Darwin as consciousness-raiser

Absent anything original to add to the millions of words that have been written about Charles Darwin, on this Darwin Day I'm going to quote from one of his acolytes, Richard Dawkins. In his book The God Delusion, Dawkins runs with, rather than away from, the notion that a proper understanding of evolution through natural selection prods the reader closer to a secular, rational view of the universe. In other words, the fundamentalists are right: Darwinism can lead to atheism.

From page 116:

Natural selection not only explains the whole of life; it also raises our consciousness to the power of science to explain how organized complexity can emerge from simply beginnings without any deliberate guidance. A full understanding of natural selection encourages us to move boldly into other fields. It arouses our suspicion, in those other fields, of the the kind of false alternatives that once, in pre-Darwinian days, beguiled biology.

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