The Sciences

Richard Dawkins, Accommodationist

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyOct 2, 2009 2:48 PM

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Josh Rosenau found this amazing Newsweek interview with the top "New Atheist," in which he sounds, well, very accommodating:

Are those incompatible positions: to believe in God and to believe in evolution?No, I don't think they're incompatible if only because there are many intelligent evolutionary scientists who also believe in God—to name only Francis Collins [the geneticist and Christian believer recently chosen to head the National Institutes of Health] as an outstanding example. So it clearly is possible to be both. This book more or less begins by accepting that there is that compatibility. The God Delusion did make a case against that compatibility in my own mind. I wonder whether you might be more successful in your arguments if you didn't convey irritation and a sense that the people who believe in God are not as smart as you are. I think there is a certain justified irritation with young-earth creationists who believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old. Those are the people that I'm really talking about. I do sometimes accuse people of ignorance, but that is not intended to be an insult. I'm ignorant of lots of things. Ignorance is something that can be remedied by education. And that's what I'm trying to do.

Wow. No more denouncing the "Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionists"; rather, Dawkins now stands up for Francis Collins! Rosenau has more discussion of whether or not this represents a real change of position--but assuming Dawkins is being quoted correctly, then it appears he is espousing the basic stance that we, and NCSE, have long been arguing for. Certainly, if Richard Dawkins is moving to this ground, there's reason to rejoice.

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