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Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss - Comments

Stephen Maxwell's Avatar Comment 1 by Stephen Maxwell

Watching. Sounds promising from what I've seen so far.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 19:47:00 UTC | #153135

mintcheerios's Avatar Comment 2 by mintcheerios

I found this right before I was about to start on a paper.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 20:42:00 UTC | #153147

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 3 by robotaholic

I like how Dawkins used to be the bad cop until Hitchens came along lol

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 21:08:00 UTC | #153148

adk's Avatar Comment 4 by adk

I have a physics exam coming up ... but I like to think that this counts as studying..

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 21:45:00 UTC | #153151

arcooke's Avatar Comment 5 by arcooke

Excellent video... can't wait to hear the Q&A.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:00:00 UTC | #153152

m-man's Avatar Comment 6 by m-man

I was there!, it was great ;)

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:20:00 UTC | #153155

Auld's Avatar Comment 7 by Auld

Looking forward to understanding more about QP from Lawrence.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:28:00 UTC | #153156

mrgoodjob's Avatar Comment 8 by mrgoodjob

I agree with Dawkins regarding having open "conversation" in this particular setting, but I must disagree completely with him given the debate setting. I think the debate setting is extremely lacking in proper, firm, aggressive moderation. This allows for far too much rhetoric and we often see the same arguments raised time and time again. Take for instance the Hitler, Stalin, Mao argument about atheistic violence. The question has been raised verbatim to all the horsemen when they have clearly addressed this argument and squashed it. And there are countless other examples. This lack of moderation in debate setting is a colossal waste of time and has no place in academia. I see a tragic "slippery slope" concerning this and I beg you to draw comparison with the dog and pony show that has become the American political debates. Let us not allow this corrupt behavior to spill over into academia as well. We should have annual awards for "best academic moderator" to illustrate the importance of making sure that either debater, or any given collection of debaters, are not allowed to shape an academic debate outside what is considered proper argumentation. I have seen high school debaters with a greater understanding of argumentation than PhDs across the board.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:44:00 UTC | #153160

A heron at night's Avatar Comment 9 by A heron at night

This is very, very good.

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 23:12:00 UTC | #153162

alabasterocean's Avatar Comment 10 by alabasterocean

Well I like Dawkins as much as the next science lover. But the talk about debate and so forth is quite stupid. When two people agree on a question of course they can sit down in a pro aut contra conversation and kick out the moderator and times frames. In a debate between two opposing forces they need time, 5min pro etc. And if all deliberation is cut down to pro vs. pro there is no controversy. If everybody was spending time in front of a pro audience debating a pro quasi-opponent it will ruin the democratic tool of debate and critical conversation. I like to see Dawkins do more debate.

And yes, there is different ways to do this to. Look at Sam Harris, he almost always sit down and have a rational conversation/debate. Or Hitchens classic debate form where they follow strict timeliness of pro vs contra. Dawkins to often just stand and lecture an pro or often quite uninformed audience.

I like to see more Dawkins debate. Hitchens or Harris style. Or an alternative. The debate form is an must have in serious academia. I concur to what MrGoodjob says above.

The Double Slit Experiment illustrated:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 00:07:00 UTC | #153169

madame_zora's Avatar Comment 11 by madame_zora

"Any fool could have been a Darwin"~ Richard Dawkins.

Haha, don't you ever stop. Your candor is so wonderful to watch, I also loved watching you wax poetic about Wallace's fever dream, then admitting your curiosity about what else he might have been thinking in that fever- those are interesting things to think about, and rarely do people mention them.

Krauss was also noticeably relaxed, funny and fascinating, his description of particles going through two slits was wonderful, and was the foray into ridiculousness they both engaged in. Great stuff, informative and a lot of fun. I think this form of discussion was comfortable for both of them.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 00:16:00 UTC | #153171

bujin's Avatar Comment 12 by bujin

Looks like I won't be doing much development on the completion and attainment reports again today! I'm on part 3 at the moment, and it's rather interesting!

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 01:01:00 UTC | #153184

cafeeine's Avatar Comment 13 by cafeeine

In response to No 8, mrgoodjob

In regards to the Stalin, Hitler et al, I have long been wondering if the whole repetition of the question is along the lines of "if you repeat a lie long enough..." slowly making the connection between atheism and totalitarianism they want to push regardless of the return argument. To the listener who has been told that atheists are a shade eviler than beelzebub, the argument that Stalin did not commit his actions due to atheism does not hold water. It may be that what is being wrought is guilt through repetitious association.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 01:07:00 UTC | #153186

Dr Doctor's Avatar Comment 14 by Dr Doctor

I've enjoyed listening to this while I work today, the experiment in format worked.

I found one comment by Richard Dawkins very interesting, that he would be happy to teach evolution at a summer camp.

If I had any spare money at the moment, or if summer wasn't my busy period as far as the company is concerned I would step up to lobby the Foundation to do this and stump up donations to help make it happen as it would be a very constructive step.

I feel frustrated that I cannot help in this matter.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 01:10:00 UTC | #153187

Artful_Dodger's Avatar Comment 15 by Artful_Dodger

Interesting discussion. I just hope that Dawkins will be equally willing to engage in a similar way with fellow-scientists who are not atheists.

Dawkins really let the cat out of the bag when he said that his aim was not only to establish the truth of science, but to KILL religion. That immensely unscientific agenda is going to turn out to be counterproductive for Dawkins and his band of new-atheists. Because of this he has already alienated huge numbers of very intelligent people who might be sympathetic with his aim to further scientific knowledge. Most people instinctively know that science and faith are not incompatible with each other, unless they have been hoodwinked into thinking they are either by religious fundamentalists on the one side or by the likes of Dawkins and his cohorts on the other. The effect of Dawkins (mis)using in this way his professorial chair in order to drive through his "faith-eradication" program will drive parents and many educators into their bunkers and make them much more anti-science that they otherwise might have been.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:16:00 UTC | #153220

epeeist's Avatar Comment 16 by epeeist

Comment #161209 by Artful_Dodger


Interesting discussion. I just hope that Dawkins will be equally willing to engage in a similar way with fellow-scientists who are not atheists.
The question is whether he would actually get answers from them. It seems to be that whenever someone asks a theist a hard question they cut and run.

Perhaps you could finally get around to actually telling us something about how one can tell the difference between what is literal and what is metaphorical in the bible. This and some extended questions can be found in the post below.

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,2394,Lying-for-Jesus,Richard-Dawkins,page27#160334

I hope you aren't too busy, or have other things to do.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:25:00 UTC | #153225

Mark Barratt's Avatar Comment 17 by Mark Barratt

How is attempting to get rid of manifestly untrue and unscientific ideas an "immensely unscientific agenda?"

I can't think of a more scientific agenda.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:26:00 UTC | #153226

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 18 by Tyler Durden

Comment #161209 by Artful_Dodger:

Dawkins really let the cat out of the bag when he said that his aim was not only to establish the truth of science, but to KILL religion. That immensely unscientific agenda is going to turn out to be counterproductive for Dawkins and his band of new-atheists.
Excuse me? Does that even make any sense? Where exactly is the "unscientific agenda"??

If Dawkins is looking to "establish the truth of science" then it is a scientific agenda. Taking religion out of the equation is also a scientific agenda. Your "point" is a complete non-sequitor.

And do tell, what exactly is a "new-atheist"??

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:28:00 UTC | #153227

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 19 by Quetzalcoatl

Epeeist-

I'd be surprised if he returns. He seems to be doing hit and run attacks on any thread with "Richard Dawkins" in the title at the moment.

And you have already had the answer for the metaphor question. YOU JUST KNOW.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:29:00 UTC | #153228

Artful_Dodger's Avatar Comment 20 by Artful_Dodger

Epeeist,

Ther are clearly many theist philosophers and scientist that you have not had the chance to listen to. I actually think that there are a number of theist debaters from whom Dawkins is cutting and running before any engagement starts.

As for the metaphorical / literal issue, I have answered that question, tho seemingly not to your satisfaction, which I would probably not do however long I spent on it.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:32:00 UTC | #153229

epeeist's Avatar Comment 21 by epeeist

Comment #161217 by Quetzalcoatl


I'd be surprised if he returns. He seems to be doing hit and run attacks on any thread with "Richard Dawkins" in the title at the moment.
I would be very surprised if I ever got an answer. However, I am not really doing it for his benefit. Like Jon_sociologists valiant attempts with wooter I am doing it to show the underlying insincerity and dishonesty of the theist posters we get and the lack of argument that they can muster.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:36:00 UTC | #153230

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by irate_atheist

16. Comment #161209 by Artful_Dodger -

Most people instinctively know that science and faith are not incompatible with each other, unless they have been hoodwinked into thinking they are either by religious fundamentalists on the one side or by the likes of Dawkins and his cohorts on the other.
Please, enlighten us as to what is not incompatible between science and religion. I would hazard a guess that several professional scientists who post on this site - this thread, even - would be curious to know precisely where they are compatible.

Artful, it's over to you.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:39:00 UTC | #153233

epeeist's Avatar Comment 23 by epeeist

Comment #161218 by Artful_Dodger


As for the metaphorical / literal issue, I have answered that question, tho seemingly not to your satisfaction, which I would probably not do however long I spent on it.
No you haven't. You have made a few comments on specific pieces of the bible.

What you have not done is to provide some kind of general mechanism for saying what is literal and what is metaphor. Nor have you provided any argument as to how you gain the authority to make statements as to what is literal and what is metaphorical.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:39:00 UTC | #153234

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 24 by Quetzalcoatl

Epeeist-

the other option was "I ignore the bits I don't like".

I agree with you for the most part, but some of the theist posters we get are honest and try to explain their positions properly without resorting to hit-and-run tactics. Brother John and Mark Taunton are excellent examples of this.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:40:00 UTC | #153235

Artful_Dodger's Avatar Comment 25 by Artful_Dodger

Taking religion out of the equation is also a scientific agenda


It depends on what you mean by "equation". When aked by Napoleon where God was in his cosmological scheme, Laplace answered "Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse". This was a sensible answer, and might have been even if Laplace had been a theist. God, being outside the universe (as the originator of the universe must be) does not need to feature in any scheme depicting the universe. So keeping God out of the picture (equation), in that sense, may make a lot of sense. That is why the agenda to KILL religous faith as a "scientific" project does not make sense, because it is science's role to explore the cosmos, not speculate as to the identity or non identity of its hpothetical originator. That is why Dawkins' stated agenda is unscientific.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:45:00 UTC | #153236

epeeist's Avatar Comment 26 by epeeist

Comment #161224 by Quetzalcoatl


I agree with you for the most part, but some of the theist posters we get are honest and try to explain their positions properly without resorting to hit-and-run tactics. Brother John and Mark Taunton are excellent examples of this.
Agreed, to my shame I used a universal rather than existential quantifier.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:45:00 UTC | #153237

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 27 by Quetzalcoatl

Epeeist-

I didn't meant to nitpick, but it always jars a little, and I don't want any of the less honourable theists to use such phrases against us.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:47:00 UTC | #153238

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by irate_atheist

26. Comment #161225 by Artful_Dodger -

So keeping God out of the picture (equation), in that sense, may make a lot of sense. That is why the agenda to KILL religous faith as a "scientific" project does not make sense, because it is science's role to explore the cosmos, not speculate as to the identity or non identity of its hpothetical originator.


Epeeist - Could you wheel out your lemmata?

Artful - 'Not part' of the universe? And yet you claim to have a book written about him? Just how screwed up are you that you can't have any consistency whatsoever in what you write?

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:50:00 UTC | #153242

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 29 by Steve Zara

God, being outside the universe (as the originator of the universe must be) does not need to feature in any scheme depicting the universe.


It's a bit hard to know how you can know about him then.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 02:54:00 UTC | #153244

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 30 by Tyler Durden

Comment #161225 by Artful_Dodger:

It depends on what you mean by "equation". When aked by Napoleon where God was in his cosmological scheme, Laplace answered "Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse". This was a sensible answer, and might have been even if Laplace had been a theist. God, being outside the universe (as the originator of the universe must be) does not need to feature in any scheme depicting the universe. So keeping God out of the picture (equation), in that sense, may make a lot of sense. That is why the agenda to KILL religous faith as a "scientific" project does not make sense, because it is science's role to explore the cosmos, not speculate as to the identity or non identity of its hpothetical originator. That is why Dawkins' stated agenda is unscientific.
Complete and utter bollocks. Seriously, is this the best you can do?

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 03:03:00 UTC | #153249