Looks like the fine folks at “Truthbomb Apologetics” have set up an impromptu “debate” of their own between Richard Dawkins and C. S. Lewis. It has this in its favor: it’s short.
Richard Dawkins: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”
C.S. Lewis: “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
Notice the difference in the two approaches. Dawkins’ approach is based on reason and evidence: we consider the consequences that would result from having a universe created by a good God for the purpose of bringing souls to eternal bliss, and the consequences that would result from the absence of such a God, and then observe which set of consequences is closer to the data we actually observe. Lewis, on the other hand, uses an equivocation fallacy to make it sound like the evidence has to point to God no matter what form it takes.
The equivocation Lewis exploits is the ambiguity between “meaning,” in the sense of being able to infer context and implications of a given piece of data, and “meaning” in the sense of some specific interpretation or implication regarding some specific piece of data. The universe is full of meaning in the first sense of the word. Science is all about discovering meaning, in the sense of discovering the contexts and implications of the real-world evidence. Nothing in Dawkins’ argument has anything to do with an absence of meaning in this sense of the word.
When C. S. Lewis thinks about “the meaning of the universe,” by contrast, he’s thinking about an entirely different category of meaning: he’s thinking (superstitiously) about a very specific meaning that he ascribes to the cosmos, namely that God exists, and is good, and has a good design and purpose for life. This is “meaning” in the sense of a particular, specific dogma. It’s not the same as the first sort of meaning at all: the absence of this specific teleological “meaning” for the universe would not mean that meaning, in the first sense, was absent or impossible. It would just mean that the Good Creator was just a myth.
Thus we see the difference in mindset between the skeptic and the believer. The skeptic bases his conclusions on reason and evidence, and draws different conclusions depending on which hypothetical set of outcomes happens to match real-world conditions. The believer, however, attempts to subvert our reasoning into supporting his conclusions no matter what form the evidence takes. By confusing the difference between “meaning” in the broad scientific sense, and specific “meaning” in the catechetical and sectarian sense, Lewis pulls a bait-and-switch con that deceives the unwary into thinking science proves God, when it does not.