5/25/09

Atheism, Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, being a masterful biologist, zoologist and the recently retired Charles Symoni Professor for the Public Understanding of Atheism, seems just the right person for the job of critiquing a book on Creationism. He has indeed taken up the task.

Richard Dawkins wrote an elucidating critique of Atlas of Creation by the Muslim creationist Harun Yahya which is entitled “Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Harun Yahya.”

The erudite biologist-zoologist-professor’s attention was drawn to the book due to its having been mailed to him “unsolicited and completely free.” The biologist-zoologist-professor’s primary concern appeared to be,
…where the money came from…expensive and glossy production values of this book…And where does the money come from.

How this relates to science, biology, the Darwinian theory of evolution or creationism is lost upon me.

Richard Dawkins also did something that I find stunningly immature, unprofessional and even dangerous; he provided Harun Yahya real name.
How this relates to science, biology, the Darwinian theory of evolution or creationism is lost upon me.

The scholarly biologist-zoologist-professor also committed an ad hominem by noting that, or claiming that, Harun Yahya,
…was sentenced in a Turkish court to a three-year prison sentence "for creating an illegal organization for personal gain."

How this relates to science, biology, the Darwinian theory of evolution or creationism is lost upon me.

Richard Dawkins, and you will recall that he is a biologist, zoologist and professor, first written critique of Atlas of Creation actually managed to get around to the book’s actual content. He notes that the book consists of “more than 700 high-gloss colour pages.”

At the time of the writing of his critique the imminently scholarly biologist, zoologist and professor noted ONE error on “almost the first page I looked at” and then admits that “I have not scanned the book for other inaccuracies of this kind.”

One mistake in more than 700 pages! No joking! Maybe there is something to this book. By the way, I do not know this book nor much about its contents and am thus not endorsing it but discrediting Richard Dawkins for doing such a Pre-Atheist-Kindergarten level job of critiquing it.

But wait there is more the erudite Richard Dawkins, equipped as he is as a biologist, zoologist and professor wrote a “Postscript” where he really exposed Atlas of Creation’s dirty laundry or what he terms “this preposterous book.” By the time of the postscript he states, “I have now looked at some more pages” which makes one wonder what “some” means.

Well, this time the gloves are off and the biologist, zoologist and professor exposed TWO errors (a count of one being given to “The double page spreads” which deal with the same subject).

Yet, ever the clever pseudo-skeptic Richard Dawkins points out a THIRD error this time by putting his head together with the biologist and professor PZ Myers who managed to point out ONE error.

Let us see if we can count the cost: it took two professors of biology two articles to find FOUR errors in more than 700 pages! Note that in referring to errors I am granting Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers’ statements—foolish I know but I am feeling generous.

Having expended the full capabilities of two professors of biology Richard Dawkins ends his exhaustive critique by referencing the “‘breathtaking inanity’ of the content” of the Atlas of Creation (FYI: he does not bother accrediting the quote “breathtaking inanity” perhaps it was a PZ Myers-ism) and asks a question that is about as deep as he is apparently capable of getting,
Is it really inanity, or is it just plain laziness — or perhaps cynical awareness of the ignorance and stupidity of the target audience — mostly Muslim creationists.

WOW! Now this is news! This may be the very first time that Richard Dawkins has gathered up the courage to specifically critique anything Islamic—albeit he is referencing Muslim “creationists” and doing so from the comfort and safety of countries established on Judeo-Christian principles.

As for Atlas of Creation; the score to date is:
Richard Dawkins: 3
PZ Myers: 1
Harun Yahya: more than 696

Although, in reality the Atlas of Creation consist of three volumes totaling 2300 pages thus, Harun Yahya’s score is circa 2296.



Let me guess: as with just about everything else the Dawkinsian apologists will claim that, as with just about everything else, it is simply too far beneath Richard Dawkins to bother with such creationist nonsense. Thus, here again Richard Dawkins failed to fulfill his duties as Professor for the Public Understanding of Science. No wonder that Philip Johnson had to virtually beg him to do his job and even had to recommend how to do it:
I have come to the conclusion that Richard has never assumed the duties of a Professor of the Public Understanding of Science…He seems to lack the intellectual confidence to say anything of substance, so he sticks to the very safe path of appealing to materialist prejudices. I communicated this judgment to Richard, suggesting that he might consider taking on a more challenging subject…

The response that Philip Johnson received from Richard Dawkins was basically, “I take it the difficult target you have in mind is yourself…” a question about the age of the Earth and whether “human ancestry and lobster ancestry…meet in a single common ancestor?”

Philip Johnson writes,
I responded that I did not have only the intelligent design movement in mind as a suitable difficult target. For example, I had suggested to Richard that he write about the British government’s policy of mass slaughter of animals in the vicinity of any case of hoof and mouth disease…This would be a particularly appropriate topic for a Darwinian to use to educate the public about how scientific decisions are made, but Richard would not take it up. Too bad…[1]

Harun Yahya notes:
Dawkins, who on his web site described the picture of an insect in the Atlas of Creation that was actually a model as an error and thus attempts to cover up the powerful global impact of the Atlas, and imagines that this somehow represents a great discovery…

Note that on his web site Richard Dawkins never goes into the question of whether or not the caddis fly is still alive today, makes no comment at all about the subject, and is only interested in the nature of the picture in the Atlas of Creation. Dawkins naturally has not a word to say about the fact the creature is still living today and has never changed over the course of millions of years.

Neither does Dawkins have anything to say about the hundreds of living fossils shown on just about every page of the Atlas of Creation.[2]

Richard Dawkins has, yet again, managed to discredit himself even whilst seeking to discredit others.

[1] Philip Johnson’s Weekly Wedge Update, “Richard Dawkins,” Access Research Network, July 9, 2001
[2] Harun Yahya, “Richard Dawkins' And Daily Hurriyet's Ignorance,” Harun Yahya An Invitation to the Truth

15 comments:

  1. How this [following the money] relates to science, biology, the Darwinian theory of evolution or creationism is lost upon me. 
    This is funny coming from somebody who does exactly this himself!

    The criticisms of the substance of the book aren't so frivolous as you want people to believe. His "model" of an ancient caddis fly is a fishing lure, complete with hook! (here)

    An honest and more thorough examination of the issue can be found here, in case anyone is actually interested in the substance of the case.

    The basic argument that fossils similar in appearance to contemporary organisms "prove" that evolution never happened are fatuous, especially when you compare a contemporary species with a plastic fishing lure.

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  2. MaskedMarauder,
    I will consider your comments to be in jest as the performance of professors of biology Richard Dawkins was no less than pathetic.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  3. Incidentally,
    Anyone reading these comments really should read the post at the link provided above in order to see that MaskedMarauder also does not understand the difference between questioning the funding of the book that Dawkins cannot refute on the one hand and poiting out that books and DVDs are being sold about the finds (fossil or manuscript) on the other.

    aDios,
    Mariano .

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  4. One mistake in more than 700 pages! No joking! Maybe there is something to this book.  
    This is grossly misleading. The mistakes are legion. And to call the one in question just "a mistake" is like calling WWII just a skirmish. Yahya's opus is a monumental and profound aberration. Confusing an eel with a snake, or a crinoid with an annelid is like taking your broken lawn mower to a gynecologist to be repaired.

    Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya) is a buffoon and/or a fraud. That Mariano defends him speaks volumes about the heart and soul of christianity today and slack-brained religion in general.

    The hypocrisy Mariano peddles here is blatant and profound to the point of being openly dishonest. Imagine what Mariano would say if Dawkins had a criminal record and was publishing under an assumed name. Imagine what Mariano would say if Dawkins gave away 10,000 copies of one of his books for free to teachers and schools at a personal expense of hundreds of thousands dollars. Imagine what Mariano would say if Dawkins made such factually absurd statements as that the biblical Jerusalem was in Fiji and Jesus rode a Harley. Oktar's record is just that bad. But still Mariano stands by his man, defending laughable error from truth.

    Mariano could have taken the day off or written a responsible opinion on a substantive issue, but instead chose to write another lengthy snarling diatribe defending the scholarship of a buffoon. Not by arguing that Oktar is correct, because even Mariano knows that is a lost cause, but by trying to make Dawkins look mean or lazy.

    What needs to be kept in mind is that even IF Dawkins were the meanie Mariano wants us to believe he is, Oktar is still a buffoon, his book is still a crock and Dawkins' scathing criticism is still just.

    ... MaskedMarauder also does not understand the difference between questioning the funding of the book that Dawkins cannot refute on the one hand and poiting out that books and DVDs are being sold about the finds (fossil or manuscript) on the other. 
    I am aware of the difference: there is none. The root question, no matter how you try to obfuscate it, is: cui bono? Who benefits?

    In the one case Mariano insinuates, without evidence, that the scholarship on Ida is tainted because some of the people involved in the research might profit from their significant and acknowledged achievement. In the other case murky money is bankrolling a drive to inject fake scholarship of no merit into schools. The directions of monetary flow are opposite in the two cases, but underneath that superficial difference lies the same implication that entanglement with money matters in evaluating their respective claims.

    I have no problem with that. In fact, I agree. Big bucks in science is always a reason for concern. It should be in religion too, but that appears to be asking too much from people who pride themselves on being like sheep.

    But at the end of the day, no matter who makes or loses money in the Ida affair, the fossil is still an authentic and significant contribution to primate paleontology that many people will be eager to read about and pay to see. And Mariano's intellectual mentor Yahya's book is still a steaming heap of baloney he has to give away.

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  5. Given the egregiousness and inanity of the errors, just how many errors should Dawkins and Myers have pointed out? If I were to send you a 700 page picture book about how all the Catholic Popes were really space aliens and you look at a page at random and it shows a picture of Alexander Pope opposite a picture of Michael Rennie, you really wouldn't need to look much further, now would you?

    Also, since it is obvious that the book is NOT a real attempt at science, it is reasonable to assume that there is a social, political or financial motivation for sending the book. So, questioning the motives behind the author is quite valid.

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  6. Haven't they put HaHa Yahoo in jail as yet? Maybe while he is in there he could complete his education. After all he failed to complete his course in Interior Design.

    He has no qualifications in science (zilch, zero, nada, none) so perhaps this is something he could rectify as well.

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  7. Adnan Oktar is indeed in jail, for trying to blackmail a woman into having sex with her.
    Dawkins would wiped the floor with Oktar's naive book. It isn't even Oktar's work, but that of his lackeys. Oktar was trying desperately to become some sort of messiah figure to the Islamic world, but so far has succeeded only in showing;
    1. That he knows nothing about evolution.
    2. that he is too lazy to write the books attributed to him.
    3. That he is a delusional megalomaniac.


    Anyone that thinks Oktar has demolished evolution should really take lessons in molecular biology.


    Eyup Erdogan.

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  8. "One mistake in more than 700 pages! No joking! Maybe there is something to this book. By the way, I do not know this book nor much about its contents and am thus not endorsing it but discrediting Richard Dawkins for doing such a Pre-Atheist-Kindergarten level job of critiquing it."


    The only kindergarten here is Oktar's childish conceptions of creationism.
    Since you haven't read it at all Dawkins has the edge over you.
    If you think that Oktar's ignorant book may have something in it after Dawkins has shown the lack of BASIC biological and zoological knowledge in it, I must assume that you are still in kindergarten as far as common sense is concerned.
    By the way your critique of dawkins was a real howler. You suck at criticism.


    Eyup Erdogan.

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  9. "JAMSHED MOIDU said...
    Harun Yahya Rocks.........."

    I find it edifying that someone is naive and ignorant enought to side with such a huge loser as Haha Yahoo.
    But then again sad losers need someone to emulate.;)

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  10. JAMSHED MOIDU said

    Harun Yahya sucks...


    There Jamhead fixed it for you. By the way I hope your messiah is holding up well in prison.

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  11. With the information they contain, their wise language and esthetic design, Adnan Oktar's books have a wide global impact. These works enjoy an enormous readership in many countries of the world, from the USA to Indonesia, from South Africa to Russia, from China to Australia and from Nigeria to Canada. Works dealing with the moral values of the Qur’an, the Sunna of our Prophet (saas) and the signs leading to faith are instrumental in many people become believers or growing in faith. Books about world politics or freemasonry, on the other hand, change many people’s way of looking at the world and allow them to learn the truth behind many events. Adnan Oktar's books concerning the scientific collapse of Darwinism are among those that have the most powerful impact of all. All these books elicit major responses worldwide and lift the mask of Darwinism in a great many countries, Turkey in particular.

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  12. It is in his books that Adnan Oktar's intelligence, wisdom and foresight can be seen. Adnan Oktar's profound analysis, rational descriptions and matchless examples are some of the main reasons why these works have such a huge global impact worldwide and elicit such great responses. Mr. Oktar's works are unique in terms of their descriptive technique, illustrations, logical framework, depth, sincerity and credibility. The style employed in these books, the way the sentences are put together, the powerful evidence employed and their irrefutability are not to be found in any other works.

    These works, which are instrumental in people coming to believe or to grow in faith, can only lead to salvation through the great wisdom bestowed by Allah. And by Allah’s leave, that great wisdom manifests itself in Adnan Oktar. The idea in question therefore stems from the rantings of certain people made uneasy by the impact of these works.

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  13. Mein Kampf was also instrumental in people coming to believe or to grow in the faith, the faith of Aryan supremacy. They too mistook absurd mythology for great wisdom that would lead to salvation. And that great wisdom manifested itself in Adolf Hitler.

    Mein Kampf was horsehit too. Just because somebody finds a myth appealing, uplifting or empowering doesn't make it true.

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  14. Silentside if your messiah is so intelligent, wise and full of foresight why did he end up in jail? And why does he make basic mistakes in biology?

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