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Comments by six45ive

Go to: Richard Dawkins radio interview

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by six45ive

Just in case the 'something from nothing' issue raises its head again Richard (not in the Lawrence Krauss scientific sense) here's how our friends at the Atheist Experience have dealt with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDmQINlntJ4

Enjoy.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 22:26:37 UTC | #933764

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

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by six45ive

Here's an interesting article about Richard's 'faux pas' in the Guardian. http://m.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/feb/15/richard-dawkins-title-origin-species?cat=science&type=article

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 08:50:22 UTC | #918390

Go to: Richard Dawkins: 2 live TV appearances later today

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 18 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 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 18:28:51 UTC | #917799

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

six45ive's Avatar Jump to 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

Go to: Atheism: A New Strategy. Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, US

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by six45ive

Wonderful!!! At last the penny seems to have dropped for at least some in the US who realise that winning hearts is always going to be more effective than winning minds when it comes to maximising the impact that secularism needs to have in the political sphere. This is surely the way to go.

Sat, 31 Dec 2011 23:23:27 UTC | #904135

Go to: [Update 5 Nov -Q&A added to “The Video”]The video! (Jerry Coyne & John Haught)

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by six45ive

          [Comment 19](/videos/643743-update-blog-posts-letter-slides-the-video-jerry-coyne-john-haught/comments?page=1#comment_886821) by  [Richard Dawkins](/profiles/53)          :


                 After listening to John Haught, I read his open letter to Jerry Coyne. Despite Haught's lamentably unconvincing speech, his letter prepared me to find that Jerry had been unfair, had quoted him out of context, had attacked him *ad hominem* and had raised contentious issues that were irrelevent to the topic under debate. I was prepared, in other words, to dissent from Jerry's speech on grounds of fairness or good taste, even while expecting to agree with its content. I have now listened to Jerry's speech in full and found nothing of the kind. Not a trace of *ad hominem* attack, not a trace of unfairness, nothing irrelevant, plenty of articulate assertiveness but always served with good humour.Jerry's speech was a brilliant *tour de force* from start to finish. A magnificent exhibition of rational, well-supported argument, and witty and entertaining withal. Many congratulations, Jerry, on a splendid piece of work, thoroughly well prepared and brilliantly delivered.Richard

I did exactly the same thing. I was prepared to give Haught the benefit of the doubt after reading his letter and, after a technical hitch at the beginning of Jerry's speech, was wondering if it was all about to go wrong for Jerry.....were the two were simply going to end up 'talking past each other' leaving the viewer feeling disappointed and frustrated. I needn't have worried, for Jerry's presentation was right on the mark in a very clear and concise way that made Haught's obscurantism looking like a blind man searching in the dark for a black cat that isn't there. I've said it before and I'll say it again; "theology.....the practice of making nonsense sound important while solving nothing!"

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:51:35 UTC | #887093

Go to: Evolution threatens Christianity

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by six45ive

Wonderfully concise as usual from Paula.

Wed, 24 Aug 2011 20:02:43 UTC | #863849

Go to: Muslim Woman Assaults Photographer, Toronto Police Say It's OK

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 142 by six45ive

Comment 28 by Layla :

Sorry but unsolicited and unwelcome photography is something that I find really obnoxious behaviour and I question the idea that we should have a right to photograph whomever we please in circumstances where we're merely photographing for our personal pleasure and where the subject objects to being photographed. If you're documenting something taking place or just taking shots of a general street scene without targetting specific individuals I think you are within your rights but if you're talking about targetting individual strangers going about their business who are telling you they do not wish to be photographed then I don't see why your desire to take their picture should trump their desire not to be photographed by you.

You're already protected by harassment and incitement laws if a general member of the public is over stepping the boundaries in singling you out to photograph without your permission otherwise there is no right to privacy in a public place. The idea is nonsensical and doesn't work in democratic countries where they have a tokenistic policy along those lines. As long as a photographer is not harassing a person ie; following them around or inciting them to commit a violent act by sticking a camera in their faces and continuing to do so after the victim has asked the photographer to leave them alone then there is no other workable alternative in a free society with so many cameras and camera phones than to make it clear that you don't have a right not to be photographed in a public place.

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 17:19:36 UTC | #861389

Go to: Damon Fowler: in trouble for pointing out the law

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by six45ive

Comment 18 by snail-12 :

I wish the U.K. had separation of church and state. I think it is a requirement that U.K. schools have communal worship, crazy. Its good to see how much support Damon is getting from the atheist community and some less silly Christians online. It looks like despite being disowned by his parents and his community he will get funding for his future, a way to escape the bullying.

Not exactly right snail-12. The school where I work doesn't have communal worship. This is what the DofE says and it differs depending on the status of the school. http://www.education.gov.uk/b0065507/gttl/eyfs-and-national-curriculum/worship

"For community schools and foundation schools without religious character, the headteacher is responsible for arranging the daily collective worship after consulting with the governing body. For voluntary schools and foundation schools with a religious character, the governing body is responsible for arranging daily collective worship after consulting with the headteacher. Daily collective worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character. The precise nature will depend on the family background, ages and abilities of the pupils."

The part highlighted is the situation at my school. In other words it's left at the discretion of the governors and headteacher

Mon, 23 May 2011 11:55:02 UTC | #629817

Go to: Chris Mooney - Accommodationism and the Psychology of Belief

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by six45ive

I've just listened to the whole interview and although I initially disagreed with much of what Mooney had to say about the Templeton Foundation and all the politics surrounding accommodationists, he more than struck a chord with my take on how this battle should be fought through looking at the scientific data from psychology and cognitive research.

I see it all the time from working in education. If you can strike up a relationship with your audience (student or theist), become a regular part of their world, find out what makes them tick, appeal to the most fundamental part of their personality (usually their emotions) and use your own knowledge, logic and reason to guide your emotional appeal in a calm, concerned and inclusive way then, in my experience, this brings greater success (not a guarantee of success) than a more 'stand offish' or 'in your face' approach and for that reason, videos like this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmyzzNqQW4E&feature=related (especially from 11 mins), will always have a more positive effect on changing minds than this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfGTA8p1riw&feature=related which will almost certainly leave both 'participants' even more strongly entrenched in their respective positions (even though Jeff is accurate in what he says).

Thu, 12 May 2011 18:13:50 UTC | #626263

Go to: Male genital mutilation

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by six45ive

Ditto the above comments. Why is this kind of abuse any different, if not worse, than what a large number of priveleged priests, rabbis and imams get up to with young boys behind closed doors?

Mon, 09 May 2011 17:58:18 UTC | #624988

Go to: [Update-YouTube] The Big Questions - Series 4 - Is the Bible Still Relevant?

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by six45ive

I managed 13 minutes, that was enough. I'm sorry Richard, but I cannot see any point in your debating with people like this, they have nothing to say but insist on saying it again and again and again.

That's called theology which I define as; 'the practice of making nonsense sound important whilst saying and solving nothing.'

I was going to use the term 'art' instead of 'practice' but thought that would be insulting to artists.

Sun, 08 May 2011 19:11:48 UTC | #624654

Go to: [Update-YouTube] The Big Questions - Series 4 - Is the Bible Still Relevant?

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by six45ive

The most frustrating thing for me was when they started talking about the 10 commandments and Richard rightly pointed out that the first 4 are nothing to do with morals but are about serving an arrogant, bullying god. The religious lot did seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet when they responded by saying that these commandments are metaphorical and are about humans 'not getting above themselves'.....remaining humble and expressing humility. I was disappointed that Richard wasn't really given the opportunity of responding to this nonsense.

Sun, 08 May 2011 18:29:09 UTC | #624635

Go to: Happy birthday, Christopher Hitchens

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by six45ive

Happy Birthday Hitch. All the very best for the future from your.....ahem.....'favourite' kind of Englishman. That's right, I'm a Yorkshireman!LOL. Seriously though, you're a continuing inspiration and I hope you get better soon.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 22:07:11 UTC | #615162

Go to: "I've never really met any Christians"

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by six45ive

Oh dear, this is incredibly sad and devisive. Thank goodness the school I work at in Sheffield is not this ghettoised.

Tue, 12 Apr 2011 21:38:37 UTC | #614684

Go to: Happy Birthday to Richard Dawkins

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 155 by six45ive

Three score years and ten Richard! A very Happy Birthday to you. Enjoy your day.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:58:54 UTC | #607599

Go to: The Fred Phelps Supreme Court Decision and Why We Shouldn't Look for Loopholes in the First Amendment

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by six45ive

I've just had a quick read of most of the comments on this thread and I get the impression that most people who support the article are Americans and most who have various problems with it are European.....mainly British. Personally I support the article wholeheartedly and I hope you lot over in the US can see the complete pickle we've got ourselves into in the UK regarding the watering down of freedom of speech......certain individuals/groups who wish to impose their own ideas of what should and shouldn't be accepted as free speech. Free speech doesn't have to be 'respectful' or 'civilised' or 'unoffensive' or any other moral imperative that you wish to impose on other people. If it did it would then, by definition, cease to be free speech anymore.

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 12:45:00 UTC | #604334

Go to: Posters banned from railway stations published here

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by six45ive

This reinforces my belief that religion isn't as benign in this country as many people think. It's a very pernicious and surreptitious meme that tries to influence our behaviour without us even knowing about it.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 09:43:59 UTC | #598632

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by six45ive

Comment 53 by six45ive 'you can't reason a person out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into in the first place'

Comment 97 by MaB :

I have seen this comment quite a number of times and I disagree with it, in my case, at least. The religious ideas I held for so very long were a result of my upbringing. As far as I was aware, that was just the way life was. My beliefs were the result of imposition rather than any reasoning on my part. It was only when I was older, started to ask questions and was away from that environment that I realized there were other options. It was from listening to Carl Sagan and reading books by Sagan and then Dawkins among others that made me start using reason rather than faith to determine how I perceived the world.The Atheist Experience has been a major influence. All the hosts are intelligent, articulate, and normal (unlike what I was told about atheists). They back up their comments with substantive evidence and provide reasons why the arguements from faith are not appropriate. I give them the most credit for 'reaoning me out of a position (I) didn't reason (myself) into in the first place. For that, I am very grateful to The Atheist Experience.

I never said that it would work for everybody. Why would you think it would? We're human beings not robots and different people respond to different stimuli. It's a general rule of thumb that is correct in most situations but there will obviously be exceptions to the rule and you're one of them as you confirmed in your post.

As for Matt doing more debates out of the AE studio, I think it would be a good idea and I for one would like to see him over here in the UK sometime. I think he'd do very well on a program over here called The Big Questions which is a religious and social issues program that airs on a Sunday morning. Here's part 1 of an airing with Richard on the panel in 2007.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAVI7OaDF6Q&playnext=1&list=PL9C1FBA820C2AD1A4

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 18:31:44 UTC | #597297

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 94 by six45ive

Comment 91 by cafeeine :

Your argument would hold more water if they did just have a one-dimensional approach. There is a team of hosts and co-hosts that each have their own style.

I agree that there are people on the show that are less dogmatic in their approach (as opposed to their befief.....or lack thereof) such as Tracie, Jen and Don but the point being made is that these aren't the people who are generally getting the plaudits here. It's the more in your face presenters that seem to be getting the plaudits when it's precisely that approach that's least effective.

I don't know how much exposure you have to the show. It has been going on for a very long time, (there are over 400 hours of airtime available online, and the show has been running since 1997) and Dillahunty has been on the show since 2005. The youtube clips are barely the tip of the tip on the iceberg.

I've been watching the show pretty religiously for the past couple of years and have viewed a lot of their back catalogue. Not just the Youtube clips although they can be very entertaining.

In the fraction of the show Ive watched, I've seen the hosts let people ramble on for hours, with the net result of wasting precious minutes of air time for naked appeals to ignorance or authority. This is a call-in show and the hosts have fruitful conversations with theists when the callers are accomodating. They've had a pastor on the show and even devoted two shows to a discussion with Matt Slick of Carm.org. This is a call-in show and they can't generally choose who wants to call in. If you want to see how Matt reacts outside his "comfort zone" you should look up his recent (first) formal debate ( link)

Nobody's suggesting that anybody should let the callers ramble on or give a sermon. As I understand it that's what the cut off button's for. My point is that you have to have at least a basic understanding of the person you're talking to before you can make a decision as to which approach to use. This can usually be done in a few minutes on the phone by the presenter's asking certain key questions of the caller when they phone in. They already do this to a limited extent when they ask the question; what do you believe in and why? My point is that this approach needs to be continued rather than it just being a set up to knock the caller back down when he dishes out the usual religious drivel. If you look back at one of my previous posts I've already linked to Matt's debate with Matt Slick for Richard to peruse so he understands Matt's undoubted ability when it comes to philosophy. As for Matt's debate with Father Jacobse.....I've seen it and it simply proves my point. Matt didn't do anything wrong in the debate but if you're going to be effective you need more than logic and reason....you need to be able to coax, to plead, to appeal to emotion. Matt tends to avoid this approach because he's been told it's fallacious by his bible replacement but, some might say unfortunately, that's what tends to work because, as humans, we are emotional, we're not purely rational, logical beings and to suggest that we are or should be is probably the most irrational thing I've ever heard.

If you are aware of this variety in responses and still stand by your comment I have a question. Since you seem to think the positive results from this experience is the exception that proves the rule, what makes you think a different attitude would have a better result?

Because I'm a trained psychologist and I work in a secondary (high) school in the UK in the Science department in a dual role of preparing class practicals and working as classroom support where I get the option of putting my psychology training into use everyday and, guess what.....more often than not a more inclusive approach to people from all different backgrounds works. Getting in their face and telling them they're an idiot or they're ignorant doesn't. It alienates them. You have to be inclusive irrespective of the vitriol you receive from any student and, yes it usually takes time but a lot of the children I work with come from troubled backgrounds.....like Matt and Jeff obviously do when you see them responding in such a child like way to people pressing their buttons. It's often been said that religious people are very child like in their world view and religion goes out of its way as a meme to make sure they remain this way and you can see this in the behaviour of the 'main' presenters, the ones who've been damaged most by having clear lies told to them for many years, the years that are most important for a person's mental health. Why do you think this video is on here? It's entitled 'The Real Cost of Religious Faith' and I suggest you see my comment 53 as to why this video is so good. Take a look at Matt's eyes as he 'appeals to emotion' by talking about how it 'breaks his heart' that he's excluded from his family and yet his very approach excludes people who aren't prepared to think or debate in a way that Matt and the other presenters dictate. What's the result? Simple. Stalemate! And yet I ask anybody not to be moved by Matt's rhetoric and heartfelt anecdotes and, as I said in post 53, it's that that will have more of an effect on people than purely rational debate will ever do.

Matt Dillahunty has in fact been featured on RD.net some years before ( link)

Yes I remember reading that which is why I too am surprised that Richard didn't know who they were.

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 12:43:20 UTC | #596910

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by six45ive

Comment 89 by Shigawire :

Tell that to all the people calling in saying that their show (Atheist Experience) turned them from Christian to Atheist.

That's why I used the term pretty (or a better choice of word would probably have been fairly) ineffective as opposed to totally ineffective. Any approach is going to have some limited effect. The real crux of the matter is about doing what you need to do to maximise your effectiveness.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 23:10:29 UTC | #596749

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by six45ive

I'm pretty much with DeLogic on his summing up of Jeff and the AE generally.

They could be so much more effective than they realise if they adjust their approach relevent to each individual caller instead of the one dimensional approach of simply trying to appeal to the crass ftw crowd that want another slam dunk from Matt and his colleagues for their YouTube collection.

In the end their approach is pretty ineffective, sending out the message to theists everywhere with more than half a brain cell, that if they come onto the program they're going to get slaughtered with the inevitable result that most theists will just put them on ignore mode leaving the ones with less than half a brain cell to phone in which, let's face it, is like shooting fish in a barrel.

I think Matt and the other presenters do what they do well in appealing to their ftw crowd when they're in their own environment, their comfort zone, and they're controlling the 'Your Done' button but how any one of them would perform out in the real world of having to deal with rhetorical religious bs of experienced debaters who you can't shut up by pressing a button remains to be seen. My guess is that logic, reason and rationality may not be enough.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 21:28:19 UTC | #596706

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by six45ive

@Richard.

If you want to understand the deep philosophical debate that sometimes happens on the program you need to watch these videos on Matt's TAG debate with Matt Slick of carm.org.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb1mfKJU6bo&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE3cSvE8CJ8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeGN08IsYb0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVgJYULDJUM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d65y2Bflys&feature=related

and Matt's summing up a week later,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPaHY1GWhgQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lAUGI-eZuI&feature=related

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:37:25 UTC | #596248

Go to: The Real Cost Of Religious Faith

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by six45ive

At last, a video from the AE that sounds inspired (despite the caller not being who he claimed). What makes this video special? The fact that Matt decided to speak from the heart for once as opposed to his bible replacement, the book of logical absolutes/fallacies. How many times has it been said that 'you can't reason a person out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into in the first place' and yet Matt and the other presenters still keep ploughing the same furrow that doesn't get them very far.....until now that is, and for me it's the last five minutes or so when Matt is very open and almost tearful as he talks about being estranged from his family (I would assume he's thinking how his forthcoming wedding is going to go down with both families) that will probably have more of an impact on theists than all the logical and rational rhetoric that's been dished out by the AE in the last 11 years or so.

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 17:01:22 UTC | #596089

Go to: We should be thankful to Charles Darwin

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by six45ive

Comment 2 by consulscipio236 Why is it these atheist blogs spend so much time talking about evolution? Darwin is treated like a prophet of atheism.

Because this website is not simply about atheism. It's also about science and scepticism.

Tue, 22 Feb 2011 19:48:05 UTC | #594553

Go to: UPDATED: British GCSE exam: evolution FAIL

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 147 by six45ive

There's going to be a delay on the next video installment of my experience of creationism in science classes due to my home computer becoming kaput. I've ordered a new one but it'll take a few days to arrive so I'll get it uploaded as soon as I can when it comes. As for our new education secretary, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him! In other words not at all.

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 15:42:25 UTC | #593645

Go to: UPDATED: British GCSE exam: evolution FAIL

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 140 by six45ive

Checked with my Head of Science this morning and he has confirmed that we will be doing a new Y10 syllabus in September which includes new books. However the old books will not necessarily be removed. What usually happens is that if teachers still feel comfortable in using old books then as long as the information is relavent to the new syllabus they can carry on using them. He also confirmed that we will be moving over to AQA from OCR so I’ll be making sure I have a good look at the books for any creationist drivel.

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:23:12 UTC | #592947

Go to: UPDATED: British GCSE exam: evolution FAIL

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 136 by six45ive

So.....as promised, here's me making a prat of myself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1cbd7Z--Ms

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:09:33 UTC | #592816

Go to: UPDATED: British GCSE exam: evolution FAIL

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by six45ive

That sounds promising Alphcat. I'll ask my Head of Science tomorrow and see if he knows anything about this. It'll be interesting to see how far the change goes but, in the meantime, what about this summer's exam?

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 21:02:29 UTC | #592789

Go to: UPDATED: British GCSE exam: evolution FAIL

six45ive's Avatar Jump to comment 127 by six45ive

Can I make a couple of points regarding this issue;

1/ This is not just an issue with an exam paper. There is a creationist viewpoint that is discussed in science classes via the orange Collins textbook that I've linked to and a Collins revision book that goes with the text book. I've sent scans of the offending pages to both Jerry Coyne and the BCSE. The revision book makes it clear that a student can only gain a top grade if they understand (though not necessarily agree with) the interpretation of the fossil record from a creationist view point.

2/ This doesn't seem to be just an AQA thing. The books I'm getting this info from are OCR books.

I've made a Youtube video showing the orange Collins book which I hope to have uploaded in the next day or two. I'll let people know when it's available.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 12:32:11 UTC | #592697