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← UPDATED (EARLIER TIME): Richard on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 8.30 a.m. GMT, Tues 14 Feb

UPDATED (EARLIER TIME): Richard on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 8.30 a.m. GMT, Tues 14 Feb - Comments

nurnord's Avatar Comment 1 by nurnord

I will have a listen in the morning...

Once again Richard, tell Rowan Williams to get those eyebrows trimmed !

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 21:18:03 UTC | #917320

ccr5Delta32's Avatar Comment 2 by ccr5Delta32

Here's a link to the video The Epilogue Just humor I've got a vivid imagination

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 21:33:29 UTC | #917323

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 3 by Stafford Gordon

I'm on it.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 07:50:49 UTC | #917533

sbooder's Avatar Comment 4 by sbooder

Oh dear RD, not remembering the full title of On the Origin of Species...tut tut, but I feel they will reuse that over and over.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 08:31:38 UTC | #917541

rationalmind's Avatar Comment 5 by rationalmind

Good interview. He really got the other guy flustered. That question about The origin of Species was daft. The title of the book is irrelevant its contents are important, but knowing whether the first book of the NEW testament was genesis or not tells you whether you know about the contents bible or not.

They are clearly running scared!

This is excellent work . It is hardly surprising that nominal christians don't believe in the UK but it is good that we have the evidence.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 08:35:30 UTC | #917542

Graham1's Avatar Comment 6 by Graham1

Richard is right: I once regarded myself as "Christian" but had never attended church or was baptised. I got the message from the clergy, in no uncertain terms, that you could only be a bona fide Christian if you, first, attended church regularly, and two, was baptised.

Giles Fraser has had to change the church's tune because they are desperate to net just anyone even with the merest inkling of a Christian affiliation.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 08:51:53 UTC | #917547

jez999's Avatar Comment 7 by jez999

Ouch - the bit about remembering the full title of The Origin of Species was embarrassing. :-) To be fair, I do think a question about remembering the first book of the New Testament (Matthew) is a bit vacuous (especially considering how much The Bible has been shuffled about over the years!) Better to ask about details of the Bible, like what Jesus said about slaves, or what the 10 commandments were. The equivalent to that would be asking Dawkins details about evolution, which I'm sure he would not have been tripped up on.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:21:19 UTC | #917562

dulcie's Avatar Comment 8 by dulcie

I thought the whole interview was biased. Why didn't the interviewer press the other bloke on what DOES it mean to be a Christian, if you don't go to church or pray or read the Bible? The interviewer seemed in attack mode towards Richard and very lenient on the other guy, and the fact that not being able to quote word for word the complicated subtitle of On the Origin of Species (which my illustrated copy doesn't have on its front cover or inside on the title page, interestingly) doesn't equate at all to not knowing which is the first book of the New Testament.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:24:53 UTC | #917566

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins

Oh dear RD, not remembering the full title of On the Origin of Species...tut tut, but I feel they will reuse that over and over.

Yes, I think we can safely rely on them to do so! The fact that I got it in the end, thereby demonstrating that I knew it all along but was temporarily flustered by the unexpected ambush will by no means deter them! Never mind. It was, in any case, not a good comparison because the Mori poll question was multiple choice. The polled 'Christians' were not asked "What is the first book of the New Testament?" and expected to enunciate a word-perfect "Matthew" (a one-word memory feat as opposed to the 21-word memory that was asked of me). They were only asked to choose from one of the following: Matthew, Genesis,, Acts of the Apostles, Psalms, Don't know, Prefer not to say. 39% chose "Don't know" and only 35% chose Matthew.

For me, the single most telling finding from our survey was that as many as 40%, when asked why they called themselves Christian said it was because "I try to be a good person" (don't we all?). Yet at the same time only 10% said that when seeking moral guidance they go to religious teachings or beliefs, while over half prefer "to draw on their own moral sense" (which is what the rest of us presumably do anyway).

Also significant is that comfortable majorities of those who call themselves Christian support equal rights for gay people and support assisted suicide for the terminally ill. And more of them oppose than support reserved seats for Bishops in the House of Lords. There's lots more good stuff in the survey, which I truly think may turn out to be a devastating blow for those who want to maintain the privileged position of Christianity in British public life.

Richard

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:41:22 UTC | #917575

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 10 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 7 by jez999

To be fair, I do think a question about remembering the first book of the New Testament (Matthew) is a bit vacuous (especially considering how much The Bible has been shuffled about over the years!)

Behave yerself jez. The order of the NT certainly hasn't changed in the last 50 years of my time on the planet.....I can go one better than that, Matthew has been at the front of the NT since the Bibles ratification at the 16th century Council of Trent.....I can go one better than that, Matthew was probably at the front of the NT since Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria's 39th Festal Letter of 367 BCE setting the 27 books of NT scripture to be used to preach from as we understand today. So anyone reading their NT Bible in the last century has absolutely no excuse whatsoever....unless they are lying, God forbid.

If the religidiots can't remember the first book of the NT....from a choice of 4 ffs, what chance will ya have with the minutiae of the texts?

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:04:36 UTC | #917589

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 11 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins

The polled 'Christians' were not asked "What is the first book of the New Testament?" and expected to enunciate a word-perfect "Matthew" (a one-word memory feat as opposed to the 21-word memory that was asked of me).

Just imagine if they had been asked the full title...."The Gospel According to Matthew"....5 words, well stumped I'd say.

They were only asked to choose from one of the following: Matthew, Genesis,, Acts of the Apostles, Psalms, Don't know, Prefer not to say. 39% chose "Don't know" and only 35% chose Matthew.

Far too difficult for the sheeple that are used to being told what to think...4-1, not even fair odds for a guess.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:11:26 UTC | #917594

mmurray's Avatar Comment 12 by mmurray

Comment 10 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 7 by jez999

To be fair, I do think a question about remembering the first book of the New Testament (Matthew) is a bit vacuous (especially considering how much The Bible has been shuffled about over the years!)

Behave yerself jez. The order of the NT certainly hasn't changed in the last 50 years of my time on the planet.....I can go one better than that, Matthew has been at the front of the NT since the Bibles ratification at the 16th century Council of Trent.....I can go one better than that, Matthew was probably at the front of the NT since Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria's 39th Festal Letter of 367 BCE setting the 27 books of NT scripture to be used to preach from as we understand today. So anyone reading their NT Bible in the last century has absolutely no excuse whatsoever....unless they are lying, God forbid.

If the religidiots can't remember the first book of the NT....from a choice of 4 ffs, what chance will ya have with the minutiae of the texts?

For some reason I remember "Mathew, Mark, Luke and John"? I don't know why because I did mostly non religious schools and no Sunday School. Some left over habit from an RCC upbringing like ducking when you cross the laser going down the centre of the Church from the tabernacle, or "spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch" or fish and chips on Fridays.

Michael

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:21:57 UTC | #917599

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 13 by irate_atheist

Comment 9 by Richard Dawkins -

The polled 'Christians' were not asked "What is the first book of the New Testament?" and expected to enunciate a word-perfect "Matthew" (a one-word memory feat as opposed to the 21-word memory that was asked of me). They were only asked to choose from one of the following: Matthew, Genesis,, Acts of the Apostles, Psalms, Don't know, Prefer not to say. 39% chose "Don't know" and only 35% chose Matthew.

I wonder how many of the 35% were guessing anyway.

Self identified as Christian but mind-bendingly ignorant of the absolute basics of their cult.

As bright as a Toc-H lamp, the lot of 'em.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:26:10 UTC | #917601

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 14 by Mark Jones

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9696000/9696135.stm

Giles Frazer is very lame in this short discussion, repeating "It's not faaaiiir!" rather pathetically. He holds to a view of belief that empties it of any content, as if someone believes a thing just by the act of saying they believe it.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:02:40 UTC | #917612

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 15 by Cartomancer

Given that all of them were written fifty odd years after the fact by people who weren't there, surely they should all properly be called "The Gospel According to Don't Know"?

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:03:56 UTC | #917614

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 16 by irate_atheist

Comment 15 by Cartomancer -

Given that all of them were written fifty odd years after the fiction by people who weren't there, surely they should all properly be called "The Gospel According to Don't Know"?

The you go mate, fixed it for you.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:14:38 UTC | #917617

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 17 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 10 by Ignorant Amos

....367 BCE...

Typo alert.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:01:38 UTC | #917632

jmaycock's Avatar Comment 18 by jmaycock

One of the most interesting figures is that 57% of responders who indicated they were Christian would like religious education in state funded schools to teach knowledge about the world's main faiths even-handedly, without any bias towards any particular religion. Only 15% of the same group want them to teach children to believe Christianity.

No, I change my mind. The most interesting finding was that only 30% of responders who it must be emphasised indicated they were Christian, considered themselves to have strong religious beliefs! Astounding. The other 70% had varying degrees of not considering themselves to have strong religious beliefs.

There are just so many juicy details in this report!

Thanks for commissioning it Richard.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:07:12 UTC | #917636

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 19 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 12 by mmurray

For some reason I remember "Mathew, Mark, Luke and John"? I don't know why because I did mostly non religious schools and no Sunday School. Some left over habit from an RCC upbringing like ducking when you cross the laser going down the centre of the Church from the tabernacle, or "spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch" or fish and chips on Fridays.

It just rolls off the tongue doesn't?

When I was at Sunday school we had to learn the books of the bible parrot fashion, OT and NT...a bit like the times tables in arithmetic, 2 times 2 is 4, 2 times 3 is 6, 2 times 4 is 8, etc., etc., . A prize was awarded to those on the successful completion of the task, usually a bookmark or tract.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:13:21 UTC | #917639

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 20 by peter mayhew

Well done Richard: I was willing you on there with the full title of The Origin, and I think the interviewer was sympathetic! It's totally incomparable to the question asked in the poll. Vast numbers of self-labelled Christians are essentially atheists who haven't switched identities.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:47:19 UTC | #917657

Tony d's Avatar Comment 21 by Tony d

I thought Giles Fraser sounded a bit desperate.People who are professionally religious start to panic at the thought of having to get a real job. When Fraser was talking about people being Christians of the heart i thought that was a fairly meaningless thing to say.I would not take my car to be repaired by someone who was not a trained mechanic but considered themselves to be mechanics in their heart.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 14:24:43 UTC | #917703

StevenSedai's Avatar Comment 22 by StevenSedai

The fact that I got it in the end, thereby demonstrating that I knew it all along but was temporarily flustered by the unexpected ambush will by no means deter them!

I see the Youtube yobs have already started on the Darwin's Origin Of Species title thing. It's silly. I can quite confidently claim to be able to list, for example, all of Virginia Woolf's novels, by full title and in order of the year in which they were published. Give me a couple of minutes, anyway, and I could. But for someone to ask me to do so at the drop of a hat - and if I was very conscious of avoiding any 'dead air' on the radio as well - I'd trip right over my tongue!

Richard - you need no encouragement from us here; dismiss the mud-slinging as you always so admirably do.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 15:13:57 UTC | #917718

blitz442's Avatar Comment 23 by blitz442

On this Jeopardy question to Richard.....why not also ask him who published Origin, the month it was published, how many copies originally went out, etc?

"So you don't know what kind of glue was used in the binding of the first copy of Origin, Richard? Are you sure that you've actually read it, hmmm?

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 15:37:18 UTC | #917726

RJMoore's Avatar Comment 24 by RJMoore

"....Richard, it's not fair for you to come along and have a questionnaire which trumps people's self-identification."

Jesus. That says it all really. To put it another way:

Its bad enough, Richard, that people dont believe the teachings of christianinty, without your drawing attention to the fact that they dont believe!

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 16:12:59 UTC | #917742

Neil5150's Avatar Comment 25 by Neil5150

"Richard - you need no encouragement from us here; dismiss the mud-slinging as you always so admirably do."

They say RD is strident, most of the time he's too polite. He could have said when asked the title, Go fuck your mother, this isn't quiz RD time, were here to discuss the survey, stop wasting air time!

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:01:39 UTC | #917764

StevenSedai's Avatar Comment 26 by StevenSedai

They say RD is strident, most of the time he's too polite. He could have said when asked the title, Go fuck your mother, this isn't quiz RD time, were here to discuss the survey, stop wasting air time!

As much as I love the spirit of that sentiment, it's far better that Richard (and all of us indeed) doesn't take the bait to react like that!

Gently, and patiently, chiselling away at these attitudes is the best hope we have. We're all Darwinists, aren't we? Call me pessimistic, but we won't see huge change in our lifetimes. The best we can hope to do is contribute towards the crawl of our species up the gradual slope. A slope which will lead our successors to a better way of thinking about life, the universe, and, well, everything!

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:16:23 UTC | #917768

six45ive's Avatar Comment 27 by six45ive

It was amazing that Richard's 'opponent' claimed that it's simply enough to call yourself a xtian irrespective of whether you go to church or read the bible. What nonsense! This is the kind of postmodernism/cultural relativism that really pisses me off. If a person came up to you and claimed they were a tennis player but had rarely, if ever, used a tennis racket to hit a tennis ball over a net towards another player then you'd be entirely justified in calling them a liar and telling them that they simply aren't a tennis player, but for some reason, because it's religion, you have to accept their lies and hypocrisy. This bullshit really gets my goat. On Richard's slight hesitance in coming up with the full title of On the Origin of Species, it's irrelevant because nobody, including Richard, claims that book as a religious text and as a source of morality to live their lives by. If Richard had proclaimed Darwin to be a religious prophet of some kind and was attempting to live his whole life according to his teachings then it would have been relevant. As it stands it wasn't and it was simply a red herring thrown into the ring to deflect attention from the important stuff which is the lack of xtianity in xtians.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:47:48 UTC | #917777

Aleatorica's Avatar Comment 28 by Aleatorica

... I got it in the end, thereby demonstrating that I knew it all along but was temporarily flustered by the unexpected ambush ...

Face it, RD, you were bested, and it was self-inflicted. You could have chosen to make the point that the comparison was not a good one, but instead allowed your vanity to get the better of you, and ended up looking not quite so Bright as you like to think. But thanks anyway for a hilarious breakfast-time moment.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:56:53 UTC | #917780

blitz442's Avatar Comment 29 by blitz442

Comment 28 by Aleatorica

Do you think that Richard is ignorant of the contents of Origin because he did not know the full title?

Also, why capitalize the word "Bright"? Is this a clumsy attempt at sarcasm, by reference to the Brights movement?

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 18:02:34 UTC | #917784

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 30 by ZenDruid

StevenSedai,

We're all Darwinists, aren't we?

Not really...

"Darwinism" (Wiki) soon came to stand for an entire range of evolutionary (and often revolutionary) philosophies about both biology and society. One of the more prominent approaches, summed in the 1864 phrase "survival of the fittest" by the philosopher Herbert Spencer, later became emblematic of Darwinism even though Spencer's own understanding of evolution (as expressed in 1857) was more similar to that of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck than to that of Darwin, and predated the publication of Darwin's theory in 1859. What is now called "Social Darwinism" was, in its day, synonymous with "Darwinism" — the application of Darwinian principles of "struggle" to society, usually in support of anti-philanthropic political agenda. Another interpretation, one notably favoured by Darwin's half-cousin Francis Galton, was that "Darwinism" implied that because natural selection was apparently no longer working on "civilized" people, it was possible for "inferior" strains of people (who would normally be filtered out of the gene pool) to overwhelm the "superior" strains, and voluntary corrective measures would be desirable — the foundation of eugenics.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 18:06:01 UTC | #917787