Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Having notched up a considerable 124 hours at school over the last 10 working days I haven't done much other than work, eat and sleep.

I have tried to start reading this about 5 times:

but can never remember what I read on the previous page. (The guy in the shop did warn me against buying it "To sum up Dawkins - God doesn't exist, worship me".).

I have read this:

but only because I have to write the questions for book group next week; we didn't agree with one another.


Shep said...

Dawkins = God. Discuss. The fact that he married the foxiest of the Dr Who companions wins it for me. I will worship him happily. Why Not, it's him or Jessica Biel at the moment...

That Lethem is good and flawed, but I did read a thing about it recently where he said it was his worst book, and he created it as such, and that was OK. I'll try to hook out the article for ya...

Rehan Qayoom said...

That about sums up Dawkins, yes. I have issues with him. Professor Dawkins unimpressively falls from one's expectations of an academic and well-researched, thoroughly argued critique of organised religion. Instead his points are so unconvincing. He also lets sneek in some very blatant errors which, could have been avoided with a little research. His God is a uniquely Christian one.

What comes through is Dawkins' extreme, almost fanatical hatred of religion and the whole concept of God in religion. Other reviewers of the book have confirmed this impression.

This new book itself offers nothing new, its arguments have already
been successfully challenged by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad - In his
(last and as yet unsurpassed) book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth (Islam International Publications, 1998) so powerfully and lucidly with reference to science that, being undoubtedly an eminent biologist ought to have made Mr. Dawkins and other sceptics and atheists rethink their so-called theories of creation and of "Imponderable Incredulities", the principles of which they should know by now may well be plausible but unfortunately for them are not creative ones.

I recall a comment of Karl Kraus: "When a man is treated like a beast, he says: 'After all I'm human.' When he behaves like a beast, he says: 'After all, I'm only human.' " I object to the pernicious effects of science, which include using our biological evolution from less complex creatures as an excuse for bad behaviour and the way in which
scientists speak of random events as if this was a demonstrable
scientific fact. It is not.

To say an event is unpredictable, at least in our present state of
knowledge, is a factual description. To call an event random, conceals, without admitting it, a metaphysical presupposition, which lies outside the realm of science altogether, namely the dogma that there cannot be such a thing as Providence or miracles. As a Muslim, I believe in both by faith: I don't pretend I can prove them. Goethe was right in saying that 'We need a categorical imperative in the natural sciences as much as we need one in ethics.' We are finding out to our cost, that we cannot enslave nature without enslaving ourselves. If
nobody in the universe is responsible for man, then we must conclude that man is responsible, under and to God, for the universe. This means, that it is our task to discover what everything in the universe from electrons upwards could, to its betterment, become, but cannot become without our help. This means re-introducing into the sciences a new notion of teleology, long a dirty word
. The Caliph writes:

Professor Dawkins seems to avoid confronting the real problems of life despite knowing them and admitting their existence. He loses no time in hiding his theories behind a smokescreen of grandiose confusion of his own creation. It is impossible to take up all the points he has made because most of them are irrelevant and unrelated. However, when he writes of real life and the mysteries it possesses, he does so purely as a scientist and does not interfere with realities to gain any ulterior motive. Here Dawkins is at his best. But the problem is that when he is at his best, he is at his worst in relation to the cause of natural selection..

...having built up the mystery, my other main aim is to remove it again by explaining the solution.

Regrettably, this is a promise he does not keep.

The Caliph (who does acknowledge in his book that Dawkins is an emminent scientist of his age) challenged Dawkins and all other such scientists on their deliberately avoiding the evolutionary holes thorugh which they see the eye of a conscious and purposeful creator peeping through, on heamoglobin, photosythesis and chlorophyll and the evolution of the senses. The eye for example which should, in all probability have taken millions of years of evolution but Dawkins knows that these sensory organs were found to exist in the earliest forms of life possibvle. RNA existing before any question of DNA - The vast difference between apes and humans! I'm not a scientist so I can't really go into the detail and depth to which the Caliph (who incidentally also had a profound knowledge of contemporary science did).

I wish I could say that he was not a religious leader but to his detriment he was. Some of his suggestions are still sparking vigorous debate among the academia, suggesting (for example) that Socrates may well have been in the line of the prophets (he stands out alone of his class in Greek Philosophy) with his constant references to a guiding voice and his firm belief in One God rather than the myriad that the Greeks had at his time.

pat said...

dawkins is too smug for my liking.
but then so is ali campbell whose diaries i am trying to read..