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Richard Dawkins on Al Jazeera English - Comments

ukvillafan's Avatar Comment 1 by ukvillafan

So, just to stop those of you who like claiming to be first!

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 15:56:00 UTC | #204241

Edamus's Avatar Comment 2 by Edamus

I definately agree with Prof. Dawkins assertion that Evolution by Natural Selection is really not that hard to believe. I look forward to more intellegent 8 year olds then 40 year old anti-Evolution theists...

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:01:00 UTC | #204244

kaiser's Avatar Comment 3 by kaiser

Nice short interview and a very fair host.

There is also an incredible stupid incaller - unbelievable how many idiotic things this person is able to say in such a short time.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:05:00 UTC | #204246

Yaffle75's Avatar Comment 4 by Yaffle75

How refreshing to see Dawkins questioned by a TV interviewer who listens to him, asks objective questions in a spirit of true journalism, and has obviously researched The God Delusion beforehand.

It is fascinating to compare the Al-Jazeera coverage (albeit the English Al-Jazeera coverage) with that of many US networks, and recall how most of those US networks claim that Al Jazeera is a pit of seething fundamentalist propaganda. I think this contrast between their respective treatments of Dawkins is very illuminating.

I'm also very impressed by the way Dawkins slightly modifies his tone here, presumably bearing in mind that there is a large muslim audience. His precise wording is a masterclass in reasonability.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:06:00 UTC | #204248

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 5 by HourglassMemory

How disturbing to hear a caller of a 21st century call-in show, saying "Islam says we come from Adam, peace be upon him, so we can't come from monkeys"
How sad.
A lot of ignorance was shown in this clip, except from the interviewer and Dawkins and the comment "Religion stops progess."

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:08:00 UTC | #204249

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 6 by Apathy personified

1. Comment #215342 by ukvillafan on July 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm
Please make a comment about the interview.

It kinda felt like the interviewer was setting up RD for answers, rather than asking searching questions, though it was a better interview than most.
I just get the feeling that these interviews all deal with the same questions and know exactly what they are gonna get as an answer.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:10:00 UTC | #204251

ukvillafan's Avatar Comment 8 by ukvillafan

I recommend Al Jazeera for a different perspective. I rarely watch tv news but when I do, I find the propagandist nature of much that is transmitted in the UK and the US quite nauseating.

I do think the featured caller was trying to use the old "Hitler's policies were based on Darwinism" argument, so I am surprised the Prof didn't pick up on it.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:11:00 UTC | #204253

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 7 by PristinePanda

Think how much better all those creationists would be if they would only consult their pineal gland!

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:11:00 UTC | #204252

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 9 by PristinePanda

Those creationists always suffer from the same aneristic illusion - they always say to Dawkins one more more of the following:

...Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. were the greatest mass murderers of all time and they were atheists.


...How can you be moral without god? If I didn't have god, I would go around raping, killing, plundering, and being a total bum to my heart's content.


...Being an atheist requires just as much faith as being a Christian does.


...I just can't understand how I could have evolved from an ape. I mean, look around, why haven't the other monkeys evolved into humans?


It all becomes quite tedious quite expediently and I can sympathize with Dawkin's cogent if rather bland use of the same examples to excoriate the same inane, moronic cavils every time. Sometimes I wish Richard would talk a bit more about selfish genes when refuting creationist arguments or mix it up a bit, you know?

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:22:00 UTC | #204255

Quine's Avatar Comment 10 by Quine

Comment #215354 by ukvillafan

I am sure he did pick it up, but was able to clear the question without having to say "Hitler." A good move on Richard's part.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:30:00 UTC | #204256

Nova's Avatar Comment 11 by Nova

That Muslim Chav was hilarious - "Allah's great i'n'it!".

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:34:00 UTC | #204257

Wosret's Avatar Comment 12 by Wosret

"You are entitled to your belief in Adam, it is however false."

I cracked up. RD is cool as shit. I just remembered why I love his public appearances so much.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:36:00 UTC | #204258

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 13 by PristinePanda

It's interesting that RD believes that in ten million years or so that the human species will have evolved/become extinct, end of story. I believe that the Singularity will occur quite soon in fact and don't regard it as being too anthropocentric of a belief as there is plentiful evidence that it could very well occur and take over from biological evolution.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:40:00 UTC | #204259

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 14 by thewhitepearl

I wish there were more programs like this, where emails and calls are sent in for review and rebuttal. But on the other hand I'm sure it get's frustrating answering the same questions and arguments.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:44:00 UTC | #204260

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 15 by Chrysippus_Maximus

Not bad...

I never know what to say to people who say things like "Islam tells us..." or "The Bible says...", I mean, if I were to aim to try and convince them that they're wrong... It seems like there probably isn't anything one could say... except perhaps what Dawkins did say, which is simply "You're wrong."

But I keep getting this feeling that it's just so futile... :(

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:45:00 UTC | #204261

riki's Avatar Comment 16 by riki

Yes good to avoid mentioning the word "Hitler" of "Nazi's" in any argument or debate. It's just a pointless extreme.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:54:00 UTC | #204264

Indridcold's Avatar Comment 17 by Indridcold

In appears that Richard has argued these points so much that he's able to get his case across in very clear and patient ways. Very inspiring!

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 16:59:00 UTC | #204266

tieInterceptor's Avatar Comment 18 by tieInterceptor

Good interview,

glad to see Dawkins not holding his tongue after that nutter called saying "evolution is false because the particular myth my parents indoctrinated me into, tells me quite explicitly that we come from Adam (peace be upon him), so you are wrong!, hah take that"

... seriously and, peace be upon him?... it really bothers me when they add that line after everything.

I'm happy to see that the choice of verbal diarrhoea is starting to narrow... they do not come with new stuff that's for sure... and it helps that now we have short and water tight logic answers to most of the usual theist crap.

I must suggest thought that mr Dawkins could have added in there the tried and tested "who designed the designer??" it's a simple answer and it exposes the fallacy quite well.

I'm just guessing that quite a large % of the audience is too thick to understand the more winded answer of ... "for it to make any sense, a God, by definition, has to be more complex and more powerful than the universe that he is postulated to create, so it doesn't really solve anything to bring forth a supernatural intelligence as the answer to the big question, because a god just leads to an infinite regress"


Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:03:00 UTC | #204267

MorituriMax's Avatar Comment 19 by MorituriMax

Was it just me or was the video real choppy and not synced with the audio? Nobody else here commented on it so not sure.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:04:00 UTC | #204268

Janus's Avatar Comment 20 by Janus

It's not just you, but no one cares. :P

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:13:00 UTC | #204271

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 21 by HappyPrimate

Just thought I'd watch the video again and leave a comment on the YouTube site but the video is no longer available there. Wonder why?

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:18:00 UTC | #204273

Wosret's Avatar Comment 22 by Wosret

13. Comment #215360 by PristinePanda

His belief is quite reasonable. If we consider our species to be a successful species (which is pushing it being that we are only roughly 200 thousand years old) then based on past successful species, we should expect to last about eight million years. Given the precedent set by other successful species.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:21:00 UTC | #204274

croatcat's Avatar Comment 23 by croatcat

Abdul from Scotland forgot a "peace be upon him" after an Adam. Will he be suffering some sort of punishment for that? One less virgin perhaps?

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:23:00 UTC | #204275

NineBerry's Avatar Comment 24 by NineBerry

Just thought I'd watch the video again and leave a comment on the YouTube site but the video is no longer available there. Wonder why?

"We are currently performing site maintenance. Be cool - we'll be back 100% in a bit."


Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:29:00 UTC | #204276

chuckg's Avatar Comment 25 by chuckg

I liked it! This was a nice, fair, concise interview, and the questions were reasonable and interesting. The caller questions were also fair and representative of what to be expected from the viewer audience, and they were simple for Richard to respond to. Considering how crappy the quality of interviewing and discourse is on most American talk programs(ie Fox News and others on the New Yorker cover cartoon for example), I'm fairly impressed with this station.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:30:00 UTC | #204277

onanyes's Avatar Comment 26 by onanyes

I live in the US, and well, Al Jazeera often gives more in depth news features than most US networks. Of course, that isn't saying much.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:31:00 UTC | #204278

Donald's Avatar Comment 27 by Donald

I am perpetually impressed by Dawkins ability to remain calm in the face of ignorant dogmatic assertions, and his care to stress the positive virtues of evolution knowledge, rather than criticising Islamic beliefs. I was slightly surprised by his answer "no" to the question "do you feel there is a place for religion in society?", but delighted to hear it. Nicely done.

The interviewer was great. Very good questions, and no pro-religious bias applied to Dawkins.

Is this the interview that is one of a pair with Khan interviewing Dinesh D'Souza for the other one? Very short interview if so. Perhaps there is more to come.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:34:00 UTC | #204279

T4Baxter's Avatar Comment 28 by T4Baxter

I'd like for R D to collaborate with his scientist, historian, theologian, psychiatry friends and colleges to strip all the redundancy away, and deliver short information rich responses which rebut each of these 'typical questions'. The evidence is there, they just don't seem to put it all into the rebuttal.
For example Q: Second world war! bleat bleat!
A: Hitler claimed to be Christian, Islam and Christianities history of Jewish relations etc etc.
Thats the trouble, we need factual, common sense, responses that circumvent their faith by appealing directly to their logic, reason. Then they will be left either: feeling like a puppet, defending the faith against their own rational judgment. Or attempting to reconcile the inconsistency in their position.
Give us the answers backed up by the evidence, in easy to digest sound bites, so they become effective memes! well known enough, that they become the first thing that crops to mind for the believers, even before they pose the questions!
They have their bible, We want our memes :)

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:39:00 UTC | #204280

skybri's Avatar Comment 29 by skybri

...loved the speculation of "where will we be in a million years?" If you go forward a million, and look back a million, then you can answer the creationist question: "Where are all the half and half versions?" Answer: Go look in the mirror...

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 17:54:00 UTC | #204282

T4Baxter's Avatar Comment 30 by T4Baxter

riki: I love the picci of fizzgigg, awesome movie.

I would suggest that the 'infinite regress' argument is wasted on people for whom God exists outside of time, where before and after are brushed aside as states that don't apply to the all-mighty. The best we can hope for is an argument from observable reality like, if God did make the earth, man and everything, does he not also take responsibility tsunami's, floods etc caused by the nature of his design. You believe in purpose? What do you think the tsunami victims had planned for the following week? Celebrating their personal relationship with God on Sunday Perhaps. Give them a choice between being a morally bankrupt twit in condemning the victims as 'out of favor', or conceding that the God they claim exists is him/herself a morally bankrupt twit. Driving the religious on their holy books moral perspective, where it differs from society at large, makes them look abhorrent in front of their average peer group. It wouldn't take long for young people in this situation to reject their religious views in order to fit in, get the girl etc. Well, you wouldn't think...

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:02:00 UTC | #204283