Review of Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins Random House, New York, NY, 2019

Atheist evangelist Richard Dawkins is on the crusade again with his latest book Outgrowing God1 to win more converts to his religion of atheism. His book was released in September, published by Random House Books.

CMI has produced an excellent review of this book. I suggest you go to their website http://www.creation.com to see it, in its entirety. The following is an abbreviated version.

As a teenager, Dawkins de-converted from (nominal) Christianity to atheism since he was unsure as to which god was the right god out of hundreds or even thousands of candidates.

book-cover

Dawkins does not understand that to know God one has to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can lead you into all truth. He is our counsellor, teacher and comforter. It is the Holy Spirit that produces the fruit of the Spirit in a believers life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control. He is also the one that gives the gifts of the spirit for ministry.

In the first half of his book Dawkins raises eternal questions about good and evil. Is God really good? Is the Bible really true? Do we need the Bible and God to be good?

Dawkins obviously, like much of the world, does not like what God defines as sin and would much prefer to make up his own rules. Moreover, would like to change those rules as he sees fit.

Sin involves nothing less than flagrant rebellion against the will of Almighty God. Sin cuts us off from the living God entirely. This is no trifling matter. God, as our Creator, would be perfectly righteous in sending every one of us to death for our sins. It is only by God’s grace that He doesn’t do so. In fact, the problem of our eternal, sinful separation was so bad, that God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross (see also Dawkins’ dilemma: how God forgives sin).

A key element in Dawkins’ de-conversion experience is his belief in evolution, which convinced him that seemingly designed elements really evolved over long periods of time.

The second half of Dawkins’ book deals with his attempt to undermine the concept of intelligent design, using natural selection and evolution as an alternative explanation. Not wanting to sound trite but as a scientist he should be aware of the Ockham’s Razor approach to science. For even Dawkins himself has previously stated “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”.14 So, even as an evolutionist, Dawkins is forced to acknowledge how certain structures in the animal kingdom appear to be designed. His examples include the color pigments of the octopus, the tongue of the chameleon, and the legs of the cheetah, or the feathers of birds (p. 36).

Dawkins does not explain how legs can turn into wings or leaves into thorns. Neither does he name a single gene which would be responsible for such mutations as a practical example. In short, Dawkins misrepresents the way natural selection happens in nature. Natural selection is efficient in explaining how anatomically different structures in organisms lead to differential survival. But it does not explain how the structures themselves arise. People readily recognise cases of intelligent design in automobiles, buildings, books, statues, or hieroglyphs. Therefore, DNA serves as a plan for the whole entire body of an organism. DNA is the information that controls all the machinery of the cells to function successfully, to reproduce and adapt to their environment. Information comes only from intelligence and in the case of the information to control living cells, a level of intelligence beyond our understanding..

Dawkins understands that the Earth is fine-tuned for life to exist on its surface. If the Earth were just a little too close to the Sun, then it would be too hot for life to exist. On the other hand, if it was just a little too far, then it would be too cold for life. Furthermore, if the gravitational constant, G were even just a little different, then life could not exist on Earth. This is something called the anthropic principle, namely that Earth, and even the universe seems to have been designed especially for human life.

In response, Dawkins posits the multiverse concept. This concept states there are millions or even billions of universes, parallel with our own, each defined by its own laws and physical constants. Therefore, according to the law of big numbers, even though the great majority of these universes may all be devoid of life, a very small percent of them may still be finely tuned to allow life to appear.

What physical evidence is there for billions of other universes? Is it even possible for us to know of other universes? As such, this is not a scientific concept. Even if there happened to be other universes out there, how do we know that there are billions of them? Also, how do we know that they come into being independently from one another to have differing parameters and physical laws? Nonsense.

Lastly, Dawkins and other evolutionists attack design as unscientific. However, we see intuitively, that design is scientific. For example, if engineers designed sonar systems from bats, what kind of supernatural intelligence created bats? Design can easily be inferred from simple observation of nature. Dawkins needs to use extra, convoluted arguments to explain that biological structures evolved as opposed to being simply designed. By applying the principle of Ockham’s Razor, we can reject Dawkins’ evolutionary arguments and accept the principle of design. Dawkins should not reject intelligent design but acknowledge it as a viable scientific argument for the origin of life.