This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Sunday Sequence with William Crawley

Sunday Sequence with William Crawley - Comments

Seti's Avatar Comment 1 by Seti

It's also on You-Tube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HyKqhvF-6tI

[admin note: I've posted this set of 3 videos HERE. ]

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 14:22:00 UTC | #10300

JackR's Avatar Comment 2 by JackR

Okay, I managed twenty minutes or so before my blood pressure started going through the roof. I didn't get to Richard. That creationist nutcase just... had me screaming at the screen.

I might come back when I'm feeling strong again. But hey... does Richard actually engage with these guys? I thought he didn't debate creationists?

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:20:00 UTC | #10304

MartinSGill's Avatar Comment 3 by MartinSGill

Only over half way through but Richard is at his very best and the poor idiot from Leeds Uni is being slaughtered.

Richard has him stating on public radio that evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I rather hope the guy loses his job as a result.

The museum in the US just makes me sick. If I were a theists i'd call for it to be fire bombed, but I'm an atheist so I just shake my head.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:29:00 UTC | #10308

aoratos philos's Avatar Comment 4 by aoratos philos

@ Seti
The link you posted is for the RTE TV show. The link posted by the webmaster is for Richards appearance on "The Sunday sequence" on Radio Ulster.

Josh, i'm running an mp3 conversion as I type, I'll post it on when finished.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:35:00 UTC | #10310

JackR's Avatar Comment 5 by JackR

Okay, I'm into Richard taking the bozo out now. And my God... this fundie maniac comes from Leeds University? I went to Leeds University. I got a degree in physics and astrophysics there. My tutors and lecturers were great, sound scientists. What the hell has happened to my old Uni that they'd employ lunatics?

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:45:00 UTC | #10312

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Comment 6 by Eamonn Shute

Later in the programme Richard is criticised for not answering the 2nd law question, which is unfair because the chairman moves on before he can do so. I would have loved to see the questioner deal with Richard's answer - I am sure RD could have made his folly even more obvious by explaining why he is wrong.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:54:00 UTC | #10314

Yorker's Avatar Comment 7 by Yorker

5. Comment #12107 by Jack Rawlinson

Jack,

A couple of years ago, I returned home after living and working in the US, after only a few weeks I had the same thoughts, what the hell has happened to my country?

At least a part of it is so-called 'diversity', politicians will pander to any group who can be conned into voting for them, including fanatical religites. That's why they tout diversity, but we now have diversity gone mad. I see almost nothing that's improved in the UK; out of control greed, badly educated undisciplined young people, 85% of TV programs designed to insult people's intelligence, a leader that allows himself to be bullied by an internationally dangerous idiot...the list goes on.

We are in a bad way my friend.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:03:00 UTC | #10316

JackR's Avatar Comment 8 by JackR

Damn, he did, didn't he? That Leeds Uni lunatic fell for the old second law bullshit! And this guy is allowed to teach? At my old uni? And the sad thing is that this whole argument will be just so much gobbledygook to a lay audience.

Hell, this is a war. A war for rationality and proper science. What do we do about these trojans who infiltrate our places of learning? How can we stop it?

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:04:00 UTC | #10317

JackR's Avatar Comment 9 by JackR

Yorker: I live and work in New York now, and have done for the last five years. I'm shocked and disgusted by the way this... religious insanity seems to have gained a hold in my country. I used to smugly tell my American friends that Britain was functionally atheist. Twenty years ago that was true. And now the pendulum has swung back this far?

Richard's approach is right, I think. We have to be assertive and even, occasionally, aggressive in our atheism and especially in our defence of reason. We live in sad, worrying times.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:11:00 UTC | #10318

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Comment 10 by Eamonn Shute

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:19:00 UTC | #10319

JackR's Avatar Comment 11 by JackR

And by the way, professor Dawkins... if you happen to look in on this thread I'd be very interested to read your reactions to this show. It seems like they put you on there as some sort of atheist Aunt Sally up against a shocking shower of unscientific religious people, and didn't give you a fair crack of the whip in terms of letting you take them out. The initial tone of the presentation seemed to be "Richard Dawkins is the big no. 1 scary atheist so we're going to set him up on his own and throw irrational loonies at him." When they actually let you talk you did as marvellously as ever, but they did cut you off at crucial points and they did give the religious views much more time than they gave you. I wonder if that's how it seemed to you?

I'm still in shock that that...maniac is teaching at my old university. I'm beyond disgusted.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:21:00 UTC | #10320

RascoHeldall's Avatar Comment 12 by RascoHeldall

Andy MacIntosh: "Lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie."

Leeds University has been shamed.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:23:00 UTC | #10321

MakingBelieve's Avatar Comment 13 by MakingBelieve

It is very, very sad listening to this. Blathering non-sensical unsubstaniated irrational God-talk only briefly interspersed with an occassional flicker of cogent sane erudition from Richard. I'm disgusted.

MB

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:29:00 UTC | #10322

JackR's Avatar Comment 14 by JackR

Rasco... yes, it has. It grieves me to say it, but it has.

I graduated in 1980. Back then someone like MacIntosh would only have found a place there as a babbling campus crazy. Appalling how quickly things can deteriorate.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:29:00 UTC | #10323

RascoHeldall's Avatar Comment 15 by RascoHeldall

Just emailed the bugger (thanks for the link, Eamonn). I wonder if he'll reply?

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:38:00 UTC | #10324

JackR's Avatar Comment 16 by JackR

Rasco, I'm thinking of emailing a couple of my old professors - I went to the Physics/Astrophysics page and I see some names I recognise - and asking them what they think, and if there's some way action can be taken to get this idiot removed. I have no idea if - or how - that might be possible but damn, I feel polluted by his presence at Leeds University even twenty six years after I graduated.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:42:00 UTC | #10325

RascoHeldall's Avatar Comment 18 by RascoHeldall

Go for it, Jack. The stupid thing is, to get to professor level this guy must be an expert in his subject. That he would (ab)use this knowledge to knowingly and deliberately construct such a sophisticated-sounding tissue of lies (especially when he blatantly lies about the 2nd law of thermodynamics - HIS OWN FIELD OF STUDY) really does speak volumes for the dehumanising effect religious conviction can have on people. What pitiful character.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 16:56:00 UTC | #10327

mdowe's Avatar Comment 19 by mdowe

I really think these programs just give a great deal of air-time to creationist nutters. Allowing them to air their views in opposition to a legitimate scientific person just falsely implies they have a credibility where none exists. They belong on a show with flat-earth people and alien abductees ... not on a show opposite legitimate scientists.

That said, I think Dr. Dawkins dropped the ball a bit when he emphasised his distaste and dismay for the sad fact that the Leeds-nutball (Andy McIntosh was it?) somehow still has a professorship rather than just dismissing the crap that he was spouting. Everyone trips up once in a while I suppose =)

Debates and live questions forums are not especially amenable to honest inquiry. Creationists always try to score points by showing that the scientific perspective is 'imperfect', and so is just an alternative (and on equal footing) to their own. The professor from Leads was dishonestly trying to get the audience to call a point a draw, which would be perceived as a default victory for him. He was doing this by putting forwarding an argument the vast majority of listening audience could not judge, and was hoping perhaps to draw Dr. Dawkins out of his field so he would sound ignorant.

As to DNA stability and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics argument, it was nonsense of course. The second law just says entropy in a system always increases. It doesn't say organisation (such as DNA structure) can never occur in a local system. Energy is being used to maintain the organised long chains of DNA over time, and thus entropy is held off in this local system. That energy comes from the Sun, and thus in the larger system entropy is indeed increasing, and the second law is (what a surprise) not being violated. You can't tell me Prof. McIntosh was not fully aware of this fact. Pure dishonesty ...

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:07:00 UTC | #10328

JackR's Avatar Comment 20 by JackR

Well, I've listened to the whole thing now. It's just shocking. This may be one of the most revealing links posted on this site and everyone should listen to it to realise what we're up against. As Rasco says, we're listening to educated, intelligent (or selectively intelligent) people abusing their intellectual abilities to push wild irrationality. Not only that, but to infiltrate our centres of learning in order to do so. It's an outrage. And it's here we need to concentrate our efforts. Crazies setting up creationist museums in the more benighted and ignorant regions of America is bad enough but crazies who attain recognized scientific qualifications and posts in respected universities is a far more dangerous thing.

I'm stunned.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:09:00 UTC | #10329

Yorker's Avatar Comment 21 by Yorker

I found this almost impossible to listen to. This McIntosh fellow is a disgrace to science. Irrespective of professional discipline, anyone holding such nonsensical beliefs, has no business teaching in any capacity.

Leeds University will become a laughing stock -- the place with the nutty professor -- shamed and abhorred world-wide.

What say you, shall we put together a petition to have this disgrace fired from his post ASAP? I am certainly for it. Is the RDF ready yet to start sending materials out? I suggest we flood LU with protests about this. How much would it cost? Would donations be required?

Richard, please let us know.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:14:00 UTC | #10330

JackR's Avatar Comment 22 by JackR

Yorker: yes, yes. Let's have a petition. Let's shine a light on this.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:18:00 UTC | #10332

JackR's Avatar Comment 23 by JackR

mdowe: unfortunately it's worse than just giving air time to creationist nutters. This particular creationist nutter (MacIntosh) has a post at a large and highly-respected British university. He has a position of influence there. He can "teach". That is an outrage, and it needs to be dealt with.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:24:00 UTC | #10333

mdowe's Avatar Comment 24 by mdowe

Comment #12128 by Jack Rawlinson

Jack,

I agree it is a disturbing and embarrassing fact. I was just stating that (IMHO) Dr. Dawkins would have done better to trash this fellow's credibility (under these particular circumstances) strictly by trashing his ridiculous arguments.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:42:00 UTC | #10334

Yorker's Avatar Comment 25 by Yorker

Professor Dawkins,

Please use whatever influence you may have, to get McIntosh invited as a speaker to next year's Beyond Belief conference. I want to hear him spout his drivel in front of world-class scientists, this disgrace to the word 'professor', needs to be publicly humiliated.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:45:00 UTC | #10336

JackR's Avatar Comment 26 by JackR

mdowe: absolutely. But I'm also appalled that Dawkins was basically wheeled on and then ignored in the latter part of the program. He wasn't given the opportunity to rebut his critics, or their credibility. The program was allowed to peter out into a mess of crazed bickering between exclusively religious people and religious apologists. They ended up talking about the precise way in which Adam caused human death, for example. Richard was allowed to say his piece, but not defend it against the many subsequent and wholly specious or fallacious attacks. This was a thinly disguised piece of pro-religious propaganda.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:47:00 UTC | #10337

mdowe's Avatar Comment 27 by mdowe

Comment #12132 by Jack Rawlinson

Jack,

I agree completely.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 18:00:00 UTC | #10341

Yorker's Avatar Comment 28 by Yorker

26. Comment #12132 by Jack Rawlinson

>>This was a thinly disguised piece of pro-religious propaganda.<<

Yes Jack, it was, and it has lowered my already low opinion of the media, especially the Irish media.

When faced with people dishonestly bastardising scientic facts and being vastly outnumbered, I think Richard would do better to engage the audience directly, ask if they understand the science. The answer will probably be no, so then he can ask what the point is in talking above the audience.

Then again, the media is the whore of the Industry of Deception, so what can we expect, even the BBC nowadays, behaves like it needs ratings.

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 18:07:00 UTC | #10343

Nardo's Avatar Comment 29 by Nardo

Hi Guys,

Good discussion so far. I think you're being a bit hard on Crawley, the irrational beliefs of the creationists always make them grab the microphone, must be part of what is wrong with their brains. Also this is Northern Ireland, we've more than our fair share of fundies here.

I posted a message last night, but it didn't appear so I'll try again. I should point out that Richard was in a studio in Dublin and not in the one with the others, that's partly why it's a bit disjointed. McIntosh has certainly lost the plot. If you look at Crawleys Blog and the comments you'll see that Leeds Uni has put out a disclaimer on 29th November. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/

Sun, 10 Dec 2006 23:16:00 UTC | #10357

MartinSGill's Avatar Comment 30 by MartinSGill

I wrote an email to Leeds university. I doubt it will have much impact, but maybe on more email will be enough to break the creationist's back.

I quoted the press release and enquired how the university could justify their claim that his views did not impact on his role as professor of thermodynamics.

I hope it does some good, but I doubt it.

Mon, 11 Dec 2006 01:27:00 UTC | #10361