This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Professor Richard Dawkins on Darwin

Professor Richard Dawkins on Darwin - Comments

tvictor's Avatar Comment 1 by tvictor

I hope this airs on NatGeo Brazil
Thank you for sharing

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:39:00 UTC | #321126

helen sotiriadis's Avatar Comment 2 by helen sotiriadis

a winning combination -- both richard's words and the imagery -- loved it.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:52:00 UTC | #321128

ramfalls's Avatar Comment 3 by ramfalls

Just a thought. There may well be an evolutionary pressure on our developing social brains. Suppose the world is islamified. Then to not be rational would be safe. You would end up on the whole having more offspring.This would produce a pressure on the creative side of our brains. Would we unevolve into creatures without reason? I'm not just anti-islam but I'm anti-religion. As this site well knows its important to the trivials to state this.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 22:22:00 UTC | #321131

Big City's Avatar Comment 4 by Big City

Wow, those were surprisingly blunt. Will these clips be shown on the National Geographic channel itself? If so, I think fundies like Ray Comfort or Ken Ham are going to make a huge deal about them.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 22:29:00 UTC | #321133

Hominidae's Avatar Comment 5 by Hominidae

hahaha on the Creationism video

Thanks a bunch for posting them :D

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 22:47:00 UTC | #321134

Mbee's Avatar Comment 6 by Mbee

These were great although I've heard most of the comments before.
There is also Darwin's lost voyage at NatGeo UK on Sunday but not in the US! Huh?

Why is there nothing on Darwin Day from Nat Geo USA! They have missed the boat!

Thanks RD.net for showing these

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 22:48:00 UTC | #321135

Robb.B's Avatar Comment 7 by Robb.B

i love national geographic. hopefully this airs in canada.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 23:28:00 UTC | #321136

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 8 by Lisa Bauer

Those were quite interesting. I admit to being slightly surprised that National Geographic would show the latter bits regarding religion and the existence of God, etc., given their more typical neutral or positive stance towards different religions and cultures. They're usually scrupulously respectful and very much into "creating understanding and mutual respect for diverse religious and cultural traditions", as you can see if you've read any of their articles or seen any of their documentaries lately touching on religious themes (especially on Islam, which I recall liking very much at the time because they were "open-minded" and "fair", not trafficking in "crude stereotypes"!).

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 00:56:00 UTC | #321144

andersemil's Avatar Comment 9 by andersemil

Layla, I like to think that NatGeo have been persuaded to include these comments due to the amount of resistance religious groups give towards the work of Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins. I admit it is surprising. But I think also the emphasis which RD puts on the majority of creationists being simply ignorant rather than crazy would help the decision to air it. I'm not sure he is right, though, it is hard to imagine anyone believing creationist theories without having some kind of mental block at the very least towards news in general and scientific evidence.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 01:42:00 UTC | #321151

Jivlain's Avatar Comment 10 by Jivlain

Woah, RD, get some sleep mate. Your eyes look like mine :)

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 01:55:00 UTC | #321154

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 11 by Thomas Byrne

Nice.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:01:00 UTC | #321155

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 12 by rod-the-farmer

Very interesting, but far too short, IMHO. I was expecting a half hour or more.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:12:00 UTC | #321157

ntson's Avatar Comment 13 by ntson

I'm glad to see one article about Darwin in the new issue of National Geographic.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:13:00 UTC | #321158

Gnomish's Avatar Comment 14 by Gnomish

Anyone else bothered by how each video is accompanied by this disclaimer (which sounds suspiciously like a nod to IDers...)?

"Please Note: The views expressed in this interview are the views of the person or persons being interviewed and are not necessarily views shared by The National Geographic Channel."

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:21:00 UTC | #321163

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 15 by Carl Sai Baba

Everyone be sure to email National Geographic and thank them for including hundredths of a second in the video timer. I would be lost without it.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 02:23:00 UTC | #321165

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 16 by Jay Cee

Comment #336792 by Layla Nasreddin

I think you're right here. However I've always thought National Geographic was about the photography more than anything. If I wanted to read about religion and politics I certainly wouldn't read it in the National Geographic.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 03:12:00 UTC | #321169

Pidge's Avatar Comment 17 by Pidge

@Gnomish comment 14 - that is a pretty standard thing for publishers to say when repeating the views of interviewees.

BTW - did anyone watch "The Big Questions" on BBC1 this morning - definitely worth watching the first 20 mins on iplayer, a debate on whether Evolution and Religion can both be right.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 03:22:00 UTC | #321171

Jay Cee's Avatar Comment 18 by Jay Cee

BTW - did anyone watch "The Big Questions" on BBC1 this morning - definitely worth watching the first 20 mins on iplayer, a debate on whether Evolution and Religion can both be right.


No but I'm watching Iran and the West at the moment on BBC iplayer. I'd be interested to discuss it with anyone who has watched it.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 03:25:00 UTC | #321173

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 19 by Kiwi

What does "Professor Richard Dawkins talks exclusively to National Geographic Channel" mean in this context ? No other programs or channels are going to get his views on "Darwin, Evolution and God" ? Seems unlikely...

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 03:34:00 UTC | #321174

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 20 by Lisa Bauer

#17 JAMCAM87

I think you're right here. However I've always thought National Geographic was about the photography more than anything. If I wanted to read about religion and politics I certainly wouldn't read it in the National Geographic.


I suppose so, although if you look at National Geographic magazines from decades ago, there used to be more story and less photographs. Which is OK, I think, for the reason you mentioned -- and I would take strong issue with the claim that photographs are somehow "less intellectually stimulating" than text. (A picture is worth a thousand words, and all that...besides, I'm highly visual!)

#9 andersemil
Layla, I like to think that NatGeo have been persuaded to include these comments due to the amount of resistance religious groups give towards the work of Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins. I admit it is surprising. But I think also the emphasis which RD puts on the majority of creationists being simply ignorant rather than crazy would help the decision to air it. I'm not sure he is right, though, it is hard to imagine anyone believing creationist theories without having some kind of mental block at the very least towards news in general and scientific evidence.


There seems to be a bit of tension between the scientific understanding and anthropological/cultural/religious understanding missions of NG, I admit. They tend to shy away from directly contradicting or confronting religious beliefs in their "religion and culture" pieces (an article on the patriarch Abraham in December 2001, for instance, gave a glancing nod to the fact that no historian has been able to find any evidence that he ever lived, but continued on as if he did because the historicity of this figure is apparently not especially important). Even the ones challenging base beliefs (the gospel of Judas article, for instance) tend to be at least somewhat conciliatory. They generally adopt a very irenic approach to religion.

Meanwhile, many science articles will hold forth on the importance of scientific knowledge and how everybody should know the facts, etc. "Fundamentalism" may be condemned, both as blocking scientific knowledge and in leading to extremism, but this is typically held to be in contrast to the "real religion" that "the vast majority of believers" hold. Etc.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 03:47:00 UTC | #321175

Porco Dio's Avatar Comment 21 by Porco Dio

why only on .co.uk and not .com???

why the disclaimers???

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 04:27:00 UTC | #321187

Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy's Avatar Comment 22 by Jeff (HandyGeek) Handy

Fantastic videos. This is just the kind of work that should be shown to middle and high-school students everywhere. The National Geographic stamp should mean something to at least some creationists.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 06:09:00 UTC | #321208

Communist's Avatar Comment 23 by Communist

HandyGeek wrote:

Fantastic videos. This is just the kind of work that should be shown to middle and high-school students everywhere. The National Geographic stamp should mean something to at least some creationists.

Indeed, and I think I know what it means. It means a quick and hard stamp of disapproval. The creationist charlatan Kent Howind kalled this channel the National Pornographic Channel.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 06:51:00 UTC | #321211

Delsolar16's Avatar Comment 24 by Delsolar16

Comment #336857 by HandyGeek:

Fantastic videos. This is just the kind of work that should be shown to middle and high-school students everywhere. The National Geographic stamp should mean something to at least some creationists.


I agree. It's good to see a network finally start moving in the right direction. I've been getting sick of both the Discovery and History channels since they have started airing "documentaries" on UFO sightings and the massive conspiracy to keep them secret, mediums, OBE's, psychics, exorcisms, and the biblical account of the rapture as if there is a shred of evidence for any of it.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 07:19:00 UTC | #321212

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 25 by Border Collie

ramfalls ... Not taking issue with you, but has anyone noticed that the 'islamified' countries are some of the most dangerous places on the face of the Earth? I think that if the world was suddenly, totally 'islamified', the slaughter would go on unabated ... probably get worse. If they're not killing us, they're killing each other ... just like they're doing now. Pathological memes are always seeking ways to express themselves.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 07:32:00 UTC | #321214

beelzebub's Avatar Comment 26 by beelzebub

Hi Mbee,
"Why is there nothing on Darwin Day from Nat Geo USA! They have missed the boat!"

Is this for real? No coverage of Darwin's 200th anniversary in the US? Has the US media really abandoned science? Are they THAT afraid of offending the creationists sensibilities? (I can't access the NatGeo US site, as it redirects me to the UK)

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 07:41:00 UTC | #321215

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 27 by robotaholic

My mom was sick and we were talking about resistive strains of bacteria... and why she took so long to get better even after antibiotics... I wanted to ask her how she could not believe in evolution when its right there so plain to see- but I think she does see it, she just refuses to acknowledge it- she is just too invested in her death cult with all her friends and relatives who share their wilfull blindness...
I really like Dawkin's carefull intellectual honesty not saying he knows there is no god, but instead that there just isn't a shred of evidence

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 07:44:00 UTC | #321216

zaardvark's Avatar Comment 28 by zaardvark

#10 Jivlain:

Woah, RD, get some sleep mate. Your eyes look like mine :)


Lol. I wonder if the lighting has something to do with this -- it seems spooky and uneven.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 07:54:00 UTC | #321220

chuckg's Avatar Comment 29 by chuckg

I think that human evolution has been actually accelerating in the past few thousand years. The selection pressures are different, but there are tremendous social selection pressures occurring now. Prisons take a large segment of our population out of the reproducing gene pool. People tend to pair up with others that are "in their league" in terms of looks, or intellectuality, and unprecedented mixing of genes is occurring with interracial marriages in the last half century. In some situations, there is extreme multi-generational inbreeding(rural Arkansas?) and in others, extreme outbreeding such as in highly cosmopolitan cities. Take Obama; He a magnificent specimen of humanity, both physically and intellectually, clearily in the top few percentiles of almost any measure. Sexual selection, one of the major topics of a favorite book of mine, Matt Ridley's "The Red Queen", is probably one of the strongest forms of selection, whether natural or not.

I've noticed, and I have no data or statistics to back this up, but that people tend to be either sharp and witty and not so good looking, or great looking and either sharp or dull. In other words, there are not many dull, ugly people. Those are the ones that have ended bachelors or spinsters, and drop out of the gene pool. Maybe bright beautiful people do the best, but not so bright beautiful people also fair well, and smart witty not beautiful people also do moderately well. This is all very subjective, because beauty standards are not universal, but it is a subjective business, human reproduction.

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 08:26:00 UTC | #321229

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 30 by huzonfurst

Richard is such a pleasure to listen to! Eloquence, reason and persuasiveness every time and for all types of audiences. What a treasure this man is for humanity!

Sun, 08 Feb 2009 08:51:00 UTC | #321236