So I was watching some Stephen Colbert videos on youtube a while back when I saw one which was an interview with our old friend Richard I’ve-lost-my-doorkey Dawkins. The thing stuck in my mind because at one point Dawkins leapt on Colbert for describing evolution as process involving random changes.
Dawkins insisted that there was nothing random in Darwinian Natural Selection. I thought he was being a little snippy with this remark… I have only a slight grasp of the theory of evolution but as I understand it in order for natural selection to be able to select anything there must be differences, these differences can be – and often are – the result of random mutation. It seemed to me that Dawkins was being a little shady to make a declarative statement such as ‘there is nothing random in Darwinian Natural Selection’ without qualifying it at all. Especially as most who base their atheism on evolution insist loudly on its random nature.
But it wasn’t this that caused me to be unable to forget the remark… it was something much more clandestine, perhaps even hidden to Dawkins himself by some psychological block, or even a delusion if you want to use that kind of emotive language. The thing is this: If evolution is not random then it must operate by some structure outside of one individual or even one generation of creatures – But for evolution to have this kind of a will that is outside of the immediate we must think of it as some kind of a third party.
Perhaps Dawkins was not quick to qualify his statement because the type of evolution he’s talking about errs perilously close to a description of a god.
There is something in every culture that seems to want to find God or invent a god, historically humans seem to have been unable to operate without some conception of a higher power. It looks like Richard Dawkins is not so different from the rest of the human race after all – though ironically he is quite far from atheism.