The Problem with God: Interview with Richard Dawkins

The renowned biologist talks about intelligent design, dishonest Christians, and why God is no better than an imaginary friend.

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You criticize intelligent design, saying that "the theistic answer"--pointing to God as designer--"is deeply unsatisfying"--presumably you mean on a logical, scientific level.

Yes, because it doesn't explain where the designer comes from. If they're going to emphasize the statistical improbability of biological organs-"these are so complicated, how could they have evolved?"--well, if they're so complicated, how could they possibly have been designed? Because the designer would have to be even more complicated.

Dawkins on Design
Listen to clips from Dawkins' recent speech:

 The Flaws in the Argument from Design
 There Is an Alternative to Chance
 The Faulty Logic of 'Irreducible Complexity'
 Creationists Adore Gaps in the Fossil Record
 Evolution and Theism Are Incompatible

Obviously, a lot of people find the theistic answer satisfying on another level. What do you see as the problem with that level?

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What other level?

At whatever level where people say the idea of God is very satisfying.

Well, of course it is. Wouldn't it be lovely to believe in an imaginary friend who listens to your thoughts, listens to your prayers, comforts you, consoles you, gives you life after death, can give you advice? Of course it's satisfying, if you can believe it. But who wants to believe a lie?

Is atheism the logical extension of believing in evolution?

They clearly can't be irrevocably linked because a very large number of theologians believe in evolution. In fact, any respectable theologian of the Catholic or Anglican or any other sensible church believes in evolution. Similarly, a very large number of evolutionary scientists are also religious. My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism.

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Interview by Laura Sheahen
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