In Richard Dawkins’ celebrated book The Selfish Gene, there is a passage which (rather typically for him) smuggles non-empirical assumptions into a statement that purports to be a scientific one.
The passage reads as follows:-
[Genes] swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence.
Richard Dawkins is no philosopher, nor theologian, nor biblical scholar. None of which automatically disqualifies him from expressing his opinions on religion, but all of which should make him exercise a little more care and caution in expressing those opinions.
For a man so committed to evidence and reason, it is remarkable that Dawkins pays so little attention to both in certain sections of The God Delusion. It is clear that before he wrote that book, he had read Alister McGrath’s Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life (2005). …