Evolution’s pesky flea
Sarfati’s new book rattles the cages of the atheists
by Gary Bates, CEO, CMI–US
Published: 12 August 2010 (GMT+10)
This article first appeared in a CMI newsletter in June 2010
Nearly 500 people attended the Countering the Rise of Atheism seminar in Melbourne.
In case you’re wondering about the strange title, let me explain.
A few months ago, the Global Atheist Convention called The Rise of Atheism was being held in Melbourne, Australia. It featured heavy-hitters of the atheist/humanist movement in the world today, including scientists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins. Some months before, our Australian office asked the organizers if they would be willing to pit the best amongst them against some of the world’s leading creationists from CMI in a creation/evolution debate. The offer was rejected in a torrent of insults and invectives, particularly from Myers and his followers, (read World atheist convention rejects Australian creationist debate challenge). So CMI decided to arrange its own conference in the same city, same weekend. Attendees in the packed auditorium were visibly excited and motivated to see that there are answers to the claims of such rabid antitheists. (See Countering the Rise of Atheism.)
CMI’s conference was also the launch of a very important book by our own Dr Jonathan Sarfati, called The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution. As you can glean from the title, it is a response to the recently released magnum opus by the Oxford professor Dawkins called The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Dawkins’ book is touted as presenting the best evidences for evolution—and long ages—in one volume. Jonathan’s response, in the short time it has been released, is proving to be a sensation. Jonathan documents how Dawkins uses fallacious and straw man arguments in an attempt to discredit creationists. (Remember, Dawkins is the one who suggested that teaching creation was equivalent to child abuse.) But the main reason The Greatest Hoax? is making an impact is because it demonstrates that creationists have a very sound grasp of the science, despite claims to the contrary. Tony D. emailed Dr Sarfati and said (of one chapter):
“But of course you showed a consummate ease in dealing with origin of life issues. Abiogenesis is right up your alley as a chemist and it shows. Thanks once again for the many hours of hard work you must have put into this book for the benefit of the saints.”
So why the flea?
When Prof. Dawkins became aware of our response, he called it the latest ‘flea’. Dawkins is quite fond of being called ‘Darwin’s Rottweiler’ (in Darwin’s day, evolutionary promulgator Thomas Huxley was called ‘Darwin’s bulldog’). Dawkins’ self-image of being the ‘big dog’ of evolution, being pestered by no more than a flea (Sarfati) displays all the arrogance of some sort of intellectual superiority. We’ve noticed this increasingly agitated and hostile attitude towards creationists by the followers of Dawkins and Myers et al, and what followed on Dawkins’ blog was a ‘hatefest’ of spiteful comments aimed at Dr Sarfati, such as:
“To his credit the one thing that Sarfati does undertand [sic] is about being stupid. He’s in a world class lead there.”
In commenting about Jonathan’s world-class chess credentials, one wrote:
“Afterwards, Bonzo the chimp took on 98 creationists simultaneously and beat them all in 7 moves while the creationists were trying to figure out why there are two different colors on the board and why the bishop wasn’t in charge.”
And others on his book:
“There are probably just a bunch of blank pages in there except for the first page that says, ‘God did it’. Now wasn’t that much easier than doing science?”
“If I dismiss this book without reading it then I am as closed minded as religious people who refuse to read Mr Dawkins’ book.”1
These ‘new atheist’ leaders need to be held accountable for inciting the type of hatred and anger that is being vented by their supporters.
The last comment is odd, because that’s exactly what Jonathan did—read Dawkins’ book, and refute it point by point. There were other comments much worse than this, but I’m sure you get the point. These comments really lack any credibility, particularly from the side that claims to have a monopoly on correctly understanding ‘science’. I believe that these ‘new atheist’ leaders need to be held accountable for inciting the type of hatred and anger that is being vented by their supporters. In short, rather than have calm, reasonable, rational debate, the skeptics display all the dubious tactics of ‘playing the man’ rather than the ball, and arguing from authority. By not dealing with the facts, and instead attacking personalities, it amounts to no more than religious vilification. The one ‘religion’ that is always singled out for this treatment is Christianity. Similar criticisms of Islam, for example, would simply not be tolerated. Ironically and logically, I suppose, it’s no problem for atheists to hurl invectives as much as they feel, as they themselves have no logical basis for seeming morality. However, Christians would be judged more harshly because it would not be in keeping with Christian morality, for example.
The one ‘religion’ that is always singled out for this treatment is Christianity. Similar criticisms of Islam, for example, would simply not be tolerated.
It’s ultimately a spiritual battle—but the science is important
The point of highlighting this is because it demonstrates the crying need for informing people about origins. It’s obvious that the skeptics are criticizing what they don’t understand, often because they’ve never been exposed to alternative information before. Sometimes a well-meaning Christian friend has given them amateur/misinformed arguments for creation, which only hardens their stance. This is why your continued support is vital. It changes lives by allowing our staff to produce such excellent resources like The Greatest Hoax? (see the enclosed special sheet) and it also allows us to continue ministry outreach so we can disseminate information and overcome prejudice. Lyle L. understood this when he wrote of this new book:
“I couldn’t put the jolly thing down, it was FANTASTIC. … But it’s just so WONDERFUL to see that Dawkins is rebutted so comprehensively in this book. CONGRATULATIONS and a huge thank you to everyone at CMI who put in the big effort to get this book out so quickly. I can’t tell you how much of an encouragement this is to me.”
Most of all please continue to pray for all our staff, even those who answer the phones and receive similar comments to above. Thanks for standing with us.
- <richarddawkins.net/articleComments,5420,The-Greatest-Hoax-on-Earth—a-new-flea,Jonathon-Sarfati,page1#comments>, 15 April, 2010. Return to text.
The Greatest Hoax on Earth is an absolutely fantastic book. The only problem with it is that I keep having to buy more copies as I give them all away to atheist friends! I pray that God blesses your ministry and you continue with your God honouring work.
Very much agreed. It seems that anyone with and atheist/evolutionist point of view but not fully informed as to their own ‘arguements’ are generally unable to respond with anything other than ridicule.
I have listened to an audio track or Professor Dawkins and have found his voice to be seductive and I think that is the devil drawing the ill-informed deeper into the wed of deceit. Keep up the Godly work of informing the Believers whom pass this knowledge to those less informed!
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate CMI and Dr Sarfati on a tremendously important book. Hopefully God will bless it with the result that many believers will be strengthened in their faith and many unbelievers will come to reject the GTE (p23) and trust in both the Living Word and the Written Word. Christ said, if they persecute me they will persecute you also so its not surprising that atheists are responding in such a vitriolic manner. God bless you for producing such a book and may he continue to use it in the lives of many more.
I would like to see Dawkins put in a vacuum and let him create what God did in six days. Considering a vacuum contains NO air to breathe, his first accomplishment would be to create air so he could remain alive. Does this not prove that only God, who was, and is, and is to come, could be the responsible party who created all things from the very breath we now take each moment of our very existence? Prove me wrong! Put him or anyone in a vacuum and let them prove they can do what God did.
I saw a youtube video of Richard Dawkins reponding to a question raised by someone in the audience. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mmskXXetcg)-The question was, “What if you are wrong”. Richard responded that a person believes in what they are raised to believe, and that is why they believe in what they do. Talk about weak argumentation! Was Richard raised as a Christian? If he was, and he converted to atheism, why would he think that no one else is as smart as him, and would question his/her beliefs; and if he wasn’t then he admits that he is an atheist only because he was brought up as one. There is nothing here by way of an answer that is even remotely scientific.
After reading Gary Bates’ “Evolution’s Pesky Flea,” I’m so glad to have added CMI to my regular monthly support list.
I started my contributions 2-3 months ago, and am now ear-marking a MINIMUM of $50 a month to this great cause. I also just finished The Greatest Hoax. FABULOUS!
I’d hate to think where we’d be today were it not for CMI.
Thank you and God bless all there!
Your ministry is a powerful tool in reaching souls for Christ. I have helped many of my friends to strengthen their faith in God and the reliability of the Bible by referring them to your website and resources. I hope and pray that God continues to bless you and use you to change lives. Thank you.
The irrational persecution and hatred of Christians by atheists is nothing new; in fact, it is promised by Jesus Christ. The ardent pursuit of evolution is simply a smokescreen for unbelief.