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Richard Dawkins Lecture at UC Berkeley - Comments

Last Man In Europe's Avatar Comment 1 by Last Man In Europe

Thanks Richard! You are an inspiration. I look forward to the Q and A session. I wonder how often a NEW question arises i.e one that really makes you think. Most questions seem to be entirely predictable e.g. What about Hitler etc.

These tend to be from the same people who say 'I haven't read your book BUT...'

;-)

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #218859

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 2 by mordacious1

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 00:18:00 UTC | #218860

fontes's Avatar Comment 3 by fontes

Thank you Prof. Richard Dawkins

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 00:26:00 UTC | #218861

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 4 by AfraidToDie

I never tire of reinforcing my consciousness awareness. I'll pass this link on to others who need a jumpstart.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 02:41:00 UTC | #218873

jonico's Avatar Comment 5 by jonico

Can't wait to watch it. Seeing Dawkins and Berkley in title automatically got my attention.
(Is there a possibility of having future videos and audio also avaible in open formats such as ogg and ogm for those of us who don't like using or can't use propriety media formats?)

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 03:17:00 UTC | #218892

entheogensmurf's Avatar Comment 6 by entheogensmurf

Great lecture as expected.
I'm a tad tired so not much to ramble about currently.

It was nice to see such a warm reception to RD.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 04:51:00 UTC | #218923

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 7 by LaurieB

Richard,

Please come to Boston ...

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 05:05:00 UTC | #218932

Backslidden's Avatar Comment 8 by Backslidden

I wanted to see this lecture in person but it sold out so fast.

The video won't play for me :(

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:00:00 UTC | #218953

Galactor's Avatar Comment 9 by Galactor

I've been trying all morning to either start the video by clicking on it or saving the target - it doesn't work for me either.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:11:00 UTC | #218956

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 10 by AfraidToDie

LaurieB - love your avatar...at least the place. Been there too! The view is almost enough to make me a pantheist :-)

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:21:00 UTC | #218959

Mango's Avatar Comment 11 by Mango

Dr. Dawkins might be able to fill a baseball stadium in some (or all?) regions of America.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:37:00 UTC | #218966

twilleyj's Avatar Comment 12 by twilleyj

Video not working...
Anyone else know where to find a copy?
I've searched UC Berkeley's site...no luck.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:44:00 UTC | #218970

twilleyj's Avatar Comment 14 by twilleyj

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:46:00 UTC | #218973

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 13 by Quetzalcoatl

twilleyj-

Very nice avatar!

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 06:46:00 UTC | #218972

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 15 by LaurieB

AfraidToDie,

Yes, I've been lucky to have done a fair amount of traveling and I can say that Machu Pichu is one of the places I could easily go back to year after year and never be bored. It has a surreal beauty and must have been a very effective location for the Inca ceremonies. I would really love to be there on the summer solstice. Good location for an atheist meetup, That's my kind of "pilgrimage".

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 08:06:00 UTC | #218996

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 16 by SaintStephen

It looks like the video may be working now, but last night I chose to download the whole file, install QuickTime with the link provided, and then Right-Click on the file and use "Open With..." -- then selecting QuickTime. It worked at that point.

As far as the content, I just can't get enough of Professor Dawkins. People not able to see his ideas clearly respond instead to his demeanor and tone, which must only add to Richard's frustration. His demeanor makes perfect sense to me, because in his mind he's trapped/living in a world governed mostly by children's fiction, and nonsensical ideas without a trace of scientific merit -- and he's getting shouted down and mocked by people holding these beliefs, to add insult to injury.

Such treatment should cause anybody (except for perhaps the incredibly, genetically calm Sam Harris) to roll his eyes in astonishment.

Dawkins lives in a crazy, savage world of juveniles and fairy tales, and he WANTS IT TO CHANGE... NOW. He senses the urgency of the matter, and he is impatient of those who would suggest otherwise, and their "softer" methods.

I'm heterosexual, but I LOVE Richard Dawkins, in the truest sense of that word I can muster.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 11:58:00 UTC | #219081

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 17 by Border Collie

Flawless ...

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:00:00 UTC | #219116

mdowe's Avatar Comment 18 by mdowe

I quite liked how the slides were inserted into the video so we could get a clear look at them. Well done!

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 13:30:00 UTC | #219136

justaminute's Avatar Comment 19 by justaminute

A couple of observations.

First, an argument that runs like this falls:
1) There are hundreds of ideas that people believe in that are wrong, therefore
2 ) All ideas that people believe in are wrong.

Simply asserting that most religions are false doesn't make all of them false.

As science is a tool for measuring certain types of phenomena it's not much use for measuring things that fall outside its types. A pair of bathroom scales would be ideal for measuring my weight but useless for measuring the love I have for my wife. It is both true that I weigh around 80kg and that I love my wife.

It's as senseless to try and deny the supernatural on the grounds that science cannot measure it as it is for my wife to claim that I don't love her because the bathroom scales can't measure it.

Second I can understand the argument that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. But it's entirely logical to argue that there may exist an intelligent being who created time space and matter and that that being was not caused because he / it did not have a beginning.

I am not trying to prove that such a being exists, merely wishing to establish that such a being may exist.

I've never met the person who designed the keyboard I'm typing on but that does not mean that s/he doesn't exist. This is an argument by analogy, so too is the argument by design.

Scientific naturalists understandably rail against supernatural explanations because they clash with their belief system but they are quite happy to invoke significant amounts of 'luck' to bolster up the gaps in their science.

RD is a great story teller but I reckon there's some large holes in his logic.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:48:00 UTC | #219170

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 20 by Quetzalcoatl

Second I can understand the argument that everything that has a beginning must have a cause


Not necessarily.

But it's entirely logical to argue that there may exist an intelligent being who created time space and matter and that that being was not caused because he / it did not have a beginning


Actually, it's not logical at all, not least because the concept of something happening "before" the beginning of time is itself a logical impossibility.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:54:00 UTC | #219172

J Mac's Avatar Comment 21 by J Mac

I've never met the person who designed the keyboard I'm typing on but that does not mean that s/he doesn't exist. This is an argument by analogy, so too is the argument by design.


But the person who designed your keyboard must have more design than the keyboard. Therefore it is fair to question where that person (and his/her intelligence came from.)

Scientific naturalists understandably rail against supernatural explanations because they clash with their belief system but they are quite happy to invoke significant amounts of 'luck' to bolster up the gaps in their science.


You presented your case respectfully so I'd like to respond respectfully, but this portion displays gross ignorance of science. Where exactly is "luck" needed to bolster anything in science?

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 14:55:00 UTC | #219173

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 22 by Apathy personified

First, an argument that runs like this falls:
1) There are hundreds of ideas that people believe in that are wrong, therefore
2 ) All ideas that people believe in are wrong.
Strawman alert: No one uses that argument, no point in bringing it up.

Scientific naturalists understandably rail against supernatural explanations because they clash with their belief system but they are quite happy to invoke significant amounts of 'luck' to bolster up the gaps in their science.
*sigh* First, explain what you mean by scientific naturalism, then explain why it is a belief system. Second, when is 'luck' seriously used in any scientific discourse?

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:00:00 UTC | #219175

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 23 by thewhitepearl

RD is a great story teller but I reckon there's some large holes in his logic


Like?

[edit]

Oy I see you have made quite a few silly statements. I shall address them when my patience returns.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:16:00 UTC | #219183

J Mac's Avatar Comment 24 by J Mac

But it's entirely logical to argue that there may exist an intelligent being who created time space and matter...


And the existence of such a thing doesn't even raise your curiosity?

It seems that theists must be the people that hear "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" and respond "Durh, okay, whatever you say."

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:21:00 UTC | #219186

chewedbarber's Avatar Comment 25 by chewedbarber

Simply asserting that most religions are false doesn't make all of them false.


Apathy personified is polite to call this a strawman. That might imply that you understood some argument but in your frustration at being unable to counter it you invented this. But you have not even understood what was really a very simple point.

If all these religions are false, then can we at least entertain the idea that yours is false? This is not an argument against religion. It is a response to religions attempt to immunize itself to criticism. Something that can only succeed if the faithful are allowed to forget that all other religions are false, and how we determined that they are.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:38:00 UTC | #219192

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 26 by NewEnglandBob

20. Comment #231590 by justaminute

You forget that there is no evidence whatsoever for a supernatural being. RD's logic is not flawed, your statements are specious. What tool are YOU using for that supernatural being possibly existing? DUHness?

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:48:00 UTC | #219194

J Mac's Avatar Comment 27 by J Mac

What tool are YOU using for that supernatural being


If I may rephrase that I think it can be said better:

What a tool you are for using that supernatural being.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 15:56:00 UTC | #219198

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 28 by Dr. Strangegod

As science is a tool for measuring certain types of phenomena it's not much use for measuring things that fall outside its types. A pair of bathroom scales would be ideal for measuring my weight but useless for measuring the love I have for my wife. It is both true that I weigh around 80kg and that I love my wife.

It's as senseless to try and deny the supernatural on the grounds that science cannot measure it as it is for my wife to claim that I don't love her because the bathroom scales can't measure it.


Ah, justaminute here seems to be of the camp that thinks that there is some other world beyond the physical one that cannot be described by science. It's a simple misunderstanding of the nature of the unknown. Your love for your wife, my friend, can indeed be measured by the tools of science, though perhaps not just yet. While there will always be a horizon to what is known, beyond which is the unknown, it is incorrect to assume that this unknown is thus unknowable. And it is idle conjecture to imagine what might be sitting there, unknown and unmeasured. This can be entertaining, for sure, but it does not do as a description of reality.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:09:00 UTC | #219201

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 29 by Kiwi

Thanks Josh, I hope the Q&A comes soon, I always find that the most interesting part, having heard the main lecture several times before. It is good to see the slides.

Justaminute, imagine you lived before the invention of the telescope. The fact that the tools to see the moons of Jupiter did not exist did not influence their existence at that time. Nor did it mean that the odds of them existing or not, if someone had imagined them, were 50:50. Science simply requires evidence for meaningful comments to be made. One can hypothesise the teapot, but if unsupported by evidence, it remains an hypothesis.

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 19:50:00 UTC | #219251

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 30 by Styrer-

Comment #231590 by justaminute on August 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Justaminute

The time it took you to write your above 'piece' is far, far more than the time it would have taken you to read the same length of text of, say, the opening pages of 'The Blind Watchmaker'.

Permit me to suggest that you are using your time unwisely. And that you are equally extravagantly wasting my own time by irritating me so much that I feel I have no alternative but to place your utter stupidity in the spotlight by way of this fucking paragraph.

Now fuck off and read a book. The above-referenced will prove a useful start.

Styrer

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 22:59:00 UTC | #219303