Easterbrook on Dawkins — @Beliefnet.com

— This old (2001) article by Gregg Easterbrook at Beliefnet.com attempts to refute Dawkins.
But apparently Easterbrook expects his audience to be so ignorant as to be convinced by a primarily and unabashedly ad hominem argument:
“Which brings us to the first problem with Dawkins’s positions: he is arrogant.”
…Oh well (sigh) what else?
next we have the ignorant belief in human coexistence with dinosaurs attributed to offense at the mean and nasty arrogant biologists as opposed to the apparently much nicer and humbler physicists so that “Americans overwhelmingly accept many findings of modern research, such as the theories of relativity and of cosmic expansion” – which,of course they should not! (not because they are wrong, but because the “acceptance” is based purely on faith and not one whit of genuine understanding)
what next?
There’s a claim that Dawkins’s estimate of the extent and impact of fundamentalist influence in US school boards is exaggerated – debatable but irrelevant.
And a silly reference to the fact that there is not (yet) any commonly accepted scientific explanation for the origin of life. Why silly? Because lack of an explanation does not imply the impossibility of finding one and even if some things are scientifically inexplicable that does nothing to support the validity of any other proposed “explanation”.
Finally, Dawkins is accused of “insisting that people who don’t agree with him are not just wrong but ignorant, stupid, …etc”. This is false – at least in its implication that Dawkins’s scorn applies to all who disagree with him. But certainly some people really are ignorant and stupid – even willfully so, and whether or not Dawkins is impolitic in his identifications is totally irrelevant to the question of the validity of his position.

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