Re: Dawkins' video

Ed Brayton (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 12:40:58 -0400

David J. Tyler wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Jun 1998, Glenn R. Morton wrote:
> > I am going to add one more item to my comments on the video. The
> > anti-evolutionists have been quiet about this. and I would like to ask them
> > if the facts are as presented, is this a proper way for Christians to behave?
> Constraints on time have prevented me getting involved in this
> exchange - much though I desire to do so. To ensure that Glenn gets
> at least one response, I'm making the effort now.
> "Is this a proper way for Christians to behave?" My answer is "yes".
> The theme of this video is that information is a fundamental problem
> for darwinists. For too long, the real questions have not been asked
> or discussed in Darwinian circles. Richard Dawkins has a certain
> "standardised" approach to addressing the issues - and it is really
> very difficult to tie him down to address a specific issue which
> allows us to test the theory he propounds. I have the impression
> that this is the problem with the recorded interviews: he was giving
> his standard pitch and not addressing the questions that were
> concerning the interviewer. The opportunity came - Dawkins was "off
> guard" - and it showed. From what we have been told, there is no
> misleading presentation of the issues, and I would encourage people
> to view the video and recognise that something important is being
> communicated here. Our commitment to truth should not get hung up on
> the fact that originally, the question was asked, not by the featured
> interviewer, but by another person. The much more fundamental issue
> is: why was the question such an embarrassment to Dawkins?

I would like to suggest that until the original video is seen, we have
no idea whether Gillian Brown is telling the truth. She is sending me an
audio dub taken from the tape immediately, and a copy of the original,
unedited video as soon as she can get it converted from beta to VHS (at
my expense, of course). Until this is actually seen, we have little
ground for believing that Dawkins was embarrassed by the question. We
simply have a "he said, she said" situation. If what Ms. Brown says is
true, then I would say that I don't have much of a problem with what was
done on the tape. It gives the appearance of impropriety, but I don't
really think it is too greivous. And, if what she says is true, then I
agree with you that the focus shifts to why Dawkins had such a problem
answering it. But let's all reserve judgement against both parties until
I have the tape in hand (which I will immediately send a copy of to
Glenn, since it is his review of the tape that started this controversy
in the first place).

Ed Brayton