Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Root Of All Evil? Part 1 - The God Delusion

Here’s a review of a programme, The Root Of All Evil?: The God Delusion, written and presented by Richard Dawkins.

The trailers for Richard Dawkins’s new two-part programme for Channel 4 television, The Root Of All Evil? (not, apparently, a title that Dawkins would have chosen given free reign), broadcast in the UK on Monday 9th, gave a pretty clear idea of what to expect. It opened with Dawkins looking straight into the camera and saying, “Religion is an insult to human dignity”. For those of us inclined to agree, this suggested a promising programme. And for my money, I wasn’t disappointed.

The bulk of the show, called The God Delusion, was dedicated to showing that faith, the cornerstone of religion, is utterly opposed to the scientific approach to gaining knowledge about the world. They foster completely different ways of understanding the world, and have very different standards for accepting claims as worthy of belief in. It is for this reason that science and religion are incompatible, not because the findings of modern science actually disprove the existence of God (given the way God is traditionally conceived, how could it?).

Dawkins characterises faith as a form of non-thought. This will anger religiously sensitive viewers, who might call to mind scholarly Popes, Bishops and philosophers who have reflected deeply on the nature of faith and the religious life. But this is to miss the point. Faith is defined by the OED as “Confidence, reliance, belief, esp. without evidence or proof” and “Belief based on testimony or authority”. So it is to literally to take a claim as true, and assent belief in it, on the basis of no evidence – on mere assertion, in other words. But perhaps not by assertion from just anyone, but from an authority – a priest, a Pope or the Bible, perhaps. Where does thought, let alone critical thought, come into this, apart from in comprehending the message? There’s no evaluation of the claim on its merits – its source is more important in determining its acceptability than reasons, whether they be empirical or logical, for holding the belief. So faith necessarily subdues reflective thought, at least about whether the claims of religion should be accepted or not. As if this weren’t enough, religions also usually have proscriptions against questioning the authority of tradition, as the story of Doubting Thomas makes clear. Faith is touted as a virtue, and to have strong faith in the face of mountains of contrary evidence is the highest virtue of all.

In contrast, science is about the setting up of hypothesis, the testing of models, and the collection of evidence, all of which could mean that we have to revise our thoughts. There’s no template to which all new facts have to be crowbarred into, like in the religious worldview. It’s an open-ended, relentlessly self-critical enterprise – if you won’t subject your pet theory to close scrutiny, you can bet the guy down the corridor will. Authority counts for little in science (or at least should do). Sure, we have enormous respect and admiration for scientific greats such as Newton, Darwin, Einstein, and Watson and Crick, but that doesn’t make their ideas immune from criticism, or beyond revision. The arguments and evidence, in an ideal world, dictate what we should believe.

The next step in Dawkins’s critique is to show how raising people to believe that it is fair game to believe in whatever they like, so long as their faith is strong and sincere enough, is potentially a recipe for disaster. For in this mindset there is no clear line between accepting benign or benevolent beliefs - that you should love your neighbour and give to charity - from beliefs such as the possibility of a fast-track to paradise that can lead to suicide bombings and other acts of martyrdom. The claim here is not that everyone with faith will do something crazy, but merely that even religious moderates are complicit in fostering an environment that says it’s OK to hold beliefs about what is right and wrong in this life based on faith in a divine creator. It's disingenuous to pretend that religion, specifically the certainty provided by faith about the moral correctness and purpose of certain actions, didn’t play a role in 9/11 and 7/7. Once faith enters the picture, it becomes reasonable to believe anything. And of course politics play an important role in the conflicts around the world where religions clash; Dawkins acknowledges this. But does it help to have a further divisive ideology floating around that helps characterise the “other”, the group that "we" struggle against?

One depressing aspect of this programme was watching Dawkins try to talk to the religiously devout. In the US, he meets up with an evangelical pastor, a staunch Republican who claims to have weekly telephone meetings with Bush, himself devout, and who has also hob-knobbed with Blair and other dignitaries. The pastor raises the issue of evolution, and ridicules the notion that the eye happened by “accident”. Poor Dawkins must have feared his head would burst, as I did, when he heard this! He replied, incredulously, “Accident?! I’ve never heard any evolutionary biologist describe evolution as an accident!”. The pastor carried on, unfazed, saying that if only Dawkins had read the books that he’d read, spoken with the scientists that he has spoken to, then he might see things differently. To his credit, Dawkins was forthright and said, essentially, that it was clear that the pastor knew nothing about biology, at which point the pastor adopted a slow, deliberate, patronising tone, and told Dawkins not to be arrogant – having just claimed that the bible is correct and unchanging and has all the answers. He later chased Dawkins off the premises of his religious megaplex, threatening to call the police and accusing Dawkins of calling his children animals (presumably because Dawkins believes in evolution). Words fail me.

Later we met Jonathan Cohen, formerly a secular Jew from the US, now a militant Muslim (with changed name and full transformation) living in Jerusalem. He launched an attack on Dawkins who, as an atheist, he claimed “allows women to dress as whores”, to which Dawkins pointed out that he doesn't dress women, they dress themselves, the rhetorical point of which was lost in the rant. This interview descended into a diatribe against atheism and an instruction for Dawkins to go home and sort himself and his society out. If one fails to see the hand of faith in all this, one must be blind.

The God Delusion ended with Dawkins providing a response to the charge that an allegiance to science does not entitle one to reject religion and embrace atheism, because science doesn’t show that God doesn’t exist – it still leaves open the possibility that he does (ignoring for the moment the fact traditional accounts of God and the creation are incompatible with what science reveals to us). Paraphrasing Bertrand Russell, Dawkins points out that there could be a teapot orbit the sun, yet we wouldn’t know because we couldn’t detect it, because it was too small. Our science couldn’t prove that the teapot didn’t exist, but that would scarcely provide for asserting that it did exist – you can’t prove a negative. Logically, this might mean we should only commit ourselves to agnosticism, but in the case of the teapot, would you really say, “Well gee, I’m just not sure if it’s there” – in practice you’d be an atheist towards the teapot, wouldn’t you, unless there was good evidence to suggest it existed? So instead of calling ourselves agnostic, we might call ourselves teapot atheists.

In any case, what is supposed to follow from the fact that we can’t disprove God’s existence? Do religious folk believe in anything whose existence can’t be disproved – pixies, goblins, unicorns, and mermaids? Of course not. As Dawkins says, nearly everyone on the planet is a teapot atheist with respect to most of the Gods that have ever been invented, from Thor to Aphrodite, and every member of a monotheistic religion is an atheist to every conception of God bar one. “Some of us,” Dawkins concludes, “just go one God further.”

Next week I'll review the second part of the programme, The God Virus.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Ian in New Jersey said...

Dan,
Nice post (I came here via Pharyngula.) I'm ten kinds of jealous. We don't get this kind of thought provoking television in the US. Round here, ABC devotes entire hours in prime time to questions like "Where is Heaven?" Ungh.

I like the idea of being a teapot atheist, although I prefer to think of god/gods as an "unnecessary hypothesis." Don't know where I first read that, but it made a lot of sense to me.

A frustration I have is with my liberal friends who cling to the "science can't prove" agnostic non-confrontation approach to God. I don't know if they are used to being polite, or came to their cowardice honestly. Either way, they are not helping. Were Dawkins to broadcast on American commercial tv (not just occasional visits to Charlie Rose), maybe some dang agnostics would come over and join the party.

3:48 pm GMT  
Anonymous Ian H Spedding said...

Hi, Dan

I have also come here via Pharyngula and welcome another evolution blog.

As for Ian in New Jersey I call myself agnostic for much the same reason as Huxley: a belief in the scientific method and a need to distinguish my position from absolute belief and extreme atheism. That said, for all practical purposes I am also atheist since I act on the assumption there is no God.

Best wishes for the blog.

Ian of Barrow-in-Furness, UK (soon to be of Fargo, ND)

5:01 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dan,

Thanks for the blog! Here in Switzerland, I don't know if there are any plans to air the show here, but I wish they would so I could see it. Please keep sumarizing the episodes, and if you come across a way to get the show online, I really want to know about it.

Best wishes,
-S (an American in pseudo-exile)

5:22 pm GMT  
Blogger Ed Darrell said...

Hey, Dan,

Nice blog. Pharyngula appears to be a good portal to your blog!

I'm a Christian. And I'm embarrassed that it appears to require a non-Christian such as Dr. Dawkins to expose the ripe, errant crockpottery that leads Christians astray to oppose science, including evolution.

Can you write the broadcasters there and urge them to make the program available for U.S. viewing on DVD, or something? Thanks.

7:52 pm GMT  
Blogger Dan Jones said...

I was thinking as I was watching the programme, "Would any US broadcaster - maybe PBS - be prepared to air this programme?", and it's a shame if the answer is no. I also wondered how advertisers would think about putting their adverts in the breaks of this show (advertisers buy slots during specific programmes at specific times, don't they?). Interestingly, the breaks in The Root Of All Evil seemed very thin on commercial adverts, and heavy of trailers for other Channel 4 programmes. I'm not sure if that's because all the commercial advertisers wanted to get the adverts into Celebrity Big Brother, which followed immediately afterwards for a change of pace!

The naming things is an issue for those that don't believe there actually is a God or Gods but who don't want to be seen as going beyond evidence and logic and claiming that there definitely isn't a God or Gods (if only people would stop thinking atheism means this!), and the arrogance this is seen to entail (for a good little book on atheism, have a look at Julian Baggini's ‘Atheism: A Very Short Introduction’; it's cheap and easy to read quickly). Dawkins and Dennett tried on the term 'brights', but this was pretty widely lampooned. 'Freethinker' is another alternative, but it sounds a little pretentious to me - maybe I could get used to it though.

I think people cling to the 'science can't disprove God' argument for justifying continued belief in God because they simply don't get the logical force of the teapot analogy. To utter that defence is merely to show that you haven't taken the point that it's not reasonable to assert the existence of things that there's no reasonable evidence to support, nor the point that saying "But you can't disprove me!" is not grounds for believing something! We could sit around all day inventing stuff to believe in but which no one could show didn't exist - but what's the point?

I've taped the show, and will tape the next one, but I've no idea how to get video onto the web, not what sort of trouble that might get me into!

As for going to live in Fargo, what a cool place to visit firsthand (not sure I'd want to live there though) - but simply because I'm a big fan of the Coen brother's film of the same name!

8:02 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very interesting summary. I do have to agree, I'm sad to say, that the chances of them showing this on PBS in the US are slim to none. Last year, the PBS station here showed an idiotic "documentary" on the Three Wise Men, and now they're showing "Walking the Bible."

I'm wondering, though, what did Dawkins expect when he talked to the American fundamentalist and the militant Muslim? If he would have talked to a Unitarian, he probably would have gotten a different reaction (though it probably woudn't have been as entertaining).

12:06 am GMT  
Anonymous Chris Whiley said...

Dawkins explains, perhaps naively, that he thought talking to someone who used to be a Jew and was now a Muslim might get him a balanced view. What he found, of course, was 'once an extremist, always an extremist'.

11:26 am GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The pastor carried on, unfazed, saying that if only Dawkins had read the books that he’d read, spoken with the scientists that he has spoken to, then he might see things differently."

Actually you misunderstood the evangelist. Watch the clip again, carefully (Norm at onegoodmove has a copy of the relevant section on his site.)

TRANSCRIPT

Dawkins: You obviously know nothing about evolution.

Haggard: Or maybe you haven't met the people I have.* But you see - you do understand - you do understand that this issue right here, of intellectual arrogance, is the reason why, people like you, have a difficult problem with people of faith. I don't communicate an air of superiority over the people because** 'I know so much more and if you only knew the books I know and if you only knew the scientists I knew then you would be great like me'. Well, sir, there could be many things... etc

* - This is the 'pastor' saying that Dawkins is ignorant of the debate because he hasn't met some of the scientists the pastor has (that doubt evolution, that think things evolved 'by accident', that think the world is 3,000 years old... or flat etc).

** - This is the 'pastor' imitating what he sees as Dawkins perspective. The quotes here denote the region which in the film is demarkated by a noteable change in the pastors voice and mannerisms; he is clearly intending this section to be faux-Dawkins.

The reason it's somewhat confusing is because the pastor essentially criticises Dawkins for saying... exactly what the pastor himself just said (read the books I've read, know the scientists I know and you might learn you're mistaken). I'm no psychiatrist but there does seem to be something of a projection going on here.

5:00 pm GMT  
Blogger Dan Jones said...

Fair point, I got the wording wrong on that exchange (I knew I should’ve transcribed that part – more haste, less speed next time!). In relaying that point, I was just trying to illustrate (perhaps not very successfully) what happens when fundamentalists are challenged by informed people about topics that clash with their faith. And in this instance, the pastor just brushed aside Dawkins comments, and seemed to me to imply that he thought that his views on what evolution says are accurate (Dawkins wouldn’t have had the time to show why they weren’t, but tried to say that the broad community of practising biologists don’t understand evolution the way Haggard does), and that other scientists back up his interpretation and criticisms. He seems thinks there’s compete symmetry in his and Dawkins views – that what he’s saying is just as reasonable (judged by scientists) as what Dawkins says (and of course he’s got the Bible to trump all that science anyway). It’s hard to know what to say to someone when you say, “No, you’ve really go the wrong end of the stick”, and they just “No I haven’t”, and I wanted to mention how Dawkins, as I did, found the exchange very frustrating. I think that point comes across even though I got the wording wrong, and stands in light of the actual words used. I also wanted to point to the contradiction of Haggard calling Dawkins arrogant, while being arrogant enough to denounce a theory that he clearly doesn’t understand and to assert “The Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority for determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, the Bible is inspired, infallible and inerrant (see Prov. 30:5; Rom. 16:25,26; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20,21).”

But thanks for pointing out my error – I’ll be more careful in the future.

5:26 pm GMT  
Anonymous KD said...

I came here via 1GM, nice thorough review. Unfortunately I'm not going to be in the UK to catch the second part so I'm looking forward to reading your write up.

Anyway for those interested in more clips a couple can be found here.

7:54 pm GMT  
Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Dawkins is fairly on point with this show, but I really wish he had been harder on Haggard. I mean, it would have been easy to point out the flaw in his "intellectual arrogance" comment. Overall though, I can't wait for part two and wish more folks were as out and questioning as Prof. Dawkins is.

9:58 pm GMT  
Anonymous Voodoochile78 said...

I've never liked the word "agnostic" anyways. To me it has always been just a weasely way to get out of being asked if you believe in God.

Broken down to its latin roots, "agnostic" means one who does not know. In my experience, no one ever asks you if you know if there's a god. They ask if you believe there's a god. Answering "agnostic" doesn't answer the question in the least. You either believe (theist) or don't believe (atheist). None of us know one way or the other, so we are all agnostics. The term therefore conveys zero information and isn't even worth uttering.

My historical understanding of the word "agnostic" is that it was invented in the 19th century by a man named Thomas Huxley, who was a friend and supporter of Charles Darwin. I think we're all aware of how atheists were treated in those days (and I imagine Darwin and his supporters like Huxley faced it more than most), and you can imagine a strong desire for a new word to describe yourself. Kind of like how many liberals are afraid of that label and search for other ways to describe themselves.

10:59 pm GMT  
Blogger CJ said...

Anonymous beat me to it but he or she is correct, this:

"The pastor carried on, unfazed, saying that if only Dawkins had read the books that he’d read, spoken with the scientists that he has spoken to, then he might see things differently."

was the nutjob's imitation of what he perceives as Dawkin's arrogance.

6:42 am GMT  
Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

I got the impression that Dawkins was taken aback by the astounding arrogance of Haggard, the 'be great like me' guy.

To my mind,claiming a profound knowledge of the physical universe, based on nothing but belief, is the absolute height of intellectual arrogance.

"Scientists'who refute evolution come in two categories. Crack post with no real qualifications, and the kind of 'bought' scientists who work for tobacco companies. You know, the ones who claim there is no proof that smoking tobacco leads to cancer.

I tend to agree with Voosoochile, regarding the term agnostic.

For myself, I have no god or gods. I am an atheist. The only people I've known, who insist that I am "agnostic", are believers who think real atheists have horns and smell of brimstone.

For those who haven't seen it, check out onegoodmove. Norm has posted a vid clip of the Haggard/Dawkins interview, as well as the audio portion of the entire first part of the series.

Listening is almost as good as watching.

8:26 am GMT  
Blogger Mad'Nis said...

Funny, my fave part was when the Evangelist didn't know what Dawkins meant when he compared the pastor's show to a Nuremburg Rally organised by Goebbels. The pastor seemed not to know what he was talking about and said he thought his show was more like a rock show.

I really wonder if that was blissful ignorance or genius deflection. People usually react more... disappointedly... when they're compared point-blank with Nazis.

10:21 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get the broadcast! For everybody wishing to watch the whole program crystal-clear, it's easy: register for free with UKnova (at uknova.com). It is a fabulous site for all non-commercially released UK TV programs, and the best thing is that it is based on the ratio of how much you share whatever you get. If you don't share fairly, you get kicked out (good!). Anyway, the first Dawkins episode is still available for download, and for those with real broadband, a 500KB/s to 1MB/s download speed is not uncommon (and for the happy ones on the mac, get Bits On Wheels as your torrent app, the best i think). With all the other incredibly great broadcasts to choose from, you may be able to skip crap tv for the rest of your life. Thanks god (just kidding) for the BBC, English television, and UK nova.

4:58 am GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan,

I have many problems with what I have read of Dawkins' probes far from his usual field of study (not that he has accomplished all that much there either). I'll just pick one that is symptomatic of them all, that would be quite funny if it didn't bring the house down on his and your entire argumentation, thereby giving easy points to the other side: the teapot analogy. Sorry, but it even proves Haggard right about Dawkins’ arrogance - not to mention those who follow the latter blindly. As it happens, I have seen, and often do see teapots orbiting the sun. Actually, you and I are orbiting the sun with them!
Sadly, relying on Dawkins to debunk the likes of Haggard is like trusting Bin Laden to defeat the communists....

6:04 pm GMT  
Blogger Liverpool Skyline said...

I thought he hit the nail on the head, Richards straight talking exposing religion for the bollocks it is...

though I am now looking for the transcript of the program, so I can become a Dawkins Witness..

6:52 pm GMT  
Blogger Dan Jones said...

I have to disagree with the anonymous poster about the teapot analogy exemplifying arrogance, or of being so flatly wrong (if it’s meant sincerely at all; I can’t tell). And I don’t know what to make of “As it happens, I have seen, and often do see teapots orbiting the sun. Actually, you and I are orbiting the sun with them!”. At first I thought it meant that the earth is like a giant teapot, and it does in fact orbit the sun. But this is misdirected. We have good reasons to believe in the earth, and to believe that it orbits the sun. The point of the analogy is that if someone where to suddenly propose that a normal-sized teapot orbits the sun, a teapot that there’s no real reason to believe in, then we have no motivation for taking the claim seriously. And the mere fact that the current evidence doesn’t rule out the possibility doesn’t strengthen the case that the teapot is there. The alternative reading (ruling out a belief in non-earth-bound teapots) is that the teapots on earth — by virtue of being on earth, which orbits the sun — also orbit the sun, but this misses the point of the analogy completely.

In any case, I don’t rely on Dawkins to debunk other people’s ideas – he does so very well, and I respect the manner in which he does it (the clarity and rigour, if not always the delivery – but most of the time I’m on side with that too!). There are a number of people who would make broadly similar arguments (from Bertrand Russell, who came up with the teapot analogy, to Dan Dennett), and it’s not fair to suggest that many people, me included, simply, slavishly follow. They espouse arguments that we’ve either come up with independently, are articulate arguments that we find convincing – there’s nothing blind about it.

9:14 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawkins is rightly respected as a brilliant scientist. However, he is far from being a brilliant theologian. Being able to show up the beliefs of crack-pots and extremists is hardly exciting. I would like to see Dawkin discussing these issues with a more balanced selection of people- perhaps Keith Ward or the Archbishop of Cantebury could have a say? The topic of how science and faith fit together is real and interesting, but Dawkin's programme lacks any intelligent discussion of this issue. All we get is a batch of ungrounded fundamentalist views, Dawkin's own included.

2:01 pm GMT  
Blogger Dan Jones said...

I agree with the above post that it would be great to see Dawkins debate someone like Keith Ward, a theologian I'd take time out to listen to (Dawkins did talk to Richard Harries, who is also moderate and sensible). However, I'm not sure Dawkins would come off so badly from the encounter. Ward debated AC Grayling (an analytic, and I think atheist, philospher) a while back in Prospect magazine in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, and most of Ward's comemnts were related to trying to make some conception of God compatible with the events of the world (and he wasn't very succesful as far as I'm concerned). In any case, who cares whether a theoloican can come up with a conception of God that isn't internally contradictory nor clearly refuted by the facts? I could posit the existence of all manner of things that met these criteria, but you wouldn't take them seriously as ideas. As I remember (and I should go back and look) Ward failed to give a single reason why we should take any of his notions of God seriously.

2:26 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In answering Dawkin there is no need to come up with a proof of God. All that needs pointing out is that a Dawkin-like view is as much based on faith as any religion. How does Dawkin know that scientific explanations are the only sort that matter? Can he prove it? No- it is a matter of faith. That doesn't mean Dawkin's views are wrong- but they can no more be proved than God. So, why should we take Dawkin's notion that science is the only way to truth seriously?

11:02 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, you didn't even get it.

"The pastor carried on, unfazed, saying that if only Dawkins had read the books that he’d read, spoken with the scientists that he has spoken to, then he might see things differently."

That's not what he said. He was immitating the way Dawkins and other scientists act. Saying that's the kind of stuff THEY say. It worries me how people can be so quick to form opinions without even understanding what's put in front of their noses. It's embarassing, just like the way Dawkins gets literally angry when speaking with these religious men. Why can't he have an honest tranquil debate? No, he has to get angry and explode with the most idiotic phrases like "wanna bet?" Welcome to high school...

8:01 am GMT  
Blogger Dan Jones said...

Yep, it's hilarious that I got Haggard's words wrong - in any case, I've admitted that I got that wrong in response to an earlier comment, and tried to explain what I was driving at in even mentioning those words. And more importantly, that mistake doesn't undermine any part of my account of Dawkins's programme or my post. Haggard did make the point that the scientists he has talked to support his interpretation of what evolutionary theory claims, and I muddled up his mocking of Dawkins with that claim – but so what? It doesn’t substantially affect the topic under discussion.

10:33 am GMT  
Anonymous Alan Urdaibay said...

Thank you Dan - great review. I thought Dawkins did a good job overall. A weakness was his tendency to bristle indignantly when someone said something he did not like. Although understandable, unfortunately, I think this reduced the force of his argument with those who were on the edge of getting the point.

6:41 pm GMT  
Anonymous John Randall said...

I enjoy a good and rigorous debate about science and religion and philosophy and so on, but if we're going to help make the world a better place by ridding it of religious fanaticism, I don't think that's the kind of strategy which will achieve it. Dawkins would be preaching to the choir if he simply tried to present a rational debate about the validity of religious belief - i.e. those of us who already share his views would agree, and maybe a few people who were teetering on the edge of atheism would be swayed, but otherwise people simply find ways to rationalise their pre-existing religious beliefs rather than critically examining them.

A better strategy is to expose just how nasty people like Haggard are - to ridicule, to condemn, to show his audience that a man like that is genuinely unpleasant and dangerous. Same kind of thing with the Jew-turned-Muslim and other fanatical religious figures: Let them speak for themselves and expose their own hateful attitudes. I think this is a better strategy because (for example) the general public won't be easy to motivate against 'teaching the controversy' about evolution in the school curriculum, but if you tell them their school is at risk of being run by nutty religious cultists, they will sit up and pay attention.

12:37 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who have written that they would like to see Dawkins debate with senior churchmen and theologians. He has said in interveiws (not on-line unfortunately) that a number of senior bishops, including the Archbishop of Cantabury, were invited to take part in the programme, but turned down the opportunity.

8:18 am GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU CAN NOW WATCH BOTH EPISODES IN FULL!

Part 1
http://www.edworx.co.uk/The-Root-Of-All-Evil-Part-1.zip

Part 2
http://www.edworx.co.uk/The-Root-of-All-Evil-Episode-2.zip

Note that each part is an hour long, so these are very large downloads. Each is approximately 350 megs.


Dont all thank me at once ;)

2:35 am GMT  
Blogger Graham Williams said...

I just saw this film at the Vancouver International Film Ferstival (ok we get things late over here, but at least we do get them). I expected to be mildly amused by the content and tone of the film ,which I was. However when I left the theatre I found myself troubled. As an "evolutionist" I started to question the dilemma of whether evolution is fact or if it is, our time as a species of this fine planet are limited. Much of this based on my observations of across the border in the USA, and around the world, observing the trends of many millions of people towards religious extremism, fundamentalism and creationism, seemingly fueled by a belief in all that religion claims. My own personal dilemma is as follows:

1. The fact that there seems to be such a shift in human nature towards creationism etc, I challenged myself that this is a sign that evolution cannot be true otherwise we would continue to evolve forward.

However, the opposite argument became glaring after a quiet beer of contemplation.

2. This creationist/religious trend in society is probably more statistically sound evidence that evolution is alive and well, but without a happy ending for us humans, since we are clearly not evolving forward in a positive direction, rather we are trending in the direction that most of the species that ever existed have gone, towards extinction.

My internal debate leaves me struggling between having to acknowledge the fact that evolution doesn't exist or that we all need to accept a foregone and not thrilling conclusion.

Somebody consol me

2:57 am GMT  

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