A “remarkable fact”
by David Anderson
Let’s take again that quotation out of Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth (pp. 332-333)”, published as many ages ago as the year 2009, quoted at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/09/in_debate_brita_1064521.html
“Leaving pseudogenes aside, it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes.”
Now, what here Dawkins calls a “remarkable fact”, turns out only three years later to be known (such that even he agrees, as the above link shows) to be totally false. It’s not even close; it’s as large an error as one could make in a propositional statement.
Not only that, but, this totally false statement is in an area of Dawkins’ specialty. Dawkins’ area of specialist study is evolutionary biology; and one of his specialist areas within that general area is in gene theory. Judging through qualifications and positions, Dawkins is as close as you could get to an expert. He was employed in a position with Oxford University to promote good science to the public. And yet here, in one of his “home” areas, he was, just three years ago, talking complete twaddle.
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Regardless of whether you think Dawkins is brilliant or a fool, this ought to give some pause for thought about wider questions, ought it not? The link above shows that Dawkins himself is apparently remarkably unphased by it. But he surely ought to be.
Perhaps we could invite UD’s resident Darwinists and/or Dawkins-fans and general atheists to consider a few questions.
What other areas of his specialist subject, which he pronounces dogmatically upon, are you prepared to accept that Dawkins might be totally wrong about?
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