Dawkins’ God: Gene, Memes and the Meaning of Life
by Alister McGrath
Reviewed by John Halford
One thing I have learned is that you cannot prove God exists to someone who is determined to believe he does not. No matter what proofs you offer, a committed atheist will remain unconvinced. He might even use your evidence against you and put a dent in your own faith.
We believers are often made to feel that we are arguing from a position of weakness. Unless you can prove that God exists, the only logical conclusion a rational person can arrive at is that God doesn’t. Perhaps the most skillful exponent of this is Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins—a world-renowned opponent of faith and religion.
McGrath shows that to deny the existence and influence of a higher creative power takes considerable faith.
So brilliant is Dr. Dawkins’ reasoning, so eloquent his arguments, that even highly educated scholars refuse to debate him. Not so Alister McGrath. Once an atheist himself, McGrath is now one of Britain’s leading Christian scholars. In Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life, he tackles the logic for atheism head on, and in fact, turns many of the arguments on their head. McGrath has a Ph.D in molecular biology, is not intimidated with the jargon and can easily deal with complex scientific ideas. The book is not “light reading,” but it is not difficult for the nonprofessional to grasp.
McGrath exposes atheism for what it is. He shows that to deny the existence and influence of a higher creative power, in the face of the evidence that science continues to discover, takes considerable faith. The natural sciences and theology both explore reality in their own ways. But no matter which direction you approach, McGrath argues convincingly that atheism, far from being a logical default position, is actually the least likely explanation.
Dawkins’ God: Gene, Memes and the Meaning of Life, Alister McGrath (Blackwell Publishing, 2005).
Copyright © 2006