Dawkins is an Ass

Dawkins and Collins, two preeminent geneticists, are arguing God vs. Science.  I think Collins makes some flying leaps and panders slightly, but Dawkins is out of control.  He’s close to understanding the entire universe in his own mind.  I have a little parable from his own field of study to instruct those who care about “truth”.

Imagine a million or more years of evolution, where we now know that humans evolved for monogamy and equal division of labor between male and female.  By the time we develop language, perhaps 150,000 years ago, there is no question but that man and woman are meant to be equal partners.

But humans have always been scientists — people who seek to understand the immutable laws of the natural world, and who want to use those laws to better themselves and their society.  Perhaps the greatest first victory of these scientists was agriculture.  With agriculture, mankind was at last free from scarcity, and was able to accrue abundance and argue about how to distribute that abundance fairly.

Enter the “hate the father” scientist.  These are scientists who look back at the past as if it is a mistake, who seek to erase it and replace it with the new “truth”.  They attribute negative motives and seek to debunk, rather than rooting out the deception or error in their own ways.

Soon, one scientist observed: All life springs from the earth.  All life springs from woman.  Thus woman is the life-bringer, the superior of man.  Clearly, this was the only logical explanation, with our new understanding of agriculture.  The old way was an evil aberration; a naive mistake.  Enter the Gaia cults.  Hierarchy was necessary to manage larger societies, and priestesses ruled the new order.  Thank Goddess for science!

But man’s animal nature is to lek.  And soon, some scientist perfected the theory of “seed”.  You see, the earth is dead — it does not live.  The plant consumes the soil and makes it alive, so the plant is superior to the earth.  In fact, the seed is simply the plant’s mechanism of replicating itself!  It is a curse that man needs woman instead of earth to replicate; this half-alive temptress!  At last, a superior understanding of the laws of nature gave us a reason to overthrow the priestess cults and establish male-dominated hierarchies.  It was a very short time before we had kings with harems numbering in the thousands.  Thank God for science!

The male-dominated cults relied on the concept of “transubstantiation” — the living makes the dead alive by consuming it.  So instead of the female cults of life-giving and cycles, we have male pyramids of domination.  It is only natural that cults of animal sacrifice (the gods must also consume!) and human sacrifice (especially virgins, who are as dead as earth with no seed) and cannibalism sprung up.

It took a very long time before people rejected the idiocy of the death cults, pyramid cults, and inequality.  In fact, the death blow probably came when Pythagoreans and Dualists combined and we saw the premier seed-oriented male pyramid cult inverted — it’s messiah a man who was born without a y-chromosome, refused to have children, and died to save those of other races than his own.

This didn’t exactly end the nattering about whether “the laws of nature” intended man or woman to be boss.  Scientists and philosophers have made convincing arguments on both sides for the following 2,000 years.  Amazingly, it’s only with an understanding of DNA and very modern approaches to evolutionary theory that you can *prove* to the idiot scientist that men and women were meant to be equal partners.

Dawkins, in fact, started this revolution; with his observation that “humanity is just DNA’s mechanism for replicating itself”.  (Of course, I note that all human societies develop idols and idolotary — and Dawkins so eloquently argues that a blind watchmaker could easily recreate humanity by setting a few variables.  So cleary, DNA is idols’ way of replicating themselves.  Soon all of the matter in the universe will be transmutated into a massive golden calf.  The idol cults were right — DNA may sit above man, but idols sit above us all.)

In any case, you cannot help but be stunned by the power of DNA theory to prove every other debunking scientist of the past wrong.  In fact, there is no possible way to refute the arguments of those earlier debunkers without DNA theory.  You would have been laughed out of the scientific establishments to make such a declaration, since there was no scientific proof.  Someone prior to 1965 saying, “you know in your heart that men and women are meant to be equally yoked” would only attract scorn from someone with the rigorous doubters method of Dawkins.  He won’t believe what he hasn’t seen with his own eyes.

So we’ve suffered from several thousand years of nasty cults because people like Dawkins urged us to ignore our hearts and focus on what “logic” and “science” said; and he wants us to assume that this time, he’s got it all figured out?  He’s observed the whole universe?

This is my beef with people like Dawkins, Sagan, and Chomsky.  They discover one universal truth (out of perhaps an infinite store), and they spend the rest of their careers trying to prove how stupid God and everyone else are.  Maybe if they would spend a bit more time looking at the beam in their own eyes, God would let them in on some more universal truth.  If I’m betting on who gets further revelations, my money’s on Collins.

14 thoughts on “Dawkins is an Ass”

  1. Interesting how one’s Korzybski ponderings shine through!

    A few years ago I went to a Dawkins do and came to the “ass” view. It reminded me of Hitchens. All-knowing is right up there with “know nothing”.

    My experience with Sagan was not all that dismissive because he was essentilly saying that “the infinite” must contain similar-to-us entities (essentially else it wouldn’t be “infinite”). It’s like the “long term” for game theory analyses of poker: if you win the lottery (or series of coin flips) you must be an authority and the Skinnerian-induced superstitions become inarguable fact, because after all…


  2. Yeah, I agree Sagan wasn’t as bad — but he was a sort of a popularizer of the whole debunking party. In some cases, I had to think, “Well, Carl, knowing what you know *now*, how would *you* have explained the general concept to someone 2000 years ago with no written language?” It’s like a guy going into an elementary school, where the teacher is telling an instructive story using as characters animals who talk — and the guy starts screaming “LIES! LIES! Animals CAN’T TALK!!”

  3. “Maybe if they would spend a bit more time looking at the beam in their own eyes, God would let them in on some more universal truth. ” WTF does that mean? I hope you’re being sarcastic but the Universe is telling me that you’re not. Unsubscribe.

  4. Stunned: There certainly is some sarcasm in my jabs at authoritarian scientists:

    Science advances through humility and the willingness to suspend your ego in the face of universal truth. This is a major part of the teachings of the great religious teachers such as Buddha and Moses, as well as the founders of science: Pythagoras and Bacon. Every search for truth is at first advanced by people who bury their own egos, and eventually abused by people who cannot. Bacon and Pythagoras have far more in common with Moses than with Dawkins. And Dawkins has far more in common with the Inquisitors than with the founders of his chosen cult. Science has been used to justify racism, euthenasia, and many other things we now know to be wrong. Same with religion. Religion doesn’t kill people; egomaniacal authoritarian people kill people. Same with science.

  5. Christ almighty, a mountain of ignorance here. I don’t have time for all of it, but I’ll start the ball rolling. Take this from the third paragraph: “With agriculture, mankind was at last free from scarcity, and was able to accrue abundance….” The last book you read on prehistory was clearly published in the ‘seventies or early ‘eighties. I’d advise getting something up to date, and whatever you’re reading, read slower.

  6. If you followed this blog in the past 60 days, you would see that I cite two books dealing with prehistoric evolution of mankind in that timeframe; both written within the past ten years. I don’t even know you, but since I’m a nice guy, I’ll let your childish challenge of my scholarship slide this time.

    In fact, I’m mystified that anyone would find issue with that sentence, except perhaps to challenge the “at last free from scarcity”. Perhaps you’re a student of Ricardo and Malthus, and therefore believe that “abundance is a lie”? If so, note that I said “at last”, but not “forever”. But I needn’t try to read your mind — if you have a point, please make it plainly.

  7. So you’re calling Dawkins an ass because of his approach, attitude?

    I see and appreciate your point, but I am grateful that issues regarding religion are being discussed. It’s about time we had a global dialog regarding religion and Dawkins’ activism helps shine the light on the issues.

    Extreme, violent fundamentalist movements are a growing problem. The fact that scientists are now threatened enough to talk about it publicly gives me hope that smart minds are turning their attention to this increasingly frightening situation. Check out Beyond Belief 2006 – http://beyondbelief2006.org/Watch/ – I found Joan Roughgarden (she and Dawkins get into it) and Sam Harris particularly interesting.

    Love your posts!

  8. Yes, primarily his attitude. The Nazis claimed that “reason”, “logic”, and “science” supported their genocide; and they talked about the Jews as being “dangerous religious fundamentalists”. Pol Pot committed mass genocide in the name of atheism.

    My point is not that religion is good — religion can be bad or good; just like science. My point is that *any* system; atheism, legalism, christianity, etc. can be twisted by people with big egos who insist on finding flaw in others rather than examining their own hearts.

  9. BTW, thanks for the pointer. I’m watching Dawkins attempt to refute Roughgarden right now. I’m ever more convinced he’s a moron. He says, “why use a parable?”, as if evolutionary biology didn’t go off down so many wrong turns over the past 20 years. Evolutionary biology was completely impotent to provide a seriously credible model of male/female evolution without sophisticated computer modelling. The other thing that bothers me, is he always places “evidence” above all else. “Evidence” is great, but imagination (and all sorts of models, including computer models) can be incredibly powerful. Einstein was right to say “imagination is more important than knowledge”.

    Dawkins is a divider, not a uniter. A rather pathetic figure.

  10. He is worse than an ass. He is just Satan on earth, if I hav eto believe in satan.

    I can forsee how things can evolve from his logic of ” I am brighter than thou” and I know it all.

    What does he know any way futher than our prinitive versions? They put all in from father to son so does he…
    he is just the most stupid person I have ever seen to claim intelligence: when I was 7 I have had his questions “who I am? where do I come from?”
    If I was about to be convinced with Bull Shit then I would be conviunced with Original sin Bull shit already.

    I invite dawkins to F*** off until he creates a live-cell for me, as Galileo did.
    He is not an ass he is a F***-all.

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