Dawkins award (was Re: [asa] Atheist finds God thru Behe's books....)

From: Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
Date: Thu Oct 15 2009 - 21:19:03 EDT

Hi all,

Just a thought...

Having watched the Maher video and reflecting upon Schwarzwald's comments below, I am lead to wonder what it says about the state of the movement which Dawkins is attempting to promote.

What does it say that Maher is the best representative of a person fulfilling the award criteria? Does it imply that those with credible scientific credentials who are vocal atheists are, in fact, very few and far between?

I hardly know the US scene well enough to form an opinion here, but it certainly seems that the AAI are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel.



Schwarzwald wrote:
> The "secular science community" rebukes Maher? Funny, because I could
> have sworn the AAI was a major secular group that crows about the
> importance of science - and they just gave him a freaking award!
> Dawkins, who I hear is a very eloquent defender of science, shrugged his
> shoulders at it. Utter apathy, and besides, he thinks Maher is funny.
> Yes, there are criticisms by some. And many are silent. Indeed, PZ Myers
> urged people who were going to the AAI awards to not cause a scene and
> to keep everything respectful. (Enjoy the delicious irony - PZ Myers,
> urging people to be civil and respectful to someone accused of maligning
> science. Gee, what's the difference in this case that makes it special?)
> I'm sure there are some angry comments about Maher over at WhateverBlog,
> and I suppose in some special little way that's heartwarming. But the
> fact that Maher got this award, that Dawkins signed off on the award,
> that Myers was hesitant to make this into a big deal, etc, indicates
> that the "secular science community" isn't walking in unison on this
> issue. Indeed, one of the sciencebloggers argued that apparently Dawkins
> couldn't care less about who he supports, so long as the person in
> question is appropriately hostile to religion.
> So what do you think, Rich? Is the AAI - and Dawkins - harming science
> and science education here? Clearly, if you're going to condemn ID on
> the grounds that Maher is having a horrible effect on science and
> science education and they're indirectly responsible, then the AAI and
> Dawkins are doing vastly more harm, with greater awareness of as much.
> They gave him an award! An award dedicated, in part, to promoting and
> defending science! I think it's a clear case, but honestly I half expect
> you to whip around here and argue that, somehow, in some way, ID is to
> blame for the AAI's actions. Hey, I can even draw the line for you - by
> insisting that God is active in nature, ID directly encourages atheists
> to deny their claims, thus indirectly encouraging groups like the AAI to
> support people who may have zany views about medicine so long as they
> make fun of religion in a popular venue. The AAI's existence and
> granting of the Richard Dawkins award to global warming denialists and
> medical science skeptics is the fault of the Discovery Institute!
> Science, indeed.

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Received on Thu Oct 15 21:19:29 2009

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