Further thoughts on the article by Philip Longman showing that secularists in this country, as in Europe, are failing to reproduce themselves, and will have their places taken over by the children of the “culturally conservative segment of society.” There’s cosmic irony at work here.
Consider this magnificent specimen of secularism. Richard Dawkins is the author of The Selfish Gene, a book I consider to be a brilliant contribution to our knowledge of organic life. Its theme is that genes generate behaviors that will assure them of immortality: we individual bodies are transient vessels in this striving. The vision is grand, if stark. But for some reason, Dawkins has, of recent years, launched on a campaign against religion. He is a zealot for secularism. He is a fool for science.
In this particular interview, Dawkins makes the following statement: “I wish people would put their trust in evidence, not in faith, revelation, tradition, or authority.” What, though, would be our condition if we did just that? If I am given money, where’s the evidence of value? If there’s murder committed, how will I achieve justice without faith in tradition and authority?
Dawkins famously has stated that there are no postmodernists at 35,000 feet. But at that altitude there are also very few aerodynamics engineers who can, on the evidence, feel safe about flight. The rest of us get on an airplane on pure faith.
As a Darwinist, Dawkins should be less righteous about unscientific attitudes, and more interested in adaptive behaviors. Here’s why. Some of those “conservative segments of society” Longman writes about refuse to believe in the theory of evolution, yet they are breeding healthily. Secularists who embrace evolution, and indeed make a cause of it, are refusing to put the theory to practice: they are dying without heirs. It would truly be a transcendental joke if, a century or so from now, evolution fell out of favor due to the process of natural selection.