. Just like them, he was more than willing to believe that something he wants to be declared as the scientific law will someday be proven true, even if in the present time evidentiary support is limited at best.