Dawkins Continues…

Dark Clouds Gather It seems like a daily visit to the Technorati Tags is going to provide a constant supply of entertainment. At the moment, there are around five blog posts a day with that tag and while two or three of them seem to be this one (at the moment) this is not always the case 🙂

Anyway, today I was rewarded with a post on the Chris Street Blog, which reprinted a New Scientist magazine article. The article is a “review” of The by Mary Midgley.

Now, as Mary Midgley is a long standing and well known “opponent” and critic of pretty much everything Richard Dawkins writes, I am intrigued as to why New Scientist got her to write a review of the book. I suppose they were hoping that she would be able to provide a solid “counter argument” to most of Dawkin’s writings.

Sadly, while Midgley is certainly arguing against Dawkins, it is not a review of the book. In her article she talks about how Atheism gave birth to Nazi Germany, a fallacy (Hitler at least claimed to be a Catholic in his letters to the post, and the vast majority of those who committed the atrocities were Christians) which Dawkins exposes in the book. Surely if Midgley had read the book she was reviewing, she would have been able to pass comment on how Dawkins explains the fallacy rather than repeat it.

The remainder of her review is better and she does (occasionally) make some good points about Dawkins. Most of her valid points though are not as part of a review of the book, but about Dawkins’ attitude in general. It is a shame she chose to use a “review” as an opportunity to take a shot, it does no one any favours.

One last point. Throughout the article, Midgley seems to imply that there is a form of “knowledge” which stems from religious belief. I find this unusual to say the least. She objects to Dawkin’s creating a specialist definition of “religion,” yet she is more than happy to create a form of “knowledge” which can not be verified, tested or even seen.

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