Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dawkins on Hitchens on the Big Guy

Those, like me, who find great value in either Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens -- or both -- will appreciate Dawkins' review of Hitchens' book (in many ways a companion to his own) God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

And if that's enough to get you twitching, then you'll enjoy Hitchens' account of taking his book on tour through the bible states of the US -- a sort of literary equivalent of the frightening tour through Alabama that Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear boys did with their cars daubed with slogans such as 'Man Love Rules, OK' and 'Country Music is Rubbish.' Dawkins describes Hitchens' tour, which went off with far less threat to life and limb than did that of Clarkson and the lads:
With characteristic effrontery, [Hitchens] took his tour through the Bible Belt states – the reptilian brain of southern and middle America, rather than the easier pickings of the country’s cerebral cortex to the north and down the coasts. The plaudits he received were all the more gratifying. Something is stirring in that great country. America is far from the know-nothing theocracy that two terms of Bush, and various misleading polls, had led us to fear. Does the buckle of the Bible Belt conceal some real guts? Are the ranks of the thoughtful coming out of the closet and standing up to be counted? Yes, and Hitchens’s atheist colleagues on the American bestseller list have equally encouraging tales to tell.
It's worth reading both pieces:

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent. Religion DOES poison everything. Like some members of the Nats, I believe the Religious Right must NEVER be allowed anywhere near the levers of power in this country. Shades of Peikoff anyone?

Bradford, Kiro et al are a lot less dangerous.

9/12/2007 02:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

"Bradford, Kiro et al are a lot less dangerous."

Dream on, R. They're every bit as evangelical.

9/12/2007 05:58:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Imagine if the GOP could collectively (though it would only just if it did) decide that evangelism was no longer a constituency worth courting. Of course it would lose next time, and there may be one or two third party nutters splitting the vote, but the Democrats would also face considering courting the Christian right. That would split the donkey as well.

9/12/2007 08:38:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

The difference between religious evangelists and the likes of Bradford and Kiro are that THEY also worship irrationalism, anti-science, and what you might call the "this worldly" religions. Bradford after all is an unavowed Marxist.

9/12/2007 08:41:00 pm  
Anonymous The Perfect Man said...

Lightweight. Let them debate with Jonathon Safarti or Daniel whats his name the ex-Muslim Iranian who studied many philosophies and religions and then became a Christian.

Or work out the chance of even one protein assembling itself by chance. There is less chance of that one incident happening than scientists have calculated their are numbers of particles contained in the whole universe.

So-called scientific chance theory has no chance.

9/12/2007 10:27:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

The Perfect Man:

Evolution is a mathematically based system of statistical inevitability that all matter is subject to. It is not a biological principle, it is a physical law that applies to all scientific fields where the prerequisite variables are found. People who think the "chance" of life evolving is too high simply don't understand the principle's underlying mathematics. "Where" and "When" are the variables, the "If" is canceled out due to an infinite sample size.

9/13/2007 12:13:00 am  
Anonymous angloamerican said...

Perfect men focus too much on chance and not at all on replication and selection. Think about the three together and it's a whole lot more understandable.

9/13/2007 05:28:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Mr Perfect Man

Well, well, well. How very imperfect your thinking is!

It's not a matter of chance as you religious fruit-loops claim, it's a matter of what is.

There is not one shred of real and direct physical evidence that supports your myths about a spirit-monster-devil-ghost thing that supposedly used special magic to wish reality into being. Silly magic stories about things like how the spirit-monster made people out of clay never hapenned. It's all mythology of primitives.

Time to grow up and stop being so childish. Put aside these evil and destructive beliefs. Wake up and see reality as it is. It'd be a refershing change for you.

LGM

9/13/2007 06:31:00 am  
Blogger Matt B said...

So-called scientific chance theory has no chance.

Which sums it all up really. Who the hell calls anything the "scientific chance theory" except somebody who has no idea what they are talking about.

Your silly idea about protein has been endlessly rebutted by people who have actually studied the things. Yes, the chance of the right molecules spontaneously joining together is zero, but that's not how proteins are made.

9/13/2007 08:57:00 am  
Anonymous The Perfect Man said...

Oh well, being a fallen human I make mistakes. So out of my league I guess, perhaps I don't know all what I'm talking about. Just like our friend Hitchins.

Refer to:

www.takimag.com/site/article/hitchens_hubris/

for another critics rave review.

PS. My handle is due to me being 'The Perfect Man' according to the definition of a certain folk/blues singer. Please don't be offended.

9/13/2007 08:04:00 pm  
Blogger Matt B said...

Perfect Man, the fundamental error in falling for one-liner demolitions of evolution is that you are implicitly assuming all the scientists, who are usually smart people and many of them christians, have somehow missed something very obvious. If it were no known mechanism by which proteins cannot form out of the soup of the early earth, then this would be a major problem.

Fundamentalist christians have a host of one line demolitions of evolution, and none of them can possibly be true unless you think either a) all of the scientists in the world whose job it is to know this stuff have missed it, or b) all of science (not just evolution) is a conspiracy against christians.

Without a single exception, the one line christian fundamentality demolitions of evolution are false. Every single objection, to my knowledge, has been answered repeatedly by people who study this stuff. Shame on you for promulgating such falsehoods.

What's funny is you have a god who created the entire universe in its intricate detail, who is apparently pleased when his followers willfully misrepresent his work and repeat outright lies however many times they are pointed out.

9/14/2007 12:02:00 am  

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