OK Richard Dawkins does not quite say that, but Melanie Philips reports this about a recent debate she attended (h/t Stand Firm):
"This week’s debate, however, was different because from the off Dawkins moved it onto safer territory– and at the very beginning made a most startling admission. He said:
A serious case could be made for a deistic God.
This was surely remarkable. Here was the arch-apostle of atheism, whose whole case is based on the assertion that believing in a creator of the universe is no different from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, saying that a serious case can be made for the idea that the universe was brought into being by some kind of purposeful force. A creator. True, he was not saying he was now a deist; on the contrary, he still didn't believe in such a purposeful founding intelligence, and he was certainly still saying that belief in the personal God of the Bible was just like believing in fairies. Nevertheless, to acknowledge that ‘a serious case could be made for a deistic god’ is to undermine his previous categorical assertion that
...all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all ‘design’ anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection...Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.
In Oxford on Tuesday night, however, virtually the first thing he said was that a serious case could be made for believing that it could."
You can read Melanie's whole article here.
Why post this here? Another great issue in 'hermeneutics and human dignity' is the issue of our interpretation of Genesis 1-3 in respect of 'creation', 'evolution', 'creationism', and 'theistic evolution' (a rumble of which is just nudging its way into my consciousness through an email exchange tonight ... raising the question whether a 'theistic evolutionist' is an 'apostate' ... so not an entirely abstract/academic issue)