Most people know Dawkins' famous quote where he says, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." Most don't know the full quote, however.
An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
There's a very important point in there that often gets overlooked, and that is that "god isn't a good explanation." Yet, this is not what most people claim. The claim that one runs into more often than not is that before Darwin (and even after Darwin) religion has had a good answer to such "why" questions as, "Why are we here?" Religion also supposedly helps us to answer questions about our origins. Rubbish.
In fact, I don't think Dawkins goes far enough here, implying that "goddidit" was an answer before Hume showed how inadequate it was. "goddidit" has never been an answer for anything. In response to how we got here (origins) claiming that some magic entity simply did it is no response at all. It's a guess, and a bad one. Similarly, answering the why are we here question with "Because god made it so," is no better than simply saying, "Because." The only purpose of such "answers" is to placate people who are not inquisitive enough to insist that magic is not a sufficient answer.
So, this leaves me wondering, when will theists have a chance to be intellectually fulfilled?