Filtering Science From Dawkins’ Scientism

In “Growing Up in the Universe” lecture, Richard Dawkins informed us that,

“The universe is nothing but a collection of atoms in motion, human beings are simply machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living.”[1]

Dawkins’ metascience is ingeniously knitted in science in a way that a layperson would buy Dawkins whole claim as a scientific observation. John Lennox rightly detected that “[t]he words ‘nothing but’, ‘sole’, or ‘simply’, are the tell-tale signature of ontological reductionist thinking” in Dawkins’ claim. He went further,

“If we remove these words we are usually left with something unobjectionable. The universe certainly is a collection of atoms, and human beings do propagate DNA. Both of these statements are statements of science. But immediately we add the words ‘nothing but’, the statements go beyond science and become expressions of materialistic or naturalistic belief.”(Lennox 2009: 56)

Dawkins is a brilliant zoologist and without doubt excellent in his field. But the moment he goes outside of his field of science to metaphysics, knitting it with agreeable scientific observation, we ought to be skeptical and careful not to buy the whole package. We ought to filter science from Dawkins’ scientism.

It is time we think. Whether you share Dawkins’ conclusions or not, it is my hope you will begin to think hard before you buy his claims. Undress scientism from science and ponder if Dawkins’ scientism, which is metascience, holds water.

Think. Think. Think.


Lennox, John (2009) God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Lion Hudson.

[1] BBC Christmas Lectures Study Guide, London, BBC 1991


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About Prayson Daniel

Prayson delights, enjoys and treasures Christ Jesus above all. He blogs for the love and glory of our Triune God. Reformed theology, apologetics and church history are areas he enjoys reading, pondering and sharing with the motto "when love comes first, disagreement follows at its right and proper place."