Looking for examples of people blaming creationism on Richard Dawkins

PZ Myers recently did a post ridiculing the notion–promoted by Robert Wright–that it’s his fault and Richard Dawkins’ fault that the evolution-creation debate has become more politically charged “more politically charged, more acrimonious.” PZ’s smackdown is great, comparing Gallup’s timeline of belief in evolution in the US, along with dates of major court cases over evolution, with the dates of the founding of Pharyngula and the publication of The God Delusion.

It’s always great to see stupid arguments like that smacked down so solidly, but it got me thinking: I’ve heard people blame creationism on Dawkins way too many times. This isn’t just Robert Wright. Let’s spread the ridicule around, shall we? Who else has made ridiculous claims like that? (Some names are springing to mind, but links would be very helpful here.)

One example I can source off the top of my head is Alvin Plantinga’s book Where the Conflict Really Lies, my review of which I recently reposted. There, Plantinga has a section “Why Do People Doubt Evolution?” which puts all the blame on scientists, and doesn’t even consider the possibility that fundamentalist Christianity and Genesis might have something to do with it. This is appallingly dishonest because, as I show in my review, Plantinga had previously been quite clear about the conflict between the Bible and evolution, and even defended the reasonableness of young-earth creationism.

What else can people give me?

  • Aaron Ross

    Y d rlz tht P Z Myrs s bgt, dn’t y?

    See? Now this is the kind of substance-free comment I have no use for. And you’ve also broken the “pick a name and stick with it rule.” Step even a little bit out of line again and you may get to be the first person I’ve ever banned from my blog.

    • redmjoel

      I’m rather curious how you would back that statement up?

      • mikespeir

        I don’t even know what that statement says. And, no, I’m not asking.

    • Randall Morrison

      Is that a promise?!

      I would be honored!

      So, you bigots all go play with yourselves.

      Myers promotes hate and you KNOW IT, and YOU are afraid of him Chris!

      • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

        As you wish.

  • josh

    I’d be surprised if Allister McGrath hasn’t said something along those lines. I remember reading his Twilight of Atheism, which came out a bit before the ‘New Atheists’ really started garnering attention, and thinking this was a guy who had no clue about the scale or causes or direction of historical events. His whole schtick is ‘Oh I respect these classical atheists (Nietzche, Sartre & co.) who realized what a terrible world this would be without god, but these modern atheists (Dawkins et al.) are just shallow upstarts.’

  • Reginald Selkirk

    William Reville

    Creationism undoubtedly contributes to the high fraction of the population that does not believe in evolution. However, the situation is also exacerbated by the extremely aggressive campaign against religion being waged by the New Atheists, led by Richard Dawkins. This movement is the flip-side of the fundamentalist coin to creationism. It aims to get rid of all forms of religion, no matter how moderate or diffident they are, and, in the words of Mooney and Kirshenbaum, “publicly eviscerates believers, calling them delusional and irrational”. The paradox is that New Atheism must prevent many people, who sincerely believe in God as a core value, from also believing in evolution because one of the world’s keenest scientific minds (Dawkins) persistently preaches that the theory of evolution makes God redundant.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Michael Ruse

    On the left, the New Atheist movement frightens me immensely. Its supporters openly and explicitly link evolutionary thinking with non-belief, sneering at those (like me) who think that science and religion can exist harmoniously together. I don’t care what the law says, politically this is moronic. The citizens of Tennessee, the judges of the Supreme Court, are going to believe that if evolution alone is taught in schools the kids of the country will be getting atheist propaganda – no matter what actually happens – and they are going to want to counter it. I imagine that every time that Richard Dawkins opens his mouth, the Discovery Institute lights a candle of thanks, or whatever it is that evangelicals do these days.

    I think Ruse has made similar comments on several occasions.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Ruse again

    Most importantly, the new atheists are doing terrible damage to the fight to keep Creationism out of the schools. The First Amendment does not ban the teaching of bad science in publicly funded schools. It bans the teaching of religion. That is why it is crucial to argue that Creationism, including its side kick IDT, is religion and not just bad science. But sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If teaching “God exists” is teaching religion – and it is – then why is teaching “God does not exist” not teaching religion? Obviously it is teaching religion. But if science generally and Darwinism specifically imply that God does not exist, then teaching science generally and Darwinism specifically runs smack up against the First Amendment. Perhaps indeed teaching Darwinism is implicitly teaching atheism. This is the claim of the new atheists. If this is so, then we shall have to live with it and rethink our strategy about Creationism and the schools. The point is however that the new atheists have lamentably failed to prove their point, and excoriating people like me who show the failure is (again) not very helpful.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Ruse again, just two days ago

    Having said that, I do think that Wright has something of a point. I too worry that polarizing things does lead to a religion-or-science-and-take-no-hostages kind of thinking…

    (A bit more nuanced than previous pronouncements, when you look at the context.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

      Ah. The Ruse quotes are really useful.


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