This is a must read in the battle against the new atheism. In this book, Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker do an excellent job showing some of the mental shortcuts that Richard Dawkins takes in his books, The God Delusion, Climbing Mount Improbable, and The Blind Watchmaker. I would highly recommend this especially to any high school senior or anyone who is currently in college. Many modern day secular universities are particularly fertile ground for the half-baked arguments of modern atheists. You won’t find a healthy debate the universities. For the most part you’ll have only one side presented. That’s all the more reason why this book is a must-read.
After I read Richard Dawkins book, The God Delusion, I felt that someone had to come out and make a point by point refutation. I found myself rolling my eyes so many times it seemed as if this would be a daunting task. The more I thought about it the more I realized that a detailed refutation would probably make the main points get lost in the minutia of argument. Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God
instead takes a peek behind the curtains of Richard Dawkins’ premises and logic. Once you get a glimpse of the way Dawkins’ arguments are constructed, it doesn’t take much to demystify his rhetoric. Because of this the book does an adequate job in a quick and easy read.
One example is an examination of an argument that Richard Dawkins makes in the God delusion. Richard Dawkins uses a hypothetical chance percentage of some DNA like structure forming on a planet. He puts the number at one in a billion. He then extrapolates the number of potential planets in the universe and comes to the conclusion that there are most likely many planets that contain life. In his book he claims that the one in a billion odds are conservative. There’s a reason that this argument uses a hypothetical chance percentage. The reason is because modern science has shown us that the odds are really much much much smaller than we ever imagined. Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God
demonstrates how the odds of even one average protein which is a necessity for DNA to replicate is roughly 12,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.
This book not only examines Richard Dawkins’ logic from a scientific standpoint but equally important from a philosophical standpoint. Philosophy is one of the main problems of the new atheists. Neither he nor his fan base seem to have a good grounding in the basic concepts of what constitutes valid arguments. When put under the microscope in Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God
, Dawkins’ logic crumbles. There were several times when I read this book that I actually laughed out loud at how silly Dawkins’ arguments seem.
One more point I would like to make is that this is the first book by Scott Hahn that I have bought in a few years. It’s nice to see his work in a paperback edition. While I do enjoy his writing, I always struggled with the price tag of his hardbound only books.
In summary this book is a must-read for any Catholic who is university bound or for anyone who wants to look at the new atheist movement with a skeptical eye.