From the blog of a medic named Bruce Charlton, October 26, 2011:
A few years ago I met Richard Dawkins at a small, relaxed party.
I had a question I wanted to put to him.
I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence it had undergone a significant Christian revival.
Yes, that was when Billy Graham was big, and it was okay to be a Christian even if you were an astronaut, and the liberal denominations were practically in hiding from members who sang “Amazing Grace” and meant it, and were hard to deprogram …
The point I put to Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world.
How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?
Unfortunately I lack Boswell’s ability to recall conversion verbatim, and I would not like to misquote.
But Dawkins simply shook-off this point, with a shake of his head looking downwards, and the comment to the effect that the scientists and Christians were two entirely different groups of people.
(Even if broadly true, my point had been about US culture, not individuals.)
I had thought that this was a genuinely interesting and challenging paradox from Dawkins perspective and looked forward to some kind of analysis; but it was rapidly obvious that I was wasting my time and that no engagement with my point was going to happen.
The mind was decided, the manner was impatient, irritable.
Bruce, the Brit Tax TV hosts don’t talk to him that way; they’re in awe of his supposed great intellect.
William Lane Craig would though, which is why Dawkins can’t debate him.
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