Richard Dawkins and the Mythology of Science Part Two
This is a continuation of the first part of this article, which can be found here, by clicking the handily noted 'Part One' link.
Its my theory that people with strong biological predispositions to supernatural thinking will always strongly believe in whatever system that first resonates with them. For some, that will be traditional religious thinking, for others, that will be dowsing, chakra healing, tea leaf reading, or perhaps communing with the dead. People like Dawkins, on the other hand, are cut from a slightly different biological cloth.
The difference between the two groups of people can be described loosely with the analogy of height. Some people are tall, some people are short. Most people are somewhere in between. When it comes to rational vs irrational thinking, most people are somewhere in the middle of the scale. They'll happily use a microwave without believing that there are little imps powering it, they'll take their kids to the doctor when they are sick, but they'll also often hold some kind of spiritual belief. Not to the point where they are motivated to really do anything about it, but to the point where they'll say that they have some kind of belief when asked.
On one far end of the spectrum, we have people who see angels and deamons everywhere, and on the other far end we find people like Dawkins, people for whom only fact, proof and evidence have any beauty or worth.
Dawkins' ideas have merit and great value, however they can only ever reach half the population. The other half will always be mired in superstition and myth and indeed, find great happiness and meaning in it. I doubt that Dawkins is trying to convert the world to science per se, but his frustration at the threads of superstition that run through society and culture is clear most of the time.
You can watch 'Enemies of Reason' for free here.