Posts Tagged ‘Richard Dawkins’

Richard Dawkins reads his hate mail

January 26, 2010

This is pretty funny. It’s not very surprising that Richard Dawkins gets a lot of hate mail. Whatever you might think of him, he’s easily the most prominent atheist in the world and as such is an easy target for the religious nuts’ frustration with the popularization of freethought over the past few years. And even knowing that, it’s still funny to hear how worked up people get over this (let’s face it) nerd.

There is a good lesson to be learned here, for both Richard and the rest of us: Make sure to look both ways before crossing the street. You never know when a church van filled with atheist-hunting theocrats might be speeding around your neighborhood.


Our place in the cosmos

November 24, 2009

Here’s another great science music video from Symphony of Science. This one features Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Michio Kaku, and Robert Jastrow.


‘What would you say to God?’ quotes

October 31, 2009

“And suppose God was about to pass judgment on you, what would you say?” I would say to Him, “Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you.”
-Robert Green Ingersoll

“Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.”
-Bertrand Russell

“I’d quote Bertrand Russell: “Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.” But why is God assumed to care so much about whether you believe in him? Maybe he wants you to be generous, kind, loving, and honest – and never mind what you believe.”
-Richard Dawkins

The AAI / Maher / Dawkins controversy recap

October 11, 2009

OK, I’m going to try to summarize all this crap at once.

It all started last year when Bill Maher did his Religulous movie. Besides the boring autobiographical stuff and the stupid ending, it was pretty funny.

Then, a few months ago, the Atheist Alliance International decided to give Maher the Richard Dawkins Award, which they give out at their annual convention. People who pay attention to people like Maher here in the States got all up in arms about it because one of the criterion for the award is to promote science. Bill Maher’s an alternative medicine kook who’s against vaccines and doesn’t believe in the germ theory of disease. Here is a good summary of the problems with giving this award to Bill Maher. And just as a side note, what’s kind of weird about this is that nobody seemed to have a problem with giving Penn this same award while he was denying anthropogenic global warming, but whatever.

So some people got in touch with Dawkins and asked if he was aware of this aspect of Bill Maher. Unsurprisingly, since he’s in England and doesn’t have the same exposure to American celebrities as we do, he didn’t. He said something like “Religulous gave me the lulz and I don’t know anything about what he thinks about medicine.”

At some point before presenting Maher with his award, Dawkins looked into it and found that Maher was promoting some of the same crap Dawkins had actually attacked in print and on television. At the AAI convention last weekend he said that he doesn’t share all of Maher’s views, especially those regarding medicine – but hey, we work together with liberal religionists to keep church and state separate and fight against creationism, so this isn’t something to get too upset over.

OK, here’s where it gets weird. In a recent interview PZ Myers, who was also at the convention, said that Dawkins asked Maher if he could go back on his show to discuss “alternative medicine,” and Bill Maher said no. But later that week, Maher had Bill Frist on his show to do exactly that.

This is weird. It’s like Maher doesn’t want to be seen disagreeing with Richard Dawkins. He wants to be seen disagreeing with the conservative Republican who diagnosed Terri Schiavo as “alive” based on a few minutes of video. In the above link, Maher even tries to use some idiotic line like, “Well conservatives don’t believe in evolution (???), so you must be wrong about vaccines too! Ha ha!” And then, like usual, he derides “western medicine.” Uh, right – the same scientific basis used to show evolution as true is great, except when you apply it to medicine. What an asshole.

I’m going to have to go take a shower now. I feel dirty for being on Bill Frist’s side on this one.

More LOLScientists

October 4, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth

September 8, 2009

Richard Dawkins will have a new book released here in the US in two weeks called The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. He says that it’s meant to address problems in places like Turkey and the United States where science education is undermined by religious fanatics, but I’m not sure how much this book will resolve that problem. Jerry Coyne wrote a book very much like this earlier this year, and before that so did Michael Shermer, Kenneth Miller, Neil Shubin, Carl Sagan,  and I’m sure many others. And if anything, the anti-science fringe has gotten even more fanatical in the meantime. Not that the proper response should be to just shut up about it, but it’s probably worthwhile to put into context the real impact of these kinds of books and not pretend that one of them is going to suddenly change everything and make unreasonable people reasonable.

The Guardian has a review since it’s already been released in the UK. Idiot man-child William Dembski’s blog “Uncommon Descent” has a “review of a review.” One great thing about this book (besides reading it when it comes out) is that you just know that Dembski’s friends at the Discovery Institute are just frothing at the mouth over it.

Creationism is serious business

Creationism is serious business.

Anyway, here is a video promo of Dawkins’ new book: