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Logic 101 - Atheist Begs the Question

Q. Atheist Richard Dawkins says there is absolutely no evidence of intelligent design. Everything has been explained by evolutionary processes. So Christians are delusional, infantile and stupid when they believe in creationism or religion. How would you respond to his logic?


Begging the Question

Mr. Dawkins is guilty of several errors in basic Logic 101. One of his fallacies in critical thinking is called "Begging the Question." His premise is faulty because there is abundant evidence of intelligent design. Just because he disagrees with it does not mean it doesn't exist. So his premise "begs the question." In legal terms he "assumes facts not in evidence" - he refuses to weigh both sides.

Argumentum Ad Verecundiam

He also presumes he can prove something through an "appeal to authority" - his own, in this case. In my opinion Mr. Dawkins hysterically asserts a falsehood upon which he then rests his case. Thankfully, smart people don't "buy it" anymore. While Mr. Dawkins is an expert at some things he is woefully deficient in knowledge of religious history or apologetics.

Argumentum Ad Hominem

Mr. Dawkins is surely guilty of "Argumentum ad hominem" or attacking the man. Verbal abuse is completely unacceptable in proper debate procedure. Calling all people of faith "stupid" or "delusional" does nothing to further his argument. All it does is to alienate many from listening to him at all.

Dawkins: "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)" (Dawkins 1989, 34).


Intelligence behind Complex Systems

Finally, there is a huge volume of high-quality evidence pointing to the likelihood of intelligent design. Please note that scientific studies do not prove a "Christian" God, however. They just point to intelligence behind complex systems. The findings of intelligent design are consistent with the Bible - they do not contradict it. But, "the evidence for design comes from cosmology, physics, chemistry, biology, information theory, and other scientific disciplines" (Dembski 2008, 191).

Language speaks of Intelligence

Missler points out that "The use of any language implies a design, a pre-arrangement among its users" (Missler 1999, 305). Language consists of artificial constructs called "letters" which are combined into meaningful words, sentences, paragraphs and essays. This takes intelligence. It doesn't happen by accident.

Presence of Information

In the same way, living, organic things are built from a pre-arrangement of symbols - like the manmade letters of an alphabet which are combined to form essays or the Encyclopedia Britannica. In fact, "There is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopedia Britannica - all 30 volumes - three or four times over" (Rhodes 2007).

Living in the 1800s or Twenty-First Century?

The presence of information in biological systems speaks of intelligent design far more sophisticated than any of our complex super-computers. We cannot just "wish it away" or "bully others" into believing inadequate, antiquated theories from the 1800s.

Which century do you inhabit, Mr. Dawkins?


Capaldi, Nicholas and Miles Smit. 2007. The art of deception: an introduction to critical thinking. New York: Prometheus.

Collins, Francis S. 2006. The language of God. New York: Free Press. (Advocates theistic evolution).

Dawkins, Richard. 2006. The God delusion. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. (Editor's note: a good example of unrestrained, compromised logic).

—- Put Your money on evolution. New York Times. 1989. 9 April.

Dembski, William A. 2008. Understanding intelligent design. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

Missler, Chuck. 1999. Cosmic codes. Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House.

Rhodes, Ron. 2007. Intelligent design: what you need to know. (Pamphlet). Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

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