More Humor From Richard Dawkins
What is an article about intelligent design and macroevolutionary theory without some juicy quotes from Richard Dawkins? This guy never fails to make me laugh. He always strikes me as a ridiculous caricature of an atheist, but I think he really believes this stuff. Of course, it is the logical consequence of what he believes, and I respect the fact that he has the courage to say it:
"Anyone who chooses not to believe in evolution is ignorant, stupid or insane," said Dawkins, professor of public understanding of science at Oxford University.
Among religious people, Dawkins is known primarily not for his science but for his militant views on evolution's implications, especially as they pertain to religion in general and Christianity in particular. What beneficent creator, Darwin himself asked after his voyage of discovery to the Galapagos Islands in South America, would permit the sort of suffering so widespread in nature? "The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical," agreed the American philosopher David Hull, writing in the scientific journal Nature. "He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray."
. . .
"I honestly think it comes from being clear," he said. "Some people can't bear clarity . . . to say someone is ignorant is not insulting. I'm ignorant of baseball, and I wouldn't be insulted if someone said, 'You don't know what you are talking about.'
. . .
And evolutionary science has a great deal to say about ethics and morality, Dawkins said. Being "pro-life in debates on abortion or stem cell research always means pro-human life, for no sensibly articulated reason," he once wrote. The fact that humans think of themselves as altogether distinct from other animals -- and the biblical notion that humans have dominion over other animals -- is a sort of racism, Dawkins said. Evolution shows that fox hunters and bullfighters are tormenting their own distant cousins, which is why the biologist sends money to anti-bullfighting groups in Spain, and why he notes with pride that fox hunting was banned on the family farm. "The melancholy fact," Dawkins wrote in an essay called "Gaps in the Mind," "is that, at present, society's moral attitudes rest almost entirely on the . . . speciesist imperative."
Unlike Dawkins, I admit to being a "speciesist." On the other hand, (unlike Dawkins, arguably) I do my best to avoid anti-religious bigotry toward others in my own species.