Richard Dawkins lectured in Michigan yesterday, and apparently, some silly Christian group was handing out a flyer beforehand, “Five Topics to Consider During Tonight’s Lecture”. It contained a small set of yawningly familiar arguments. I haven’t heard of these brave Christians actually attended the lecture or tried to ask these in the Q&A (I would be surprised if they did — I had someone try this stunt at one of my talks, and not only did they run away without listening, but everyone who saw the questions on the handout just laughed at them), but I thought I’d take a quick stab at how I’d address them if I were handed that piece of paper. I’ve put a short version of their long-winded questions here — see the link for the complete version — and my brief reply, although I’d actually be tempted to just laugh and shoo the goofy kook away around about the second question.
Is there an objective truth (and where did it come from)?
Yes, there is an objective truth that we discern by studying the natural world, and by constantly subjecting hypotheses about its nature to testing. That nature is not separate from its existence.
Does evolution obey the second law of thermodynamics?
Yes, and you’ve already descended into ignorant idiocy with your second question. There is nothing in evolution that violates the laws of physics or chemistry.
What are the statistical probabilities of life evolving from non-life, and the accidental evolution of a single strand of DNA
1.0. Life exists. What you’re really trying to claim, in your clumsy and unschooled way, is that you think evolution argues that the extant complexity of the biosphere emerged in one abrupt accident. It did not, and if it did, it would be an exceedingly unlikely event. It would be creationism.
Why does the existence of God make Dawkins so angry, and how can a scientist say with absolute confidence that there is no god?
Dawkins is not angry at the existence of god, nor am I. We are a bit peeved at intrusive nitwits like yourself who try to impose your quaint superstitions on others.
By the way, you apparently have not read Dawkins’ book (which is ironic in light of the next question), since he does not claim with absolute confidence that there is no god. I will go further, however, and claim with absolute confidence that you have no good evidence for any god.
[Assorted Jesus babble and bible quotes] Have you ever read the Bible?
<snort> Yes. It’s an incoherent collection of delusional muck, cobbled together by generations of priests trying to promote the status of their tribe and their role within it. It contains brief sparks of literary brilliance, but mostly, it’s garbage. And the whole Jesus story is illogical nonsense that no rational person should accept.
Of course, the whole problem with bothering to argue with these people is that they won’t accept any of the answers, and will just start repeating the questions at you, at greater length. I’ve been on that merry-go-round before.