Richard Dawkins Rules Out Abiogenesis, part 2 of 2

FYI: this post has been moved here.


  1. We say that there are flaws and inefficiencies of design in Biology not because we can imagine something better but because modern species give us concrete examples of better design. For example, unlike us, a dolphin won't choke while eating because their air intake is separated from their food intake.

    If we were designed by an intelligent but somewhat incompetent designer, the flaws in design could manifest themselves in many different ways. Yet the type of stupid design we see is the very specific kind that shows evidence of being constrained to modify existing designs rather than start from scratch. This is what the theory of evolution predicts (surprise, surprise).

    Mariano's spin on Dawkins' book is laughable:

    ...a book calling for conversion to atheism while preaching the death of God—wrapped around a very thin veneer of “science.”

    The science in the book is anything but thin. It compiles the work of hundreds of scientists. As for his agenda, here's what Dawkins' says:

    This is a book about the positive evidence that evolution is a fact. It is not intended as an anti-religious book. I've done that, it's another T-shirt, this is not the place to wear it again. Bishops and theologians who have attended to the evidence for evolution have given up the struggle against it.

    You'll notice that Mariano's struggle against evolution does not confront any of the evidence presented in the book. Instead he rants about theodicy.

    I have to confront Mariano's false claim that Dawkins' "cultural-Christianity" is responsible for his belief that it would be immoral to benefit from evil, pain and suffering. Dawkins has mentioned getting his songs, poetry and culture from Christianity, but definitely not his moral guidance. Many of his moral stances are in direct conflict with the teachings of Christianity.

    Is it really so hard to see the coherence and lack of circular logic in a nonsupernatural view of suffering. Selfish genes maximizing their survival create organisms that can suffer. The same mechanisms create organisms with the capacity for sympathy and compassion. Our experience of compassion is visceral and real and a guiding force in our moral decisions. If you choose to benefit by causing suffering to others, my compassion alarm goes off and I label your actions as immoral. If you try to justify these actions by claiming that they may benefit the survival of the fittest, I'd say "non sequitur". I feel no investment in making sure that the fittest survive. My own genes want to survive, which may make me put on cologne, drive a sporty car, and even get in a fist fight with a competing suitor. But I don't experience any visceral drive toward eugenics.

    Please read this book for yourselves if you're interested in understanding the evidence for evolution.

  2. Mmmm interesting that you begin with a presuposition as though yo know exactly what Mariano's views on evolution are. Or his thoughts for that matter. In general it is right how he is attacking the theodicy. Dawkins tries (and fails spectacularly) to use evolution as a case against God. In a book that isn't supposed to be about religion at all he does a surprising amount of shooting at it (starting on the first page).

    He should stick to biology instead of trying to stamp on other peoples beliefs.

    Signed "that anonymous troll" ;)

  3. Hi anonymous troll,

    Can you please point out my presupposition "as though [I] know exactly what Mariano's views on evolution are."

    Also, can you please identify a quote from the first page of the book that "shoots at" religion?


  4. If Mariano's POV viz TOE isn't crystal clear at this point, who's failure is that?

    But the arguments are laughable... at least chuckleable.

    e.g.: How does he know that it is a mess? Because it looks messy? But to what is he drawing that comparison?

    Probably by a passing acquaintance with simple physics and basic standard practices in engineering. I mean, look at the aorta. The vessel that carries the highest volume of blood at the highest velocity and highest pressure makes about a 180 degree turn at full throttle to deliver the bulk of the blood to the bulk of the body.

    Anyone with an ounce of sense would have the aorta come out the bottom of the heart and send the minor arteries up. The water hammer is tremendous. If our circulatory system had a designer He was a lummox.

    If Mariano thinks that the human circulatory system isn't a kludge then the onus is on him to explain why not. Huffing and puffing in medium-high dudgeon at Dawkins' claim isn't a refutation of it nor is it a defence of designism. Its just cheap theater, like most of relgion.

  5. Hey! Look what showed up on NPR this morning, a piece on trigeminal neuralgia (http://tinyurl.com/yhhydjg). Its pain so intense people sometimes kill themselves to escape it. And, guess what! Its caused by pinching of the nerve by an artery.... you know, that stupendously well designed circulatory kludge that Mariano marvels at the majesty of its perfection its so good.

    How providential that such a story should appear just now! If you believe that this world is as it is on purpose, then you have to suppose He scheduled this segment just now. One wonders what His response is trying to say about Mariano's peculiar, untested and undefended theory of the supposed anatomical perfection of form by design.

    It looks to me like He just came down on Dawkins' side on this.

  6. Look, stop picking on god!
    He had six days to knock something up.
    Of course he's going to have a few sloppy designs here and there.
    However, Ray Comfort was able to point out that god left at least one good clue to show that everything was really designed, so that's ok.

  7. I think you meant "knock off", not "knock up". That's what Zeus is famous for (Leda and the swan, etc., etc, etc...), although the Holy Ghost did boink Mary. But that took the usual nine months, not six days. But you're right, I do get panic attacks every time I go into the produce section...

    What's ironic in the video is that Mr Know Itall peels the banana from the wrong end. Chimps, respected world experts in banana technology, peel from other end. That way you don't get the annoying stringy things dangling down.

    The domestic banana can't reproduce on its own. The common store banana that Mr Smarty Pants used to make his point are seedless fruit and have to be cultivated. How "smart" a design is that? Perhaps God created us to save His botched banana. He did make bananas before He made us, after all. Clearly they are more important to Him.

    But thanks for the video. Kirk is a rich Hollywood Celebrity, so I guess he knows pretty much everything, just like Mariano. Certainly more than Prof Dawkins.

  8. Kufrdric makes a good point - a really solid case for sloppy design could be made via an Englishman's family photo album.

  9. lol the only design fault I can see is the brain that inhabits the heads of atheists like dawkins harris etc.Now there I have to agree.. that really is a bit of a mess.