Blog Tal — 27 July 2017

Anyone who has followed our website over the years or pays attention to religious news is certainly familiar with Richard Dawkins. He may be the best known atheist and anti-theist in the world. He is a prominent English animal behaviorist, evolutionary biologist and best-selling author. He is also an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.

In 2009 Dawkins was instrumental in getting the well-known economist, television personality, and comic actor Ben Stein disinvited from being the commencement speaker at the University of Vermont. When Dawkins, and others at the Center for Inquiry and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, learned that Stein was scheduled to speak they immediately contacted the then UV president Daniel Fogel to object. Stein had previously in 2008 given lectures at the university on economic issues.

So what was the reason for Dawkins’ objections this time? In 2008 Stein wrote, produced, and appeared in a controversial documentary titled Expelled. That film strongly criticized the scientific validity of Darwinian evolutionary theory, linked it to Nazi racial politics, and demonstrated how 20th century eugenicists like Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) used it justify their audacious but morally reprehensible goals for improving the human race. The film also presented reasonable arguments for the growing scientific field of Intelligent Design theory (ID). (see https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/dawkins-not-at-berkeley-the-best-irony/ )

ID says that the growing evidence of the sciences of geology, microbiology, and astronomy leads to an inevitable conclusion that life on earth is product of an intelligent mind. ID is promoted primarily by the Discovery Institute, a diverse team of scientists headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The Discovery Institute does not endorse any specific religious system but includes theists and agnostics alike. Dawkins and other Darwinists, unfortunately, have convinced the media and many in politically correct academia that ID is just another form of Biblical creationism. Obviously the ID movement has significant theistic implications (i.e. Who is the Designer?). In any case, when Dawkins complained about Stein speaking at the UV commencement, the school’s administration panicked and disinvited him.

But, as they say, “What goes around, comes around.” According to the New York Times (July 24, 2017), it seems that now Richard Dawkins is also a victim of the PC police. Last week he was scheduled to speak at a progressive Berkeley, California, radio station’s fundraiser and to promote his new book. However, when the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, a Muslim rights group in nearby San Francisco, became aware of his coming appearance they strongly protested. They alleged that Dawkins is a vicious Islamophobe and demanded he be dropped. Why? Because in some of his recent tweets and public comments Dawkins has criticized Islam as a violent and unscholarly religion.

That, of course, is taboo these days and could be construed as “hate speech.” So, the radio station cancelled his appearance without even letting him know. Dawkins found out when someone who had bought a ticket told him. Its ironic because Dawkins has vehemently attacked Christianity for years and no one has ever considered that as bigoted. Nonetheless, I guess it must sting to be the victim of your own conceit. Who says there is no justice in the world?

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Tal Davis

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