The case against Richard Dawkins: Challenging anthropological bigotry


It may shock most of my fellow Christians when I say, ‘I believe Richard Dawkins is one of the greatest intellectuals of the past 20 years. I’ve enjoyed reading Dawkins’ literature, he simplifies science in an easy to read manner and I’m fascinated by things like atoms, relative movement, and the genetics of life. Yet reading through his book The Magic of Reality, it isn’t his blatant scientific grudge against God that deters me from taking his pro-Darwin stance seriously; rather it is his biased assertion that cultural narratives belonging to the full spectrum of human diversity are nothing but primitive myths.

I get the whole thing about science vs. religion but what I don’t get is his overt bigotry towards other stories other than the ‘Gospel of Natural Selection.’ With the same tunnel vision that justified the Church’s exploitation of indigenous cultures, Dawkins too affirms a ‘one-law-for-all’ approach with his science of modern-imperialism. Name dropping Darwin like the Messiah, it is evident that the religious supremacy he denounces in Christianity is contradicted by his soap-box preaching of science as the only ‘Truth.’

For me, ‘Truth’ is subjective, nothing is unbiased nor is anything objective – history is written by the victor. Truth in one cultural milieu is foolishness in another, yet it seems like at times we all fall prey to the human syndrome of playing God; we all have moments of asserting ‘our way’ as the ‘right way’ or ‘the only way’ to make sense of the world around us. Dawkins is a literary and scientific genius but what he lacks is the will to step back from his Darwinian discipleship and acknowledge the universal relevance of ‘Worldviews.’

I’m not saying that ‘true truth’ is beyond us all, all I’m saying is that we are all blind mice grabbing different parts of an elephant, with one asserting that an elephant is a trunk, another proclaiming it as an ear and another a tail. Truth is culturally loaded, that includes the ‘non-culture’ culture of science, and we must all realize that subjectivity should never be elevated to objectivity. If I assert ‘my’ truth over another’s, I cease being part of the family of humanity; rather I essentially become a god onto myself. We need to remember that everyone has threads of truth to offer to the tapestry of human history, progress and social politics.

“The self cannot be self without other selves” – Martin Luther King Jr.