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Richard Dawkins Sparks Debate on Child Abuse

Their scientific views aside, sometimes seeing what leading Darwin defenders say on other matters leaves you feeling like you've tumbled down the proverbial rabbit hole into a strange alternative reality. In their world, basic moral questions remain unsettlingly still up for debate. I guess, in a universe bearing no evidence of ultimate purpose or meaning, that should not be so surprising.

Currently the Darwin brigade is up at arms over their hero Richard Dawkins's stated view on child abuse.

In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins, 72, he said he was unable to condemn what he called "the mild pedophilia" he experienced at an English school when he was a child in the 1950s.

PZ Myers, whose blog Pharyngula increasingly makes you want to wash your hands after reading it (I liked it better when the Happy Atheist spent more time banging on about hapless creationists), condemns Dawkins and finds his view "repugnant." Yet this is the same PZ Myers who the other day condemned a list of newspaper columnists as "disgraceful human beings" because he doesn't like their opinions on current events.

And it's the same Richard Dawkins who famously equated giving your child a religious faith with "child abuse." Perhaps then a bit of "mild" religious "indoctrination" would not be so bad? This is the scrambled take on reality that you can't get away from when you read what these folks have to say.

Look, one can only sympathize with the young Richard Dawkins -- and the old one too. He experienced something horrible. A different picture of the world from his own would recognize the complexity, pain and brokenness of the human condition, perpetually in need of healing, longing for the clarity and hope that have no place in an accidental cosmos.