I just finished reading a great review of Richard Dawkins’ recent book The God Delusion, written by Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame, after seeing it referenced on Ben Witherington’s blog. (I could not get the link on that blog to work, though. If it does not work for you, you can follow the link I provide below.)
Those familiar with the writings of Dawkins, current Pontifex Maximus of the Church of Evolutionism, are also familiar with his consistent theme and style. If not, you can pick up much from one of his more popular quotes: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” (from the New York Times, 4/9/89, “Put Your Money on Evolution”)
(Actually, his tongue is a bit more acidic these days, and that quote from nearly twenty years ago seems a bit mellow when compared to his more recent pronouncements.)
Plantinga has written a particularly solid refutation of the deficient reasoning in Dawkins’ latest delusion, which is a book devoted to reviling the very notion of religion and to ridding the world utterly of the horrible and, as Dawkins believes, helplessly irrational belief in God. (The reviewer gets in a few whacks at another of Dawkins’ very popular books, The Blind Watchmaker, as well.)
To say Richard Dawkins is an intelligent man is truly an understatement, and he is an incredibly talented wordsmith — a fit and passionate evangelist for his faith, to be sure. But in The God Delusion he is a bit out of his league, and Dr. Plantinga takes him out to the woodshed for a little talk.
The review does get philosophical and, for some, may seem a bit esoteric, but such is the nature of the beast. And I can’t say that I stand in complete agreement with every detail of Plantinga’s arguments (e.g., to my ear, his dismissal of Dawkins’ use of the anthropic principle struck one flat note — but within a melody that was otherwise very pleasant to listen to). If you’ve read The God Delusion, or if you are just interested in seeing Dawkins’ passionate love affair with his own point of view placed in a proper perspective and don’t mind a bit of philosophical discussion, then Alvin Plantinga’s review on the Christianity Today website is for you. Here’s the link.