Mar 012007
 
Authors: Brian Zimpfer

Trevor Sides’ article should be given to all freshmen in composition classes as an example of taking quotes out of context. He quotes Richard Dawkins twice, with both quotes coming from his book “The Blind Watchmaker”. His first quote, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist,” sure makes Dawkins look like an evolutionist making an appeal to the metaphysical. But when the full quote is taken, “An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: ‘I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.’ I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist” (p.6). This quote is totally different from the appeal to mystical fulfillment that Sides makes it out to be.

His second quote is an even greater injustice. “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory . . . we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.” Oh, how unscientific of Dawkins. The full quote “My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right it means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories” (287). Keep in mind this is from the chapter Dawkins is introducing and he then goes on to explain the rationale behind his reasoning.

Sides has proven himself to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for creationism. His either blatant or unintentional misuse of quotes of what others have written proves how suspect his intellectual integrity truly is.

Brian Zimpfer

senior

computer science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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