Of Richard Dawkins' nine books, none caused as much controversy or sold as well as last year's The God Delusion. The central ideapopular among readers and deeply unsettling among proponents of intelligent design like myselfis that religion is a so-called virus of the mind, a simple artifact of cultural evolution, no more or less meaningful than eye color or height.
It is a measure of the artful way Dawkins, 66, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford, tells a tale and the rigor he brings to his thinking that even those of us who profoundly disagree with what he has to say can tip our hats to the way he has invigorated the larger debate.
Dawkins had a mild Anglican youth but at 16 discovered Charles Darwin and believed he'd found a pearl of great price. I believe his new book follows much less from his data than from his premises, and yet I admire his determination. Concerning the big questions, the Bible advises us to be hot or cold but not lukewarm. Whatever the merit of his ideas, Richard Dawkins is not lukewarm.
Behe is the author of the upcoming The Edge of Evolution
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