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Interview with Richard Dawkins - Comments

Superman's Avatar Comment 1 by Superman

It's always a pleasure to listen to Mr. Dawkins..

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:21:00 UTC | #430482

stptrck75's Avatar Comment 2 by stptrck75

Very nice interview. Riz Khan is a really great interviewer.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:24:00 UTC | #430483

Bormotun's Avatar Comment 3 by Bormotun

A very friendly and positively charged talk, probably useful for introducing Professor Dawkins to the Muslim audience as a pleasant and nice person, not a threatening monster trying to destroy their sacred values. This is, I guess, more important than coming out right away with lots of radical ideas about religion when talking to a religious audience. Let them see that atheists are nice people, and perhaps they may then check out the ideas of the atheists by themselves.

Still, I wonder whether this was a missed opportunity to mention certain specific problems with the teaching and understanding of evolution in the Islamic world, like the activities of Harun Yahya, or the ban on the RDF website in Turkey, and so on.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:29:00 UTC | #430484

mira's Avatar Comment 4 by mira

Now that was an interview not some odd show where people are asked to participate mainly to be shouted at and over.
The personal bits of the interview were interesting but I also strongly believe private life to be private. It can make it easier for people to relate but it can also be distracting. However it came across quite well balanced and well grounded here.
Nice interview and thanks for the links.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:49:00 UTC | #430489

AtheistJon's Avatar Comment 5 by AtheistJon

This is, I guess, more important than coming out right away with lots of radical ideas about religion when talking to a religious audience.

Exactly right. I don't know why Richard doesn't also do this kind of "nice guy" interview in the US, too. Whenever he's interviewed in the US, it either comes off as somewhat angry (especially on FoxNews) or a bit too sarcastic (i.e. on all of those anti-George Bush comedy talk shows).

This was the kind of interview that ought to earn Richard a positive response from the viewership. Anyway, very good job here!

I was particular interested in the part about Richard never having lost a friendship over religion. That is a pretty nice thing to be able to say. Alas, I'm afraid he's right that in the US, it very often gets in the way of a friendship... in the same way that politics gets in the way of friendships here in Europe. Being a conservative in Europe is probably somewhat similar to being an atheist in the US... you end up getting alienated immediately from the more radical elements of society.

I've lived in Finland for 15 years, and quite often run into people who hate me for being anti-Bill Clinton and pro-George Bush. My atheism has never been something that has lost me friends here in Finland... other than some mild annoyance of it on the part of my mother-in-law.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:51:00 UTC | #430490

richard gilbert's Avatar Comment 6 by richard gilbert

Keep it lite. no hard questions. makes me think that after the show was filmed that there may have an even better talk.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:56:00 UTC | #430493

stptrck75's Avatar Comment 7 by stptrck75

#7 - "P.S. - I call him "Mr" Dawkins because for technical reasons I don't recognize his doctorate"


Ohhh brother. OK. I'll bite. Why exactly is that?

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:22:00 UTC | #430499

MattHunX's Avatar Comment 8 by MattHunX

Did I hear right?

His father is still alive?

Woah! That's nice. Would be cool by the time I reach 50, Richard would still be around.

Good genes. Like my papa! :)

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:34:00 UTC | #430503

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 9 by Border Collie

OK, Winfred, you threw gasoline on the fire, let's hear it! Or are you one of those little anal control freaks who likes to give the rest of the world only glimpses of his fantasy world? Drums fingertips on desk ...

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:37:00 UTC | #430504

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 10 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Great interview!

Comments:

I like the picture they showed in the beginning of Richard using a tree vine as a swing. I wonder when that was taken?

Darwin's Rottweiler. Rottweilers never stop drooling. Are they suggesting that is what Richard does? ;)

Yes, Richard's enthusiasm is highly infectious. Because of him I'm now going to talks at the New York Academy of Sciences.

I'm an atheist Jew myself.

I think creating a tolerance of beliefs that the Earth is 6000 years old makes it safe for a disrespect for science and thus leads to things like, say, rejection of global warming. Or how about this one? The Ryan White case in the '80s. All that AIDS panic and people not listening to what scientists said about how HIV can be transmitted! I really do wonder if the kind of tolerance for BS science made it safe for the paranoia surrounding Ryan White!

Richard's mother sounds interesting. :)

Whenever I hear stories about Richard as a child questioning religion I think of my brother. He was the same way, from an early age just like Richard.

I find the image of Richard writing by candlelight interesting and inspiring, so I drew it. It's in the tribute art thread.

"The Meme Machine" is one of the books I plan to read after I'm done with "The Ancestor's Tale" (the last of Richard's books I have to read). The whole idea of the meme is really interesting to me!

Ah, breaking friendships over religion. I posted something in a thread about how a childhood friend whom I found on Facebook defriended me because she was disturbed by my comments about religion and how I listed the Pope as one of five celebrities (it was a Facebook game) that I wanted to slap. Richard saw the post and rightly commented on how religion poisons everything.

I cannot imagine how people with diametrically opposed religious views could be married. I assume Richard had been married to a Christian at some point, from what he said about his daughter being sent to religious school. But sometimes it does work. An old friend who is a moderately religious Christian and who supports school prayer married an anti-religion atheist. They've been together since 2001, so ::shrug::.

Ah, the short films on the website. Those are fun and informative. I like the one comparing the human DNA to chimpanzee DNA :D

I agree that the Internet is definitely changing the face of communication and it's helping people who think they are alone in certain views realize they are not alone.

Julie

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:44:00 UTC | #430505

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 11 by mordacious1

5. Comment #449318 by AtheistJon

I don't know why Richard doesn't also do this kind of "nice guy" interview in the US, too. Whenever he's interviewed in the US, it either comes off as somewhat angry (especially on FoxNews)


Riz Khan is asking some nice questions though, isn't he? Fox News tends to ask goading questions which makes it difficult to have a nice response. It is their "schtick" or "modus operandi", if you will. Especially with someone by whom they feel threatened, very much like a religion.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:47:00 UTC | #430507

gsson's Avatar Comment 12 by gsson

So, Winfred, what you're basically calling is that Oxford University; a university that as been held to the highest standards and was a university 300 years before Columbus went to America, ranked in fifth place in the global 2009 university ranking ( http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2009/results ), a 'diploma mill'?

I don't think there's much more to say...

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:50:00 UTC | #430508

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 13 by InYourFaceNewYorker

AtheistJon, I don't know what the heck you're talking about. He's always handled himself nicely in interviews, and did quite well during Bill O'Reilly's psychotic episode from this past October.

Julie

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:50:00 UTC | #430509

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 14 by SaintStephen

Ahhh... I see the picture now.

Richard was born "on the road" while his father, accompanied illegally by his mother no less, was an active contributor to British military imperialism in Africa.

I'm afraid that in light of this new evidence, I must conclude that Richard's militant atheism campaign is merely a quite convincing manifestation of Lamarckian heredity.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:56:00 UTC | #430513

epeeist's Avatar Comment 15 by epeeist

Comment #449327 by WinfredEmmanuel:

P.S. - I call him "Mr" Dawkins because for technical reasons I don't recognize his doctorate.
When I look at your registration it claims that you do not exist, why would that be? You aren't a troll by any chance are you? Especially as you seem to have only made four comments and all of those were on this thread.
No doubt, it is a great centre of scholarship for philosophy and the classics. Science, however, seems to be an almost entirely American enterprise.
You know it only took me about 30 seconds to find the list of Nobel Prizes that have been won by academics from Oxford - http://www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_university/oxford_people/oxonian_award_winners/index.html

Interesting that over the last decade or so it includes prizes in chemistry, medicine and physics.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:01:00 UTC | #430515

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 16 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Everyone, just click one of the "report" buttons. I have.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:06:00 UTC | #430518

epeeist's Avatar Comment 18 by epeeist

Comment #449349 by WinfredEmmanuel:

Are you a troll?
Why no, I have been here for some while as you can tell from my profile which is quite public.

Since you don't think much of Oxford then would it be impolite of me to ask what your qualifications are and where you studied for them?

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:12:00 UTC | #430521

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 17 by Richard Dawkins

No doubt, it is a great centre of scholarship for philosophy and the classics. Science, however, seems to be an almost entirely American enterprise


http://www.socialcapitalgateway.org/eng-deprankings.htm
The world's top 10 natural science universities
1 Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 University of California, Berkeley
3 University of Cambridge
4 Harvard University
5 University of Oxford
6 Princeton University
7 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
8 Stanford University
9 University of Toronto
10 University of Tokyo

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:12:00 UTC | #430519

AtheistJon's Avatar Comment 20 by AtheistJon

Riz Khan is asking some nice questions though, isn't he? Fox News tends to ask goading questions which makes it difficult to have a nice response. It is their "schtick" or "modus operandi", if you will. Especially with someone by whom they feel threatened, very much like a religion.

Well, I agree with this. The unfortunate thing about the media in the US is that it is so polarized. Your interviewers are either obviously favoring the left or obviously favoring the right. Very little objectivity and not enough middle of the roader types. I like Riz Khan.

AtheistJon, I don't know what the heck you're talking about. He's always handled himself nicely in interviews, and did quite well during Bill O'Reilly's psychotic episode from this past October.

You misunderstood me, Julie, I don't fault Richard for O'Reilly's psychotic interview. It was definitely not Richard's fault, but I think Richard could pick the shows he goes on in the US a little differently next time around. Actually, I can't even give a good suggestion, who that would be. Maybe Larry King?? ;-)

7 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Nice to see that somebody spelled Caltech right. Usually they make the mistake of spelling it "Cal Tech" which is wrong...

Just a pet peeve from a Caltech alum.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:13:00 UTC | #430523

fossil-fish's Avatar Comment 19 by fossil-fish

That was a nice conversation between two nice people. A pleasant and informative interview. Informative as much about Professor Dawkins the person as his opinions.

InYourFaceNewYorker - done.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:13:00 UTC | #430522

Squigit's Avatar Comment 21 by Squigit

Comment 21:
You are purposely trolling. No one would have noticed or cared that you said "Mr." instead of "Dr." or "Professor" had you not said you didn't recognize his qualifications. You are a troll and have been reported as such.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:16:00 UTC | #430524

abdal's Avatar Comment 22 by abdal

This is a great interview and I love to listen and see Prof Richard Dawkins. An of course I always love to read his books.

He is a reasonable person with a great respect for reason. I am a Muslim, and I will always believe in Allah. I however think of Allah as nothing like we see and sense. I believe God is beyond existence and beyond reasonable doubt, and of course beyond reasonable undoubt.

The reason I believe atheism is right, is that God is unmeasurable, and we cannot observe God. So, atheists are right in a sense.

I believe an atheist is a 50% Muslim, you have to be an atheist first in your way to becoming a Muslim. Hence the famous "There is no God, but Allah". You have to believe that "There is no God" before you get into "but Allah".

I'm just trying to explain, why Muslims should love Richard Dawkins, and should no fear his ideas.

Regards

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:28:00 UTC | #430527

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 24 by SaintStephen

Well, at least I'm in VERY, VERY good company here in Troll Land.

*Big smile*

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:29:00 UTC | #430529

decius's Avatar Comment 23 by decius

Please, don't feed the troll/sock puppet. Just mark him as such.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:29:00 UTC | #430528

AtheistJon's Avatar Comment 25 by AtheistJon

I believe an atheist is a 50% Muslim, you have to be an atheist first in your way to becoming a Muslim.

You have got to be joking. As an atheist, I can say that I am -100% muslim. I like to study the Arab culture and language... I especially like the writing style and the sounds of Arabic, but Islam and Atheism have nothing in common. I would say that they are philosophically orthogonal positions.

Start with a simple example... Atheists don't want to kill you if you stop being an Atheist.

Another simple example... No atheist would want to be named "abdallah"-slave of allah. Being a slave of another human would be bad enough.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:34:00 UTC | #430530

ofir's Avatar Comment 26 by ofir

Winfred - you are very amusing. Just google it and you'll get a long list. Ever heard of Newton?

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:36:00 UTC | #430531

MattHunX's Avatar Comment 27 by MattHunX

WinfredEmmanuel

"second rate scientist"

Seriously!?

Get the Hell of this site! NOW!!! Troll.

Either you are a troll, or you've got the biggest ego.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:49:00 UTC | #430532

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 28 by Border Collie

Sorry, guys, I should have just pushed THE button instead of HIS button.

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:51:00 UTC | #430533

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 29 by RichardofYork

Newton, Farraday, Darwin, Kelvin ,Cockeral , Whittle Hawking Reese Preistly Wallace and so on

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:57:00 UTC | #430534

Bullet-Magnet's Avatar Comment 30 by Bullet-Magnet

Winfred, you clearly are a troll, to claim not to have heard of Isaac Newton. I suppose it is too optimistic to suppose you have heard of Thomas Huxley, Robert Boyle, Charles Darwin, James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin or William Herschel?

Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:58:00 UTC | #430535