Richard Dawkins explains why he won’t take part in debates with fundamentalists:
If your case depends on pulpit-style oratory, manipulating the emotions of your audience and playing with words, debates will probably work for you very well.
Actually, debates are precisely the sort of arena where all that stuff can fall apart. Dawkins is also the guy who said,
“My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right it means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favour of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.” — p. 287, Blind Watchmaker” (1986)
If those are the terms, UD News desk would not recommend that Dawkins get into a debate with his kitchen broom. The broom could end up wiping the floor with him. Here’s a wise old Scottish response to the sheer arrogance:
I also agree with Richard Dawkins that “oratory, manipulating the emotions of your audience and playing with words” are not the best means of educating people. Yet these are the very things he uses when he preaches to his own choir. For example at a recent rally in Washington he urged ‘mock them, ridicule them, in public”.
He calls fellow Oxford scientist, Professor John Lennox, ‘an Irish mathematician….who masquerades as a scientist’. Is this what he means by education?
Don’t the new atheist Darwinists even notice? Haven’t they ever wondered why so many people run in the other direction that they have actually lost ground in the recent North American polls?
Our concern here at Uncommon Descent is that we are increasingly forced to deal with outdated nonsense instead of serious challenges. And Dawkins is a big part of the problem.
Sure, he makes our lives easier, but only in the way an escalator saves you climbing stairs … Maybe you are better off, at times, with the exercise.
PS: The News desk thinks “it is a blessing to be called an Irish man,” so courteously chooses to interpret Dawkins’ comment about John Lennox’s origins as a compliment.
And remembers Bell’s Inequalities.
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