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Faith and Belief: Richard Dawkins evolves his arguments - Comments

Danno Davis's Avatar Comment 1 by Danno Davis

it's funny how this article finds itself in the "faith and belief" section of the newspaper, rather than in the science section. can't say i complain, though.

overall, a fairly well-written article, i say.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 00:33:00 UTC | #404945

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 2 by Friend Giskard

Imagine the indignant squawks that will ensue when Richard writes a book specifically targeted at children.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 00:42:00 UTC | #404948

bigkoala's Avatar Comment 3 by bigkoala

Excellent. That letter to his daughter was my favorite part of A Devil's Chaplain, good to see him expand upon it.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 00:59:00 UTC | #404952

diorama's Avatar Comment 4 by diorama

Get used to it, Richard, I'd want a pic with you too.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:33:00 UTC | #404976

megacephalanthropus's Avatar Comment 5 by megacephalanthropus

"Dawkins is mobbed, celebrity-style, no matter which audience he tells there is no God."

Here's a scientist being treated like a roskstar!

I wonder if people ask for autographs.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 04:51:00 UTC | #404980

Hilde Blomberg's Avatar Comment 6 by Hilde Blomberg

'...Dawkins' next book will be for 12-year-olds, an expansion on a letter about the importance of critical thinking that he wrote to his daughter, Juliet, now a medical student, when she was 10. In it, he describes the dangers of "tradition," "authority" and "revelation" as reasons for believing anything.

"Dear Juliet," this new book begins. "Now that you are ten, I want to write to you about something that is important to me. Have you ever wondered how we know the things that we know? How do we know, for instance, that the stars, which look like tiny pinpricks in the sky, are really huge balls of fire like the sun and are really far away? And how do we know that Earth is a smaller ball whirling round one of those stars, the sun? The answer to these questions is 'evidence.' "


What great news! Just yesterday I read this letter (from his book A devil's chaplain) for my 12 year old boy, and he really liked it. My husband had translated it to Norwegian. This letter should be read to every child.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 07:00:00 UTC | #404997

Misc's Avatar Comment 7 by Misc

Comment #423173 by Friend Giskard

Imagine the indignant squawks that will ensue when Richard writes a book specifically targeted at children.

Probably something along the boring lines of

"Evolutionists, now they're coming for your children"

at least as far as The Times is concerned.

Wouldn't be surprised to also see the equivalents of many going as bonkers as this, though...

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:07:00 UTC | #405001

jeroen's Avatar Comment 8 by jeroen

[Off topic] Every time I see that photo of RD I expect him to change into a woman.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:10:00 UTC | #405002

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 9 by Sally Luxmoore

A good, intelligently written article!

I absolutely love this open letter. My children are the same age as Richard's daughter and I read it to them. They both liked it too. My daughter is now a zoologist! (Not that I think there's a direct connection...)
I was really delighted to see him read most of it to those schoolchildren at Menlo School. It is absolutely the sort of thing that all young teens or bright pre teens should be encountering.
I spent 10 years as a teacher (but of younger children) and think this is one of the most enlightened pieces of educational material that I have ever seen.

I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this:

"Ah yes, the recreation question," he says.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 09:57:00 UTC | #405011

romeo2009's Avatar Comment 10 by romeo2009

It is a nice article. I look forward for the new Book, I would never over emphasis the importance of such a book.
Thanks RD

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 10:56:00 UTC | #405023

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 11 by Dr Benway

Juliet Dawkins in med school!

Oh I'd love to be a fly on the wall during a family discussion of the 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award for reason and science.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 13:05:00 UTC | #405047

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 12 by Cartomancer

A lot of people say that Richard Dawkins's books have changed their lives. I suspect this is true. For myself, I sometimes feel a slight pang of regret that I am not among this number - though perhaps that should really be a pang of gratitude that I had such good science teachers at school, and so did not have to shift my mental architecture too much to accommodate the ideas Richard explains.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 13:35:00 UTC | #405048

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 13 by phil rimmer

Doc,

off topic-

Did you catch this dismal showing on 9th Oct?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB5DLf1Qt78&feature=player_embedded

On topic-

I do detect evangelical tendencies in the old noodle every now and then.

Caring about truth and the reliable getting of it seems the ONE THING I might put at the top of the tree. Of all human achievements I can think of there is nothing of greater value we can bequeath our children's children.

Even the errors, earnestly, honestly and rationally arrived at embody some useful future value.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 13:40:00 UTC | #405049

sornord's Avatar Comment 14 by sornord

I wonder if people ask for autographs....

If I'm ever in a city where he is lecturing I know I'd bring MY copy of TGD for a signature...and TGSOE too after I get it!

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 13:42:00 UTC | #405050

sara g's Avatar Comment 15 by sara g

When is the new book coming? I know I ask that every time it comes up, then promptly forget the answer. I am looking forward to putting it in my son's hands.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 16:18:00 UTC | #405088

NormanDoering's Avatar Comment 16 by NormanDoering

We are the New Atheists, and we are here to rock your world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEwkeH2XiTQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acvGCmSqJkM

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 17:48:00 UTC | #405099

epeeist's Avatar Comment 17 by epeeist

The problem is that people read Dawkins uncritically. If they paid a little more attention to the details of his arguments they would soon see that he’s merely propagating pseudo-science and delusion. I have done the work for the reader in the following:
This from some one who believes in a global flood

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 19:04:00 UTC | #405128

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 18 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #423351 by gimlibengloin

In the opening of your post, which you've put on 2 threads (it is relevant to neither of them, as good a sign of trollish behaviour as any copy/paste job), you open by sounding like you're going to show people have unthinkingly accepted what RD says, but all you do is critique his opinions on a topic. Where's your proof that others have agreed with him any more on that point than you do?

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:44:00 UTC | #405187

Akaei's Avatar Comment 19 by Akaei

Comment #423170 by dniete97 on October 12, 2009 at 1:33 am
it's funny how this article finds itself in the "faith and belief" section of the newspaper, rather than in the science section.


This reminds me of Mark 2:17 "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor." I hope that doesn't make me a bad atheist.

As for Comment #423351 by gimlibengloin, I couldn't force myself to read more than about a third of that. A quick, over simplified critique: Apples to oranges comparisons erroneously rationalized by confirmation bias . I am tempted to apologize but then realize I (and anyone else who suffered to read any of your post) am the one owed an apology. There is entirely too much text to sift through to learn nothing more than gimlibengloin is not a reliable source for well-reasoned analysis of information.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 22:19:00 UTC | #405196

epeeist's Avatar Comment 20 by epeeist

Comment #423414 by Jos Gibbons:

In the opening of your post, which you've put on 2 threads (it is relevant to neither of them, as good a sign of trollish behaviour as any copy/paste job)
If you look at this previous posts you will see that this is basically a rehash of some of them.

You will also see that he is a "post and run" YEC who rarely stays about to answer any questions of substance that are put to him.

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 05:11:00 UTC | #405242

DrawingYou's Avatar Comment 21 by DrawingYou

The YEC got his way; we are talking about him and not about the article. However, having said that, thanks for defending Richard.

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 06:00:00 UTC | #405251

DrawingYou's Avatar Comment 22 by DrawingYou

I'm glad to here Richard will be writing a children’s book about critical thinking. Maybe some day he will come out with a video game that does the same thing so that young adults can catch up.

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 06:12:00 UTC | #405253

epeeist's Avatar Comment 23 by epeeist

Comment #423486 by DrawingYou:

The YEC got his way; we are talking about him and not about the article. However, having said that, thanks for defending Richard.
You won't see a lot of the regulars responding to the likes of GBG or Devolved. Think of my post as a flag to the type of posters they are.

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 06:15:00 UTC | #405255

TCM's Avatar Comment 24 by TCM

This is the upside of popular science writing.

What a strange thing to say! What's the downside? Journalists...

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 09:14:00 UTC | #405272

PERSON's Avatar Comment 25 by PERSON

13. Comment #423274 by phil rimmer on October 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm
Maher is deeply confused, and I'd suggest that confusion is a product of the commercialisation of healthcare. Frist is BSing him, making use of the confusion and his glibertarian tendencies(*). That it happens that way is one of the arguments against commercialisation in general: it creates incentives to systematically misinform people, or at least not correct their misunderstandings.

One of the YouTube commenters said "why does the East want Western meds?". Not a very good argument: they like beef burgers and fries, too.

(*) "All disease is a product of bad diet" is one step away from Christian Science.

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 10:27:00 UTC | #405286

brother john's Avatar Comment 26 by brother john

A new book for 12 year olds on critical thinking. Should be interesting. Revealing.
From the foremost practitioner of non-critical thinking, whose first rule for accurate, reason-based thought is:

Totally disregard all evidence contrary to your own preferred opinion. Never give it serious consideration. It does not warrrant it.

I will buy the book. For a number of reasons. One of these will be to see whether his valid bits of advice are borne out in his own practice.
I will also be curious to see if he has a wee chapter or para. on the following crucial rule for critical thinking. His offering will do a serious disservice to young people world wide, and to progress on all levels, if he does not write about this. In language, of course, suited to 12 year olds.

Be as critical and demanding on your own ideas as you are on the ideas of others.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 07:31:00 UTC | #405610

eh-theist's Avatar Comment 27 by eh-theist

brother john? Speaking of evidence, would you kindly provide (quote mine, I suspect) some evidence for your claims?

You are deluded - and thank you for, at least, providing that evidence.

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:48:00 UTC | #405750

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 28 by InYourFaceNewYorker

The library is a place where children can go to get information they might otherwise be shielded from. This book will be perfect for kids who have questions but dare not tell their religious parents. I imagine kids going into the library and finding this book... it's awesome! Go Richard Dawkins! Keep fighting the good fight!

Julie

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 18:06:00 UTC | #413885

eukaryotehead's Avatar Comment 29 by eukaryotehead

Friend Giskard :

Imagine the indignant squawks that will ensue when Richard writes a book specifically targeted at children.


Would they be no more than the echoes of his own squawks about religious education?

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 12:08:00 UTC | #424003