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Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins?

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 08:09 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Dawkins is a zoologist, more precisely an ethologist. He has published widely in it in professional journals---including over five in Science and Nature, which by common assent make up the top of the food chain for scientific articles. Your insinuation that Dawkins is a crank flies in the face of reality. For details, see Wikipedia's list of Dawkins's publications, under "academic papers".

Where you and I differ Thomas is that I feel hes departed from his main craft and has become a lightning rod for atheism, not methodological materialism or naturalism. Hes departed from his real scientific area and has not slipped into another. Instead hes taken up with the MAdelaine Lurray Ohares of the wrold. (Who are only out to detroy religions by overwhelming arguments of sophistry and repetitious name calling.
Just because he sounds elegant saying that"Gould was not incapable of rationale thought" does not mean his arguments bear any more credibility than do spendius'

When we argue herein, I think e should be arguing from the standpoint of a strong argument that supports a case, not merely dragging down our opponents with crass insults. Thats what Dawkins does to the science of natural selection (except when he gave it up in ANcestors Tale and Greatest Show). In those he spent his time trying to rebuild his case based mostly upon genetcis fossils and animal behavior (his day job).

I actually think that DAwkins has matured a bit, since he realized that his "token" wives have mostly left him because of his narcissistic childlike behavior of the 80's and 90's.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 08:34 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Hes departed from his real scientific area and has not slipped into another.

I think evolutionary biologists disagree with you on that. Have you checked the scientific citation index lately? Did you see the amount of citations Dawkins is getting in journals for evolutionary biology? (I'd check it myself---but I no longer have access to these databases.)

farmerman wrote:
When we argue herein, I think e should be arguing from the standpoint of a strong argument that supports a case, not merely dragging down our opponents with crass insults. Thats what Dawkins does to the science of natural selection (except when he gave it up in ANcestors Tale and Greatest Show).

I disagree with the premise of your suggestion. I do think Dawkins is dealing in strong arguments, and don't think he's dealing in crass insults. He's dealing in clarity, and thinks this clarity is worth the inevitable insult it causes for devoted Christians. I agree. That's why he's a role model of mine.

farmerman wrote:
I actually think that DAwkins has matured a bit, since he realized that his "token" wives have mostly left him because of his narcissistic childlike behavior of the 80's and 90's.

Now who's dealing in insults instead of substance?
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 04:27 am
@farmerman,
This is what always happens when the argument from authority goes into abeyance. The kids start throwing their toys at each other.

Authority's main function is to cut the Gordian Knot of the intractable problem which is the human race's performance without it. The avoidance of anarchy.

The last two posts here demonstrate what happens when science (ahem!) tries to become the alternative without an agreed hierarchy or a method of enforcement. If religion is abolished, as these atheists have to want to have any credibility, it will become necessary to avoid anarchy to develop an atheist hierarchy and methods of enforcement.

These guys want religion abolishing without the slightest idea of what they would do if it was. And they have no infantry.

And you have to laugh when fm equates my credibility with that of the Prof.

My arguments are such that fm daren't answer them except by assertions that I'm talking out of my arse which is, of course, no answer at all. And Thomas daren't even allow himself to be exposed to them.

Now what sort of hierarchy and methods of enforcement are going to arise from those methods of proceeding?

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 04:36 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
I think evolutionary biologists disagree with you on that. Have you checked the scientific citation index lately? Did you see the amount of citations Dawkins is getting in journals for evolutionary biology? (I'd check it myself---but I no longer have access to these databases.)
You miss my point. In hois field of animal behavior or in evolutionary science he HAS been a good scientist. Im not denying that. Its just that , in his hobby of trashing the religious, hes stepped out of his field and has mmainly become this cartoon character.

Quote:
I disagree with the premise of your suggestion. I do think Dawkins is dealing in strong arguments,
Then we disagree. Hes been a real PAin to science and usual Dawkins quotes are fairly bitter sound bytes which dont get us anywhere.

Quote:
I actually think that DAwkins has matured a bit, since he realized that his "token" wives have mostly left him because of his narcissistic childlike behavior of the 80's and 90's.
ACtually I meant "trophy" wives.
I did say that hes matured. We agree to disagree. If he had only stuck to his science hed be well respected. Since hes stepped out of his purely academic role and has become a public poster child against Evangelical Christianity hes not done any great services to reasonable religious skepticism .

Its not his science that Im bitching about, Its been his past "hobby" of public ridicule of the minor sects of Christianity. It was really uncalled for.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 05:57 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
Hes been a real PAin to science and usual Dawkins quotes are fairly bitter sound bytes which dont get us anywhere.


I can't imagine any real scientist who wouldn't think the same about you fm. And your anti-ID room-mates.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 07:42 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
You miss my point. In hois field of animal behavior or in evolutionary science he HAS been a good scientist. Im not denying that. Its just that , in his hobby of trashing the religious, hes stepped out of his field and has mmainly become this cartoon character.

I suspect I would disagree with your point even if I got it, because I don't consider even The God Delusion cartoonish. But let me try to understand your point anyway. Apart from the God delusion, which other books of Dawkins's do you consider cartoonish religion-bashing?

farmerman wrote:
Hes been a real PAin to science and usual Dawkins quotes are fairly bitter sound bytes which dont get us anywhere.

Public intellectuals can't be a pain in the ass of science---only in the asses of scientists. And that's ok. If some American scientists are too intimidated by the Religious Right to treat the young-Earth-creationists as the cranks that they are---on par with psychics, astrologers, and homeopaths---maybe they need some pain in the ass.

farmerman wrote:
Quote:
I actually think that DAwkins has matured a bit, since he realized that his "token" wives have mostly left him because of his narcissistic childlike behavior of the 80's and 90's.
ACtually I meant "trophy" wives.

Even so, "Narcissistic childlike behavior" is an insulting attack on his person that adds no argument to the discussion. You're the one insisting that Dawkins should focus on science and avoid insults. It's fine that you disagree with me on this point, but please be consistent about it. Take your own advice.

farmerman wrote:
Since hes stepped out of his purely academic role and has become a public poster child against Evangelical Christianity hes not done any great services to reasonable religious skepticism.

Indeed we'll need to agree to disagree on this point. I consider atheism a reasonable manifestation of religious skepticism. A major consequence of Richard Dawkins's God Illusion (and some other books in its mold) is that it has helped atheists to come out of the closet in America. I consider that a great service.

farmerman wrote:
Its not his science that Im bitching about, Its been his past "hobby" of public ridicule of the minor sects of Christianity. It was really uncalled for.

I accept your suggestion that we agree to disagree on this. Just one factual point: We are not talking about "minor sects of Christianity". According to polls on this matter, between 40 and 50 percent of Americans believe the Bible is literally the word of god, and that god created the Earth and its inhabitants, more or less in their current form, less than 10,000 years ago. This is not about your Amish neighbors. It's not about leaving a minority alone. This is about a plurality of Americans, who may become a majority soon.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 09:46 am
@Thomas,
DAwkins, in his frequent religion bashing he would come on TV and radio and test the patience of the hosts. He would use his book chapters as "Jumping off points" to poke ridicule at many churches and Evangelicals in particular.



Quote:
You're the one insisting that Dawkins should focus on science and avoid insults. It's fine that you disagree with me on this point, but please be consistent about it. Take your own advice.

I believe the name of the thread was "Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins" Im not involved in anything but critiquing why I think hes been an ass when hes stepped out of his role as scientist. I want him to remain a scientist and not some tub thumper because he quits dealing with data and evidence when he does. David Wrights work is much more complete and authoratative without being purposefully insulting AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS.

Youve been provoking the back and forth crap by doing tese seriatic clips of anyone who disagree with you. SO Im getting a bit less patient with you . PICTURE ME saying to Thomas "What part of I dont appreciate Dawkins as a social critic, dont you get?" If you wanna keep doing this as asome back and forth ok, keep provoking my uncooperative responses and calling me out . Ill keep responding and we can keep escalating this. I think youive gotten my point that I DONT REALLY APPRECIATE DAWKINS IN HIS WWE APPROACH WITH RELIGION. I think youve gotten that. Ive gotten your point that you think Im wrong. OK now where do we go from here?

Your arguments havent convinced me to respect anything other than the fact that you find DAwkins a role model, I dont.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 11:22 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
DAwkins, in his frequent religion bashing he would come on TV and radio and test the patience of the hosts. He would use his book chapters as "Jumping off points" to poke ridicule at many churches and Evangelicals in particular.

Fine. So you're not objecting about the books themselves---only to the way he talked about them in the media.

farmerman wrote:
I believe the name of the thread was "Whats your opinion of Richard Dawkins" Im not involved in anything but critiquing why I think hes been an ass when hes stepped out of his role as scientist [...] PICTURE ME saying to Thomas "What part of I dont appreciate Dawkins as a social critic, dont you get?"

I get all of your point. It's your reasoning for that point I have problems with. You see, apart from being titled "what's your opinion of Richard Dawins?", this thread is also a discussion. In a discusssion, it's rational to expect that people give reasons for their opinions, and that they're free to challenge each other's opinions with reasons of their own. Needless to say, you have no duty to conform to this rational expectation. If you choose to stay vague about the reasoning behind your feelings, and if you choose to get testy about my---in my opinion at least---reasoned disagreement with you, that's your right. My bad for expecting better of you. I'll try not to bother you in the future. No promises though.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 12:17 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
In a discusssion, it's rational to expect that people give reasons for their opinions, and that they're free to challenge each other's opinions with reasons of their own.


I agree with that. The problem I have with it is that Thomas doesn't act upon it himself. He has me on Ignore so he has rendered me unfree to challenge his opinions and my reasons for my challenge are thus redundant. (In the "in reserve" sense like in electronic circuitry. )

He must mean, in that case, that rational debate consists in challenging the opinions of others and providing reasons as long as the challenge is one of those he is comfortable with having heard it many times before and has had time to practice his response which will no doubt have woven into the woof of the tapestry of words vague, mostly, hints of his personal excellence.

It stands to reason. Assuming reason is valued around here: a matter I have not fully thought through yet.

Hey fm--how's it going? Milked any cows into a bucket yet? I have. Many times. I know all about cows. Study the back of a cow's ear in good sunlight as see what Goethe saw.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 01:24 pm
@spendius,
Sounds awfully like youre whining spendi. Whats the matter?
You bitch about everyone being "off topic" and then bitch when they put you on ignore(Im just using the SEt approach now, I can scroll past you unless you sound like youre gonna commit suicide. That way I can talk you back off the ledge.


SO youve milked cows. We use automatic milkers in the first world.
0 Replies
 
Journeyman90210
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 06:46 pm
Richard Dawkins didn't write, "The God Delusion," for any other purpose than to piss off religous people, and, as is quite evident in the book, he wanted to inflict the most harm onto the Christian community. I mean, for him, it's not even about promoting atheism and evolution and things like that any more. It's about underming the faithful. At this point, he's just being an ignorant asshole, and, one day, somebody's just gonna punch him in the face. Whoever that's gonna be, I commend you.
0 Replies
 
Journeyman90210
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 06:58 pm
@Thomas,
Religion isn't a delusion, it's a belief, there's a huge differance. Somebody can be talked or inspired in or out of a religion, and you can't do that with a mental delusion. Also, people with delusions are typically insane, and people who have religous beliefs are perfectly healthy in the head. It's fine that you're an atheist, but it's really ignorant to say that religions are forms of delusions - and, statistically, really incorrect. Are you saying that 95% of the world is suffering from some sort of massive mental trauma?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 07:21 pm
@Journeyman90210,
Journeyman90210 wrote:
Religion isn't a delusion, it's a belief, there's a huge differance.

Religion is only delusional when it centers around strongly held false beliefs which are invalidated by evidence.

As a pathology, delusion is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, dogma, stupidity, apperception, illusion, or other effects of perception.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 02:31 am
@rosborne979,
The word "delusion" implies that the user of it has an authoritative knowledge of "reality". From a pragmatist point of view such a claim is false. The key issue is consenus, not "evidence" (as suggested by Dawkins), which lies in the eye of the consenting or conditioned beholder. It is the fact that religions are two a penny which indicates the arbitrariness of such consensuses, And it is the fact that disagreements between those consensuses can be socially pernicious which is the substantive essence of the atheist's case.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2011 03:29 am
@Journeyman90210,
Quote:
Are you saying that 95% of the world is suffering from some sort of massive mental trauma?


100% of "mental events" are involved with conceptualization of "reality" in accordance with the unique human aspiration to predict and control such "reality". Your 95% is merely the bunch who would delegate what they themselves inevitably cannot predict and control, to some independent metaphysical entity or system.
Religion is predicated on mentalism which is often coupled with evolutionary tribalism and power hierarchies.
0 Replies
 
royable
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2011 10:55 am
@dazza 480,
I think he is a great scientist. His works on evolutionary biology and the concept of meme is really outstanding. His atheist views has been really deep and profound. And he's viewed as the most influential atheist around. I am not an atheist and at the same i am not an orthodox. I believe in God and humanity. But I think Richard Dawkins views are quite interesting.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Apr, 2011 11:08 am
@royable,
What work on evolutionary biology. I'm not sure any work can be done on evolutionary biology because it is the only thing I know that is impossible to see due to the slowness of the process.

And a meme is just an esoteric version of a saying or a rumour which seeks exclusive cachet from a new word for something as old as the hills and well studied by many experts. Proust for example.

He's found a constituency which seeks to justify setting aside Christian sexual morality using independent psuedo-science in order to gloss over the real reason. He's not the first to seek to inhabit the niche but the first to seriously exploit mass media to feather it. One might even say that he is inevitable in this era.
0 Replies
 
 

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