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Richard Dawkins' "The Genius of Charles Darwin"

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
Is anyone watching this crap?

Seriously, trying to persuade people by completely disparaging any view other than your own is not going to work. It's tantamount to fascist bullying and it's not fooling anyone. Dawkins' attempts to persuade (force?) people to think like him strike me as very similar to those of the mediaeval Christian church which essentially makes him no better than the people he is trying to belittle, I mean, argue against.

Even my flatmate, who is a very intelligent individual, and a big fan of Dawkins' published work, thinks that this is a bit much. Then we had a big debate about how atheism is essentially as much based on belief and faith as any other religion as it can't really be proved more than any other religion but that's for another time.

Anyone else watching? Thoughts?
Beep boop. I'm a bot.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would have loved for him to have spent an hour looking at the genome and the relevance of genetic coding to provide scientific proof of the facts behind evolution, rather than dance around them for 5 minutes at the end.

    Did seem to imply the viewpoint that people didn't believe in evolution because it just hadn't been explained to them slowly enough, loudly enough - rather than actually out line the science.

    I'm not a fan of the focus on Darwin either, he's an interesting enough man for a documentary but that's not the same thing as a documentary on evolution and genetics. It's also not the same thing as a discussion about atheism, which was equally irritating in the show.

    Pick one to make a show about Richard and don't bloody paw at your first edition of Origin like it's a Wycliffe manuscript.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought it was interesting enough but he did push his atheist agenda too much. Much more looking forward to his next installment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with most of the things Richard Dawkins says but I still think he's one of the most irritating individuals it has ever been my misfortune to read. I didn't read 'The God Delusion' because I knew how annoyed I'd get with it - and I'm an atheist.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought it didn't really have the focus of some of his other documentaries (or indeed lectures). It was supposed to be about Darwin, which I suppose it mainly was, but then it also seemed to be about the theory itself, and also the state of UK education. It's a 3-part series, so I don't know why they didn't do the first one about the theory itself, the second as a bio and about the historical context, and then the third about how it is taught in schools. Each would make a good subject in their own right, and each would be a perfect subject for Richard Dawkins to present. But trying to squeeze them all into the same programme didn't work for me.

    But as for Dawkins trying to force his views on anyone, I don't see how that's accurate. It's impossible to do a documentary on the discovery of the theory of evolution without talking about the social context and the implications to the religious theories that preceded it, because that's such a huge part of the historical background, and why evolution was such a revolutionary idea. I would expect exactly the same sort of comments in a documentary about Galileo, for example.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    who cares? with that accent of his, he surely must know what he is talking about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's an interesting documentary to be made on Darwin and Religion - this wasn't it. Dawkins seems under the delusion that anyone who goes to church is a fundamentalist who burns heretics and denounces science as the work of the devil, instead of these people being a small minority. Dawkins seems to see himself as fighting some sort of war against these people and doesn't seem aware its already won (anyone looked at who's pictures on the £10 note).

    You could make a decent documentary about Darwin's own struggles with faith (and his loss of it was more to do with the death of his daughter than evolution). Even then he moved more to agnosticism than atheism. You could also make a decent documentary about various churches and there opinions on science and evolution (which again is much more complex than simple hostility to the theory, ranging from strong support from some elements to outright rejection from others).

    dawkins bottled on both accounts
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was over simplified. I sat down with my 8year old to watch it hoping it would be educational but then she started going off on some info about dolphins and evolution and shit that made me realise she not only understood more than was in the show but more than I did too. shame. lol
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    It was over simplified. I sat down with my 8year old to watch it hoping it would be educational but then she started going off on some info about dolphins and evolution and shit that made me realise she not only understood more than was in the show but more than I did too. shame. lol

    This series is much better on just explaining evolution. No god, no biography, no history, just the facts. I watched it and learned loads, but it's a great series for kids too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, I couldn't watch it without thinking of this:

    287960532_17d510dd30_o.jpg


    Incidentally, what do atheists shout when they reach orgasm?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    Incidentally, what do atheists shout when they reach orgasm?

    Oh SCIENCE! :hyper:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, I couldn't watch it without thinking of this:

    Incidentally, what do atheists shout when they reach orgasm?

    Probably explain to their partners that it's an evolutionary device to encourage procreation...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Did anyone watch the second episode? It was much better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Did anyone watch the second episode? It was much better.

    Yes, the stuff on human altruism was very interesting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is anyone watching this crap?

    Wasn't all that impressed with the first episode. Haven't watched the second one yet.
    Seriously, trying to persuade people by completely disparaging any view other than your own is not going to work. It's tantamount to fascist bullying and it's not fooling anyone. Dawkins' attempts to persuade (force?) people to think like him strike me as very similar to those of the mediaeval Christian church which essentially makes him no better than the people he is trying to belittle, I mean, argue against.

    Dawkins telling you about evolution and being a bit disparaging towards creationism isn't tantamount to fascism. Now, you may not like the program - i'm not keen on it myself so far, and i've liked a lot of his other stuff - but coming out with hyperbolic nonsense like comparisons to fascism, is at best, a bit silly.
    Even my flatmate, who is a very intelligent individual, and a big fan of Dawkins' published work, thinks that this is a bit much. Then we had a big debate about how atheism is essentially as much based on belief and faith as any other religion as it can't really be proved more than any other religion but that's for another time.

    Anyone else watching? Thoughts?

    Now you've been a bit naughty there, and you know it. Atheism isn't a position based on faith. It not even a belief; atheism is a lack of a belief. And the burden of proof doesn't lie with atheists, as the burden of proof doesn't lie with the a-elvis-is-still-alive-ists. But you know all this, and, getting a bit pissy at Dawkins for bringing out a sub-standard programme, have relapsed in to regurgitating the same, tired old arguments which have been repeatedly shown up for the utter tripe they are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it is indeed...a load of crap.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dawkins telling you about evolution and being a bit disparaging towards creationism isn't tantamount to fascism. Now, you may not like the program - i'm not keen on it myself so far, and i've liked a lot of his other stuff - but coming out with hyperbolic nonsense like comparisons to fascism, is at best, a bit silly.

    Always nice to hear your patronising little voice on here reminding me of my place.

    I feel that Dawkin's bullying tactics, evidenced in the first ten minutes when he ripped into that kid in the classroom for having a different view to his own, vindicate my point. He didn't try to use reason or logic (haven't seen the second episode so I'll reserve some judgement), just talking LOUDLY AND SLOWLY AS IF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN SOME FORM OF HIGHER BEING ARE REALLY A BIT DIM is a very pathetic tactic to employ. Perhaps fascism was a little erroneous but his method of complete intolerance as well as his oppressive 'persuasion' are certainly on the way.

    Bear in mind, I haven't seen the second episode so can only speak for the first.
    Now you've been a bit naughty there, and you know it. Atheism isn't a position based on faith. It not even a belief; atheism is a lack of a belief. And the burden of proof doesn't lie with atheists, as the burden of proof doesn't lie with the a-elvis-is-still-alive-ists. But you know all this, and, getting a bit pissy at Dawkins for bringing out a sub-standard programme, have relapsed in to regurgitating the same, tired old arguments which have been repeatedly shown up for the utter tripe they are.

    Atheism is as much based on faith as any other belief system. Athism, so I've read, is a lack of belief, rather than a belief in a lack. However, it is based on the scientific principals in that the onus of proof lies with proving something exists, rather than it doesn't. However, science itself is based on core assumptions. I'm arguing merely from a philosophical point of view (as I'm personally quite cynical of atheism). Now whilst science and the world around us has come to accept these assumptions as the truth, from a purely philosophical point of view, they cannot be known for certain. Thus, on a basic level, they require faith.

    Though a rather cyclical argument - it does illustrate my point rather well:

    A) You cannot prove God exists, thus he doesn't
    B) You cannot prove God does not exist thus he does.

    A takes the scientific approach (one based on a degree of faith incidentally), something does not exist unless it can be proved.
    B takes the 'traditional' religious view that although we may not be able to experience, in the scientific sense, proof of the direct existence of God, since God, or another deity of your choosing, by His very nature (also dictated by not a little measure of faith), operates far beyond the realm of the human constructs of science, logic, reason, He cannot be disproved.

    Perhaps it all boils down to whether you want to believe in something unless you're disproved or not believe in something until it's proven. You can argue it either way, ergo, you can argue that atheism is as much based on faith as any religion. I've just had a quick look on Google and there are good arguments for either side, demonstrating to me that the debate is alive and well.

    I guess my view ultimately is that you cannot use logic, reason and science (what the Google atheists and Ricky D himself use as their primary tools, and which, incidentally are human constructs) to analyse and judge something which by its very nature is far beyond the realms of human comprehension.

    I quite like the view of the Russian pedagog and all-round legend Mikhail Lomonosov who founded Moscow University way back when. Despite being a very committed scientist, he still held belief in God. His view was that science, far from disproving God, enabled us to see more of the vast array of His creation; telescopes allow us to see the stars and galaxies, microscopes to see atomic particles etc. etc. These do not disprove God, rather, in his opinion, allow us to better see the universe He created.

    Let's have a debate, fine, but leave the attitude out. It makes your otherwise quite intelligent posts rather unpleasant and it tends to detract from their meaning.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thunderstruck, your argument would be accurate if you were referring to any atheist, the sort of which I've never met, who claim that they knew that no gods exist, in the same way that many religious people do of the opposite. But as far as I'm aware, there are no atheists that do say that, including Richard Dawkins.

    Your argument is basically that we can say nothing of the subject, because any answer exists outside of the currently understood realm of scientific knowledge. That is a perfectly acceptable argument. But it disqualifies you from proposing any sort of god. Once you accept that we cannot say anything useful on the subject, that's it, end of conversation. You can't then propose a god that exists outside of......well, existance essentially, because you have already admitted that we cannot say anything useful on the subject.

    The position of Richard Dawkins and others is that we can bring evidence from within the currently understood universe to bear on the question of god. And like any other question with two possible answers, that doesn't automatically mean that both possible answers are equally likely. And someone who describes themselves as atheist will then give what they believe to be evidence for why it is an extremely unlikely that any god exists.

    Now both of these are equally valid and rational opinions in my view, but the problem for the religious is that neither of them points to a god existing. If you argue that we cannot know what exists beyond the laws of physics, or however you want to phrase it, you can't then propose something beyond the laws of physics, because you've already admitted that you cannot say anything of value about it.

    But let's get this straight, in the first episode, Richard Dawkins wasn't discussing the possibility of any god existing outside of the currently understood scientific method. He was talking to people who deny things which are scientifically proven, because they have religious beliefs that contradict it. Now that is something where the scientific and religious explinations are contradicting each other, and going head to head. And one has a huge mountain of evidence in favour of it, whereas the other has nothing. I don't see the issue with pointing that out. If religious beliefs remained outside of what science currently understands, then this programme would've never been made. Incidentally, buddhism is one religion that does do this. The Dalai Lama states that if science proves anything in buddhism to be inaccurate, then it is buddhism that must be reformed to reflect this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Always nice to hear your patronising little voice on here reminding me of my place.

    I didn't mean to sound patronising, it wasn't my intention. I often forget to include the requisite amount of smiley faces when i'm either being playful, or have my tongue in my cheek. Apologies.
    I feel that Dawkin's bullying tactics, evidenced in the first ten minutes when he ripped into that kid in the classroom for having a different view to his own, vindicate my point. He didn't try to use reason or logic (haven't seen the second episode so I'll reserve some judgement), just talking LOUDLY AND SLOWLY AS IF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN SOME FORM OF HIGHER BEING ARE REALLY A BIT DIM is a very pathetic tactic to employ. Perhaps fascism was a little erroneous but his method of complete intolerance as well as his oppressive 'persuasion' are certainly on the way.

    Bear in mind, I haven't seen the second episode so can only speak for the first.

    Again, i think "ripped into" is a bit of an exaggeration. He could have handled it better, but he didn't go for him.
    Atheism is as much based on faith as any other belief system. Athism, so I've read, is a lack of belief, rather than a belief in a lack. However, it is based on the scientific principals in that the onus of proof lies with proving something exists, rather than it doesn't. However, science itself is based on core assumptions. I'm arguing merely from a philosophical point of view (as I'm personally quite cynical of atheism). Now whilst science and the world around us has come to accept these assumptions as the truth, from a purely philosophical point of view, they cannot be known for certain. Thus, on a basic level, they require faith.

    Though a rather cyclical argument - it does illustrate my point rather well:

    A) You cannot prove God exists, thus he doesn't
    B) You cannot prove God does not exist thus he does.

    A takes the scientific approach (one based on a degree of faith incidentally), something does not exist unless it can be proved.
    B takes the 'traditional' religious view that although we may not be able to experience, in the scientific sense, proof of the direct existence of God, since God, or another deity of your choosing, by His very nature (also dictated by not a little measure of faith), operates far beyond the realm of the human constructs of science, logic, reason, He cannot be disproved.

    Perhaps it all boils down to whether you want to believe in something unless you're disproved or not believe in something until it's proven. You can argue it either way, ergo, you can argue that atheism is as much based on faith as any religion. I've just had a quick look on Google and there are good arguments for either side, demonstrating to me that the debate is alive and well.

    I guess my view ultimately is that you cannot use logic, reason and science (what the Google atheists and Ricky D himself use as their primary tools, and which, incidentally are human constructs) to analyse and judge something which by its very nature is far beyond the realms of human comprehension.

    I quite like the view of the Russian pedagog and all-round legend Mikhail Lomonosov who founded Moscow University way back when. Despite being a very committed scientist, he still held belief in God. His view was that science, far from disproving God, enabled us to see more of the vast array of His creation; telescopes allow us to see the stars and galaxies, microscopes to see atomic particles etc. etc. These do not disprove God, rather, in his opinion, allow us to better see the universe He created.

    Let's have a debate, fine, but leave the attitude out. It makes your otherwise quite intelligent posts rather unpleasant and it tends to detract from their meaning.

    This is the real meat of my disagreement. Atheism is not a belief system; it's not a religion; it has no dogma or doctrine; it's a single stance on a single issue. It's not based on faith - faith being belief despite their being no evidence. It is, in fact, the exact opposite; atheism is a lack of a belief, because there is no evidence.

    Please provide an example of where Science operates on faith.

    Once one retreats even further back than The God of the Gaps argument, as far as the position 'God operates outside of the realms of physics', then you really have to bow out of any discussion. Firstly, you're making stuff up as you go along, - stuff that you can't possible demonstrate - and secondly God starts to hold as much weight as any concept you care to dream up and postulate: giant pink bunnies, the flying spaghetti monster etc. God becomes becomes tantamount to the invisible friend of a child.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it's no good. I can't read this thread without seeing that vision of Richard Dawkins having sex with Mrs Garrison, moments before he finds out that Garrison used to be a man. Or the scene where Mrs Garrison takes a shit in the classroom, whilst pretending to be a monkey, and throws it at Dawkins. Classic episode.

    Why anyone takes this man seriously, I do not know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Why anyone takes this man seriously, I do not know.

    Maybe because they actually base their opinions of him on his arguments rather than a satirical cartoon. A satirical cartoon that only exists because people do take him so seriously. A satirical cartoon who's treatment of creationist arguments is far harsher than anything Richard Dawkins has ever produced. You do realise that it was creationists that were the subject of ridicule in that episode, don't you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thunderstruck, your argument would be accurate if you were referring to any atheist, the sort of which I've never met, who claim that they knew that no gods exist, in the same way that many religious people do of the opposite

    I've met a few atheists like that. Anyone who says for sure either way holds some dangerous and counter-productive views there.

    Science has proved many things, that the world wasn't created in 7 days, that we have evolved over millions of years etc etc and these all contradict the word of the Bible but that doesn't prove for one second that God doesn't exist. I find reading Dawkins stuff that he uses the Bible and other religious texts as a reference point in "proving" God doesn't exist. It doesn't prove nothing except that humans were a little bit dim a couple of thousand years ago.

    I think what it all boils down to is the start of the big bang, a theist might say "who created the particles, gases and forces necessary for the Big Bang to happen?". I might say, "they were always there"; they might say, "well God must've created them." Then I may say, "who created God?" They may reply "he was always there". :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem is that people are incapable of separating evolution, abiogenesis, origin of the universe theories, atheism, theism, agnosticism, science and theology.

    Say for example there's a problem with abiogenesis, people tend to jump along the 'chain of ideas' in a ridiciously manner; abiogenesis is on shaky ground therefore evolution is not true and god created everything so the big bang didn't happen and the scientific method is invalid and atheists are wrong and the bible is 100% the word of god so we should stone adulterers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    Science has proved many things, that the world wasn't created in 7 days, that we have evolved over millions of years etc etc and these all contradict the word of the Bible but that doesn't prove for one second that God doesn't exist. I find reading Dawkins stuff that he uses the Bible and other religious texts as a reference point in "proving" God doesn't exist. It doesn't prove nothing except that humans were a little bit dim a couple of thousand years ago.

    I'm sure he'd agree with you. But in a debate with someone who does believe in their god because of the bible, it is perfectly acceptable to use the bible as a reference point in debating that their interpretation of god doesn't exist. I think that's a common occurance in TV phone-ins when he's confronted by angry Christians, but I don't think it's a point that comes up much in his written work or formal debates, which are mainly based on scientific principles and a materialist, rationalist philosophy. He fully admits to not being a biblical scholar.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I like Richard Dawkin's documentaries as much as John Pilgers work, you are watching him explain his opinions. Nobody needs to agree with it - he even admitted in the second episode of the series that he was wrong about Human Alturism.

    He does not get angry or emotional when people disagree with him he just puts his argument forwards because he is not a television presenter, he is a scientist.

    As a tv documentry it is a work of brilliance because people sit, talk and think about their own beliefs and thoughts on evolution. i've sat and talked with my girlfriend for hours about our views on evolution and Human Alturism, so ill be watching the next episode and anything else by Richard Dawkins :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apologies for the lateness, work's been a bitch.
    This is the real meat of my disagreement. Atheism is not a belief system; it's not a religion; it has no dogma or doctrine; it's a single stance on a single issue. It's not based on faith - faith being belief despite their being no evidence. It is, in fact, the exact opposite; atheism is a lack of a belief, because there is no evidence.

    I think I mentioned above that it could be construed as a lack of a belief rather than a belief in a lack. I probably should have made that clearer.
    Please provide an example of where Science operates on faith.

    I take a ball. I hold it out. I let it go. I do not know with absolute certainty that gravity will take hold and cause the ball to fall to the ground, since that concerns the future and the future is by its very nature uncertain and impossible to prove. Whilst I am perhaps being pedantic, this is, philosophically, my whole point. Science is based on assumptions; the assumption, in this case, that the ball will fall to the ground. We, perhaps, believe, that the ball will fall. Science works retrospectively and we can know nothing of the future with absolute certainty.

    Therefore if, like me, you believe (there's that damn word again...) that science is based on assumptions and can only retrospectively prove things, then arguing against religion / faith from a scientific perspective becomes a little tainted as you're using a system which is effectively based on faith and assumptions to try and disprove another system which is based on faith and assumptions.

    Whilst this is a rather unhelpful standpoint when it comes to practically applying science towards engineering etc. etc. I hope you can see my point as it's fundamental to my argument.
    Once one retreats even further back than The God of the Gaps argument, as far as the position 'God operates outside of the realms of physics', then you really have to bow out of any discussion. Firstly, you're making stuff up as you go along, - stuff that you can't possible demonstrate

    See below. This is the whole basis of faith.

    As for making stuff up as I go along, I don't quite follow - explain?
    ... and secondly God starts to hold as much weight as any concept you care to dream up and postulate: giant pink bunnies, the flying spaghetti monster etc. God becomes becomes tantamount to the invisible friend of a child.

    It's called believing. It's entertaining the concept that there may be something or some things out there, tangible or not that human constructs such as science cannot explain. The standard atheist argument strikes me that the people who promote it are a little afraid to let themselves go to the idea that there may be things out there that cannot be explained away.

    Incidentally, and feel free not to answer this as it is rather a personal question, are you an atheist CoatHanger? I'm just curious.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would like to shag Dawkins, something bout him makes me wet. no joke.
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