Is Richard Dawkins More Catholic Than the Pope?

Over the weekend, The Stream was privileged to reprint a brilliant series recently by intelligent design scientist William Dembski on the evolution of Richard Dawkins. But the famous atheist didn’t progress by purely random mutations culled via natural selection from an amoeba to a primate. Nothing ever has. (Increasing numbers of biologists are reluctantly whispering that in private, as Darwinist materialism collapses on every front like the German army of 1945.)

If you haven’t yet read Dembski’s essays, you owe it to yourself. He chronicles how Dawkins went from the impartial scourge of every religion equally as a force for mindless intolerance to a soft-eyed Victorian, standing like Matthew Arnold on Dover Beach wistfully singing the praises of “cultural Christianity” — compared to jihadist Islam and post-modernist woke irrationalism.

So Dawkins still considers Christianity a fable, but one whose side effects are benevolent. He proved too intelligent, finally, and intellectually honest to keep denying that Christian faith is one of the sources of the West’s many earthly blessings: rational discourse, scientific progress, the institution of the university, human rights, due process, representative government, the market economy, modern technology, and exquisite cultural monuments from Westminster Abbey to Anglican choral music. Indeed, Dawkins seems nostalgic for the old England where he grew up, with choirboys trilling “Abide with Me.”

Does this make Richard Dawkins more Catholic than the pope? I have argued at length that a secret but deep-seated atheism is the most parsimonious explanation of Pope Francis’s statements and actions. I’m not alone. As The Stream has reported, a group of Catholic academics recently called on Francis to resign or be removed because of his anti-Catholic, even anti-Christian statements. I signed that appeal.

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