Salon recently published an interview
with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins who has written a number of
books explaining evolution. I hadn't heard of Dawkins until a few months ago
when I saw him on NOW
with Bill Moyers. I've been meaning to pick up one of his books.
Some choice quotes from the interview:
For a long time it seemed clear to just about everybody that the beauty and elegance of the world seemed to be prima facie evidence for a divine creator. But the philosopher David Hume already realized three centuries ago that this was a bad argument. It leads to an infinite regression. You can't statistically explain improbable things like living creatures by saying that they must have been designed because you're still left to explain the designer, who must be, if anything, an even more statistically improbable and elegant thing. Design can never be an ultimate explanation for anything. It can only be a proximate explanation. A plane or a car is explained by a designer but that's because the designer himself, the engineer, is explained by natural selection.
You are working on a new book tentatively called "The God Delusion." Can you explain it?
A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence. Religion is scarcely distinguishable from childhood delusions like the "imaginary friend" and the bogeyman under the bed. Unfortunately, the God delusion possesses adults, and not just a minority of unfortunates in an asylum. The word "delusion" also carries negative connotations, and religion has plenty of those.
The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat