Re: Dawkins' video

Ed Brayton (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 13:06:47 -0400

David J. Tyler wrote:
> Ed Brayton wrote:
> > I would like to suggest that until the original video is seen, we have
> > no idea whether Gillian Brown is telling the truth.
> I believe her.

I'm curious to know why. I am reserving judgement at this point. I don't
know Gillian Brown, nor do I know Richard Dawkins. I don't have any
reason to believe one person over the other, except that the video does
give at least the appearance of dishonesty. But I don't want to jump to
conclusions based on that. If what she has told me and Glenn is true, I
think it is a reasonable explanation and I will accept that there was no
real dishonesty involved. Like Glenn, though, I am bothered a bit by the
fact that if what she says is true, she could have used the refusal to
answer the question for greater impact than she used the awkward pause.
That does seem to suggest, preliminarily, that it isn't the whole story.
I can imagine a scenario by which Dawkins answered the question with a
question, asking, for example, what is meant by "information" in the
question, and said that without such a definition, it is not a
reasonable question, or one that can be answered as stated. But that, of
course, is just an imagined scenario. We shall see what the original
tapes show soon enough. In the meantime, though, I am curious as to why
you say you believe her at this point. There doesn't seem to be any
rational reason to take such a position (I believe her, as opposed to, I
don't have enough information to make that judgement at this time). Is
it simply because you want her to be telling the truth? By the way, I do
not mean that question to sound as rude as it perhaps does. Genuine
curiosity can sometimes be mistaken for hostility in the written world
of e-mail.

Ed Brayton