“The Greatest Show on Earth”

Mehran Banaei

Richard Dawkins, in his book The Greatest Show on Earth (2009) claims that life is not only the greatest show on earth, but it may very well be the greatest show in the entire universe. What is being great in this show, is of course the Darwinian evolution, the idea that life evolved from non-life by random processes of Natural Selection with no external guidance, the end result of which is the astounding variety and complexity of the interconnected web of life. Dawkins metaphorically refers to the tapestry of life as a show; the lushness of the natural world has made this show the greatest of all. Of course, for a Darwinian materialist the Oscar for this great performance indisputably goes to none but Natural Selection for its unparalleled creative achievement and hard work.


Let us continue using Dawkins’ own metaphor. A typical low budget show in the movie industry requires a crew that consists of: Investors and financiers, executive producer, assistant producer, director, first assistant director, second assistant director, unit director, line producer, production manager, unit manager, writer, screenwriter, dialogue editor, cast, production coordinator, post-production supervisor, production assistant, script supervisor, subject consultants, stunts, stunt coordinator, extras, casting director, location manager, assistant location manager, location scout, location assistant, location production assistant, legal counsels, animation director, accountant, insurance broker, system administrator, production designer, art director, assistant art director, illustrator, set designer, set decorator, set dresser, make-up artists, hairdressers, cameraman, assistant cameraman, rigger, cinematographer, director of photography, film loader, digital imaging technician, negative cutter, lighting technician, sound engineer, mixer, re-recording mixer, construction coordinator, head carpenter, weapons master, animal trainers, costume designer, costume supervisor, art finisher, choreographer, graphic designer, special effects supervisor, visual effects producer, film editor, colourist, composer, compositor, Foley artist, accent trainer, onsite catering team, security personnel, motion control technician/operator, promoters and advertising team, distributors.

There were over 700 people involved in the production of the 2003 not so great movie: The Matrix Revolutions. Estimated $110,000,000.00 was spent on this below average Hollywood production. Can we imagine the size of the crew, the amount of preparation involved, the essential resources and the creative talent required for the greatest show of cosmic proportion? It ought to be unimaginably an enormous project. However, according to Dawkins this greatest show on earth somehow required no producer, no director, no planning, no designer, no budget, no production, no foresight or self-awareness. It is totally a self-made chance production, popped out of nowhere without any guiding intelligence, yet managed to claim the Cosmic Oscar in every category.

In light of the fact that no show was ever made the way Dawkins suggests, let alone being the greatest ever on earth. In light of the fact that no watch or anything resembling a watch was ever made by a “blind watchmaker”, if there is one at all. Would it then not be natural at least to be a bit curious about Natural Selection’s origin? Selection, natural or otherwise, cannot be autonomous or independent from the general creative processes operating within our universe of cause and effect with set physical laws. One would expect Dawkins to elaborate if there is indeed no Lawgiver involved, how did Natural Selection acquire its extraordinary know-how and successfully got involved in show business or watch manufacturing? Does it act based on its own volition, or is it programed to function within defined parameters? What is always missing in Dawkins writings, is exactly what all fundamentalist Darwinian evolutionists have been unable to explain all along.



Filed under Philosophy of Science and Religion

2 responses to ““The Greatest Show on Earth”

  1. Dawkins’ claim that “The Greatest Show In the Universe” happened all by itself is obviously ridiculous.

    People versed in the sciences who claim that something can come from nothing all by itself, that life can issue forth from non-living matter all by itself, that complexity and diversity can come from homogeneity all by itself, are being inexcusably absurd.

    The atheist claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God is really an admission of blindness and some sort of severe intellectual malady.

    The universe itself is evidence of God’s existence.

    And the more modern science works its way on behalf of humanity the more clear the evidence becomes.

    That’s because the “The Greatest Show In the Universe” is the greatest, most prominent evidence for the existence of God.

    • Osama Ghanim

      The level of unity, universality, connectivity, diversity, variety, depth, ‘mind likeness’, complexity, systemacity, commonality, these are some of the general features of our universe that Dawkins, and his like minded friends, are sweating blood, while proposing mindless random mutations and mindless natural selection, to explain, and understandably to no avail. This is like the prolific Arab poet who sings: I sleep to the content of my eyes in making great poetry, while the others to get there, are sleepless and in conflicts without success. It seems that Dawkins, and his like minded agnostic-atheists, are blocked from that vast space of thought that permeates the birth of the universe(s) and extends beyond and before. Prof. Dawkins should know that the universe(s) is not an explanation to begin with, the universe needs to be explained! The universe requires a number of abilities to match it: knowledge, power, wisdom, intelligence, ‘mind’, understanding and the like…. and then these together, can become an explanation. It is this simple!! It is ridiculous for Dawkins, to say that God is more complex than the universe, and that is impermissible !! What is he talking about !? Actually, I would say, what question is he trying to duck?!

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