Dun Laoghaire library has Richard Dawkins’ new book “The Magic of Reality – How we know what’s really true”1 which I borrowed and read this week. He attempts to show that reality is completely composed of what we can perceive with our five senses.
In the process, he brings up one of this world’s biggest questions: “It is hard to resist this feeling that, somehow, there ought to be a kind of natural justice. Good things should happen to good people. Bad things, if they must happen at all, should only happen to bad people.”2
He points the finger of blame: “…Evolution by natural selection has seen to it that viruses, and foxes , and pikes, behave in ways that are actively bad for their victims.”3 Then he conjectures, “Could it be that the explanation of auto-immune diseases is that they are evidence of evolution’s work-in-progress on an effective weapon against cancer?”4
I had always sort of promised myself that I would not join the queue of bloggers who review Dawkins (he doesn’t need the publicity). But now I must. This time it’s personal. It just so happens that I have a friend who suffers from a debilitating auto-immune disease.
Should I tell her that she is suffering from what Dawkins calls a “by-product of an evolutionary war”? She is trusting God to see her through this. She trusting in the God of Job who brought up the question of bad things happening to good people over 3000 years before Dawkins. She is trusting in the God who sent his own Son to do the redemptive suffering for all of us.
It would be funny if it weren’t so serious, but Dawkins never gets around to showing how we know what’s really true. For him, if it’s not true in the material world it’s not true at all. Rupert Sheldrake, the Cambridge biologist, comments succinctly: “The central doctrine of materialism is that matter is the only reality. Therefore consciousness ought not to exist. Materialism biggest problem is that consciousness does exist”.5
I feel like renewing the loan of “The Magic of Reality” from Dun Laoghaire library as long as possible to save other people reading such a depressing message. But of course that wouldn’t be in the spirit of open enquiry.
So, I wrote the blog. But not before I met with a member of the auto-immune sufferer’s family. We bowed our heads and denied Dawkins in the presence of Jesus.
 Richard Dawkins The Magic of Reality – How we know what’s really true (Bantam Press, London, 2011)
2 Dawkins, page 226
3 Dawkins, page 238
4 Dawkins, page 245
5 Rupert Sheldrake The Science Delusion (Coronet, London, 2012), page 109