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Comments by Stewart

Go to: Atheist in memory lapse and slavery shock [Also in Polish

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by Stewart

More fun: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=369715173046950&l=3963b88947

Fri, 24 Feb 2012 11:20:16 UTC | #921444

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 334 by Stewart

Comment 331 by Zeuglodon

Good points, but I think the majority would see it for the underhanded ploy that it is.

If one is not taken by surprise on the phone, as Richard was, the disingenuousness of the whole thing is embarrassingly obvious. By that I mean that, of course, we all know Richard was being made a target here, and why. But even if one were to agree to the absurd ideas that it might be incumbent on Richard to right all and any wrongs his ancestors might have committed, or that he had genetically inherited whatever it was that made any of them accept the idea of slavery, it is still preposterous. If Lusher's only job on the Telegraph were to track down slave-owners and their descendants (which I doubt it is), where does he begin? Not with present-day slavers? Not with ancient rulers who had more slaves than we can imagine, and from whom almost all of us are certainly descended? Why is his destination Jamaica of a few centuries ago? And let's even suppose that by some empirical measure of the evils of slavery, it's Richard's ancestor who is demonstrably the worst, would it not then be Lusher's job to track down all of his descendants, not just the famous atheist?

No, the fact that he has drawn a straight line only between the one man his employers want to besmirch and one particular case of slave-owning, ignoring both all other slave-owners in history and all other descendants of Richard's ancestor, is all the admission one needs that there is not and never was anything honest or bona fide about this whole exercise. Nothing ever motivated any of this except "let's see what the worst is we can dig up on him." I have no doubt Lusher would have written almost exactly the same things regardless of what Richard said to him on the phone. With hindsight, had Richard had an inkling of what was to come, Lusher's opening sentence should have been interrupted after “We’ve been researching the history of the Dawkins family -" with a very pointed "Why?"

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:21:10 UTC | #921321

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 281 by Stewart

Since everyone is riffing on this, I don't think anyone's brought up the case of the Egyptian lawyer in Switzerland a few years ago (if memory serves) who said he was going to file suit against the entire Jewish people for all the loot taken out of Egypt during the Exodus, with interest calculated for all the time that had elapsed since the alleged event.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:38:45 UTC | #919860

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 280 by Stewart

It seems I had somehow neglected to give due attention to ebola coiffure before now. What a revelation!

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:33:39 UTC | #919858

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 279 by Stewart

Ah, but it would have come, and it would have been a magnificent ripping to shreds, featuring angles we haven't even thought of.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:29:30 UTC | #919855

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 275 by Stewart

Seconded - he would be having a field day with this, better than anything we can come up with.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:04:53 UTC | #919846

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 272 by Stewart

Another response at Facebook "Gnu Atheism:" https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=366656820019452&l=c4f2e6f008

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 23:57:06 UTC | #919832

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 216 by Stewart

Once upon a time, it seems, there was more to theology than this. Nowadays, one or two traits of Richard Dawkins, negatively exaggerated into unrecognisability, are considered all the proof of god's existence that is required.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 16:36:04 UTC | #919664

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 186 by Stewart

Dawkins attacks religion, so Lusher investigates his family back centuries digging for dirt. Lusher attacks Dawkins, but says not a single word about what his own ancestors were doing back then. That silence indicates he knows something he'd rather not have known, doesn't it? I mean, it couldn't be that he simply doesn't know and has never thought of checking, could it?

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 13:32:53 UTC | #919606

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 170 by Stewart

I'm no expert in the landscapes of either the British press or British politics, but it doesn't take an expert to see that the last week's wave of attacks on Dawkins, at least in part, emanates from an order given by someone that the editors have to listen to, however personally embarrassed they may be by the sub-journalistic level it forces on them. Those already aware of Notsure's identity will no doubt have a clearer picture. While we may all feel that this Lusher hit is the ultimate in self-degradation by the press, the very fact that anyone has dared to go this far suggests to me that the attempt to muckrake Dawkins, regardless of truth or relevance, is anything but over. Certain interests have clearly decided that it is imperative to discredit him on a personal level, whatever it takes. If people are so desperate to smear that they are digging in centuries-old Jamaican records (the research for that cannot have been cheap), just imagine what they, and/or others, are doing to any records concerning Dawkins' own lifetime and activities.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:07:49 UTC | #919568

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by Stewart

The article linked by Hypnos7 certainly sounds like it must be the same person. No religious fervour, either before or after the crisis, in evidence to explain why Dawkins has become a particular target, just a solitary mention of praying, without great emphasis given to it. I expect we shall learn more.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 02:23:48 UTC | #919459

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 119 by Stewart

I would reply to that by saying I'm not sure, but that would look like an admission that it was actually me, which it isn't. Ophelia does have a good track record for sniffing out this kind of hanky-panky. That would be delicious, wouldn't it? Pending further identification of the poster, one must remain, er, uncertain.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:50:00 UTC | #919439

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by Stewart

The irresistible graphic response to where all this can lead is now up at Facebook's "Gnu Atheism" page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=365940523424415&l=c6c8f9d14a

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:43:44 UTC | #919419

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by Stewart

Next time I read of some ancient bones (human or pre-human) being unearthed that show signs of a violent death, I shall certainly think "No doubt, one of Richard Dawkins' ancestors done it."

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 22:32:16 UTC | #919397

Go to: Happy Birthday to Richard Dawkins

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 141 by Stewart

Happy three score and ten and may you enjoy many more productive years. There is reason for this not to be considered an unrealistically optimistic wish, as you do seem to have longevity in the family. I think it is a remarkable achievement to have attained such prominence in one professional field so early and then be at the forefront of what may already be considered a kind of social revolution in one's seventh decade. I hope you are able to cement this accomplishment still further in your eighth decade and give us all the maximum possible mileage from whatever "elder statesman" status your years may bring you. You have earned many laurels; please do us the favour of not resting on them now.

A very happy birthday,

Stewart

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 19:58:52 UTC | #607555

Go to: Pharyngula under attack

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by Stewart

By the way, I don't think anyone's yet mentioned this (I'm still not getting Pharyngula in Berlin), but one partial way around the problem is the atheist blog aggregator Planet Atheism (Planetatheism.com). They include Pharyngula, so if you can access them you should be able to see the posts ok, even if not the comments or certain similarly affected (i.e. scienceblogs) links. Glad if this solution is helpful to somebody and, by the way, I do recommend the site anyway.

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 21:26:27 UTC | #602089

Go to: Pharyngula under attack

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by Stewart

Had it back an hour or two ago, now it's gone again (Berlin). Seems to be affecting all scienceblogs.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 21:49:29 UTC | #601670

Go to: Pharyngula under attack

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by Stewart

A few hours ago I could still get it, but not now (Berlin, Germany).

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:23:06 UTC | #601208

Go to: Does Stupidity Deserve an Apology?

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Stewart

Maybe this woman is not merely clumsy and inattentive. If being known to have done this made her feel humiliated, why did she decide to change the situation in which nobody knew the texter's identity? At the very least, one might say that her greed exceeds her desire not to be embarrassed.

Sun, 06 Feb 2011 16:42:59 UTC | #588570

Go to: Does Stupidity Deserve an Apology?

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Stewart

Did this get posted here because if the fountain had been deeper she might have qualified for a Darwin Award? Do I correctly understand that her name is only known because she decided to sue? Streisand Effect, anyone?

By the way, speaking of what South Park refers to as Barbura, and more closely connected to a religiously relevant theme (though the fountain lady was texting a friend from church), it seems her cousin has been refused permission to immigrate to Israel because of his belief in Jesus (reportedly discovered by Israeli authorities who peeked at his Facebook page, though there's also evidence elsewhere).

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 16:41:25 UTC | #588299

Go to: Muslim sisterhood

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Stewart

... a woman who had battery acid thrown in her face because she dared to want an education.

I suppose if fundamentalist Muslims had to learn Yiddish, then "a woman wanting an education" would be the only example adequate to the task of getting them to really understand the term "chutzpah."

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 16:29:11 UTC | #588293

Go to: Follow the gourd? No, the shoe, the SHOE!

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 126 by Stewart

Oh dear. If this many explanations had been demanded of Monty Python every time they made a joke that risked offending someone, they'd never have gotten the first TV series off the ground. Come to think of it, they did offend lots of people and just carried on. The fact that so many people here have taken issue with Richard over something he didn't even mean is starting to remind me of the Christians offended by Life of Brian who didn't seem to realise that the movie didn't mock Jesus at all and that he was in the film, portrayed absolutely straight. I really don't think Richard did expect the Spanish Inquisition over this one.

Sat, 05 Feb 2011 15:56:18 UTC | #588277

Go to: The truth about the lunatic religious right in America

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Stewart

It is indeed an excellent interview, but seemed very familiar to me. Seems that it actually dates from Sept. 2009. There's nothing wrong with recycling it, but skimming the comments above makes me think it's being taken as "new" news. That could have the unfortunate effect that when Schaeffer talks about guns being brought to public meetings, viewers will think he's referring to the Giffords shooting in Tucson. Just for the record.

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 14:22:02 UTC | #579348

Go to: David Attenborough — not over, not out

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Stewart

Richard wrote:

Long ago, I was told by a BBC producer that David Attenborough's original classic series, Life on Earth, was revoiced for the American market by Robert Redford, but I can find no confirmation of this. Does anyone know whether it is true, or definitely false?

A quick search found no confirmation. A letter signed by Michael Peacock of Warner Bros TV in London, printed in New Scientist on 6 August 1981, quite indignantly denies a number of inaccuracies that had apparently earlier been reported about Life on Earth, first among them the following:

There never was a Warners plan to "cut out much of stuffy David Attenborough" and to replace him with Robert Redford.

Unless someone can up with something at least as authoritative pointing in the other direction, that probably answers the question.

Sat, 15 Jan 2011 12:32:29 UTC | #578771

Go to: Bill O'Reilly vs. David Silverman: You Know They're All Scams

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by Stewart

Silverman was not prepared for O'Reilly, but it was probably his first time on television.

Hardly. Especially the last month or so. And I think he's done terrifically, considering the lengths they go to to make him look bad. Type "silverman," "fox" and "panel" into the YouTube search box and check out the (current) first two entries (the O'Reilly appearance is at #3).

Wed, 05 Jan 2011 19:43:03 UTC | #573787

Go to: The Coalition must protect the right to be true to our Christian faith

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Stewart

... these values prod us to review our me-centred culture, with its excesses and demands for instant gratification.

What is really going on is a conflict between the rights of individuals, regardless of their beliefs, and demands to honour the broken-telephoned rules of an entity who probably never existed. Since the choice is obvious when things are put this clearly, Odone has to muddy the waters in her description, in order to pretend that real equality under the law for all is actually the indulgence of selfish whims. If anything is selfish, it's the insistence of Odone and others that their ideas do get to trump that equality.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 16:45:04 UTC | #570891

Go to: An atheist in the White House? Why not, it's happened before

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Stewart

Thanks, Veronique and rsharvey, but I was only the straight man. Tony Hudson did the funny stuff. I must say, though, I'm quite taken by the idea of someone only turning atheist once he's arrived in heaven.

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 20:51:52 UTC | #563321

Go to: An atheist in the White House? Why not, it's happened before

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Stewart

Admittedly, Jefferson was more of a deist than an all-out atheist. However, Darwin's majestic theory of evolution by natural selection would sadly not be published in his lifetime. Considering Jefferson's brilliant scientific mind, being aware of and understanding that theory may have pushed him strongly into atheist territory.

Meaning that he is unlikely to have become a full-blown atheist until his afterlife.

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:46:18 UTC | #563155

Go to: Obituary for John Dawkins

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Stewart

Sincere condolences. I hope it's comforting that his life was lived to the fullest.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 09:27:17 UTC | #561603

Go to: Atheists excel in religious knowledge

Stewart's Avatar Jump to comment 194 by Stewart

I was privately embarrassed at not having gotten the last one right; if one is going to be very much in favour of or very much against anything, one really ought to know it very well. I feel a little less silly now that I see that I got the same score as Richard, and for essentially the same reason. That's my idea of being in good company.

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:00:47 UTC | #526846