Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Richard Dawkins Is Not Really An Atheist

I've said this before and I'll say it again. Richard Dawkins, the most famous atheist in the world isn't actually an atheist at all. This is what he said in an interview with the New York Times this week:
In one essay, Professor Dyson casts millions of speculative years into the future. Our galaxy is dying and humans have evolved into something like bolts of superpowerful intelligent and moral energy.
Doesn’t that description sound an awful lot like God?
“Certainly,” Professor Dawkins replies. “It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are God-like creatures.”
He raises his hand, just in case a reader thinks he’s gone around a religious bend. “It’s very important to understand that these Gods came into being by an explicable scientific progression of incremental evolution.”
Could they be immortal? The professor shrugs.
“Probably not.” He smiles and adds, “But I wouldn’t want to be too dogmatic about that.”
This is not the first time Dawkins has said stuff like this. In a universe 13 billion years old with trillions of Earth like planets, it's not only possible that these god-like entities have evolved but it's much more probable than not that they're out there right now observing us. You can't prove that they exist but logically it seems like a safe bet. Is it beyond the realms of possibility that they have intervened in our planet's history over the last few thousand years? Not at all. Why wouldn't they? Possibly they'll intervene again. Something like prayer then wouldn't be a waste of time then would it? And belief in something like an Afterlife wouldn't be so absurd either. I am not sufficiently brilliant to understand Dawkins's parsing on this. He refuses to believe in god but he accepts the possibility, even probability, that there may be gods or god-like entities watching us. What's the difference? If a Christian were to accept that his god didn't come before the universe but evolved from it would Dawkins accept him as a fellow believer/non believer? 
I'd also like just one interviewer to ask Dawkins what he thinks of his fellow Oxford professor, Nick Bostrom's work, in which he claims that almost certainly we are living in a Sim universe.