Why can’t you be humble like me you bastard?!
Mark Vernon is annoying. Again.
But if you speak to people who believe literally in the six days of Genesis, they do so in part because they fear the moral nihilism they see as implicit in a Dawkins-style Darwinism. Dawkins’ approach is pretty nihilistic because he insists on the meaning-lite doctrine of ‘science as salvation’, as Mary Midgley put it. He will never win the Creationists over. Rather, he is likely to confirm them in their belief.
Notice the complete absence of substantiation for that silly accusation. Notice the failure even to say what it’s supposed to mean – notice the obnoxious combination of the emphatic verb ‘insists’ with the labeling via someone else’s unexplained epithet. Does Dawkins ‘insist’ on ‘the meaning-lite doctrine of “science as salvation”‘? Not that I know of – but then it’s hard to falsify Vernon there, because it’s hard to know what he means. No doubt that’s why he feels free to end with a flourish by recycling the very stale accusation of being an inadvertent ally of Creationism.
Rather than grappling with the possibility that there are areas of experience on which reason and experiment can throw no or little light, Dawkins marches blindly behind a banner calling blithely for more and more scientific, atheistic light.
Rather than grappling with the possibility that there are areas of experience on which reason and experiment can throw more light than he has the knowledge or imagination to realize, Mark Vernon marches blindly behind a banner calling blithely for closing down inquiry into areas of experience that he thinks should be immune from rational inquiry and experiment.
Vernon talks endlessly about uncertainty and humility, without ever demonstrating either one. He uses the words as sticks to beat atheists, arrogantly and assertively misrepresenting them in the process. He’s another Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, shouting at atheists for not being humble and uncertain.