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Topic # 61247 12-May-2010 18:51
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I didn't see him speak at the town hall when he was in Christchurch earlier this year, but I've recently finished his book "The God Delusion". This man is brilliant, a tad arrogant at times but bloody brilliant none the less!

There's something about him thats really attractive? I think It might be  his intelligence? Intelligence can be sexy? He's like 60, and i'm not reaaaally into the whole old man thing, but I think it is his intelligence that really sucks me in, I find him an extremely fascinating man. 

Has anyone else read his stuff? What are your opinions on him as "one of the most famous skeptics of the 21st century".

Luc x 

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  Reply # 329495 12-May-2010 19:02
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Yep. A very good read indeed. Also recommend you to read books written by Christopher Hitchens. He's more arrogant when bashing religion and certain scam artists like mother Teresa.




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  Reply # 329497 12-May-2010 19:06
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RedBull: I didn't see him speak at the town hall when he was in Christchurch earlier this year, but I've recently finished his book "The God Delusion". This man is brilliant, a tad arrogant at times but bloody brilliant none the less!

There's something about him thats really attractive? I think It might be  his intelligence? Intelligence can be sexy? He's like 60, and i'm not reaaaally into the whole old man thing, but I think it is his intelligence that really sucks me in, I find him an extremely fascinating man. 

Has anyone else read his stuff? What are your opinions on him as "one of the most famous skeptics of the 21st century".

Luc x 


I read the God Delusion a few years ago.

I've been an atheist for 30 years, so no real surpises.....but good to see people like Dawkins standing up for and defending reality amid the pervasive din of religious mumbo-jumbo.




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  Reply # 329501 12-May-2010 19:26
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I have been trying to read 'God is not great' by Christopher Hitchens for a while now...can't get into it...too heavy.

Are these the two guys who said they would try to arrest the Pope when he travels to Britain?




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  Reply # 329507 12-May-2010 20:17
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JimmyLizar: I have been trying to read 'God is not great' by Christopher Hitchens for a while now...can't get into it...too heavy. 

Are these the two guys who said they would try to arrest the Pope when he travels to Britain?


Not quite.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/04/you_cant_trust_a_murdoch_paper.php


Richard Dawkins: I did NOT say "I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI" or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.

What I DID say to Marc Horne when he telephoned me out of the blue, and I repeat it here, is that I am whole-heartedly behind the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope's proposed visit to Britain. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horme, other than to refer him to my 'Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope' article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341 


 





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  Reply # 329509 12-May-2010 20:32
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RedBull: I didn't see him speak at the town hall when he was in Christchurch earlier this year, but I've recently finished his book "The God Delusion". This man is brilliant, a tad arrogant at times but bloody brilliant none the less!

There's something about him thats really attractive? I think It might be  his intelligence? Intelligence can be sexy? He's like 60, and i'm not reaaaally into the whole old man thing, but I think it is his intelligence that really sucks me in, I find him an extremely fascinating man. 

Has anyone else read his stuff? What are your opinions on him as "one of the most famous skeptics of the 21st century".

Luc x 


I went to his "literary liason" in ChCh - very good indeed. I liked that there was a Q&A at the end.

I think he handles things with very little arrogance - he's rather polite compared to some popular "new athiests" as they call them these days. Hitchens, on the other hand, as Jimmy mentioned above, isn't so friendly in his delivery so isn't as likely to convert any devout believers in a hurry - however he's knocking plenty of fence-sitters onto the rational side of the fence.

God Delusion is a good book - preaching to the converted with me, but full of great info nonetheless. These days I'm more concerned with reading up on the many sciences. It's daunting, and I'm considering doing correspondence study as a result of my new-found love for science, something that was lacking as a teenager (guitars, games and girls occupied my mind most of the time, lol... sad that many teenagers lose that wonder though.) I've got men like Dawkins to thank for reigniting my interest in science.

Humans are just a tiny fraction of all the life that has ever existed here - and we're very probably going to be the only animal capable of understanding its environment, even its origins. Personally I find that really exciting and more profound than any religious idea. 

To quote the late Carl Sagan - "we are all made of star stuff... we are a way for the universe to know itself". Just that very notion fills me with an exhilaration that no spiritual idea ever did, or could.

In honour of Sagan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc ^_^ 

And a cool little ditty featuring Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cd36WJ79z4&feature=related




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  Reply # 329511 12-May-2010 20:48
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I've read his books and also seen him in Inside Natures Giants where he talks about evolution and they basically just cut up animals like Elephants, Giraffes, Hippo, whale, all which died of natural causes. Not for the weak of stomach though. I think he's a cool guy, although he does have an air of arrogance around him




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  Reply # 329531 12-May-2010 21:35
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One thing that strikes me is the almost rock-star treatment Dawkins receives. Sometimes when he "lays the smack down", so to speak, you get this massive applause - as if it's an "us vs them" sort of situation, when it's not. 

He looked really uncomfortable with the adulation he was bombarded with in ChCh. He had one hand in his pocked and a rather sheepish look about him.




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  Reply # 329536 12-May-2010 21:45
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It's an irony that the tendency for religious belief and worship is imprinted on our make-up by Evolution.

I can't see much changing soon but at least some are fighting the good fight.

Laughed at Close Up tonight. People thinking smoke and dust reflections on photos were evidence of supernatural forces. Was that for real? 

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  Reply # 329563 12-May-2010 22:33
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stuzzo: It's an irony that the tendency for religious belief and worship is imprinted on our make-up by Evolution. 


Not so much imprinted, more a misfire of other traits.

stuzzo: Laughed at Close Up tonight. People thinking smoke and dust reflections on photos were evidence of supernatural forces. Was that for real? 


Hahaha, dang that would have been a larf.

Orbs!
Rods!
Bigfoot!
...don't get me started, lolz. 




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  Reply # 329585 12-May-2010 23:26
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I have to agree, Richard Dawkins has a brilliant mind and is really good at writing convincing books. 

However he does get stumped by a simple question that you would think an atheist of his reputation should have an answer to.

It is my understanding that Richard Dawkins has not answered this question yet. I could be wrong on that point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YddmGJofbL0

If you know of an answer to this question please share as I have not come across one.





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  Reply # 329590 12-May-2010 23:50
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So the question was "Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?"

I can. Duplication (When an extra copy of a gene is made).

Or how about a mutation from TTTTTTTTTT to TTTTTGTTTT


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  Reply # 329618 13-May-2010 07:21
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cyberhub: I have to agree, Richard Dawkins has a brilliant mind and is really good at writing convincing books. 

However he does get stumped by a simple question that you would think an atheist of his reputation should have an answer to.

It is my understanding that Richard Dawkins has not answered this question yet. I could be wrong on that point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YddmGJofbL0

If you know of an answer to this question please share as I have not come across one.



It's actually a really dumb question to be throwing at him. 

Discussed in detail more here: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=98367




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  Reply # 329624 13-May-2010 08:13
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Okay so upon further investigation this seems to be a pet question amongst creationists.




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  Reply # 329642 13-May-2010 09:14
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RedBull: There's something about him thats really attractive? I think It might be  his intelligence?


You're not the first younger woman I've seen/heard make that comment.

His intelligence could be part of it - the way he carries himself with confidence perhaps? I see girls go gaga for guys in bands who aren't that good looking, just because they're up there on stage.

I think intelligence can be an attractive trait to some people, sure. A smart girl who has a twinkle in her eye when she talks about something interesting will win me over a miniskirt any day.

__

Slightly o/t - I recommend Carl Sagan's "Demon Haunted World".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Demon-Haunted_World

Amazon.com: Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, which offers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhood experiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories, and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudoscience. Along the way he debunks alien abduction, faith-healing, and channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues.





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  Reply # 329681 13-May-2010 10:39
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Slightly off point but closer to home - but I remember a couple of years ago there was a program on TVNZ about NZer Lloyd Geering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Geering).

He is a NZ theologian and was a presytarian minister (he is He is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University). He was tried by the presbytarian church in 1967 for heresy.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_heresy_in_the_20th_century) - apparently it was scandalous HUGE news back then.

The man and his views are fascinating - I couldnt help but think that my atheist views and his Christian views were extremely similar. Maybe thats what I found quite amazing.

I looked and looked for the program and eventually found that someone posted the doco on youtube.
Search for "The Last Western Heretic - Lloyd Geering" - its well worth a view - I'd be pretty sure you would find it fascinating and its NZ history.




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