Our local Anglican vicar is a dedicated woman who runs half a dozen parishes and spends her holidays in Uganda helping AIDS victims. She preaches a Christian gospel of love and generosity, but on one vital issue she and many of her congregation, including myself, do not see eye to eye. Not so long ago she gave a sermon on evolution. Evolution is ‘just a theory’, she declared. Then she asserted that even though evolution might be true for the rest of plant and animal life, human beings were formed in a special act of creation with our first parents: Adam and Eve. Why? Because it says so in the Bible.
Richard Dawkins – whose last book, The God Delusion, went way off-piste to plough amateurishly, albeit very profitably, into the tricky drifts of theology – has now come back to his proper domain in order to tackle the opinion advanced by the likes of my vicar. He is