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Dawkins needs dumbed down questions for his book tour — can UD readers provide some?

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Coyne is soliciting questions for Dawkins to answer on his book tour, but Coyne will not allow certain kinds of questions to be passed on:

Please, though, avoid questions that involve the following:
• Extremely technical questions about genetics or evolution.


We all remember what happened the last time someone asked Dawkins a technical question:

Ok, so can anyone formulate dumbed down questions for Dawkins? Ok, I’ll give it a shot, and readers are invited to try.

Question: “Do you think society ought to allow married men to sleep around? If so, can you please convince my wife that it’s all right for me to have some fun?” (See: Richard Dawkins defends the idea of having a mistress and lying about it).

Question: “Do you think its wrong to award a PhD in science or MD in medicine if one is a creationist? Should a science diplomas be denied to creationists lest more scientists like Behe come out of the school system?” (recall Richard Smalley is creationist Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Ben Carson is famous surgeon, John Sanford a pioneer in genetic engineering).

“You said several years ago

By all means let creation science be taught in the schools.

Richard Dawkins

Have you changed your mind?”

Question: “Are men naturally better at math than women? Some brain studies suggest this. Thanks”

Question: “How come you didn’t endorse PZ Myers book that Happy Atheist. Was it a lousy book?”

Question: “You’ve condemned the damage done by creationism to science, but what about the damage done by activists terrorizing medical research centers that use animals in their research. I’ve not heard you condemning the animal rights terrorists like ALF. Why is that?”

Here are some cartoons from coxandforkum and telicthoughts on the matter:


And one cartoon of Dawkins. Notice the Animal Liberation Front Terrorist in Dawkins own back yard of Oxford attacking scientists with a hatchet and bombing buildings, but not one word from Dawkins condemning it! See: Dawkins Still MIA.

Some speculate this means he regards animals more highly than humans, like Eric Pianka and John Reid

dawkins alf

And this cartoon of the relative non-reaction to animal rights terrorism by Darwinists. Could it be that deep down, Darwinists hate humanity?


Actually John Reid suggests that Darwinists hate humanity

The precepts of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam represent the quintessential perversion of the human mind. They must be abandoned and the notion of the sanctity of human life must be subjugated to the greater sanctity of all life on Earth.

and that we need to reduce population size immediately by several billion

When we consider ways to reduce the human population there is a natural dichotomy between ways that kill a very large number of people and ways that control the growth of the population, that is, ways that prevent people from breeding.

War, Pestilence, and Famine, three of the horsemen of the apocalypse, can bring about a reduction in the human population. But these kill on a scale of tens of millions, which is not enough to solve the problem of over-population. And they are most brutal in the ways they kill. Consequently, let us consider the alternative.

The most humane way to achieve a reduction in the human population would be for people to voluntarily stop breeding,

Question: “Dr. Dawkins, John Reid says we need to reduce the human population by several billion. Are you in favor of this goal and would you recommend some sort of Eugenics program? We can’t keep breeding like rabbits and expect to arrest global warming after all. Thank you.”

But the best dumbed-down question I can think of was based on Dawkins appearance in an episode of South Park.

Question: “if you’re so smart, how come you didn’t figure out Mrs. Garrison was a guy?”

But one good question related to the Elevatorgate Scandal came from Ray “banana man” Comfort: Dawkins, Elevatorgate, Ray Comfort.

Readers are invited to try their hand at dumbed down questions.


1. HT Mike Gene

2. To Dawkins credit, I was very very impressed with his answer to a Christian girl’s question: “What if you’re wrong?”. His response was clever, not that I agree, but it was clever, dare I say brilliant. It was his time to shine:

3. photo credits

4. by the way, any bets Dawkins might be heckled by Feminist Atheists (FAs).

If you were me, wouldn't you believe in God? Phinehas
From a YEC. Can Mr Dawkins itemize all, or some, or the top three biological scientific evidences to allow evolutionism to claim to be a biological scientific theory? Robert Byers
Why was he afraid (and called out by his fellow atheist as such) to debate William Lane Craig if he feels he has the evidence on his side? Hope it's not too technical for him. ;-) Blue_Savannah
I, too, am puzzled as to why you think his response clever. 1) As pointed out by jf, it was non-responsive - he never answers the question. This can be forgiven if he can show that the question is invalid in some way (which I think he tries to do), but he fails at this because... 2) It is factually incorrect. Assuming the questioner was Christian, one of the things that sets Christianity apart is it is not culturally-limited, and highly evangelistic. Christians are very often not Christians because that's how they were raised, but because they were evangelized - c.f. China and Africa for modern-day examples, most of Western civilization for historical examples. 3) It compares apples and oranges - each of the religions Dawkins lists are theologically different enough that the answers to "what if you're wrong" are radically different. 4) It not only doesn't minimize the importance and relevance of the original question, it emphasizes it. If the questioner is Christian, her answer to his turnabout would be along the lines of "no big deal - if I truly lived by Christian principles, I lived a happy life and made others' lives better too". His reply, if he had had the courage to answer, would be much different - "I'm in big trouble". He only sounds good because she is not allowed to answer his reply. The best thing you can say about Dawkins' response, really, is that it markets well - it plays well politically to the true-believer atheist crowd who are looking for affirmation, not logic or reason. Shorter Dawkins: "Oh yeah? Well...you're only a Christian because...your momma!" drc466
If we stop paying all this attention to him... will the atheist crowd move on to the next Neo-Darwinian apologist? Breckmin
The Dawkins "Expelled" interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8 Johnnyfarmer
"2. To Dawkins credit, I was very very impressed with his answer to a Christian girl’s question: “What if you’re wrong?”. His response was clever, not that I agree, but it was clever, dare I say brilliant. It was his time to shine:" But he didn't answer her question.... instead he just spun it around. BTW remember his classic interview in the "Expelled" movie Johnnyfarmer
Dear Professor Dawkins, evidence has shown that religious people tend to be happier than nonreligious people. Given that, do you still feel that teaching children about God is worse than sexual abuse? Professor Dawkins, the historical evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of divisions between different groups of people aren't based on religious faith. If so, then why do you subscribe to the ontological argument for religious war as shown by your book, The God Delusion? What evidence would convince you that God exists (Romans 1:20-22)? While you've complained about the lack of evidence for God, what potentially falsifiable experiment would disprove God's existence? Barb
OT: ENV has a couple of recent articles that look very interesting: in one, The incorrigible Berlinski is back for another helping of Matzke (and he brought a friend this time) Hopeless Matzke -David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton August 18, 2013 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/hopeless_matzke075631.html and Dr. Axe invites a Darwinist to 'show me' that evolution can create a single gene: Show Me: A Challenge for Martin Poenie Douglas Axe August 16, 2013 Excerpt: Poenie want to be free to appeal to evolutionary processes for explaining past events without shouldering any responsibility for demonstrating that these processes actually work in the present. That clearly isn't valid. Unless we want to rewrite the rules of science, we have to assume that what doesn't work didn't work. It isn't valid to think that evolution did create new enzymes if it hasn't been demonstrated that it can create new enzymes. And if Poenie really thinks this has been done, then I'd like to present him with an opportunity to prove it. He says, "Recombination can do all the things that Axe thinks are impossible." Can it really? Please show me, Martin! I'll send you a strain of E. coli that lacks the bioF gene, and you show me how recombination, or any other natural process operating in that strain, can create a new gene that does the job of bioF within a few billion years. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/a_challenge_for075611.html#sthash.SNfWALqG.dpuf bornagain77

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