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An Out of Context Quotation - Richard Dawkins

An Out of Context Quotation - Richard Dawkins


"The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer."


- Dr. Richard Dawkins (Department of Zoology, Oxford University, UK), 'The necessity of Darwinism'. New Scientist, vol. 94, 15 April 1982, P. 130. (The Revised Quote Book, P. 6)


By lifting this brief sentence out of its original context the editors of The Revised Quote Book make it sound like Dawkins is in favor of teaching the instantaneous creation of animals and plants as part of a "two model" approach to "origins." However, any reader paying attention to Dawkins' use of the word, "Superficially," and to the title of Dawkins' article, "The Necessity of Darwinism," must realize that the editors have ignored the context of the quotation. In context, Dawkins wrote:


"The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer. But Charles Darwin showed how it is possible for blind physical forces to mimic the effects of conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter of chance variations, to lead eventual to organized and adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans and therefore, indirectly, to books and computers.


"Darwin's theory is now supported by all the available relevant evidence, and its truth is not doubted by any serious modern biologist...


(For further information on what Dr. Dawkins has to say about Darwin's theory, I recommend his two books, The Blind Watchmaker, and, River of Life.)


E.T. BABINSKI


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