The God Delusion | Study Guide

Richard Dawkins

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The God Delusion | Symbols



In Chapter 10 Dawkins introduces Binker, a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh children's stories written by English author A.A. Milne (1882–1956) in the mid-20th century. In the stories the young boy Christopher Robin knows that many of the characters he speaks to are not real. However, he does believe in his imaginary friend Binker. Dawkins uses the story of Binker to show that people, especially children, need imaginary friends to console them. He uses the imaginary friend phenomenon to explain why people cling to the idea of God. People want a protector or someone to help them when no one else can.

Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 was first flown in 1969 and was the world's first wide-body aircraft. A single 747 contains over six million parts and takes weeks to construct. Dawkins uses the 747 as an example of unimaginable complexity. It is something that could not come about by random chance. He calls God "the Ultimate Boeing 747" because the idea of God always existing breaks every law of nature. He also uses the 747 to address the argument from religious scholars that life could not appear randomly. Dawkins concedes that life appearing on Earth was as improbable as a storm rolling through a scrapyard and constructing a 747 out of spare parts. However, the Earth has existed for billions of years, which is plenty of time for such an improbable event to take place.

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