Irrelevant Dawkins

INCREASINGLY, Richard Dawkins’ public output resembles that of a man desperately grasping for attention and relevance in a maturing community.

In the past few decades, Dawkins has succeeding in crafting an online character that ironically parodies the more militant tendencies in capital-A Atheism, serving as a useful reminder for all of us to be more nuanced and tolerant.

Or at least that’s the kind interpretation. The alternative is that one of Britain’s leading intellectuals really has degenerated to the point where he believes that the following is an intelligent argument:

All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people have found this offensive. It contains no meaningful criticism of religion, nor can it reasonably imply any – there are many reasons why the residents of North Africa or the Middle East win less Nobel prizes than Cambridge scholars, just as there are many reasons why more men than women win Nobel prizes. And ‘designated religion’ is a long way down that list. Besides, on what planet are Nobel Prizes the best metric for achievement or progress?

No, this is simply a statement about Muslims – all Muslims – and a spectacularly bigoted one at that.

http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2013/08/atheism-maturing-and-it-will-leave-richard-dawkins-behind

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11 thoughts on “Irrelevant Dawkins

  1. I agree that Dawkins seems less relevant lately. As you mentioned, his comment about Muslim Nobel Prize winners is not really against religion, just Islam. So why Dawkins would say it is a mystery, because to him, all religions are equally fictitious.

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    • Nearly right, justindevere.
      Not only isn’t the comment a “meaningful criticism of religion,”, it’s not quite a comment on islam either.

      It’s clearly a comment on the general intelligence of the SORT OF PEOPLE who’d choose to believe in islamic credo.

      And the implication isn’t unreasonable.
      If someone lacks the brains to tie their own shoelaces they’d have to be pretty stupid, as a generalisation, to set themselves up as THE authority on the wearing of shoes.

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  2. narky narky! You really should desist from tatting strawmen.

    The number of people who find something ‘offensive’ has absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of a statement. Whether it has any relevance to an “intellgent argument” depends entirely on the context.
    And despite the irrelevance of your grandiloquent waffling I note you do NOT challenge the accuracy of the statement.
    Why not?

    PS and for a christian to play the ‘reason’ card (“nor can it reasonably imply”) is laughable!

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  3. Why does the defensive:- “Besides, on what planet are Nobel Prizes the best metric for achievement or progress?”
    …….prompt me to wonder how many actual card-carrying christians (as distinct from nominal/default ones) have won a Nobel Prize?

    Is my memory at fault when it recalls the number of times this column has crowingly declared that this, that or the other ‘christian’ had taken a Nobel Prize…….in the context that doing so proved not all christians were dills for ‘believing’?

    As I recall Francis Crick was one such cited because he’d changed his mind about Darwinian evolution.

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    • Dabbles and all,

      It is a pity that people are so hooked into what friend Dawkins says in public, and apparently have not read any of his books other than God Delusion. Just got and read The Greatest Show on Earth. That is a masterly work on Evolution.

      Rian.

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  4. Actually, as Intelligent Design proponents, we love Dawkins. The more he spews his vitriolic vomit about religion, the more he will be rejected by people who are willing to think for themselves rather than just swallow any codswallop.

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  5. seen some of Dawkins recent lectures and they have been insane, and not in a good way. Being a bigoted Atheist is just as bad as being a Bigoted Christian/Muslim/Buddhist etc.

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