Richard Dawkins’ new book The Magic of Reality was released today. It’s a book targeted to teens to give them answers to questions such as, “How old is the universe?,” “Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a puzzle?,” “What causes tsunamis?,” “Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals?,” and “Who was the first man, or woman?”
In a promotional video Dawkins made for the book he says the following:
In The Magic of Reality I have set out to show you what is myth and what is real and to persuade you that the true magic is science.
Each chapter poses a question. Before giving the true scientific answer I also describe a few colorful myths that have been used to answer the question some ancient and some commonly believed to this day.Of course, among myths from the Egyptians, Vikings, and Aztecs is the Judeo-Christian “myth” of Genesis. But who decides what is myth and what is real? If our brains are nothing more than the result of evolutionary processes such as mutation and chance, then why should we trust them to differentiate correctly between myth and reality? If Dawkins was consistent with his worldview, he would realize he has no basis for the reliability of his senses. Dr. Jason Lisle stated the following in the article “Feedback: Coming to Our Senses”:
Since God designed the human mind and our senses, we would expect them to be able to function properly. So, in the Christian worldview, it makes sense that our senses would reliably perceive the environment and that our mind would have the ability to be rational. But in the evolutionary worldview, the sensory organs and the brain are just chemical accidents that happened to convey survival value. Therefore, there is no logical reason to think that they should be reliable.Dawkins also appeared on BBC Newsnight to discuss his book with Jeremy Paxman. Paxman asked:
And part of it is comfort isn’t it [people wanting to believe supposed myths]? If you are told, and I don’t want to get too much into religion, but if you are told that you are a unique creation made in God’s image, loved by God and the rest of it, as opposed to the scientific conclusion which you must come to that you are a pretty unsubstantial speck in the cosmos. One is comforting, one is slightly alarming isn’t it?Dawkins replied:
Well one is false and one is true. And it is rather important as to whether it is alarming or not to get what’s true. You can make up any number of stories that are comforting but the truth has some value as well.Dawkins answer that “truth has value” is a not an answer to the question posed by Paxman. What he is essentially trying to “cover up” is the conclusion that there is no meaning and purpose in life if we are nothing more than the result of random evolutionary processes. That conclusion is too depressing and sad for most people (and probably would not make people want to buy his book!) However, the conclusion that we have meaning and purpose in life can only stem from the knowledge that we are made in God’s image and that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us.
Toward the end of the interview there is a revealing interaction between Paxman and Dawkins:
Paxman: Do you really care that there are a lot of stupid people around?Obviously Dawkins and Paxman think adults such as myself and my readers are stupid and ignorant for believing that the Bible presents actual truth. So why does Dawkins care? Because of the children that are being “misled” and “denied” knowing about the wonderful world we live in. Once again, Dawkins is inconsistent with his worldview. Since an atheist has no ultimate foundation for morality, why is it wrong to lie? If when we die we just go to dust and that’s it, then why does it matter what I believe and teach my children while I’m living?
Dawkins: I do actually yes, I really do, I mean I care that children are being misled by those stupid people.
Dawkins: Because I think that children deserve to know what’s true and what’s wonderful about the world into which they’ve been born. It really is true and it is wonderful and it’s such a crying shame if children are denied that by ignorant and stupid adults as you’ve described them.
I pray that rather than being discouraged by Dawkins and his book, you are motivated and encouraged because resources are available that start with God’s Word as truth to teach your children and teens the right answers to these questions.
- How old is the universe?
- Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a puzzle?
- What causes tsunamis?
- Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals?
- Who was the first man, or woman?
Keep fighting the good fight of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12)!