Richard Dawkins says he's not entirely sure God doesn't exist
c. 2012 Religion News Service
LONDON (RNS) A controversial Oxford University professor billed by many as
the world's "most famous atheist" now says he is not 100 percent sure that
God doesn't exist -- but just barely.
In a 100-minute debate with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on
Thursday (Feb. 23), Richard Dawkins surprised his online and theater audiences
by conceding a personal chink of doubt about his conviction that there is
no such thing as a creator.
But, to the amusement of the archbishop and others, the evolutionary
biologist swiftly added that he was "6.9 out of seven" certain of his
long-standing atheist beliefs.
Replying to moderator Anthony Kenny, a noted English philosopher, Dawkins
said, "I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing (is)
very, very low."
Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion" and other best-sellers, is a leader
of the "New Atheist" movement that aggressively challenges belief in God and
criticizes harm done in the name of religion.
"What I can't understand is why you can't see (that life started from
nothing and) is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want
to clutter it up with something so messy as a God," Dawkins told Williams,
according to The Daily Telegraph account.
The archbishop, who heads both the Church of England and the worldwide
Anglican Communion, replied that he "entirely agreed" with the "beauty" part
of Dawkins' statement -- but said "I'm not talking about God as an extra who
you can shoehorn onto that."