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I don't understand how the word 'will' is being used posted 30 April 2009 in NeuropathI don't understand how the word 'will' is being used by Thorsten, Candidate

Whether or not you agree with Richard Dawkins is pretty irrelevant to this discussion, because his arguments are just as valid as are yours.

This appears to be a misunderstanding of the term 'agree'. I was not stating an agreement based on personal preference or taste - in which case you would be right and what he says would be just as valid as what I say - what I mean with 'agree' or 'disagree' is that I have convinced myself that what he states is wrong and that I can give (and have given) the reasons for this, and in this case his arguments are certainly not as valid as mine. One of us is likely wrong, the other is right, and a look at the evidence is needed for making up your mind which. The scientific method is about sorting out wrong views based on evidence, not about some idea that everyones views are somehow equally valid.

In fact, I would suggest his arguments are more valid, because he actually has a large collection of work to his name.

So have I - I am a scientist myself. But that's beside the point, as truth is never established by counting the number of publications. What a strange criterion this should be.

If you wish to argue that my arguments are not valid, please go into the evidence of any particular argument, and I'll be happy to discuss on this basis. But 'he is right because he has written more books' is not a criterion I accept for further discussion.

You've read one book, and you think you have an argument against his. Please read more, and you'll understand his "full version" better. The God Delusion simply covers his anti-theism, and you miss out on all of his science.

I happen to be married to a Biologist, and naturally I have a few friends from study days in various fields of Biology and we do talk science, so I have no lack of insight into evolution, cell biology and genetics. Dawkins is not really special in the field, he's just popular outside biology. I read a great deal on consciousness, neurophysiology, evolutionary psychology and such things from other authors (and I try not to go for the popular science books but rather have a look into the research papers if I can - in fact, you will find that I mention raw data on evolutionary psychology in my essay). So I don't quite see how I would miss out on any science.

Oh, and there can be no such thing as 'his science' - science should certainly be independent from the person who does it. So I should not have to read Dawkins in order to understand Darwinian evolution or any other aspect of Biology - any other author should do.

But let me be more precise - I disagree with Dawkins as far as his statements in 'The God Delusion' are concerned on all trivial counts, but I disagree with him on all non-trivial things. (I thought that much would be apparent from the context, but hey...). It so happens that I disagree with his main argument presented in 'The Selfish Gene', and I can elaborate my reasons for that, but that's beside the point here.

I understand perfectly well where Dawkins comes from, namely science, because I come from the same corner, I work in science, I apply the same techniques and the same type of reasoning as Dawkins does - and that's precisely where my criticism of 'The God Delusion' comes from: He pushes reasoning into regions where it is known not to work, he uses biased criteria to look at evidence and he puts conjecture in the place of fact - so he gets the result he wants to get rather than what is true. I don't claim to know what is true, but I do recognize flaws in science and reasoning when I see them. view post


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