Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 22:01:02 +0100 Subject: What's hiding behind the `creation controversy'
Some of you know that recent questions provoked a bit of research into _that_ controversy (which I've previously avoided like the plague).
[Update - Feb 2011 - That `Universe bigger than they thought' item had a follow-up. One can't help being struck by its un-thinking parroting of `received opinion': ie - blind assumptions. Here's an extract - "when our universe was born, there was no space. There was no time either. There was no vacuum. There was literally nothing." - which blithely ignores the core problem of such ideas: i.e that they demand a `cause'. One sees this more clearly when referring back to basic principles, in my case the first principle of Leibniz: "that nothing happens without a sufficient reason why it should be thus and not otherwise".
From that POV, depending on your inclinations, you're almost bound to conclude that our Universe is a `supernatural creation', or maybe some sort of experiment by advanced beings, or an eternal and unchanging `given'.]
Was quite surprised by up-front results and more surprised by what might be behind them. Here's some of the quotes -
Why all the controversy?
"A physicist that I know commented that many other scientific disciplines, such as geology, anthropology, astronomy, are also challenged by biblical fundamentalism, but their people seem to be able to get on with their work without worrying unduly. Only Darwinians seem thrown into a frenzy that sends them running to litigation and demanding censorship. His explanation was that it's a rival religion."
James P. Hogan
"This is called the problem of the initial conditions. It is a problem for cosmology because it implies that there must be some reason why the universe started off in one state rather than another. But if this reason lies outside the universe, then it seems that the universe is not all that there is, which is absurd, for then it is not the universe.
As often as I have heard this issue discussed I still have no idea how to make sense of it. Must all of our scientific understanding of the world really come down to a mythological story in which nothing exists before twenty billion years ago, save some disembodied intelligence who, desiring to start a world, chooses the initial conditions and then wills matter into being? I suspect that the attraction for such a story is at least partly fueled by the nostalgia for the religious conception of the world, and by a desire to see ourselves in the place of the creator of the world. And, as such, the desire to see the world this way is a religious yearning and not an expression of any scientific methodology.
The problem of the initial conditions in cosmology has not yet been solved. These days it is usually couched in the language of the quantum theory, where it becomes the problem of specifying the quantum state of the universe. From time to time someone has proposed that here should be a unique solution to the equations of quantum cosmology. But in each case, closer inspection revealed that there are many solutions to the equations, each of which describes a possible universe."
Lee Smolin in `The Life of the Cosmos' [p. 183]
Science can't explain the big bang - there is still scope for a creator
We should not dismiss the concept of intelligent-design lessons in school, says Thomas Crowley:-
"A softer definition of creationism ... . Although science can state a great deal about what followed after the big bang, it cannot in fact explain how "something" (the energy of the universe compressed into a volume the size of a golf ball) arose from nothing beforehand.
This yawning logical gap leaves open the possibility that something else may be going on. The history of life is consistent with Darwinian evolution, although life's increasing complexity - including the very recent appearance of modern man - is also consistent with (but not proof of) the possibility of some special creative agent existing."
Thomas Crowley is a professor of geosciences at the University of Edinburgh
Full article (maybe) at
or at www.perceptions.couk.com/creation.txt
"I do not believe that any scientist who examined the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside the stars."
Prof. Sir Fred Hoyle, in `Religion and the Scientists'
"Would you not say to yourself, `Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule?' Of course you would. ... A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."
Hoyle, Fred. `The Universe: Past and Present Reflections'. Engineering & Science magazine (November, 1981): 8-12
"We must understand how it came to be that the parameters that govern the elementary particles and their interactions are tuned and balanced in such a way that a universe of such variety and complexity arises.
Of course it is always possible that this is just co-incidence. Perhaps before going further we should ask just how probable is it that a universe created by randomly choosing the parameters will contain stars. Given what we have already said it is simple to estimate this probability ... The answer, in round numbers, comes to about one chance in 10 to the 229th power." [10229 = 1 followed by 229 zeros]
"It strains credulity to imagine that mathematical consistency could be the sole reason for the parameters to have the extraordinary unlikely values that result in a world with stars and life. If in the end mathematics alone wins us our one chance in [1 followed by 229 zeros] we would have little choice but to become mystics."
Lee Smolin in `The Life of the Cosmos'
"there is a grand design in the Universe that favours the development of intelligent life"
John D. Barrow & Frank J. Tipler in `The Anthropic Cosmological Principle'
"The outstanding question ... 2000 or more enzymes are crucial across a wide spectrum of [Earth] life ... the chance of obtaining the necessary total of 2000 enzymes by randomly assembling amino acid chains is ... p to 1 against, with p minimally an enormous superastrononomical number equal to 1040,000 [1 followed by 40,000 zeros].
The odds we have thus computed are only for the enzymes, and of course correct arrangements with many other important macromolecules - histone-4 and cytochrome-c are two such examples, each with exceedingly small probability of being obtained by chance.
If all these other relevant molecules for life are also taken account of in our calculation, the situation for conventional biology becomes doubly worse. The odds of one in 1040,000 against are horrendous enough, but that would have to be increased to a major degree. Such a number exceeds the total number of fundamental particles through the observed Universe by very, very many orders of magnitude.
So great are the odds against life being produced in a purely mechanistic way that the difficulties for an Earthbound, mechanistic biology are in our view intrinsically insuperable."
Prof. Sir Fred Hoyle & Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe in `Cosmic Life-Force'
Discussed in a controversial page here and here in a science-page
"To my way of thinking, there is still something mysterious about evolution, with its apparent 'groping' towards some future purpose. Things at least seem to organize themselves somewhat better than they 'ought' to, just on the basis of blind-chance evolution and natural selection. It may well be that such appearances are quite deceptive. There seems to be something about the way that the laws of physics work which allows natural selection to be a much more effective process than it would be with just arbitrary laws. The resulting apparently 'intelligent groping' is an interesting issue, and I shall be returning to it briefly later."
"Now, a remarkable feature of the quasicrystalline tiling patterns that I have been describing is that their assembly is necessarily non-local. That is to say, in assembling the patterns, it is necessary, from time to time, to examine the state of the pattern many, many `atoms' away from the point of assembly, if one is to be sure of not making a serious error when putting the pieces together. (This is perhaps akin to the apparently `intelligent groping' that I referred to in relation to natural selection.) ... I am of the (more tentative) opinion that this implies that their assembly cannot reasonably be achieved by the local adding of atoms one at a time, in accordance with the classical picture of crystal growth, but instead there must be a non-local essentially quantum-mechanical ingredient to their assembly."
Roger Penrose - `The Emperor's New Mind' - 1989
A possible source of such quantum-mechanical intervention.
`Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong' by Jonathan Wells
"Dr. Wells presents a well organized and logical argument that takes Darwinian evolution out of the fact category and back into the theory category where it belongs." - Earth Trekker
"As growing numbers of scientists begin to drift away from neo-Darwinist ideas, the revision of Darwinism at the public level is long overdue, and it is a process that I believe has already started."
Richard Milton (p. 277 of `Shattering the Myths of Darwinism' 1997)
"in brief, classical Darwinism is no longer considered valid by qualified biologists"
Norman Macbeth (p. 5 of `Darwin Retried' 1971)
"More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field end either in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance."
K. Dose, `The Origin of Life: More Questions than Answers', Interdisciplinary Science Review 13, 1988, p348.
"As biochemists have begun to examine apparently simple structures like cilia and flagella, they have discovered staggering complexity, with dozens, even hundreds of precisely tailored parts. Darwinian theory has given no explanation for the cilium or flagellum."
"Blood clotting is a paradigm of the staggering complexity that underlies even apparently simple bodily processes. Faced with such complexity beneath even simple phenomena, Darwinian theory falls silent."
"The scientific literature has no answers to the question of the origin of the immune system."
Michael Behe, `Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution', p73, p97, p138
"An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that, in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle."
Francis Crick - p. 88 `Life Itself, Its Origin and Nature' (1981)
"We are left with very little time between the development of suitable conditions for life on the Earth's surface and the origin of life ... Life apparently arose about as soon as the Earth became cool enough to support it."
S.J. Gould, `An Early Start', in Natural History, February 1978
"The Darwinian theory is wrong and the continued adherence to it is an impediment to discovering the correct evolutionary theory"
Fred Hoyle - `Mathematics of Evolution' 1987
"History will judge neo-Darwinism a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology."
Lynn Margulis, professor of biology, University of Massachusetts
Further `Paradigm Shifters'
2016 UPDATE: The following scientists and commentators have concluded that Darwinism (and neo-Darwinism) - the assertion that random point mutations followed by `natural selection' is the only driver of `Evolution' - is not tenable, for time-line reasons and predominantly for reasons now found in the scientific record:
James A. Shapiro - microbiologist at University of Chicago - `Evolution: A View from the 21st Century'
Denis Noble - Emeritus Professor of Cardiovasculr Physiology and Co-Director of Computational Physiology at Balliol Collage, Oxford University - `The Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome'
Raju Pookottil - `BEEM: Biological Emergence-based Evolutionary Mechanism: How Species Direct Their Own Evolution'
Mae-Wan Ho - `The Rainbow And The Worm: The Physics Of Organisms' & `Genetic Engineering - Dream or Nightmare?: The Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business'
Peter Saunders - Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Kings College, London - `Theoretical Biology: Epigenetics and Evolutionary Order from Complex Systems'
Eugene Koonin - Leader of the Evolutionary Gnemonics Group at the National Center for Biotechnoloogy Information, NIH Bethesda, Maryland - `The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution'
Luis Villarreal - Founding Director of The Center for Virus Research, University of California, Irvine - `Viruses and the Evolution of Life' & `Origin of Group Identity: Viruses, Addiction and Cooperation'
Riccardo Flores Pedauye - Research Professor of Research Council of Spain, Institue for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, Polytechnical University of Valencia - `The First Replicon on Earth?'
Carl R. Woese (RIP) - `The Genetic Code: The Molecular Basis for Genetic Expression'
Nigel Goldenfield - Director of the Biocomplexity Group at UIUC's Institute for Gnenomic Biology.
Presented in `The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing 'the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin''; by Susan Mazur
"we must therefore admit the possibility that, if we are not the highest intelligences in the universe, some higher intelligence may have directed the process by which the human race was developed, by means of more subtle agencies than we are acquainted with"
A R Wallace
"Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general."
Gottfried Leibniz, 1670
`Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False' by Thomas Nagel
Wiki quote:- "Nagel argues that the materialist version of evolutionary biology is unable to account for the existence of mind and consciousness, and is therefore at best incomplete. He writes that mind is a basic aspect of nature, and that any philosophy of nature that cannot account for it is fundamentally misguided. He argues that the standard physico-chemical reductionist account of the emergence of life - that it emerged out of a series of accidents, acted upon by the mechanism of natural selection - flies in the face of common sense.
Nagel's position is that principles of an entirely different kind may account for the emergence of life, and in particular conscious life, and that those principles may be teleological, rather than materialist or mechanistic. He stresses that his argument is not a religious one (he is an atheist), and that it is not based on the theory of intelligent design (ID), though he also writes that ID proponents such as Michael Behe, Stephen C. Meyer, and David Berlinski do not deserve the scorn with which their ideas have been met by the overwhelming majority of the scientific establishment."
The Third Way of Evolution 
"The vast majority of people believe that there are only two alternative ways to explain the origins of biological diversity. One way is Creationism that depends upon supernatural intervention by a divine Creator. The other way is Neo-Darwinism, which has elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems. Both views are inconsistent with significant bodies of empirical evidence and have evolved into hard-line ideologies. There is a need for a more open `third way' of discussing evolutionary change based on empirical observations."
"Even today, the general public, and many scientists, are not aware of decades of research in evolutionary science, molecular biology and genome sequencing which provide alternative answers to how novel organisms have originated in the long history of life on earth. This web site is dedicated to making the results of that research available and to offering a forum to expose novel scientific thinking about the evolutionary process. The DNA record does not support the assertion that small random mutations are the main source of new and useful variations. We now know that the many different processes of variation involve well regulated cell action on DNA molecules."
"Genomes merge, shrink and grow, acquire new DNA components, and modify their structures by well-documented cellular and biochemical processes. Most of the scientists referenced on this web site have come to a wide range of conclusions about different aspects of evolutionary change. Many see evolution as a complex process with distinct mechanisms and stages rather than a phenomenon explainable by a small number of principles. The divergences and multiplicity of ideas, opinions and theories on this website are necessary since many fields of evolutionary biology remain relatively unexplored."
Members and Contributors
"So finally we arrive at the reason why the subject is not just a scientific issue but has become such a battle of political, moral, and philosophical passions. At the root of it all, only two possibilities exist: either there is some kind of intelligence at work behind what's going on, or there is not.
This has nothing to do with the world's being six thousand years old or six billon. A comparatively young world - in the sense of the surface we observe today - is compatible with unguided Catastrophist theories of planetary history, while many who are of a religious persuasion accept orthodox evolution as God's way of working.
What's at the heart of it is naturalism and materialism versus belief in a creative intelligence of some kind.
Either these programs which defy human comprehension in their effectiveness and complexity wrote themselves accidentally out of mindless matter acting randomly; or something wrote them for a reason. There is no third alternative."
"So, to repeat what we said above, either mindless, inanimate matter has the capacity to organize itself purposelessly into the things we've been talking about, or some kind of intelligence caused it to be organized. Now let's go back to the question posed right at the beginning. Based on what we see today, which belief system constrains permissible answers only to those permitted by a prespecified dogma, and which simply follows the evidence, without prejudice, to wherever it seems to be leading? Which, in other words, is the religion, and which is the science?
Some defenders of the Darwinist view evade the issue by defining science as the study of naturalistic, materialistic phenomena and the search for answers to all things only in those terms. But what if the simple reality is that some questions don't have answers in those terms? One response is that science could only be enriched by abandoning that restrictive philosophy and opening its horizons in the way the spirit of free inquiry was supposed to. The alternative could be unfortunate. For in taking such a position, science could end up excluding itself from what could well be some of the most important questions confronting us"
James P. Hogan - `Kicking The Sacred Cow' - 2004
Considering that most of those folk quoted above were/are convinced `materialists' (in a scientific sense), we might see how `earth-shaking' their realizations must have been, to them. And to us?
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 08:02:53 +0100
Subject: Analysis - was Re: Could Aliens Have Created Life On Earth?
From those somewhat panicky responses to that thread we can see some people did not bother analysing the information (expert opinions) [see all above] but simply reacted in fear and hatred. Here's what they either didn't know or failed to see:
The data appear to show several high improbability areas, raising the questions of:
a) a universal Creation (by supernatural figure(s) that science cannot prove or disprove);
b) an intervention which changed the local (observable) universe to contain stars which generate carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and other life-necessities;
c) an intervention which directly manipulated complex molecules to `kick-start' organic life on Earth;
d) an intervention accounting for the mysteriously large differences between homo sapiens and all other primates: both chromasomal and in the fossil record (no `missing link').
a) We can set aside a "Creation" - it's purely a matter of assertion and `faith' (like the `Big Bang'?).
b) Lee Smolin's odds against life-friendly stars were 10229 (1 followed by 229 zeros), but that assumed a homogenous universe;
however the concepts of a multiverse and/or of bubble-universes allows us to apply the anthropic principle and say that we are bound to live in a life-friendly bubble or local universe because that's where our kind of organic life can develop.
[ However, if the Universe is homogenous - of similar constituents throughout - then Smolin's `question' still applies. ]
c) Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's odds against life-processes were 1040,000 (1 followed by 40,000 zeros) but that's in a `one-off' setting;
however the panspermia hypothesis (rapidly becoming a solid theory - see updates to panspermia.html) allows us to extend the operating area to the whole of our observable universe and over many billions of years which, although non-computable just now, [maybe] brings those odds down.
[ The feasibility of a spontaneous origin-of-life is therefore increased if the Universe is larger and older. I.e. a `small' and `young' Universe - as ours is said to be - is much less likely to contain [organic] life and Hoyle's odds are harder to whittle down. ]
d) We're - maybe - left with the evolutionary gap situation of homo sapiens, which is surrounded by uncertainty - much of it generated by dogmatic (and feuding) scientists, assisted by rumours of `forbidden' archeology, OOPARTS etc.
IMHO one can get a clearer picture by reading Elaine Morgan's books (starting with `The Aquatic Ape' 1982), which seem to tie that `gap' period to Earth, or at least an Earth-like planet with salt seas, shrimps, oysters and other shellfish etc. [or their nutritional equivalents].
Even so, the necessary `gap' seems much longer than mainstream science has appreciated or is willing to admit to - so much mystery remains.
Update Mar 2014 - debate is raging anew - details here.
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 09:59:21 +0100 Subject: `Eternalism' - was Re: What's hiding behind the `creation controversy'
Ian **** wrote:
> It's mainly thanks to the influence of Catholic theology upon the history of
> Western science that the presumption that the universe even *had* a beginning
> became so influential. Aristotle's eternalism is no more metaphysically
> demanding (beginning? no beginning?) and dissolves very many problematic
> questions; hence Ockham's Razor might insist that we ditch Big
> Bang/Genesis-style explanations and embrace eternalism.
Hi Ian, that may be right - the early big-bangers thought they'd `won' the debate, with arguments resting mainly on "redshift". That is, taking `redshift' as just meaning `speed' (away from us), that meant the galaxies were spreading out; which in turn `meant' that they must have been bunched closer and closer together going back in the past.
However, several phenomena - some shown by Halton Arp et al - seem to say that `redshift' is a product of `activity' as a major influence (i.e that `redshift' contribution is quantized: something you don't expect from "smooth" processes like distance or motion).
[That's also illustrated by the existence of pairs or triplets of galaxies linked by obvious `ejecta' filaments BUT which have widely different "redshift".]
So that expansion argument, based solely on redshift, is probably false.
In addition, the big-bangers' scenario has to forecast the `heat-death' of the universe resulting from expansion and `exhaustion of fuels for stars.
[It seems the establishment has always had a politico-religious need for final catastrophe].
But we are now seeing that the most massive galaxies are always linked to increased spin (conservation of angular momentum) and the final ejection of most of their core mass in opposed directions - that is, as "jets" (jets actually exist on _all_ scales, determined by mass-density and speed of rotation). So we have re-distribution of matter as the hottest and most intense plasma, which will form `virgin hydrogen' - which is the building material for new stars (and new galaxies).
The new picture: zero or minimal overall expansion, coupled with perpetual re-distribution of matter - looks more like an `eternalist' one to me.
[Maybe see `The Top 30 Problems with the Big Bang']
BTW - Lee Smolin, a string theorist and big-bang-believer had to make the following admission: "But there is a second possibility, which is that quantum effects might completely eradicate the singularity. In this case there would be no moment of creation. Time would instead stretch indefinitely into the past."
Lee Smolin - p. 85 `The Life of the Cosmos'
UPDATE - 02 April 2010 :-
Just found out, in `Universe - Cosmology Quest Pt 1' [here's Part 2], that Steady-State & Eternalist predictions of the CMB (cosmic microwave background), were consistently between 2 degrees K and 5 degrees K, which was about right, because the actual CMB figure, when eventually measured, was about 3 degrees K.
But the `BigBang Universe' needed 50 degrees K - and that's about ten thousand times more background energy.
So when the CMB was eventually measured, the establishment just changed their forecast - and changed the history books! [see Part 2#28m34s] You and me would say that's lying.
UPDATE - 22 April 2016: - the shape of the supposed CMB data-curve presents an even greater problem for `Big-Bang' supporters. I.e. that shape represents `black body' radiation, that is, radiation which comes from a state of maximum entropy (thermal equilibrium).
But the `big bang', along with the 2nd Law (of Thermodynamics) demands that the putative "beginning" had to be a state of minimum entropy (because the 2nd Law says entropy always increases).
[See similar conclusions from Leibniz indicating a steady-state / infinite universe.]
So `big bang' supporters have to perform mathematical back-flips in an attempt to pretend that the CMB curve could actually represent a tiny entropy state.
Wheras, if we read the CMB as old traces of quasars / pulsars jets (necessarily of uniform energy and composed of protons + electrons forming `virgin hydrogen') that appearance of maximum entropy is easily explained: such jets _do_ have maximum entropy, focussed within a very fine beam.
That cover-up raises questions of what `scientific' objective requires deceit, NASA lies & photo-retouching?
Photo details and the retouching by NASA - trying to cover-up Halton Arp's discoveries - is (maybe?) in Part 1#35m10s of `Cosmology Quest' below.
Apr 2011 - Seems Google is going to erase that two-part video - have checked YouTube and there's no replacement yet, only some partial clips, in `Cosmology Quest - Critique of Cosmology' Pts 1 -4. The fake-photos feature in Pt 3, around 5 mins in.
Later (2013) found the series in video shorts:
UNIVERSE - The Cosmology Quest Parts 1 - 4
All summed-up in this collection of 9 + 4 video shorts:
The Big Bang Never Happened
UPDATE 2 - 13 April 2010 :- Seems the mainstream is finding out that Arp's theory on `Quasars' Anomalous Redshifts' might be correct - see recent PhysOrg. report on - `Quasars lack of time-dilation'. As it hints; maybe no `BigBang' after all.
UPDATE 3 - 29 July 2010 :- Looks like they're almost ready to admit their deceptions (or try another cover-up) - because it's getting obvious. Latest (allowed) publication openly suggests:
"No big bang, no beginning, and no end" [abstract].
UPDATE 4 - 03 Feb. 2011 :- Latest research examines age / size / shape of Universe and concludes that "Universe is much bigger" and that it's most probably `flat' and therefore `infinite' in extent. See article (text) and abstract.
UPDATE 5 - 18 Apr. 2012 :- Latest research - "Serious Blow to Dark Matter Theories?" See article (text) and abstract.
UPDATE 6 - 11 Jun. 2014 :- Milky Way + Andromeda + Dwarf Galaxies ARE NOT like `Standard Model' predictions - `No Dark Matter?' See article (text).
UPDATE 7 - 6 Sep. 2014 :- Large-scale structure at all levels of the Universe: So `standard model' (+big bang theory) is wrong - Chrono-summary of research
UPDATE 8 - 1 June, 2015 :- `BOSS Analysis says it's likely that the Universe is infinite; and will last forever.' They don't admit it but that means "no big bang" "no big crunch" "no `heat death' of the universe.
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:21:31 +0100 Subject: Re: Implications of 'Intelligent Design' for Human Behavior
T. Peter **** wrote:
> Implications of 'Intelligent Design' for Human Behavior
> Link: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100413170731.htm
In `Kicking The Sacred Cow', James P Hogan's chapter [entitled] `Is Design Detectable?' intro'd the work of Bill Dembski
`The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities'
`The Lynching of Bill Dembski'
using examples from Dembski and some later mathematical analyses, incidentally disproving some of the stuff mouthed by Dawkins et al. **
Hogan ended the chapter with - "One response is that science could only be enriched by abandoning that restrictive philosophy and opening its horizons in the way the spirit of free inquiry was supposed to. The alternative could be unfortunate. For in taking such a position science could end up excluding itself from what could well be some of the most important questions confronting us."
And so I've collected stats and opinions from other scientists, at [this page]
(see intro at top for my own disclaimer)
IMHO, Dawkins was never capable of real analysis (e.g. in theory or practice), instead selecting simplistic bandwagons, like `selfishness', with "The Selfish Gene" - later discredited *note1 by the `Altruist Survivor'.
More than a decade or so ago the BBC began attempts to attack the `Altruist Survivor' principle, *note2 getting Melvyn Bragg * (under orders?) to include Dawkins in `think-tank' discussions - where he tried to label the `A.S' as "pop-science". Ha! - Initially he seemed not to 'get it'; maybe too deep for him?
BBC's motive? With a near-monopoly of news & comment, during and after Thatcherism/Blairism, the BBC propagandized for and covered-up *note3 increasingly corrupt - fraudulent, oppressive *note4 & *note5 & pervert *note6 & *note7 - `thatcherite' then `blairite' national and local gov't, *note8 inc. health servs., *note9 police & judiciary, *note10 and big finance etc. *note11
As a result, greedy lying BBC bosses *note12 & top-presenters now take [from public money] multi-millionaires' salaries & pensions, with inevitable effects. *note13 & *note14 So the BBC hierarchy needs to believe, and to convince everybody else, that "greed is good" - which Dawkins was selling (at the time).
[Sept. 2013 Update: It's now known that BBC top-men have been getting massive - and illegal - payments (Wiki ref) on leaving. As `hush money'?]
N.b. - Dawkins isn't the only `scientist' to pander to fashionable book buyers & corrupt elites. Prof. S Jones won a Nobel for a genetic study of *snails*, getting BBC and Press adulation; then apparently decided to make some cash by telling the rich what they wanted to hear - "You're the Genetic Elite" - (subtext of the claim `Evolution has ceased' - in his much-touted book).
Like Dawkins' stuff, that claim was shallow, facile and didn't stand examination.
* Only much later did Melvyn find out that "co-operative symbiosis is absolutely the norm ... including in us".
I.e. - greed is anti-survival, as the A.S. had forecast, and as now being revealed by accumulating research results.