Anti creationist Richard Dawkins reveals faith on Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief BBC Two, 14th November 2004. (Originally broadcast October 2004, BBC4) The following is a part transcript from this programme.
Narrator: The biologist Richard Dawkins has written at great length about genetics, and has committed much of his academic career to answering the questions that arise from Darwin’s theory.
Miller: Something has to explain the novelties themselves.
Dawkins: Well, the novelties themselves, of course, are genetic variations in the gene pool which ultimately come from mutation and more proximately come from sexual re-combination. There’s nothing very inventive or ingenious about those novelties, I mean they are random. And they mostly are deleterious – most mutations are bad. So you really need to focus on natural selection as the positive side and it’s only natural selection that produces, er, living things, which have the illusion of design. The illusion of design does not come from the novelty.
Miller: What was it about that early novelty, before it culminated in something as useful as a feather? Where could natural selection get its purchase upon something which was no more than a pimple?
Dawkins: There cannot have been intermediate stages which were not beneficial. There’s no room in natural selection for the sort of, um, foresight argument, that says: ‘Well we’ve got to let it persist for the next million years and it’ll start becoming useful’. Er, that doesn’t work. There’s got to be a selection pressure all the way.
Miller: So there isn’t a process, as it were, going on in the cell saying look be patient.
Miller: … it’s going to be a feather – believe me!
Dawkins: Yes, that’s right, yes.
Dawkins: It doesn’t happen like that. Er, there’s got to be a series of advantages all the way in the feather. If you can’t think of one, then that’s your problem not, not, not natural selection’s problem. Natural selection um, err, well, I suppose that is a sort of matter of faith on my part since the theory is so coherent and so, and so powerful.
Editorial Comment: Dawkins’ profession of faith here reminds us the controversy over creation and evolution is not one of faith versus science. It is faith in mindless chance versus faith in an all-knowing Creator. The object of Dawkins faith is a false god, and like all false gods it cannot deliver what those who worship it expect. Natural Selection can only preserve living things that already exist. It cannot make new ones. Since mutation doesn’t enable evolution either, Dawkins’ faith is in real trouble. (Ref. philosophy, belief, evolution)