(Richard Dawkins – self acclaimed atheist),
..and the author of a book entitled;
The following is a reprint from Newsmax.com.
Evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins raised eyebrows when he said on television that President Barack Obama is a secret atheist.
But the man Time magazine called “Obama’s Pastor-in-Chief,” Joshua DuBois, says that is far from the truth.
Dawkins is the author of a number of scientific works, but his best known book is “The God Delusion.” Published in 2006, the book contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist.
During an appearance by Dawkins on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” program in late October, Maher suggested that Pope Francis is secretly an atheist.
Dawkins responded: “Like many people, I’m sure that Obama is an atheist. I’m sure Kennedy was an atheist. But I doubt Pope Frank is.”
DuBois disagrees. He is the author of “The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama.” He has been Obama’s spiritual adviser and served as the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during Obama’s first term.
He writes in an article for The Daily Beast: “Dawkins said that President Obama is a ‘secret atheist.’ With great respect to my non-believing friends, I happen to know that’s not the case.
“I describe in my book ‘The President’s Devotional’ some of President Obama’s most intimate moments, and how he has leaned on his Christian faith in the toughest of times.”
Not only did DuBois refute Dawkins’ assertion, but he went on to say: “I think Richard Dawkins is a secret Christian. Or at least a theist, a believer, a man who knows God.”
So am I impressed with Richard Dawkins or Rev. DuBois?
To my knowledge, there (isn’t anyone) who possesses the capacity to “write” who hasn’t written something, somewhere at some time, even if it was only on a bathroom wall.
Not that I don’t understand that if Richard Dawkins school transcripts were laid side-by-side with mine in the brain-dead world of University educated Homo sapiens, I would indeed be judged in comparison as less than an amoeba next to his credentials.
According to Webster: “cre·den·tials” (in context) Evidence or testimonials concerning one’s right to credit, confidence, or authority.
According to Wikipedia…
Richard Dawkins, (born 26 March 1941) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.
Dawkins came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme.
In 1982, he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism’s body, but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms; …This concept is presented in his book The Extended Phenotype.
Dawkins is an atheist, and vice president of the British Humanist Association, and a supporter of the Brights movement. He is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design.
In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker.
He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics.
In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator (almost) “certainly does not exist” and that religious faith is a delusion—”a fixed false belief”.
(Sidebar); Although I’ve covered this before…
According to Webster “ox·y·mo·ron” A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.
As of January 2010, the English-language version had sold more than two million copies and had been translated into 31 languages.
Dawkins describes his childhood as “a normal (Anglican) upbringing”. He was a Christian until halfway through his teenage years, at which point (he concluded) ….
(Sidebar), ..or more correctly;
that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life’s complexity, and ceased believing in a god.
Dawkins states: “the main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing.”
He attended Oundle School, an English public school with a distinct Church of England flavour, from 1954 to 1959, where he was in Laundimer house.
He studied zoology at Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in 1962; while there, he was tutored by Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen. He continued as a research student under Tinbergen’s supervision, receiving his M.A. and D.Phil. degrees by 1966, and remained a research assistant for another year.
Tinbergen was a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour, particularly in the areas of instinct, learning and choice; Dawkins’s research in this period concerned models of animal decision-making.
From 1967 to 1969, he was an assistant professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. During this period, the students and faculty at UC Berkeley were largely opposed to the ongoing Vietnam War, and Dawkins became involved in the anti-war demonstrations and activities…
Sidebar); I was also against the Vietnam War, not because of any particular “philosophy” I picked up in a classroom…
..but rather because I was in Vietnam getting shot at!
He returned to the University of Oxford in 1970, taking a position as a lecturer. In 1990, he became a reader in zoology.
In 1995, he was appointed Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position that had been endowed by Charles Simonyi with the express intention that the holder “be expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field”, and that its first holder should be Richard Dawkins.
(Sidebar); A week or so ago, a passing storm dropped about 3 inches of snow on my driveway and sidewalks, accordingly I was appointed to be in charge of our snow shovel, with the express understanding (from my wife) that I should (not only) be it’s first holder, ..I should it’s only holder.
Since 1970, he has been a fellow of New College, Oxford. He has delivered a number of inaugural and other lectures, including the Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture (1989), the first Erasmus Darwin Memorial Lecture (1990), the Michael Faraday Lecture (1991), the T. H. Huxley Memorial Lecture (1992), the Irvine Memorial Lecture (1997), the Sheldon Doyle Lecture (1999), the Tinbergen Lecture (2004) and the Tanner Lectures (2003).
In 1991, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children on Growing Up in the Universe. He has also served as editor of a number of journals, and has acted as editorial advisor to the Encarta Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Evolution.
Question: Does anyone other than myself find it odd that an atheist who is devout in his belief that there is no God would lecture children at the Royal institution of Christmas?
Question: Does Mr. Dawkins not understand that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the son of God?
He is a senior editor of the Council for Secular Humanism’s Free Inquiry magazine, for which he also writes a column. He has been a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine since its foundation.
He has sat on judging panels for awards as diverse as the Royal Society’s Faraday Award and the British Academy Television Awards, and has been president of the Biological Sciences section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 2004, Balliol College, Oxford instituted the Dawkins Prize, awarded for “outstanding research into the ecology and behaviour of animals whose welfare and survival may be endangered by human activities”.
In September 2008, he retired from his professorship, announcing plans to “write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in ‘anti-scientific’ fairytales.”
On 19, August 1967, Dawkins married fellow ethologist Marian Stamp in Annestown, County Waterford, Ireland; they divorced in 1984.
Later that same year, on 1 June, he married Eve Barham in Oxford. They had a daughter as well, Juliet Emma Dawkins. Dawkins and Barham also divorced.
In 1992, he married actress Lalla Ward in Kensington and Chelsea, London. Dawkins met her through their mutual friend Douglas Adams, who had worked with her on the BBC’s Doctor Who. (Source, Wikipedia).
Question: So is what I believe any less powerful or legitimate than what Richard Dawkins believes?
According to Webster: “pow·er·ful,” (in context) Effective or potent.
According to Webster: “le·git·i·mate,” (in context) Being in accordance with established or accepted patterns and standards.
By the standards of “legitimacy” established and published by Merriam-Webster, (individuals) who “believe” in God, so outnumber individuals (who do not believe) in God, when measuring the weight of the evidence, there is no contest.
Irrefutable fact: …
The difference between a Christian and an atheist, ..a Christian “chooses” to believe in God, ..whereas an atheist “chooses” (not) to believe in God.
According to Webster: “choice,” (in context) An alternative.
Postscript: Although I claim no title to a high school diploma or any other certification of learning, one of my most favored possessions is a “customized” highly polished stainless steel “Ruger Super Blackhawk” revolver with (genuine) (Elephant Ivory) grips chambered in Remington .44 Magnum.
My shiny revolver provides me with all the credentials, ..I have ever needed or will ever need in this lifetime.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow