Prominent and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins accused the Wyndgate Country Club outside of Detroit of “cancelling his planned speaking event at a fundraising dinner due to his view of religion,” or lack of it. The dinner was organized by the Center for Inquiry along with the Richard Dawkins Foundation. “The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values” but not religion. Freedom of inquiry only goes so far.
Dawkins claims that after his appearance on the “The O’Reilly Factor,” where he discussed his new book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, the club cancelled his appearance. “This is sheer bigotry. If the country club had said, ‘I’m not having Dawkins speak because he’s a Jew, or because he’s black, or because he’s gay,’ they would never get away with it,” Dawkins told the Detroit Free Press.
In a world created out of nothing, there is no such thing as “bigotry.” If “Nature, red in tooth and claw” got us to this place, then bigotry does not exist. Dawkins says as much:
In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A. E. Houseman put it:
For nature, heartless, witless Nature
Will neither know nor care.
DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.1
The DNA of the people at the country club neither knows nor cares about Richard Dawkins. That’s the way life is. There is no reason for any of it or any legitimate joy or aversion to any of it. Dawkins and his fellow atheists wanted to be treated in a “Christian” way in a world they claim has no regard for religion and its values.
In his book The Astonishing Hypothesis, Francis Crick, co-discoverer with James Watson of DNA’s double helix structure, wrote that humans are “nothing but a pack of neurons”: “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it, ‘You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.’”2 One pack of neurons, the board members of the country club, dissed Richard Dawkins, another pack of neurons. No harm, no foul.
Dawkins assures us that the universe is “nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” Crick tops it off with we’re “nothing but a pack of neurons.” If we are all “nothing butters,” why is it wrong for one group of “nothing butters” to discriminate against other “nothing butters”?3 There is nothing in Dawkin’s worldview that can say otherwise.
Given the above claims by Dawkins, and similar statements by other Darwinists, there cannot be any debate over what is moral or immoral. They can’t make a moral judgment one way or the other. One more Dawkins quotation might help: “Natural selection is a deeply nasty process. . . . Human super niceness is a perversion of Darwinism because, in a wild population, it would be removed by natural selection. . . . From a rational choice point of view, or from a Darwinian point of view, human super niceness is just plain dumb.”4
Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, made the following comments on his organization’s website:
Discrimination against atheists will stop only when we make it clear we will no longer meekly accept being treated like second-class citizens.
Regarding our next steps, as a former practicing lawyer, I have an aversion to telegraphing our plans. Suffice it to say that we intend to pursue whatever legal remedies are available to us. Stay tuned.
The country club should be ready to develop a legal defense for its action. The first person I would call as an expert witness would be Mr. Dawkins and use his prior statements against him: “To cite Mr. Dawkins, ‘DNA neither knows nor cares,’ and we’re nothing but DNA. As board members of the Wyndgate Country Club, we’re just ‘dancing to its music.’”
- Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 133.(↩)
- Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 1. See Daniel Voll, “Soul Searching with Francis Crick,” Omni (February 1994), 46. Also quoted in Jay Tolson, “Is There Room for the Soul?,” U.S. News & World Report (October 23, 2006), 60.(↩)
- Adapted from “If we are all biological accidents, why shouldn’t the white accidents own and sell the black accidents?” (James Scott Bell, The Darwin Conspiracy [Gresham, OR: Vision House, 1995], 64).(↩)