Misrepresenting Darwin and insulting Dawkins
Posted on February 23rd, 2012

R Chandrasoma

The diatribe against Richard Dawkins and the caricature of Darwinism given in the recent article by Mr Ajit Randeniya calls for a strong rebuttal. It is abundantly clear that MrƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Randeniya has his learning on Evolution from nothing better than the polemics highlighted in the popular press where the chief source of anxiety is the threat to conventional religion posed by the writings of skeptical evolutionists.

Let us take Darwin first ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” to suggest that he was a racist is a colossal absurdity. He was a most compassionate man who viewed with horror the slavery he witnessed in his famous vists to South America. Indeed, Darwin in his magnum opus (The Origin of species) has little to say about human evolution ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” he reserved his comments on this subject for a later publication ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” The Descent of Man).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The word ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”raceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ used in the subtitle of the first book has been ridiculously misconstrued by Mr AR ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” in old-fashioned termimology, a biological variant ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ranging from a subspecies to a single-gene mutant ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” is called a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”raceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. It is most unfortumate that this biological usage has led the foolish to believe that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”DarwinismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”racistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ theory. As an abstract evolutionary algorithm based on mutation and natural selection, Darwinism is agnostic on the subject of inter-racial relations in our extraordinary species.

The sucessors of Darwin ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” notable the philosopher Herbert Spencer ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” developed a doctrine called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Social DarwinismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ that used the Darwinian concepts of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fitnessƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”struggleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to impose a competitive model ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” a struggle between human races ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” to account for the rise of civilization. The Eugenics movement was the result of this nisplaced Darwinism. In his later work ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” The Descent of Man ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Darwin assembled an impressive body of evidence to show the animal nature (in structure and basic functions) of the species once regasrded as made in the image of God. The intellectual revolution was the acceptance that we are truly part of the Animal Kingdom.

The facts of organic evolution and the Descent of Man from Simian Ancestors are now part of of the bedrock of human knowledge. Indeed it is a chief aim of a liberal education to adopt to the fact that we are part of nature and cannot claim to have over-lordship over it. That this idea is highly repugnant to some sincere Christians is no warrant that it is untrue. In that advanced land of Science ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”The USA ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” there are highly influential people ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ranging from George Bush to Sarah Palin ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” who believe that God made man (and his planetary abode) about 4000 years ago and that the animals around us are the descendants of species taken ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”two by twoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by Noah after the great flood.

These ridiculous stories are religious engrams that are difficult to uproot as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”infectƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the tender brain of the growing child. If Mr AR finds the evolution from ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”slime to manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ mind-boggling, is not the idea that God made dengue mosquitoes, tumour-viruses and Giant Squids that swim unknown in deep oceans equally baffling?

A few words next in defense Richard Dawkins. That some of his ancestors were slave-owners is regarded as a hereditary taint that biases his thinking on races. Each of us has 2.expn.N (2 raised to the Nth power where N= number of generations passed) ancestors and no great mathematical knowledge is required to realize that each of has vast collection of ancestors if we go back a rather small number of generations.

Among them there are sure to be rogues, crooks, swindlers, priests, politicians etc. Must this rich ancestry be scrutinized before somebody is taken seriously? Dawkins will be remembered for his major contributions to theoretical biology given in such famous works as The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype . His secular humanism and his debunking of religion has no direct relation to his splendid work as a scientist and author. In passing, it may be noted that Bertrand Russell was a greater debunker of religion than Dawkins ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” his aristocratic ancestry was no bar to his radicalism as a political reformer and an enemy of the Judaeo-Chiristian faith.

15 Responses to “Misrepresenting Darwin and insulting Dawkins”

  1. Ben_silva Says:

    Well said Chandrasoma.
    Ajit has sadly resorted to name calling rather than deal with the subject matter. We also have other writers such as Guruge and Shelton, probably affected by the religion mind virus, attempt to turn the clock back, and put us back to 2600 years BC. Both Darvin and Dawkings are messengers. In a nitshell, Darvin says ‘survival of the fittest and natural selection’, supported by evidence. What has happened in te North and East as te Sinalese have been pushed out, is that they have not been competitive enough to survive or live in that space. Rather than shooting the messenger, we should investigate why we are not competitive and fix the problem. As for Dawkings, he says have a scientific approach rather than believe in unproven myths.
    Unfortunately, religion, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are powerful religions that control the mind of the believers. In the case of Buddhists, they believe in unproven myths of Nirvana, Sansara, rebirth and Karma and end up giving up desires , to reduce ‘Dukke’ and end up being uncompetitive.
    Which myth does Ajith believe, God or the Indian ‘ Nirvana, rebirth and Sansare’
    There is not a tiny bit of evidence for the Buddhist/Indian myths and yet people continue to believe them and name call on those that challenge unproven myths.
    Lorenzo and Naram have made good contributions

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said.

    Bashing Darwin’s theory is a colossal absurdity indeed. It is the best we have until something better comes along.

    Darwin’s theory is not rocket science.

  3. Wickrama Says:

    Absolutely correct, Mr. Chandrasoma. I never imagined that Mr. Randeniya would stoop so low in his attack against Richard Dawkins.

    Anybody is free to “believe” in anything, however mythical, illogical and absurd, but that does not make it real. Any philosophy based on such blind belief cannot be any good to humans.

    Creation of the Universe by an almighty god is such an absurd idea. Imagine such a powerful god, with unlimited intelligence who is unable to create two human beings with FLAWLESS “free will” resulting in disobeying the creator by listening to a serpent – (obviously created by the same god) – and who goes on severely punishing the whole human race ?? What a sadistic, revengeful god?

    Buddhism also have weak points as Ben had pointed out elsewhere such as karma, rebirth etc. According to Buddhism, being reborn as a human is extremely difficult. If you consider the actions of the humans in this world, only a minute fraction of them could be considered to be living without much “bad karma” so that they may have a chance of being reborn. However, it is a clear fact that the human population is gradually increasing all the time, which contradics karma or rebirth or BOTH!

  4. Ben_silva Says:

    Let me clarify. Buddhist precepts are excellent and provide a moral compass to people. Buddhist precepts do not affect our competitiveness and may even provide a frame work, within which to compete. We need to safeguard Buddhism as a part of our cultural heritage.
    However, Buddhists/Indian myths such as Karma, rebirth, Nirvana and sansare may adversely influence our competitiveness. Further, giving up desires to escape ‘Dukke’ and seeking to terminate birth/rebirth cycle may seriously affect our competitiveness. Believing in myths cloud rational thinking. In the case of Nalanda Buddhists, believing in Karma, lead them to be killed by invading Muslims. After the Indians and the Chinese dumped religion, they have made tremendous progress within a very short time. Religion clouds thinking and in deed it is a mind virus.
    We could use Darvin’s theories to analyse our own decline and hopefully find ways to arrest further decline. My view is that those writers that promote religion and attempt to cloud our mind are more dangerous than LTTE. Further religion is an opium that can keep the masses drugged and happy.

  5. desh Says:

    Ben, if you are converted to Muslim faith, what can we do?

    For you, Buddha had said wrong things. You keep on attacking Buddha Dhamma. You don’t know what is Nirvana, Sansare, but keep on whining about that. If you want to get the 72 virgins, when you die, what can we do? We can only congratulate you with those 72 virgins. Why do you want so many virgins? isn’t it enough what you have at home, or she isn’t a virgin?

    Do you think, as you are hiding in London, you had become a whitey? Didn’t your own kind had come from India to Lanka? But, ou ran away to the whitey land, didn’t you? So, you don’t find karume in London? Isn’t it your karume you now serve whiteys, you know the type, who don’t wash their anuses after relieving themselves?

    You keep on harping at Nalanda Buddhists, and say that they are extinct. But, the Nalanda Buddhists didn’t die by themselves, but was attacked and killed by the Turkish Muslims, your kind. Nalanda was ransacked and destroyed by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it, ransacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site.

    As you see, the Nalanda Buddhists didn’t get extinct by themselves, orbecause Nirvana, Sansare is not true, BUT by invading barbarians. Your type!

    In 2006, Singapore, China, India, Japan, and other nations, announced a proposed plan to restore and revive the ancient site as Nalanda International University.

    So, you as you see, if you see, you can notice that Buddhists of FOUR countries are going to restore the Nalanda University. And you are lying!

    The Nalanda Museum contains a number of manuscripts, and shows many examples of the items that have been excavated. India’s first Multimedia Museum was opened on 26 January 2008, which recreates the history of Nalanda using a 3D animation film narrated by Shekhar Suman. Besides this there are four more sections in the Multimedia Museum: Geographical Perspective, Historical Perspective, Hall of Nalanda and Revival of Nalanda.

    Nalanda is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India. So, click on the official site of the government of Bihar, http://gov.bih.nic.in/ and look at the main picture, Ben. You can congratulate yourself as THE world renoved liar. Yes, LIAR!

    There ar MORE Buddhists in Bihar and near Nalanda, than there were than when your kind, the Turkish barbarians came ransack the world’s first university town.

    So, STOP lying and tell us you are a barbarian, with a barbarian religion!

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    I don’t support Ben’s bashing of Buddhist beliefs.

    But what he says about Nalanda, Bihar is true.

    There are more Europeans in SL than Buddhists in Bihar today.

    Religion in Bihar[10]
    Religion Population
    Hindu 69,076,919
    Muslim 13,722,048
    Christian 53,137
    Sikh 20,780
    Buddhist 18,818
    Jain 16,085
    Other 52,905
    not stated 37,817
    Total 82,998,509

    This sad situation should not happen in SL.

    No point denying facts. We have to defend Buddhism as our kings did.

    Don’t be fooled by Indian nonsense. India’s state emblem is Asoka’s 3 lions. What a disgrace to lions and Asoka a great Buddhist king. They do this to fool outsiders and hide the caste ridden racist Indian society where people kill each other over anything.

  7. Wickrama Says:

    desh, you say ” ….the Nalanda Buddhists didn’t die by themselves, but was attacked and killed by the Turkish Muslims, your kind……”

    Hmmmm…. according to Buddhism, that could have been their karma !

    The problem with karma is that it is not clearly stated in Buddhism HOW IT WORKS. Obviously there is no god or any other being looking after the karmas of billions of living beings. That leaves karma (if it is real) to be a natural phenomenon, the mechanism of which should be clear for humans in order to live accordingly.

  8. desh Says:


    Thisis not about the Karma of the Nalanda Buddhists, but the karumaya of Ben, who doesn’t know ANYTHING about Buddha Dhamma, but goes on and on against Buddha Dhamma.

    All he does is nagate anything the Gautama Buddha had said, just like a Muslim barbarian.
    Maybe you don’t know about him, but we know!

    This guy Ben thinks with his brain, but not with his mind, and that’s is the main problem. He should visit the Angoda Mental Hospital, when he comes from his exile in Britain. He may have a accent, but his face is still thalaelelu.

  9. Wickrama Says:

    desh, you seems be really angry with Ben, LOL.
    Nevertheless, what do YOU think about karma? Do you exactly understand how it works? How can you reconcile the fact that the human population is continously increasing despite the majority are accumulating “bad karma”?

  10. mjaya Says:

    Looks like Ben Silva has a new friend (Wickrama),

    Ben Silva will go on copy pasting his repeat telecast over and over again….. he will say that India and China have dumped religion, despite the fact that Indians worship cows and drink cow urine and the Chinese practice Feng Shui. It is unlikely that Ben Silva is ignorant of this fact but rather deliberately omits it for his agenda. China has achieved great economic progress, but India? Some Indians have become richer but India has more beggars than the entire world combined!

    To him Sinhalese people are passive because of Buddhism…. despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the SL armed forces are Sinhalese-Buddhists. Yes, the very armed forces who defeated the LTTE.

    As for Wickrama, Karma means action, good actions beget good returns and vise versa. If you were to help someone in need you can be happy about it for the rest of your life, if you were to gamble all your wealth away or smoke until you get lung cancer you can regret it for the rest of your life.

    It is true the human population is increasing but will it increase for ever? No it won’t. Already, the human population is in decline in the developed world because people are having less children (below the replacement rate of 2 children per woman). Food production depends heavily on oil for fertilizer, which is a finite resource. When food production begins to decline, the human population in the developing world will also decline in a sad way due to hunger.

    People like Ben Silva who live abroad, hide behind “patriotism” and shed crocodile tears for the Sinhalese people have one objective, to make Sri Lanka like the Philippines.

  11. Wickrama Says:

    looks like desh got a friend to help him in “Ben bashing”.LOL !

    Actually, I was expecting a reply from from desh. However your explanation of karma is highly simplified and bordering nonsense. How Buddhism explains karma is quite different, complex and confusing.

    What I said was that the population was increasing so far, all the time. There is no evidence that the OVERALL population in this world is slowing down at all. Food production does not entirely depend on oil based fertiliser since there are natural/organic methods of farming. My question is how come population is increasing when we know that the vast majority of humans accumulate lots and lots of “bad karma”, mainly due to ignorance, and thereby highly unlikely of being reborn as humans?

  12. mjaya Says:

    Well well well Wickrama, it doesn’t take rocket science to comprehend what I have mentioned. If that confuses you then you better stay confused. No wonder you cannot realize the simple facts of population growth. The world population is growing in Africa, the Middle East etc. but in Europe, Japan, North America, China population growth has slowed down. Do the math yourself, if a couple has one child, then by the time the child is an adult, the reproductive population is half of the previous generation. The result, first an aging population, then population decline. The fact that all farming dues not use oil base fertilizer is true but organic farming only comprises a very small percentage. Current crops will not a tenth of their yield if it were not for oil based fertilizer, so once the oil is gone, you don’t rocket science to figure out the result….

    Your question is based upon the premise that the human population is growing, but it will not do so forever, it will either stabilize or decline and continue according to natural laws. Similarly can you answer a question like “do prisons reduce crime?” or “will building more schools help close prisons?”. Depending entirely on logic can in itself trap you, if it weren’t true, then there wouldn’t be any criminal lawyers!

  13. desh Says:

    Ben bashing, eh, Wickrama?

    What is there to bash? Ben is an anti-Lankan and anti-Buddhist!

  14. Wickrama Says:

    Interesting !
    mjaya replies to question posed to desh, and desh responds to comments directed to mjaya !!
    Dual individuals or dual usernames for a cunning plan to shirk responsibilities of directly responding to questions??

  15. Wickrama Says:

    It is true that in some parts of the world the population INCREASE have slowed down and also true in a few Eastern Europian countries the population has actually decreased (although this may be due to migration), BUT, the OVERALL population is STILL INCREASING.
    Of course it is true that in time to come (WHEN is of course debatable) the population will be standstill primarily due to LACK OF RESOURCES, unless there are technological advances which may produce artificial food or make currently uninhabitable areas suitable or even use space travel to colonise other planets!
    However it is a FACT that all this time the OVERALL population HAS BEEN INCREASING. What I am saying is THIS FACT is irreconcilable with Karma, Rebirth and the Buddhist view that being reborn as a HUMAN being is extremely difficult.

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