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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:35 PM

You Can't Teach an Alpha Dog New Tricks

By Tom Head
Last updated on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 3:25 p.m. CST

I used to like Richard Dawkins. You've heard of him: brilliant evolutionary biologist; bestselling author of "The Selfish Gene" (1976) and "The Blind Watchmaker" (1986); former Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University; and, in the eyes of much of the international media, the "atheist pope."

Although I'm neither an atheist nor a pope, I grew up enjoying his work. Then, in the past 10 years or so, something changed.

In the South, we call it getting too big for your britches. With the publication of "The God Delusion" in 2006, Dawkins was described—and, tragically, has come to see himself--as the leader of the New Atheism movement. But that's not the problem. The problem is that this has made him stop seeing himself as the product of natural selection and start seeing himself as some sort of vessel for the scientific method—a living instrument in the fight against religion, on which he blames the 9/11 attacks and countless other things. And he has become so important in his own eyes that he can no longer afford to be publicly wrong about anything.

So when he said that religious instruction is more harmful than "mild" child sexual abuse and was called out on it, he couldn't backtrack.

http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2013/jan/30/you-cant-teach-alpha-dog-new-tricks/

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply You Can't Teach an Alpha Dog New Tricks (Original post)
rug Jan 2013 OP
cbayer Jan 2013 #1
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #4
cbayer Jan 2013 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #8
immoderate Jan 2013 #2
rug Jan 2013 #3
immoderate Jan 2013 #5
rug Jan 2013 #6
immoderate Jan 2013 #9
rug Jan 2013 #10
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #11
dimbear Jan 2013 #12
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #13
okasha Jan 2013 #14

Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:39 PM

1. I would like to see Dawkins *evolve* a bit as well.

But I would really prefer it if he just went away. IMHO, he hurts the burgeoning non-believers movement more than he helps. His misogyny in particular is a major problem.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:52 PM

4. He's also an awful writer...

His books put me to sleep....

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:04 PM

7. Honestly, I would rather read him than listen to him.

While I find his books dull, I find his voice like fingers on a blackboard.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:08 PM

8. I don't listen to him either...

If I find someone too boring to read, I know I don't want to listen to their voice. He's an egotist...as boring as Bill O'Reilly.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:48 PM

2. The article is a setup to attack Gov. Phil Bryant by comparing his insane proposals...

... to a bit of hyperbole from Dawkins. Dawkins, I might point out, is not an elected official.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:52 PM

3. Bryant should be attacked.

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:00 PM

5. by Dawkins?

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:01 PM

6. By any living thing within 500 miles of Jackson.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:09 PM

9. That misses England.

And using Dawkins was a bit of a nonsequiter.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:13 PM

10. It's non sequitur, as is your distraction.

The column is about Dawkins.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:05 PM

11. i am atheist and still have never read anything by the guy after all these years

 

of hearing about him from believers outraged at the things he says.

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:17 PM

12. Let me get this straight. Are you saying that we atheists don't have a pope?!!

Can such things be?

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Response to dimbear (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:36 PM

13. maybe we have a pope but..

 

nobody's ever seen him/her/it except in visions because he's invisible, intangible, odorless and tasteless. especially tasteless at holidays. last year he made aunt june cry.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:49 PM

14. Neither Dawkins nor his happy band of Squawkins

is willing to deal with the legal implications of the equation of relgious training with child abuse. Child abuse is a crime, and is punishable under the law. If religious training is child abuse, then it is a crime, and that crime is punishable under the law. Bring this up in any discussion with the Dawkins fans, and you get an immediate waffle and deflection of the subject.

This appears to happen not because the light has come on and the fans have realized that they've just run up against the First Amendment and the rest of the Constituion, but because it exposes naked fanaticism--and does not further their proselytizing--to admit that they think the majority of American parents are jailbait.

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