Salma Hassaballa 's awarded book (The Case) discusses religions' credibility & she produced two documentaries about the belief in God.
Dawkins' Argument Against the Existence of God
Richard Dawkins, a prominent critic of creationism , claims that God’s existence is merely impossible. He explained a reason that drove him to such conclusion in his famous book, The God Delusion, by saying the following:
“Any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligence, being evolved, necessarily arrives late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion; and, as later chapters will show, a pernicious delusion.” 
In other words, Dawkins assumes that if God exists then He has to be a very complex entity and according to His complexity, He has to be an end product of an evolution; therefore, He has to arrive late in the universe. Thus He cannot be the initiator or the creator of the universe. According to Dawkins, this argument is enough proof for the absence of God.
Flaws in Dawkins' Argument
As we see, one can easily recognize the flaws of Dawkins' argument and conclusion. He assumed that our universe started simple and then got more complicated through the gradual process of evolution. However, I see that this rule applies to man’s own invention. Everything man creates starts off simple, but with further research, investigations, and effort, it develops and matures. But this does not apply to God’s creations, for everything God created is very complex even if it appears simple. A tiny leaf is complex with its photosynthesis; the bacteria cell is very complex in design and function.  Any living being that comes to life is complex. What makes living beings alive is rather complex and indefinable. Dawkins also overlooked the fact that evolutionary theory has not been confirmed yet; as the theory is still lacking some data like the missing links between generations. Moreover, equation(s) that should derive some important missing information, like the rate of mutation, are also unavailable.
There is another major flaw in Dawkins' argument which is, according to him, if God exists, He has to arrive late in the universe by gradual evolution! If that is so, then Dawkins assumes that God is subject to the rules of evolution! However, if we assume that evolution is real, then it will be a principle created by God, which He applied to His creation. Believing that God is subject to a rule He made is like expecting a TV manufacturer to behave according to the rules he applied on what he manufactured, that is to say, he should move by remote control! 
Other Flawed Arguments Against the Existence of God
Some people try to deny God’s existence by assuming rules that have never been proven, like parallel universes, which imply that our universe is not the only one, but there are many other universes that are parallel to each other. Thus, life has come by chance in one of them, which is our universe!  And I wonder if a single universe needs to be created by God, then why should we expect multiverses (if they exist) to be any different?
Some others argue that the belief in God is a kind of psychological disorder, a mental illness, in some sense, that fulfills a psychological need. They claim that religion is a crutch to use in the hard times.  However, I believe that the need for God is a proof of His existence. A lost child that seeks his mother certainly doesn’t negate her existence but proves it. In this context, the famous scholar Mustafa Mahmoud says: “Just as our thirst for water is a proof that it exists, our yearning for justice is a proof to us that a just Being exists.” 
The Unawareness of Atheists
I once asked the famous scholar Dr. Hassan Hathout, about his opinion regarding people who deny God, he answered: “To me, people who don’t believe in God look like a person standing in front of a lamp watching his shadow on the wall and moving his hand and his body and watching the movement of the shadow with his own movements and thinking that it is him that created the shadow and it is him that created the movements he is seeing the shadow doing, completely blind to the source of light because the source of light is behind him. That is the person who doesn’t recognize God. He is unable to see. He is under the deception that what he sees is his own making, his own interpretation, his own creation, he does not have the logic that tells him no it is not you, it is the light behind you that is the source of your image and its movement.” 
Believing in God is a Part of Human Nature
Believing in God has been experienced since the dawn of humanity; it coincides with the basic human logic which says that there is no watch without a watchmaker. Also, it is very natural and it goes along with our instinct. The philosopher Prof Stelzer said in this regard:
“We are born believing; how come a little child, who is the weakest and has no power, has got so much trust?! It is impossible to gain trust from experiences in this life. Because most of the things you can experience in this world give you the opposite from trust; they give you distrust and suspicion. That is why when most human beings grow up, they become more and more suspicious and distrustful unless they have faith. So in that sense, I am not saying that the baby is born in order to have faith, I am saying the baby is born with faith, and it may either lose it or diminish it, or it may increase in faith or keep its faith, but these are all possibilities.” 
Certainly, in a very sincere moment, every one of us has felt God deep inside, especially when we need Him most and this is enough evidence of His existence.
 Creationism is the religious belief that humanity, life, and the universe were created by a deity.
 Richard Dawkins. (2006). The God Delusion, Chapter 2, Bantam Press, Page 31.
 Mustafa Mahmoud has drawn a similar analogy in his book A discussion with an atheist when he was refuting the question of who created God, page 7.
 Dr. Matthew Whoolery. Psychology unit head at the American University in Cairo. (2007). Do you believe? A documentary produced by Salma Hassaballa,
 Dr. Mostafa Mahmoud. (2000). Dialogue with an Atheist, Chapter 1, Dar Al Taqwa Ltd. 1994, Second Edition, P. 6 - 7.
 Dr. Hassan Hathout. (2007). Do you believe? A documentary produced by Salma Hassaballa.
 Prof. Dr. Steffen Stezler. Chair of the Philosophy Department at the American University in Cairo. (2007). Do you believe? A documentary produced by Salma Hassaballa.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on May 27, 2019:
Isn't it interesting that precisely the same evidence can lead people to directly opposite conclusions! It boils down not to what you see, but to what you think it means, and that is a question for Philosophy rather than Science.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on May 26, 2019:
Hi John, thank you very much for sharing your view. I agree with you that as a believer, I see God in what science is incapable to explain. For our lack of knowledge not only encompasses the tiniest atom or the farthest galaxy but also touches us. For up till now we don’t know what forms the self, the mind, or the consciousness. And our significant and persistent lack of information, despite our continuous progress, shows that there is much more than what we touch, see, hear or smell.
I also see God in what scientists explore every day. Every scientific discovery is a piece of evidence that there is a Creator. It is impossible to escape the tremendous design, beauty, and wisdom around me. So if science did produce all the answers as you mentioned, this will never fail my belief. On the contrary, this will reinforce it. Please see the following link, which I assume will give you an idea of how believers perceive the evidence.
I also see God through my experiences, in the wisdom found in His Holy words, in my supplications, in my weakness and strength, in history and events, in the slightest thing as a blooming flower and a baby’s smile and much more.
God is real, just listen to your inner voice, contemplate nature, life events and the wisdom of your experience, and consider the experiences of many. I hope that everyone would give himself/herself a chance to experience this magnificent reality. Thank you again
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on May 26, 2019:
Dan, I am so touched by your input. Certainly, meeting with intelligent people who are not capable of seeing the magnificent evidence around us makes me wonder what hinders their belief. I totally agree with you that believing in God is compatible with common sense. I also see that it runs in our blood, in our nature; it is supported by life experiences. Who instilled in us our values? What makes us hate evil and embrace virtues? And why do we have a common understanding of good and evil? Even a criminal distinguishes between good and evil despite the fact that he chose to commit a crime at a certain time of his life. Why we always seek justice and freedom?! What is the value of our choices and life experiences? What is the aim of our sufferings, principles, feelings, sacrifices, and abilities? The answer to these questions and more is in a word of three letters which is God. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on May 26, 2019:
It seems to me that many believers are relying on the "God of the gaps" concept - by which is meant that they accept that science can explain many things, but where science falls short, the answer must be that God was the root cause.
I don't find that thinking to be particularly logical, as it assumes that there will always be things that science cannot explain, so there will always be a place for God. Does that mean that they would abandon belief in God if science did produce all the answers?
I still hold to the view that God is something that something that some people believe in because their brain has told them that he does, whereas this has not been the experience of many other people - I am one of the latter. I cannot see any reason why I should believe in God - nothing convinces me that there is an external reality called God, and I cannot see any evidence that points in that direction.
Dan on May 25, 2019:
It is hard for me to fathom how someone like Dawkins, who is so eloquent and obviously educated and intelligent could be so dim in matters of intuition and spirituality. I am of the mind that most people depend on there left, rational brain most of the time, but the right, intuitive brain is used to varying degrees. There are exceptions of course. Some are very heavy right brain and very little left. But for those whose right brain is used very little, even if they are very intelligent, they seem to have difficulty thinking in the abstract. If they can't see, hear, touch, taste, or smell something, they have a hard time visualizing or even thinking about it. It's very frustrating when you are discussing controversial subjects like religion and evolution with them. It may be why there is such debate over quantum mechanics. Some say that different dimensions are nonsense and some say they most certainly exist. Einstein said this.
"The rational mind is a loyal servant and the intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have exalted the servant and forgotten the gift."
In my mind there are no doubts that God exists. And it seems to me to be only common horse sense. We look around us and see impossible complexity, symmetry, symbiosis, and breathtaking beauty everywhere. Humans don't completely understand even the simplest single cell bacteria completely, let alone the vastly more complex life forms. If an organism dies we have no clue how to bring it back to life. We can artificial extend it for a time, but everything still dies and there is nothing at all we can do about it. The miracle of life completely eludes our greatest scientists and thinkers. But there are some that take all of this for granted, like it's just no big deal. They are so jaded and complacent they can't see the marvel of creation that surrounds them every day of their lives. That state of mind is more of a mystery to me than the origin of the universe.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on January 10, 2019:
John, I did not ask Atheists to prove that God does not exist, I am only asking them to support their belief, and give explanation to how the first life came to existence, how it is possible for pieces of information found in the DNA or RNA to come out of blind chemical reaction, by chance and with no purpose, and they have to answer many, many other questions (by the way, I mentioned some of them in my previous comment).
I am exactly like you, I can’t prove that fairies don’t exist, or little green men on the far side of the moon, but I also can’t prove that they do. The case with God is something different. God is evidenced by everything around me, everything unfolds, experiences I go through. Atheists choose not to see the evidence and not to go through the wonderful experience of believing in God. That is fine; it is like someone chooses to believe that the music he is listening to is produced by the radio, while others choose to believe that it is due to the performance of the artist which is broadcasted by the radio. I can’t convince someone by what he can’t see, or doesn’t want to see. Can you explain to a dog how the red color looks like? Even if you introduced to him a bunch of red roses, still he will not be able to perceive the red color. Luckily, Atheists can see, if they only give themselves the chance.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on January 10, 2019:
Salma, I am afraid that there is plenty of evidence of muddled thinking in your various answers, and there is no easy way of undoing the muddle, due to the assumptions you make followed by glossing over their implications.
Let's just say that you make the mistake of asking Atheists to prove that God does not exist, the assumption being that if they cannot do so to your satisfaction, you must be right and God does in fact exist.
However, this is the wrong way round. It is up to believers to prove the positive, not for unbelievers to prove a negative. I can't prove that fairies don't exist, or little green men on the far side of the Moon. By your logic, that must mean that they do!
It may surprise you to learn that I do indeed believe that God exists, but it is not what you mean by God! I think of God as being an entirely internal, mental concept that has a real, genuine existence within the minds of people like yourself. It manifests itself through the words and deeds of believers, for good or ill, and is thus extremely powerful as testified by the whole of human history.
What I do not accept is God as an external entity that takes action - or ever has done so - outside the realm of human action.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on January 10, 2019:
A myth is to believe in something that is untrue. From the past until now, has anyone proved that God’s presence is untrue? Can anyone provide us with just a single piece of evidence that refutes the existence of God? however, I see that denying God is a mere myth, as it is equal to believing that the Pyramids of Egypt came by chance, and supporting this claim by saying that this took place at some point in ancient history when some unknown conditions caused the rocks to come together to form the Pyramids. The pyramids of Egypt are well designed and they are denoting to a designer even if we can’t see him right now with our own eyes. John, God of the gaps for me is just an expression made by atheists but is baseless. For believers see God in everything they know, in the beauty, and wisdom that encompass them and fill them, in their own experiences. A myth for them is to believe that information found in the gene comes out from mud, to believe that values, love, principles etc. evolve out of a mere coincidence, to believe that regret is a product of evolution, to think that our eagerness to know much more than the necessities of our lives comes out of nothing, to see that all the magnificent order of the universe came by chance and for no purpose, and to perceive their own experiences, that they went through without a value. Please note that things that we don’t know, or we can’t explain, shows that we are limited, and the strange thing is that the more we know, the more we know that we don’t, as stated by Einstein and Aristotle. So claiming that the gaps have got smaller and smaller is not true either.
The problem with atheists that they think that evolution has replaced God! But God’s manifestation is not limited at all to what evolution supposed to do. Moreover, all the discoveries of sciences, in general, don’t negate God, in fact, they point to Him, (if you allow me to say so). And all the branches of sciences fail right away to explain things that concerning us, like the difference between the dead and the living beings, the cause of our yearning to beauty, freedom, and justice and why we prefer order than chaos. These things cannot be tested or measured by science, and are out of the boundaries of science. Evolution (if true) only explains the diversity of the living beings, which neither negate nor can be executed without God.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on January 10, 2019:
Salma, I think the problem here is that you are falling into the old "God of the gaps" trap. If something is beyond comprehension, whether yours or anyone else's, than the explanation must be that "God" was responsible. However, down the ages the gaps have got smaller and smaller, so the need for a deity to fill the few remaining ones has also reduced considerably.
You think that "Life" is one of those gaps. But is it? It began with self-replicating DNA (or RNA), a highly improbable but by no means impossible event. All it took was the right elements, combined in the right ways, and vast amounts of time. No God necessary!
After that, the forces of evolution were entirely sufficient to produce Life as we see it today. Again, no need for God, the Garden of Eden, or any of that mythology!
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on January 09, 2019:
Hi John, thank you for your comment, please explain what are those primitive origins that are the ancestries of bacteria. Not defining those primitive origins and not knowing the exact procedure of bacterium evolution weaken your hypothesis. Secondly, any organism, regardless of how simple it is, turns out to be complicated once it becomes alive. As no one can define life, or derive life. For life is not the DNA, not the consciousness, not the senses, not the feelings, not the multiplication; but you have to have life in order to make use of any or all of these. And if we come to know what life is, and what forms it, what constitutes it, probably we will be able to bring life to our deceased dear ones; but that is impossible! Certainly, life is complex, even the first life on earth was complex, whether it is a living cell or a man; it is very complex and with no scientific explanation what so ever.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on January 09, 2019:
One flaw with your first argument is that you are pointing to what you assume is very simple - a leaf or a bacterium - and stating that they are complex things, and that this refutes Dawkins. However, your mistake here is to ignore true simplicity, at the level of sub-atomic particles for example. Bacteria did not exist for billions of years after the start of the Universe - they had to evolve from far more primitive origins.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on September 03, 2017:
//part 2 of 2//
I never agreed that science can’t ever point to or away from a creator, this was your statement, not mine. What I said is that the evolution theory doesn’t prove or negate the existence of God, however, science on the whole, in my view, points to a Creator, I can’t believe, for example, the immensity of complex, coded and precisely sequenced information written on the DNA come from nowhere, as any information I experience in life comes from an intelligence, try to throw letter cards in the air, you will never get a meaningful sentence unless you use your intelligence to compose those letters.
Sorry, you did not like my statement that atheists want to deny God, however, as we both know that atheists are denying God’s existence and I believe that human beings have a free will and we choose to deny or believe in God, so I don’t think that this statement offend any of those who believe in or deny God.
Nature is intelligently designed. This is a logical and sensible conclusion when looking to the function and form of every natural thing as I mentioned before, it is like concluding that someone has walked in a place because you have seen his footprints on the ground. And I still don’t find why you are exempting natural things from being designed, as for David Hume’s argument, I find it a very weak and senseless. He stated that the theist must be able to demonstrate that natural objects in the universe (such as trees, rocks, and humans) were manufactured in some way. And I demonstrate that it is purposely designed, by pointing to the intelligence found in every little organ in a natural being which works magnificently well in order to perform its function. This wisdom cannot be a product of a blind evolution. Evolution (if true) must be governed by intelligence. Complex biological features cannot arise by unguided Darwinian mechanisms but require an intelligent cause. Otherwise, we will never get a meaningful or a functional systematic world. Surprisingly, David Hume stated his ‘own’ definition of Design, and made a claim with no base, which stated that our ability to recognize design depends on our ability to discern characteristics that are not found in nature. This claim is not related to any definition, I googled, on the word ‘design’. The distinction between natural and man-made things is not backed by any reason and therefore is not accepted. And by the way, there are some people, when they see a dog, they look for a dog-maker, but they conclude that this Maker has abilities beyond those of humans, this is what we call contemplation that drives some of us to seek God and believe in Him. Besides, I find it very weird that Hume mentioned “airplanes” in his argument which, as you said, dated back to1779! And to my knowledge, the airplane invention was in the beginning of the last century.
If life is not created, please explain how and why it exists and again I ask you the same question which is what is the difference between the dead and the living if we are only bodies. Apparently, as you said, evolution has no answer to many vital questions that concern our existence, so atheists have to do a lot of work and exert more effort to justify their belief and provide us with answers to support their case.
Thank you Johannes for your advice to do some reading on what the atheist position actually is. And yes I am always interested in reading diverse opinions. That is why I read Dawkins’ book, in the first place. And I have to admit that it was full of flawed arguments. Reading these kinds of atheists’ arguments drove me to conclude that atheism is a strong belief. Indeed atheists don’t believe in a holy book or a certain revelation or religion, but they believe in some philosophers’ arguments and texts and they conclude unsupported philosophical ideas on the pretext of scientific findings that science did not state only to justify their belief. I take your advice seriously, and read more, and I suggest the same to you, try to delve deep into the believers’ experience with God, also try to figure out who ‘you’ are and why we are here, and is it acceptable that a murderer who escaped worldly punishment to be equated with his victim and should both turn to dust at the end? and why do we hate injustice? What is conscience, this invisible alarm that beeps whenever we are about to do something wrong?
Finally you asked me why the DNA , the universe, and the moral guidelines are evidence for God, and I answered most of your questions in my argument, to sum up, I cannot deny the Designer of this systematic vast, well functioned and beautiful universe, I cannot deny the Wise who embeds information in the gene, as I believe that information can’t randomly exist and can't exist from anywhere, I cannot overlook the magnificent and very complicated rules that have worked for billions of years, and how they are sustained till today, I cannot believe that morals, love, principles come from nowhere and existed to be buried in dust , I cannot comprehend the idea of an intelligent full functioning world with no aim or goal.
I totally agree that we should put this evolution business behind, as we both agree that it has nothing to do with proving or disproving our initial case which is believing or disbelieving in God.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on September 03, 2017:
//part 1 of 2//
Hi Johannes, thank you for your reply, let me tell you that I am not convinced that science will never give an absolute certainty, for we know for instance that water is composed of H2O and it will never be composed of any other components, this is a scientific fact that will never change, however, there are theories that are liable to change or to be confirmed. As I told you, evolution is one of those.
Selected List of Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publications Supportive of Intelligent Design
Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004).
Michael J. Behe, “Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and ‘The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution,’” The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85(4):1-27 (December 2010).
Douglas D. Axe, “Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds,” Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341:1295–1315 (2004).
Michael Behe and David W. Snoke, “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues,” Protein Science, Vol. 13 (2004).
William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search,” Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Vol. 14 (5):475-486 (2010).
Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe, “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2011(1) (2011).
Ann K. Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F. Fahey, and Ralph Seelke, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,” BIO-Complexity, Vol. 2010 (2) (2010).
Vladimir I. shCherbak and Maxim A. Makukov, “The ‘Wow! Signal’ of the terrestrial genetic code,” Icarus, Vol. 224 (1): 228-242 (May, 2013).
Joseph A. Kuhn, “Dissecting Darwinism,” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, Vol. 25(1): 41-47 (2012).
Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, “Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism,” Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp. 3047-3053 (October, 2009).
Douglas D. Axe, Brendan W. Dixon, Philip Lu, “Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation Based on a Protein/Proteome Model with Non-Arbitrary Functional Constraints,” PLoS One, Vol. 3(6):e2246 (June 2008).
Kirk K. Durston, David K. Y. Chiu, David L. Abel, Jack T. Trevors, “Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins,” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 4:47 (2007).
David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors, “Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models,” Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211–228 (2006).
Douglas Axe (2010) The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations,
Frank J. Tipler, “Intelligent Life in Cosmology,” International Journal of Astrobiology, Vol. 2(2): 141-148 (2003).
Michael J. Denton, Craig J. Marshall, and Michael Legge, “The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 219: 325-342 (2002).
Stanley L. Jaki, “Teaching of Transcendence in Physics,” American Journal of Physics, Vol. 55(10):884-888 (October 1987).
Granville Sewell, “Postscript,” in Analysis of a Finite Element Method: PDE/PROTRAN (New York: Springer Verlag, 1985).
A.C. McIntosh, “Evidence of design in bird feathers and avian respiration,” International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(2):154–169 (2009).
Richard v. Sternberg, “DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes,” Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 56(3):205-232 (September 2008).
Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig and Heinz Saedler, “Chromosome Rearrangement and Transposable Elements,” Annual Review of Genetics, Vol. 36:389–410 (2002).
Douglas D. Axe, “Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors,” Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301:585-595 (2000).
William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
You mentioned that there is a good reason Behe and others refuse to offer their work for publication in peer reviewed journals, However, Behe and others have peer reviews, you can check this in the above list!
My point of view was clear regarding how the universe started as claimed by Dawkins (referring to evolutionary theory) I argued that the world did not start simple, because the cell or the atoms are not simple, please let me know if the simpler beginnings that bacteria had evolved from were alive, As life itself is a mystery and too complicated to comprehend. Meanwhile, I don’t see any problem with things being evolved and created at the same time. If evolution is the rule of God, then voila, why not? maybe this is the will of God to create things through evolution.
Regarding Dawkins’ argument, your explanation failed to justify it. As you say “God if he indeed a creative intelligence can’t exist.” By your explanation, Dawkins equated any “creative intelligence” with God, It is illogical to equate the Creator with anything He created even if it is a creative intelligence. plus, if evolution happens gradually, (as stated in Dawkins’ argument) then this will make Dawkins’ case worse, as we have seen creative intelligence that existed in the distant past and still unchallenged today, like Shakespeare for example, or the artists, who drew magnificent arts on the walls of the old temples and caves, so claiming that the creative intelligence must come in the end is not true either.
Regarding the moon analogy that explains the different attitudes of people towards God, please bear in mind that I am not proving a mathematical theory by driving equations. Dealing with a mathematical query is completely different from dealing with experiences and relationships. The exact converse argument is not true as evidenced by the analogy I mentioned of the child who seeks his parents.
In my view, as written in my article, our need for justice is a proof of the absolute Just (God), otherwise who embed in us our yearning for justice if we are just a product of blind evolution?
As you mentioned there must be a kind of similarity in the analogy, the similarity here is not between God and the moon as I have pointed out from the beginning. The similarity is between people’s experiences. The experience of people who believe that the moon exists because they see it, and those who believe that God exists because they experienced His presence, whether through an answered prayer, a feeling, a conclusion from events, a particular incident like an NDE, a scientific evidence in a holy scripture, moments of contemplation and logical thinking or whatever, but they have sensed God at some point and therefore they feel that they need Him as they believe in Him. I hope that this time it is clear, for when I say that a group of people are working like beehives, this doesn’t make people flying over a flower, sucking its nectar, but the analogy here shows that these people work hard and systematic.
//part 1 of 2//
Johannes de Grote on August 31, 2017:
//part 2 of 2//
Next you say I shouldn't be presumptuous and think I know what religious people think. Your point is well taken, but I would recommend you take your own advise, especially when you write that atheists "want" to deny God. This point is also quite self-destructive, since your argument hinged on the exact same thing I did; assuming what believers think. You can really only speak for yourself.
Then the part about your case for design. You state that I commit the special pleading fallacy somehow by excluding natural things from being designed and that I should provide adequate justification for their exclusion. This is known as shifting the burden of proof. You made the claim that nature is intelligently designed, and now you are trying to saddle me with the burden of having to prove it isn't, which I will not accept of course. I pointed out that the examples you used, a tree and a building, aren't analogous. I will let David Hume further address this point, as he also refuted the argument back in 1779:
"Although we know that man-made structures were designed because we have seen them being built, the analogy does not hold for non-man-made structures. For the analogy to hold, the theist must be able to demonstrate that natural objects in the universe (such as trees, rocks and humans) were manufactured in some way. In fact, our ability to recognize design depends on our ability to discern characteristics that are not found in nature, and designed objects such as watches and airplanes stand in stark contradistinction to the characteristics of natural objects such as rocks and trees. When we see a watch, we may look for a watchmaker, but when we see a dog, it does not follow that we would look for a dog-maker, because we know that dogs are produced through the well-understood natural processes of mammalian reproduction. Proof of design cannot therefore be produced within the context of nature itself."
I was very disappointed to read this statement from you: "The theory (of evolution) fails to explain how life is created in the first place (...)." First of all, why assume in your question that life was created? Second, the theory of evolution ONLY explains how life diversified, NOT how it came to be. You then state that the theory of evolution can't account for things like the human desire for survival (evolutionary psychology actually can) or why beautiful things survive (for reasons other than that they are beautiful) and how living things came to be (that's not what it's for).
In closing, I would recommend you do some reading on what the atheist position actually is. It's not a belief, it's the exact opposite; it's the absence of one particular belief. I would never claim to be perfectly objective, but I do try to be. I do not simply believe that life existed millions of years ago without evidence; there are mountains of evidence, and I can point you to it. The thing is, no theist ever actually reads any of it. They all ask for evidence of this and that, and when I give them a list, suddenly all goes quiet.
You give me a list of things you call evidence for God, I presume, but you don't explain why these things are evidence for a God in the first place. Please connect the dots for me. How is DNA evidence for God? How is the universe evidence for God? How are moral guidelines evidence for God?
I do appreciate your responses and I hope we can put this evolution-denial business behind us. I can point you to all the scientific literature you need, but only if you are actually willing to go read it. The articles I listed in this response are a good start.
Kind regards, Johannes.
Johannes de Grote on August 31, 2017:
Hi Salma, thank you for your response. I will address your points in order of appearance as I did last time. I will try to be concise, but with subject matter like this that isn't always possible.
I believe I pointed out in my last response that science will never give you absolute certainty. If you require 100% verification before accepting a theory then most of science goes out the window immediately. You state that there is no consensus on evolution, but you are actually wrong there; the consensus in the scientific community for the last century has been that evolution has occurred. Please note that consensus doesn't mean that 100% of scientists in relevant fields agree; if we require that then there is no consensus on anything anymore. There are those scientists who think the earth is flat, believe it or not.
I would also like to address what you mention is reasearch against the theory of evolution. There is no peer reviewed scientific research that goes against the theory of evolution. There are many books, yes, but there is no system in place to allow peer review on books; anyone can publish whatever they like. This is not the case for scientific publications. Only work that can be verified by passing peer review is actually published and that is where you need to go for information on science; scientific publications. I would never point someone to a book by Dawkins on evolution; I would point to peer-reviewed scientific research by him and many others.
There is a good reason Behe and others refuse to offer their work for publication in peer reviewed journals; they know it won't pass peer review because it can't be supported or replicated. Behe himself has admitted this during the Kitzmiller vs Dover trial. In the same trial, Behe's objections to evolutionary theory, presented in his book Darwin's Black Box, were demonstrated to be flawed and disproven by scientists years prior. You can find the transcripts for the trial online.
Books like "Billions of Missing Links" by Geoffrey Simmons are clearly pseudoscientific babble. I own this particular book and have read it several times. If you write a book in which you claim that the self-regulatory system of the Earth's oceans or the fact that the Earth is habitable is a problem for the theory of evolution to solve, you are an idiot. I'm sorry but I can't be any more generous than that to Geoffrey Simmons.
Scientists can't accurately predict the date and time of arrival of a new species because, as you might have realised, mutations are random and the environment changes. There are a lot of other factors involved, including climate change and outside intervention. Events such as mutations and fusions that have occurred in the past, however, can be observed in the DNA and can be used to retrace ancestry. We know for instance that our chromosome number 2 resulted from the fusion of two ancestral ape chromosomes.
As for the applications for the algorhythms evolutionary theory has given us, I can provide you with the titles to several articles. There are many, many, many more you can find in databases online.
"Combining game theory and genetic algorithms with application to DDM-nozzle optimization problems"
J Périaux, HQ Chen, B Mantel, M Sefrioui… - Finite Elements in …, 2001 - Elsevier
"Using genetic algorithms to find technical trading rules"
F Allen, R Karjalainen - Journal of financial Economics, 1999 - Elsevier
"Genetic algorithms and inflationary economies"
J Arifovic - Journal of Monetary Economics, 1995 - Elsevier
"How to effectively use topic models for software engineering tasks? an approach based on genetic algorithms"
A Panichella, B Dit, R Oliveto, M Di Penta… - … Software Engineering, 2013 - dl.acm.org
In your final comments regarding evolutionary theory, you claim there is research in which the theory is refuted. I would very, very much like to receive the titles for the articles and the journals in which it is published. Also, you say you will accept the theory of evolution once the consensus is there, it is. Right now. Has been for the last century almost. Access to the complete genome of numerous species over the last decade has pretty much sealed the deal. DNA evidence alone is more than enough; we don't even need fossils any more now that we can almost literally read evolutionary history.
One of your objections to Dawkins' thesis was that he had "overlooked the fact that evolutionary theory has not been confirmed yet." This, as I have argued above, clearly isn't the case. Unless you keep demanding absolute, 100% certainty, your objection here fails. Nothing in science is absolute. Only mathematics and logic can be, and even there a proof is only as good as it's premises or axioms.
Second, you say Dawkins assumes the universe started simple and gradually became more complex. This is also not true. Dawkins doesn't assume anything: it is in fact what modern science suggests. Again, not with 100% certainty, but based on the evidence available at the moment.
The statement in response to Dawkins' thesis I find to be most problematic is this one "Everything God created is very complex even if it appears simple." You then mention leaves and bacteria, two things we know evolved, from simpler beginnings. God never "created" a leaf; we know trees with leaves evolved; the same is true for bacteria. This part of your response assumes creationism, but you haven't been able to make a case against evolution at all.
In your latest response there seems to be a misunderstanding of the text on your part. Dawkins never states that if God exists, he must have arrived late in the universe by gradual evolution. He states that because creative intelligence (he does not mean God here!) can only come about by means of evolution, God, if he is indeed a creative intelligence, and defined as described (supernatural, superhuman etc..), can't exist. Precisely because, as you say, he couldn't be subject to evolution! This is the entire point of the book and he clearly writes this in the chapter you took the quote from. He does not assume that God exists anywhere; he expressly states the opposite, right off the bat: "There exists a super- human, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us. This book will advocate an alternative view." The alternative view being that God can't exist, because creative intelligence evolved.
Next, you present an analogy you admit isn't really an analogy. "The moon is by no means similar to God," I agree, so this isn't actually an analogy at all then. The point of an analogy is that there IS some kind of similarity. All I really wanted was for you to prove that the need for God proves God's existence, which was your statement as I recall. I have only been presented with flawed analogies so far, which is quite unconvinving I must say. The only reason I responded with the exact negation of your claim was to demonstrate that it isn't sound. Your argument in syllogistic form:
P1 - The need for God proves God's existence.
P2 - Many people feel the need for God.
C1 - Therefore, God exists.
I can make the exact converse argument, and it would be equally valid; this follows simply from the rules of logic. The difficulty is in demonstrating the truth of the first premise. You haven't actually done that yet. If you can, I will accept your argument.
In the next paragraph you argue that as science advances, it points more and more to a Creator. But I thought we agreed that science relies on methodological naturalism, and can't ever "point to" or indeed "away from" a creator. Your point is also demonstrably false, as I can find many research articles that suggest religiosity declines as education levels rise. If what you say were true, we would expect the opposite.
//part 1 of 2//
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on August 30, 2017:
Hi Johannes, thanks for explaining your point of view. First, let me tell you that I am not against the theory and I am not supporting it. I am willing to accept the theory if it is 100% verified, which in my view, still not. I am not trying to include the entire universe in the theory as you thought; I know very well that it doesn’t have anything to do with the creation of the sun, moon, and planets for example. Please note that my article is not concerned with supporting or refuting the theory; it only refutes the logic behind Dawkins’ argument and the denial of God. As we both agree that the evolutionary theory neither disapproves nor proves God’s existence.
if you limit your aim to reading studies that support the theory, You definitely won’t find, but dozens of disciplines that prove it, However, there are researchers who disapprove it, like Norman Macbeth, the author of Darwin Retried, the biochemist Michael Behe, the author of Darwin’s Black Box, the biologist Jonathan Wells, the author of Icons of Evolution and others as well.
I am totally aware that there are scientists that refute the term missing links, on the other hand, there are others who endorse the existence of missing links like Geoffrey Simmons in his book titled “Billions of missing links”. you see having no consensus on the theory shows that it is not 100% confirmed. To tell you honestly, I am not convinced by your argument regarding the inability of calculating when the evolution of new species will take place, because evolution steps that take generations, do not make calculations impossible, it is finite and countable despite being large in number. And if, as you mentioned, geneticists can use mutation rates to calculate ancestry over millions of years, then why is it impossible or ‘absurd’ to calculate when new species will evolve?
Also, I consider that your claim that evolution has given us, application for a wide range from medicine development to game theory and from economics to software engineering is a kind of an overstatement unless it is provided with evidence.
Thank you for offering to supply me with the list of articles. It is interesting that these articles prove that the theory of evolution can predict future data and confirm this through experiments, yet you said, it is absurd to think that it is possible to calculate when new species will evolve. Anyways, there are other researchers that refute these findings, and once there will be consensus over the theory, I will have no problem to embrace it.
Regarding the pleading fallacy, it seems that there is a misunderstanding about the premise here. for Dawkins said that if God exists, He has to arrive late in the universe by gradual evolution! Thus Dawkins deduces the time of God’s arrival to the universe if He exists. God’s arriving late is the matter of dispute and not God’s existence. I argued that if God exists, as it was already mentioned by Dawkins, He has to create everything including the rules that work in the universe (like the evolution theory), thus He has to arrive early and not late in the universe. So in this context, I am not proving God’s existence, as this statement was already made by Dawkins. However, the matter of dispute was the time of God’s arrival in the universe if He exists.
Despite the fact that we are signs of God, I did not mention the analogy of the child who is seeking his parents to prove God’s existence, but rather to refute the logic behind your argument which stated that if the need for God is proof of its existence then people exist who don't feel the need for God is proof there is none. The following analogy will explain my aim regarding the innate feeling of believing in God. People naturally believe that the moon exists because they are able to see it, but if there are some who are blind or deliberately close their eyes, then the moon doesn’t exist for them, that is fine too, but this doesn’t disprove the existence of the moon. please note that the analogy for the sake of clarification, as the moon is by no means similar to God.
Indeed science’s goal is not to replace religion, however people who intend not to believe in God usually take science as pretext or an excuse, and if it really were an excuse, all people will turn to be atheists, but this is not the case because as science advances, it points more and more to the absolute Wise, to the Creator.
Also, modifying your statement by saying that most people think they need to get close to higher power is inappropriate as you cannot assume what believers in God or god(s) think or need. You do not share their experiences and their relationship with God. so how would it be possible for you to know how they think and what they need?!
I see that using the word assuming design in your argument is misleading. I did not assume design, I conclude it from forms and functions and you usually conclude things by observing facts. This is the magnificent role of the brain. You say that you cannot assume design for things that are naturally occurring, but who said so? Now I see that you are the one who is falling in the pleading fallacy, you exempted natural things from being designed despite the intelligence shown in their form and function and you did not provide an adequate justification to support your claim!
You mentioned that having the ability to go to your local town and ask for the blueprints to any building after its erection makes my case worse!! But, what if you were in a city where you can’t get these blueprints, does this disprove the design of the buildings?! Does the existence of the Pyramids and the old temples without the survival of the corresponding initial plans disprove that they are being designed?!
Again, you are over crediting the Darwin’s theory, you think that it explains how trees actually came to be, while you overlooked the fact that the trees are alive and the theory fails to explain how life is created in the first place, if we are only bodies, then what is the difference between the dead and the living body? Darwin's theory of evolution does not explain how evolution could produce us; self-conscious beings caring for our own survival and that of our dear ones, yearning to convey our experience and wisdom to the next generations. The theory advocates the survival of the fittest, but it fails straight away to explain why beautiful things survive, and why we are attracted to beauty. I am not refuting the validity of Darwin’s theory, I am only showing that the theory doesn’t provide information asserted by people who believe in it like how living things came to be.
I would like to make it clear that I did not mean to offend you when I said that people can’t deny the designer unless they want to. Indeed, some atheists always argue that they are truly objective, as they follow evidence regardless of their will; something that I do appreciate, if it is true, as I really honor human brains and objectivity, however, I see atheism as a deep seated belief, for atheists, despite their claim, believe in the unseen, they believe that life existed on its own some millions of years ago without any proof or evidence, they tend to overlook the many pieces of evidence around us, like the information found in the genes, the sustainable system in the universe throughout billions of years, our yearning for love, freedom and justice, the existence of principles and morals which sometimes makes us act against the will of our body, the mysterious “I” which lies inside each and every one of us, the experience of believers through their relationship with God, the revelations that created outstanding civilizations throughout history, the laws that never changes and more. However, I respect atheists’ belief, because I respect our differences.
Thanks again for your contribution, and wish for both of us to find the truth.
Johannes de Grote on August 28, 2017:
Hi Salma, thank you for your reply.
There are several things in your reply that I do agree with, along with several other grave misunderstandings, mostly about the theory of evolution, unfortunately.
It is true that the theory states living organisms have developed to become more complex, as you correctly put. My first contention with your article was merely to point out that the theory only deals with life on earth and nothing else. People who are reluctant to accept the theory often include the entire universe because that makes it easier to deny it. I was merely trying to avoid that pitfall.
Also, please keep in mind that humans did not evolve from bacteria. Bacteria and humans do share a common ancestor, which could be described as bacteria-like, but we are eukaryotes, whereas bacteria are prokaryotes.
You point out that saying that the theory of evolution is one of the most robust in science doesn't make it so and I completely agree; that is also true for the converse statement. I am confident in my statement because the amount of evidence for evolution is so massive at this point, denying it betrays a certain ignorance of scientfic progress over the last 150 years. There are literally dozens of disciplines in science that converge on the same conclusion over and over: evolution happened. Almost no other theory in science has such strong support from such a multitude of fields.
The claim that there are no missing links seems quite bizarre to me, since there are literally dozens of hominid species alone that have been uncovered and analyzed in recent decades. All you have to do is look at a museum database online and you can find lists upon lists of fossils. Besides, a proper understanding of evolutionary theory would lead one to the conclusion that every single form is transitional, since the steps evolution takes are generational. This makes it impossible to "calculate" when the evolution of new species will take place. No evolutionary scientist would reasonably expect to be able to do that. To require that is quite absurd.
If you require calculations you need only look at how Genetecists can use mutation rates to calculate ancestry over millions of years. Evolution has also given us genetic algorhythms, applications for which range from medicine development to game theory and from economics to software engineering. Without evolution, our lives would be quite different.
There are literally hunderds of scientific, peer-reviewed articles available online for free on observed speciation both in nature and in laboratories. I can supply you with a list if you like. There are thousands more that prove definitively that the theory of evolution can predict future data and confirm this through experiment. I'm really sorry to say it like this but there is no way a reasonable person who has put in more than the bare minimum amount of time and effort to find this stuff can still deny evolution.
That said, I agree that the theory doesn't deny God's existence. No scientific theory does, because science relies on methodological naturalism.
In your next point, you provide us with an explanation of what a special pleading fallacy entails, and I agree with it. The part I disagree with is that adequate justification is provided to accept a creator as an exception to our established rule. We can't be allowed to define our way out of the fallacy, because that would be begging the question. Saying God can't be subject to the rule because he created it is assuming he in fact did so. I warned against this type of reasoning in quoting Shelly in my first reponse; we can't simply assume a contested premise and then infer the matter in dispute. However, should you be able to provide proof of your premise I will accept it.
Next, you present an analogy in response to my claim that the need for God doesn't prove the existence of God. Arguing by analogy is fine, if the analogy holds. The flaw here is that we know the existence of a child already proves the existence or prior existence of it's parents, by definition. The child's parents are disanalogous to God, because their existence can be inferred from the existence of the child alone. If you want to argue by analogy, you'd have to present me with one with a subject of which we can't deduce the existence by some other means, since the existence of God is what you are trying to show.
I do not really have a problem with what you wrote on ancient religions but I don't know why you mention it, to be honest. I stated in my response that there were humans long before there was religion, which is evidenced by numerous finds in anthropology. The fact that religions such as animism, totemism and animal worship predate monotheism is also not controversial. If you think religions such as these still contain the central tenant of monotheism as you seem to argue in your response, I would love to see the evidence for that.
I do agree with you that science hasn't replaced religion, and that isn't the goal of science at all. You say a majority of people always need to get close to a higher power; I would modify that statement slightly: most people think they need to get close to a higher power.
Finally, you commit the exact same fallacy in assuming design from form and function and then inferring the designer. You haven't in fact proven design at all, you've assumed it. You have shown again that humans can tell artifice from nature, but nothing more. Yes we can prove design in cases where humans have designed buildings, garments, etc... We can't do that for that which is naturally occurring.
The definition of design you provided makes your case even worse. I can actually go to my local town hall and ask for the blueprints to any building in my city after it's erection, proving it was designed. There is no such course of action for the tree in my back yard. We have prior knowledge of design when it comes to buidlings. Using the building and comparing it to a tree is a classical example of a false analogy.
Another flaw in the design argument is that it assumes evidence of design is an objective quality obvious to all viewers. In reality, the ability to discern design is largely a function of familiarity and cultural context.
Finally, we have quite a good understanding of how modern trees actually came to be. We can cite reasons for their form and function today from an evolutionary standpoint. We simply don't need a designer to account for this.
In closing, I do feel the need to say I resent your remark about me not being able to deny the designer unless I wanted to. Volition plays no part here. I do not determine whether or not I become convinced of the truth of a proposition; I can only be convinced through evidence and reason and I can be convinced against my will. To claim I don't believe because I don't want to is to fundamentally misunderstand what the agnostic atheist position is.
Kind regards, Johannes.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on August 26, 2017:
Hi Johannes, thank you for your input, you pointed out in your argument that there is a misunderstanding starting with the idea that the evolutionary theory states that our observable universe started simple and got more complicated along the way. If this is the case then on what basis did Dawkins build his argument? It is interesting that you corrected the statement by saying that Evolutionary theory only deals with the development of life on this planet, but don’t you see that the word “development” denotes to something maturing or getting bigger and more complicated? By the way, the theory states that all the different species have evolved from simple life forms. These simple life forms first developed more than 3 billion years ago, from the first bacteria till the first modern humans. Indeed as you mentioned the theory seeks to explain the diversification of life on earth, but we cannot deny the fact that it also denotes to moving towards complexity from bacteria to human beings.
Saying that the theory of evolution is one of the most robust theories in science, doesn’t make it robust. It has to be supported by evidence. Saying also that science will never give you absolute certainty shows that nothing is certain, and of course this is not true. In many cases, theories have been tested, analyzed and examined so thoroughly that their chance of being wrong is inconsiderable. Other times, uncertainties remain despite lengthy research. The evolution theory still falls in this category. Thus putting the evolution theory on par with other theories like heliocentric is rather misleading. While the heliocentric theory resolved the mathematical problems and inconsistencies arising out of the classic geocentric model, the evolutionary theory couldn’t solve its flaws. for example, the missing links between species and the inability of calculating when the evolution of new species will take place, etc. also please bear in mind that the theory doesn’t deny God’s existence.
If you look at the definition of the special Pleading argument, you will find that it is about applying standards, principles, and/or rules to other people or circumstances, while making oneself or certain circumstances exempt from the same critical criteria, without providing adequate justification. In our case, the definition of the Creator is enough justification to exempt God from being liable to a rule He created, this is logical and the argument is very clear in my article.
The following analogy is in response to your claim that there is a flaw in the argument presented that the need for God is proof of His existence. The need of a child for his parents is a proof that his parents have existed some point in time, however, if the child denies his parents, his denial will never refute their existence. It only shows that he doesn’t want to have a relationship with them.
It is worth mentioning that archeology is a sub field of anthropology, which is concerned with recovering the prehistory and early history of societies and their cultures. However, we cannot rely totally on the archeological findings. This is because a tiny part of what has been left and written remains, and a very small fraction of the archaeological sites available were surveyed and a very small portion of the scanned sites have been excavated. The Egyptologist and Egyptian archeologist Dr, Zahi Hawas stated that only 30% of Egypt’s antiques have been found while the 70 percent of the secrets of Egypt are still hidden. Nevertheless, it has been recorded that Monotheism started in ancient times, Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh (1352–1336 B.C.E.) was clearly a monotheist. Certainly, many religions split the Divine up in multiple gods, like in Hinduism, but you always have the grand spirit, the one origin that everything came from, so the idea of one origin or one absolute is almost universal in any tradition. Dr. Walter Lami the head of the philosophy department at the American University in Cairo said that Greek polytheism is very poorly understood, 20 century scholars had shown definitively that in its origin the Greek polytheism is not polytheism at all, but rather than all of the different gods, there were different perspectives pointing out to the one whole of being, so the Greek polytheism in its origin, if you wish, is a form of monotheism.
The many creeds and the many perspectives of God that are present today only show that in spite of the development of sciences, Sciences have failed to replace religions; the majority of people always need to get close to a higher power, they always feel that they are not just bodies, they are much more!
Finally, I am surprised that you can’t prove that the tree is designed!! If we pick up the definition of the word ‘design’ we find that it means a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or another object before it is made. So if we look at a building, for example, after it is being made, and not before, does this mean that it is not designed? Of course not, why? Because we can see the design in the function and form. We can see some sort of intelligence that is an enough evidence for the design and the designer.
If you look at any part of a tree, including its function and form, we find that roots anchor a plant, and extract nutrients and water from the soil so the plant can grow. Stems link the roots to the leaves and flowers of the plant. They carry nutrients and water to the leaves and flowers by capillary action. Leaves are the main organs of photosynthesis. They also function in gas exchange. Moreover, the beauty of trees are overwhelming, look at the shades of colors in the leaves and branches, see the blooming of flowers, you cannot deny the magnificent design. You cannot deny the designer unless you want to.
I thank you for taking the time and adding your comment.
Johannes de Grote on August 25, 2017:
There are clearly some very obvious misunderstandings in this article, starting with the idea that evolutionary theory states that our observable universe started simple and got more complicated along the way. Evolutionary theory only deals with the development of life on this planet. The only phenomenon it seeks to explain is the diversification of life on Earth, not the development of the universe or the origins of life.
Furthermore, the phrase "evolutionary theory has not been confirmed yet" betrays a severe misunderstanding of how science works. The theory of evolution is one of the most robust theories in science, on par with heliocentric theory, the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease. Theories in science are never proven beyond doubt; science will never give you absolute certainty. All the available evidence suggests evolutionary theory is accurate, and that is the closest we will ever get to certainty.
The core of Dawkin's argument is that to start your explanation by positing a God is actually a fallacy called special pleading. Everyhting we see is very complex, therefore it was designed and created by God. God is the exception to this rule, for no reason other than its definition. This is special pleading and logically fallacious.
The argument presented that the need for God is proof of it's existence is also flawed. By the same structure it could be claimed that the fact that people exist who don't feel the need for God is proof there is none.
Another claim is that belief in God has been experienced since the dawn of humanity; which is clearly false. There is a mountain of peer reviewed research in anthropology on how religions developed; the belief in only one God is merely the latest stage in religious development. There were people long before there were religions. Apart from that, the fact that people believe it does in no way establish the truth of that which is believed.
In ancient times, people believed in animism; a religion that states objects, places and creatures possess distinct spiritual essences and there alive. Does the fact that this is the oldest known belief system in the world, adhered to thousands of years before even the conception of a theistic deity prove that it is true? Of course not. Polytheisms also predate monotheism. Does the fact that there are hundreds of millions of adherants still today mean polytheism is true? Of course not.
Another point made in the article is that we can deduce the existence of God through the application of logic in the same way we can conclude a watch must have had a watchmaker. The watchmaker argument, however, was shown to be fallacious over a hundred years ago, by author Percy Shelley:
"Design must be proved before a designer can be inferred. It is not permitted to assume the contested premises and thence infer the matter in dispute."
We can prove a watch was designed, we can't do the same for a tree. All the watchmaker argument shows is that humans can distinguish artifice from nature.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on May 15, 2017:
Hi John, I love your first phrase, as I appreciate your respect and tolerance to our diversity and differences. As for Richard Dawkins, he failed to give an answer to many questions ( I state some of them in my previous comment) like for example the cause of the existence of beauty and our aspiration for freedom and Justice, and that is OK with me as he is a human being and no human being is capable of providing answers to all the big questions. However, religions do in their original texts and languages.
I respect your worries regarding the abuse of religions, as I totally agree that religions have been abused since long ago, but in the same time good values have been abused too; wars have been waged under the pretext of the call for democracy, patriotism, and freedom. As you see abuse is not a flaw in religions, but it is a flaw in human beings.
And Yes I haven’t tried quoting from the Quran or the Bible, not because they are turned off, but because you don’t believe in them.
Finally, I wish you all the happiness and more!
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on May 15, 2017:
Salma, We will have to agree to disagree! All your points have been explored and answered - the works of Richard Dawkins provide all the evidence for evolution and the non-existence of God, but he also makes the point that it is impossible to convince deeply religious people to change their minds because they do not accept that the evidence is actually evidence!
Religion worries me because - although it has inspired many people to do good works - it has also inspired others to do things that could never be described as good. The logic used by both sets of people is strikingly similar - it just depends on the propositions you start from and to which you apply your logic.
At least you haven`t tried quoting verses from the Bible at me - I find that to be the biggest turn-off of them all!
I wish you all the best and every happiness - despite not agreeing with you!
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on May 11, 2017:
Hi, John, The scientific theory which states that the Planets orbit the sun and the theory of Gravity are both supported by numerical numbers, equations and data, we know for instance the orbital lengths and distances of objects in our solar system and the value of gravity, we can calculate the velocity of an object by knowing the distance and time; however, this is not the case regarding evolution, still there are missing links, and there is no equation to calculate vital information like how a certain species will look like within a certain number of years and so forth. And as I told you I am not against evolution, if only scientists would explore the missed details.
The problem with your questions concerning God, that you assumed that God is like man, so He may need a finger to light the fuse of the big bang, You also expected that we can comprehend God’s Wisdom, so you asked me to figure out how He created the universe, despite that fact that studying a single rule and law created by God would require the effort of many scientists throughout several years, decades or even centuries, like the rule of evolution for example. I may answer how a carpenter created a table, but it will be beyond my knowledge to answer how God created the universe. And please bear in mind that it is impossible for the Creator to be like any of His creation, otherwise, it will be like thinking that the computer manufacturer is similar to the computer he manufactured.
Let me tell you what I think in this regard. I see beauty in everything around me which is not explained by the evolution theory or any other theory. And I see also the limitation of sciences despite the progress we perceive in the digital age; as you mentioned, science, filled many gaps that were missing in the past, however, it fails to give any explanation regarding things that are so close to us, and concern man directly, like if we are only bodies, what makes us alive? How living beings come to life in the first place? Why can’t we create a living thing? Which part of our body is responsible for principles or morals or consciousness? why can't we measure our emotions or ambitions? etc.
And please give me single evidence that proves that wisdom and intelligence can certainly come about as a result of evolution as to my knowledge there is none.
Let me tell you that I am not falling into a ‘God of the gaps’ mentality, which makes some of us use the word “God” as an excuse to what is unknown to them. In fact, I think of God and praise Him when I don’t have the answers and when I have them. For when I don’t have the answers, I feel how limited I am. And when I have some answers I feel I am blessed to understand how things came to exist, and I am eager to find further future discoveries as this will never deny the Creator, on the contrary, every scientific discovery points to Him, to His Wisdom, Magnificence, Grandiosity and Mercy.
Finally, I thank you for sharing your interesting thoughts with me, and you are always invited and welcomed as I believe that people should support each other in seeking the truth.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on May 11, 2017:
Salma, The idea that the planets orbit the Sun is a scientific `theory`, as is the Theory of Gravity. They are not called theories because they are unproven - that is simply another meaning of the word. There is no `missing evidence` that calls the Theory of Evolution into question, although we do not yet know all the precise detail of all the mechanisms that make it work. The thing is that it fits the facts, and no other theory has come along that refutes those facts - certainly not any bizarre notion that a supreme being clicked his fingers and it all just happened. That is a theory that certainly does not fit all the facts.
You have to ask yourself - what exactly did God create? Did he click his fingers to light the fuse of the big bang and let the laws of physics and evolution get to work that eventually led to what we have today? Or did he create a 'complex' universe at some time in the past that has simply continued to change? Or do you believe in a form of continuous creation, such that everything that happens, and has always happened, is the direct action of God? That idea would lead to all sorts of problems!
And yes - intelligence and wisdom (and the lack of them) can certainly come about as a result of evolution. Do be careful about falling into a `God of the gaps` mentality, which says that we can understand all sorts of things and how they came to exist, but there are still things we don`t understand and those must therefore have been created by God. Many such gaps have been closed down the centuries, and we can have every confidence that others will disappear in time as science makes fresh discoveries.
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on May 11, 2017:
Hi, John Welford, A “theory” in scientific terms as stated by Jaime Tanner, a professor of biology at Marlboro College refers to the way that we interpret facts. There may be alternative interpretations regarding the same fact, interpretations may be true or false, like the old theory which stated that the fact of alteration of day and night is due to the sun orbiting the earth. Now you are stating that evidence are overwhelming regarding the evolution and I see, as I stated in my article, there is other missed important evidence. I am not against the theory if it is provided with complete evidence. Also, I mentioned that the evolution (if true) doesn’t negate God’s existence.
Well, saying that the universe needs a creator is like a watch that needs a watchmaker is a very logical argument for me because any creation that contains intelligence and wisdom can’t be found by mere luck or create itself. A book that contains information cannot write itself or come into existence by a chance even if the name of the writer is not written on its cover.
John Welford from Barlestone, Leicestershire on May 10, 2017:
I think you are mistaken to claim that evolution is an "unproven theory", because you have fallen into the trap of not understanding what a "theory" is in scientific terms. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming.
You are also guilty of circular reasoning by assuming the truth of what you are seeking to prove. The "watchmaker" argument falls down because it assumes that the universe is a "creation" in the same sense that a watch is and must therefore have had a creator, but why should you make this assumption in the first place?
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on March 01, 2017:
Thank you for your reply, I really do appreciate your understanding, and I highly respect your point of view as you respect mine. I would like to clarify that I am not against evolution, I'm simply clarifying that it is not yet confirmed. The confirmation or non-confirmation of evolution is not evidence to deny the existence of God.
I thank you again for your conversation and the value it holds in portraying a full picture of two different angles.
Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on February 28, 2017:
Thank you for acknowledging and I appreciate the candid response.
I do apologise, as I did not intended to sound bigoted or be demeaning towards anyone and nor was I advocating for anybody. Whether its creationism or Evolution both have opportunities and creationism more so. I am a believer of evolution as it sounds reasonable and equally acceptable to me. 'Flawed logic' to me as stated above is more about perspectives!
Salma Hassaballa (author) from Egypt on February 28, 2017:
Thank you for your comment and I appreciate your input. I did not mean it as you may have interpreted it, and I will agree with you that this is a non-ending debate. A debate worth the research and discussion, however, I think providing three logical arguments refuting Dawkins' is enough to rebut it. One of the arguments is stating that bacteria is complex by itself although it appears simple and this is directly related to Dawkins' argument which was based on the assumption that the world started simple and then it gets complex by time, and I don’t know why you ignored the other two logical arguments. However, as you mentioned, it seems that many are subjective when it comes to what they truly believe. For atheism is also a deep-seated belief, in spite of the fact that many atheists are unaware of it
Secondly, I appreciate that Dr. Hassan Hathout may not be 'famous' in all regions and fields, but in my particular region and field of research, he is a notable and widely accepted scholar.
Regarding Dr. Hathout’s argument, it is logical as well as a rhetoric one, just to show atheists the possibility of ignoring some evidence because they are unable to see it; its purpose is for illustration and not to counter attack atheism.
Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on February 27, 2017:
This another of those non-ending debates, anyways here's what I felt..
You quoted Dawkins to throw some wait around your argument however when you couldn't rebut what Dawkins inquires about whether god (as complex he and his creations are) being an end product himself, its seems you take the easier route of a counter argument stating bacteria's or supposed first life forms too are complex. It's more like answering a question with a question.
Again, when you speak of this not so famous scholar Dr. Hassan Hathout, you try and present his flawed argument as intellectual one but it appears he's just romancing with his philosphy. This whole man, wall, shadow and light source argument that you quote of him, can be expressed in many ways and that doesn't necessarily prove that a non-believer is a fool or devoid of rationale.
Finally when I say that I am a believer turned non-believer, I am sure whatever I said wouldn't make much of a sense and that's exactly what's the problem with the so called 'flawed logic'. For you as a believer what atheist like Dawkins say is a flawed logic similarly for an atheist what you propose as a counter argument doesn't make much sense either.