We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
... it is Dawkins’s identification with Darwin that is most incongruous. No two minds could be less alike than those of the great nineteenth-century scientist and the latter-day evangelist for atheism. Hesitant, doubtful, and often painfully perplexed, Darwin understood science as an empirical investigation in which truth is never self-evident and theories are always provisional. If science, for Darwin, was a method of inquiry that enabled him to edge tentatively and humbly toward the truth, for Dawkins, science is an unquestioned view of the world. The Victorians are often mocked for their supposed certainties, when in fact many of them (Darwin not least) were beset by anxieties and uncertainties. Dawkins, by contrast, seems never to doubt for a moment the capacity of the human mind—his own, at any rate—to resolve questions that previous generations have found insoluble.
I found it an awkward read. The author's only goal seemed to be to discredit someone who does not believe in religion/god/or something. I'm not sure this is a winning tactic when your alternative is something based on faith. It reminds me of the old arguements between Chevy and Ford owners where the only goal was to denigrate the opposition but never prove your point. By the way Fords are superior to Chevys.
Religion is the poeticization of ethics, a nice chapter being "A Religion for Adults" in Levinas's Difficult Freedom.
``Ethics is not the corollary of the vision of God, it is that very vision. Ethics is an optic, such that everything I know of God and everything I can hear of His word and reasonably say to Him must find an ethical expression. In the Holy Ark from which the voice of God is heard by Moses, there are only the tablets of the Law. The knowledge of God which we can have and which is expressed ... in the form of negative attributes, receives a positive meaning from the moral `God is merciful', which means : `Be merciful like Him.' The attributes of God are given not in the indicative, but in the imperative. The knowledge of God comes to us like a commandment ... To know God is to know what must be done.''
Science tells us that the things it discovers about our world are always subject to doubt and can be superseded by new discoveries -- but only through the scientific method. It does not have or allow any absolute certainties except the method itself. Everything else must always be open to question.
But religion demands faith, and faith is nothing more than the prejudice that the fundamental "facts" in a holy book are never to be questioned. That is why science must reject religion.
This does not mean that the various facts alleged by religion, such as intelligent design, are false or disproven. It does mean that before a rational person believes them, someone needs to observe them in a way that can be reproduced in the laboratory. This has not yet happened.