Although I don’t usually like writing about subjects that are certain to be flogged to death all over the atheist blogosphere, I couldn’t resist weighing in on the amazing news that Richard Dawkins has become deluded himself.
Per today’s New York Times, Dawkins apparently has suddenly discovered evidence in the evolutionary record that indicates “the hand of a higher power of some kind.” Dawkins refuses to refer to this entity as “god,” but it’s clear that he’s not talking about any natural biological process. “I can say with some certainty,” he says with—alas—some certainty, “that there’s a power out there outside human understanding. It’s not the Old Testament psychotic delinquent, for sure, but it’s not chopped liver. I suppose most people would say that it’s a Creator or a Prime Mover. For now, I’ll call it Force X.”
Religionists have been quick to make hay out of Dawkins’s conversion. “Although Christians everywhere know that Our Lord Jesus Christ is not Force X,” the Times quotes Jerry Falwell, “we welcome Richard Dawkins to the bosom of God. It won’t be long now before the full frontal Truth is revealed to him.” Falwell also added, “Wait till I rub Larry Flynt’s nose in this!”
In a stunning turnabout, Sam Harris—who along with Dawkins has been hailed as one of the “new atheists”—is considering becoming what he calls “an old Jew” instead. “Richard and I have been working so hard to eradicate faith,” Harris said. “We had plans to organize a group of militant secularists who would sneak into people’s homes at night, steal their family bibles, and replace them with Darwinian devil-texts. Richard was going to tear the crosses from around their necks; I was going to rip up their yarmulkes. Now I’m not so sure we’ll want to do that. ”
Late yesterday morning, Dawkins met for a hush-hush luncheon with Daniel Dennett, his friend and co-founder of the clothing line “Selfish Jeans.” Dennett is still stunned. “I couldn’t believe my ears,” he said. “Richard Dawkins speaking seriously about a skyhook!” A “skyhook” is Dennett’s term for a hook in the sky. This is how the author/philosopher pictures the god he refuses to believe in. According to Dennett, Dawkins told him that Force X is much more like an eyedropper than a hook.
Following his conversation with Dennett, Dawkins immediately phoned entertainer Julia Sweeney, writer and performer of Letting Go of God. “You might want to grab on again,” Sweeney said Dawkins told her. Later, speaking in a whiny androgynous voice under the alias “Pat,” Sweeney broke the story to the media.
Outraged at Dawkins’s apostasy, atheists worldwide have vowed to boycott sales of The God Delusion, which has been on the bestseller list for weeks, mostly because nonbelievers have been buying multiple copies as gifts for religious relatives. But the rejection of his book suits Dawkins just fine. “Look,” he says with a shrug, “I made a little mistake.”
Oddly enough, Dawkins does not believe that Force X is angry with him. “I don’t think the higher power cares that much about us humans,” he asserts. Instead, Dawkins insists, the Creator seems to have gotten bored with Earth “shortly after the flood. I think he cleaned out the place, and then lost interest. Yes, he probably found dinosaurs as fascinating as the rest of us do, but when they refused to get on the boat with Noah, I think he just said said to himself, ‘screw this planet.’ He might have continued to tinker a little bit with nature, but he was like a blind watchmaker, which is why it’s so hard for us to tell time in the dark.” Dawkins adds, “And his aloofness makes it almost impossible to keep the guy involved in an intelligent conversation; he just doesn’t seem to listen. I know he supposedly talks fairly frequently with Pat Robertson, but you know how easy it is to tune Pat out.”
Later this year, Dawkins says, he will publish a book to be titled God Does Play Dice With the Universe—And He Cheats!, which will explain in scientific depth his creationist hypothesis. Then he adds with a chuckle, “Force X willing, of course.”