Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life

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November 2004



This is the first book-length response to Richard Dawkins, author of some of the most popular scientific works, such as "The Selfish Gene" and "The Blind Watchmaker." Dawkins has become perhaps the world's best-known atheist, noted for his hostile and controversial views on religion. This wonderfully argued book explains and examines Dawkins' scientific ideas and their religious implications. Head-to-head, it takes on some of Dawkins' central assumptions, like the conflict between science and religion, the "selfish gene" theory of evolution, the role of science in explaining the world, and brilliantly exposes their unsustainability. Moreover, this controversial debate is carried on in a style which can be enjoyed by anyone without a scientific or religious background.


Encountering Dawkins: A Personal Account.1. The Selfish Gene: A Darwinian View of the World.Introducing Dawkins.The new approach: Charles Darwin.The mechanics of inheritance: Mendel and genetics.The discovery of the gene.The role of DNA in genetics.Dawkins' approach: the selfish gene.River out of Eden: Exploring a Darwinian world.2. The Blind Watchmaker: Evolution and the Elimination of God?.Natural science leads to neither atheism nor Christianity.God as an explanatory hypothesis.The case of William Paley.The religious views of Charles Darwin.The Christian reaction to Darwin.3. Proof and Faith: The Place of Evidence in Science and Religion.Faith as blind trust?.Is atheism itself a faith?.Christian faith as irrational?.The problem of radical theory change in science.The rhetorical amplification of the case for atheism.4. Cultural Darwinism? The Curious "Science" of Memetics.The origins of the meme.Is cultural development Darwinian?.Do memes actually exist?.The flawed analogy between meme and gene.The redundancy of the meme.God as a virus?.5. Science and Religion: Dialogue or Intellectual Appeasement?.The "warfare" of science and religion.The poky little medieval universe of religion.The concept of awe.The mind of God.Mystery, insanity and nonsense.Conclusion.Acknowledgements.Notes.Works Consulted.Index


Alister McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University. He is a world-renowned theologian, with a strong research background in molecular biophysics, making him uniquely qualified to write this book. He is acclaimed as a highly lucid writer, capable of explaining difficult ideas to lay audiences, and is the author of numerous titles available through Blackwell Publishing including Theology: The Basics, A Brief History of Heaven, Christian Theology: An Introduction 3rd edition, The Christian Theology Reader 2nd edition, and Science and Religion: An Introduction. He is also the author of In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible, and The Re-enchantment of Nature.


"Dawkins is disposed of with panache, and with McGrath's ususal clarity and conciseness." (Theology) "Lucid and brief, without being perfunctory or dismissive, and fulfils the role of guide to the educated layperson without eliciting boredom from the academic familiar with the field ... The end result of this effort by McGrath is that, once again, I would have no hesitation in recommending the book as a basic text for A-level or first-year undergraduate students looking for their appetite to be whetted for a number of connected fields of scholarship, or indeed for the 'educated layperson' seeking a grasp of the issues without having to wade through hundreds of pages of science and theology ... A very finely judged piece of writing." (Kaleidoscope) "With clear and incisive argumentation, McGrath takes Dawkins on and exposes many of the weaknesses in his case for atheism." (Reformed Theological Journal)
EAN: 9781405125390
ISBN: 140512539X
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2004
Seitenanzahl: 212 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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