Gil, reflecting on Richard Dawkins’s spiteful outburst that Lynn Margulis is a one-hit wonder, challenges,
Professor Dawkins, why not take your own advice?
THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE?
So why be grumpy? Or, is that how you enjoy your life?
Actually, Dawkin’s spite over Margulis’s sympathetic New York Times obituary is entirely in keeping with his advertised view of life. And anyone who thinks him a fit guide for children – as he thinks himself to be, and many agree with him – should consider soberly what this recent display entails:
Obituaries are not an objective assessment of the recently departed’s life and work. No civilized adult could wish that they were. They leave mourners with something positive to remember. Critical evaluation comes later, and Margulis will doubtless come in for more than her fair share. Scores of tenured mediocrities among the Darwinists – who hadn’t dared confront the formidable lady in life – will turn out to trash her safely in death.
Dawkins blamed Margulis’ obit for his “grumpy” response because materialist atheism makes no allowance for free will. He himself has drawn on the figure of Basil in the Britcom Fawlty Towers for yelling at his bust down car. He believes that it’s not rational to blame people for their actions any more than it was rational for Basil to blame the car.
And, true to his beliefs, Dawkins does not blame himself. He didn’t do it, the review did it.
As new atheism catches on, we will – I fear – find plenty more where that came from.