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Is Richard Dawkins a scientist?

 
 
farmerman
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 04:51 pm
@tsarstepan,
Dawkins used to be a pretty decent scientist. He is no more. Ever since he "self published" a lot of his stuff he gave up any membership in the club.
He should have published "The Swelfish Gene " s a juried paper or presented it in a conference.
Hes been criticized by scientists and "loved" by the educated laypersons.
Its always fun reading the nuggets and having to ade through a lot of horse ****.

Much of the entire arguments about selection above the gene level is screwing with vocaabulary .

BUT, lotsa people like him. I think personally, hes a bit of a loud mouth who used to be a scientist and is now a cartoon who has got a definite hard-on for theists
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:11 pm
@djjd62,
Quote:
i'm really good at goodling

i found this


Great find, DJ! If's there's anything better than a science journalist, it's a science journalist who can dance and sing, too.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:13 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Dawkins used to be a pretty decent scientist. He is no more...BUT, lotsa people like him. I think personally, hes a bit of a loud mouth who used to be a scientist and is now a cartoon who has got a definite hard-on for theists.


Very astute, Farmer.

Dawkins is quite intelligent and entertaining, even if you disagree with him. But many (if not all) of his public presentations can hardly be characterized as "scientific." He's also an arrogant, pompous polemicist who likes to bully, but that's the main reason he's entertaining, I guess.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:24 pm
@farmerman,
"Much of the entire arguments about selection above the gene level is screwing with vocaabulary ."

Screwing with vocabulary? What do you mean?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:31 pm
@Tuna,
He is still an adaptationist. Thats selection. The gene doesnt adapt to the changing environment, the organism does.

Tuna
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:49 pm
@farmerman,
A person can't be an adaptationist and still be a scientist?

If it's a debate within the scientific community and Dawkins is a part of it, I would consider him a scientist. If Dawkins exited that community by only presenting his ideas to the public, then he's not a scientist.

Would you say the latter is the case?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:51 pm
@Tuna,
Tuna wrote:
If Dawkins exited that community by only presenting his ideas to the public, then he's not a scientist.


Huh . . . did god die and leave you in charge? Your opinion does not determine whether or not Dawkins ia a scientist.
Tuna
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 06:59 pm
@Setanta,
God died, but he didn't leave me in charge. Change my comment to: "I wouldn't be interested in Dawkins' opinions about science if he didn't present them to the scientific community."
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 07:00 pm
@Tuna,
OY, where did I go wrong?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 07:05 pm
@Tuna,
Why do you assume that he doesn't present his work to the scientific community? Do you think scientists are restricted in the material they can read and upon which they are entitled to comment?

The bottom line is that Dawkins, because of his forthright statements about atheism, is the man in the world that many people love to hate. Every comment i've ever seen about him is essentially a personal attack, having little or no reference to science. Other scientists (for surely he is one) who criticize his work are not, of course, involved in personal attacks. However, much of what Wilson has to say does constitute personal attacks. Judging the process of vetting scientific papers is a reasonable way of determining if one considers someone is a genuine scientist. Counting someone's enemies is not.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 07:19 pm
@djjd62,
Goodle is the search engine equivalent to the 99 cent store bargain reject bin.
0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 07:19 pm
@farmerman,
"OY, where did I go wrong?"

I must have misunderstood you. Still, you pointed me in the right direction to find the answer to my question.

Thanks!
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 07:28 pm
@layman,
Since it's way back on page 1, and since the issue has kinda re-emerged, I'll repost this: http://able2know.org/reply/post-6059848

=====
Quote:
He's a biologist whose views are completely in line with the prevailing outlook of evolutionary biologists
.

Apparently not every one agrees with you about the "prevailing outlook:"

Quote:
I believe that most biologists still think of individual organisms as the primary unit of selection (evolution). Most of them have not adopted the gene-centric view of evolution expressed by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene.

Neither have I. I do not think The Selfish Gene is a "seminal work." To me it's a collection of just-so stories....


http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-problems-with-selfish-gene.html
Tuna
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 08:20 am
@layman,
"Since it's way back on page 1, and since the issue has kinda re-emerged, I'll repost this"

Thanks, layman. I look at it this way: Dawkins may have views which are at odds with those of other scientists, but this doesn't disqualify him as a scientist. There are often heated debates in science and those who end up the "losers" still contributed to the progress of science. Plus today's losers may be vindicated tomorrow, so members of the public need not be too invested in prevailing views.

I came across the view of a scientist which made sense to me. If a scientist is referred as "eminent" in the media, this may be a sign of expertise at publicity. It's also natural that other scientists may feel something along the lines of envy and react accordingly.

So my assessment is Dawkins is a scientist whose views had a significant impact on biology. He is criticized for being too reductionist and holding views which ironically appear to be in conflict with naturalism.

He is an "eminent scientist" in the sense that he is well known.

0 Replies
 
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 09:16 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
The bottom line is that Dawkins, because of his forthright statements about atheism, is the man in the world that many people love to hate. Every comment i've ever seen about him is essentially a personal attack, having little or no reference to science

I'm not religious about my atheism. I look for facts. A religious attitude and facts don't usually mix company.
Leadfoot
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 03:47 pm
I only know him by reputation (which generally regarded him as a gifted scientist) and by reading his book "The God Delusion".

The book was genuinly funny in it's criticism of religion but his attempt to disprove the possibility of a God's existence was amateurish at best. Made me question his reputation.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 03:49 pm
@Tuna,
I would not describe Dawkins as religious about atheism, either. From his public statements, he might be what is called an implicit atheist, or a "weak" atheist. Sadly, far too many people do make a religion of what they allege is atheism, and they often worship science. I'm sure they are delighted to think that a well-known scientist is one of them (so to speak). A friend urged me to watch a video of Dawkins, the only long statement by him i've ever seen. He was very parochial, objecting to England's religious establishment, rather than making an assault on theism in general. No Sam Harris, he.

I would urge you to be wary of "facts," too. Often, what is presented as fact needs to be vetted, just as do the publications of scientists.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 03:53 pm
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
The book was genuinly funny in it's criticism of religion but his attempt to disprove the possibility of a God's existence was amateurish at best. Made me question his reputation.


Some hard-core atheists have made the same complaint about him--i.e., that his views on religion, etc., are unsophisticated, amateurish, and cartoonish. They think he does a discredit to their (anti) theistic beliefs and to evolutionary theory in the process.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 03:58 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I would not describe Dawkins as religious about atheism, either.


When it comes to atheism, he is as militant, strident, and dogmatic as they come.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Nov, 2015 04:05 pm
@Leadfoot,
Oddly, the best free internet overview I've found so far is on the SEP. It has several articles that explain his outlook and place it in a wider context. Maybe the bibliographies will point me to a good book on it.
0 Replies
 
 

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