St James Ministry Team

A blog from the Ministry Team of St James Church, Colwall, Herefordshire, UK


Black and white

Following on from his column in the Church Times, I followed up Andrew Brown's blog at He was evidently a bit taken aback by the response. The original article was about Richard Dawkins being somewhat less than objective in his remarks on Mary Midgley's review of The Selfish Gene. This sparked off an inordinate number of comments in the Guardian's Comment is Free blog of an almost religious nature. People leapt to the defence of Dawkins as though their faith was imperilled, although Andrew Brown's original comment was factual, verifiable and perfectly justified. Everyone seemed to immediately think this was a shot in the science versus religion, or should I say Dawkins versus religion, wars and took sides accordingly, with little attempt to understand what Brown had actually said and regarding him as a dyed in the wool religious person, which of course is incorrect.

Three things strike me:
1. Dawkins is rapidly developing into a cult, only stopped by the fact you can't say Dawkinsism.
2. Religious discussion, particularly ones of this nature, simply degenerate into a you are wrong, I'm right, slanging match. How are we ever going to get out of this? It even happens between Christians. There's something deep in human nature here, to do with identity, I suppose.
3. It is really depressing that so many comments on blogs in general are abusive and incoherent, ungrammatical and miss the point. I blame television, myself!