About 6 months ago, I was introduced for the first time to one Richard Dawkins, in the form of a debate with the then Australian Senator Steve Fielding on an episode of Q & A. The net result of this debate saw Senator Fielding bewildered by the stunningly simple and beautiful logic of Dawkins’s dismissal of creationism. Fielding childishly stumbled around his beliefs, and the impression I gained was that he had never properly thought about his beliefs, nor had anyone ever seriously challenged him on them. I laughed at the idiocy of dismissing the evidence for natural selection, and was stunned that a democratically elected member of the Australian parliament, who very nearly held the balance of power, STILL believed in Adam and eve. I did not believe in creationism at the time, but I foolishly, as Richard rightly argues, put the wonder and scope of nature down to ‘intelligent design’- without a shred of evidence for it; “I, Ben Stevens, cannot believe that such a wonderful and complex system such as nature is without purpose and design, therefore God exists”…
Richard, (and others), I am genuinely grateful for being introduced to the wonder of science and reason; of the importance of empirical evidence, of the wonder of natural selection, the genius of descent with modification, the imperative of thinking critically, the terrible dangers of child indoctrination or labeling them when they are too young to think for themselves to name but a few. And I am equally and eternally apologetic for laughing at the ‘misguided’ and ‘presumptuous’ fool who dared attack my God in a book that I saw appear on the bookshelves back in 2006.
I look forward, perhaps more so than I ever have about anything, to being part of this community in the years to come.
Adelaide, South Australia.