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Was New Atheism a mistake? Richard Dawkins on God, vaccines and his poetic spirit

"I've always been a romantic spirit" Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

"I've always been a romantic spirit" Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns


June 7, 2023   12 mins

Richard Dawkins is best known for his controversial advocacy of atheism, especially in The Selfish Gene (1976) and The God Delusion (2006). But could the pugnacious evolutionary biologist have a romantic side? His new podcast, The Poetry of Reality, suggests he might.

Earlier this week, he visited the UnHerd Club for a wide-ranging interview about God, his love for WB Yeats, the heroism of JK Rowling, and how he changed his mind about vaccine hesitancy. Below is an edited transcript.

Freddie Sayers: Richard Dawkins, welcome to UnHerd. You’re launching a podcast, “The Poetry of Reality”. Why?

Richard Dawkins: I’ve always felt that science is poetic, and deserves to be treated as a part of our culture. The magnificent fact that the universe has given rise to us, supremely complicated beings capable of even understanding where we came from, ought to be a topic of great literature. Science is the poetry of reality.

FS: Am I wrong to detect a softening in your later years? The choice of podcast name seems designed to give the impression that you’re a more romantic, less rigidly rational spirit than people realise?

RD: I think I’ve always been a romantic spirit and I think that’s what science inspires, or ought to inspire, as opposed to the cold, hard, dispassionate image that science can be mistaken as projecting.

 

FS: We’re talking at a time in which once-unassailable scientific ideas have become… complicated. Gender is an obvious one. Do you worry that the scientific institutions you cherish have become overly attuned to faddish politics, and that science risks compromising its reputation?

RD: Certainly, I have noticed that some of the leading scientific journals have capitulated to political pressure to become unscientific, and to betray what is an obvious scientific dichotomy between male and female. This seems to have been betrayed for political reasons by people in editorial positions in leading scientific journals who ought to know better.

FS: Another example might be Nature magazine, which has stated that part of its mission is to work to correct racial injustices — it seems to be a political agenda rather than a scientific one.

RD: There’s an analogue of original sin, that white people are expected to feel guilt for what their ancestors — or maybe just people of the same skin colour — did to other people of a different colour. It’s as though we are supposed to inherit the guilt of people of the past, just because we have the same colour skin as they did. And that is, I think, racism. It is actual racism to confer guilt upon people because of the colour of their skin.

FS: So would you prefer a completely colour-blind world, as far as institutions are concerned? This is controversial in the United States right now, with the Supreme Court reconsidering whether affirmative action has a place in education. For years, admissions criteria for university science departments have considered an applicant’s race. Where do you stand on that?

RD: If I were in favour of any sort of affirmative action, it might be in favour of those who have been disadvantaged in their own past, through poverty. And if they happen to be black, fair enough — but simply because they’re black? No, that’s the wrong sort of affirmative action. That is racism.

FS: And if that resulted in fewer black people going to elite colleges, you’d be fine with that, on the grounds that places would be going to the most deserving candidates?

RD: Well, they would probably be the people most able to benefit from those places, yes. But there is also something to be said for bending over backwards to help people from a disadvantaged background who have a genuine ability that hasn’t had a chance to flourish — and if they were to get to Harvard, then they might be able to. And so I am in favour not of affirmative action but what I would call ‘intelligent looking’ for talent, which is what we try to do at Oxford. In my time, we did, anyway. We tried to recognise that somebody might be not so well groomed for an entrance exam or for an interview, but who showed signs of genuine talent.

FS: You’ve also been critical of New Zealand schools including indigenous origin stories in science classes. How do you think people of a scientific mindset should treat the irrational, or intuitions for which there is no clear proof? Is it not possible that poetic and symbolic ways of describing such things get us close to a different kind of truth? 

RD: My favourite poet is W.B. Yeats, a notorious mystic. Obviously, I have no sympathy whatsoever with his belief in fairies and things like that, but I resonate with his poetry. I think it’s wonderful. It’s hard for me to explain what I mean, but I suppose that’s the point. I’m not trying to be a scientist when I do that. I’m resonating as a human being. In the early poems — “The Wind Among the Reeds”, for example – I empathise with this lovelorn young man, struggling with his feelings of lost love. And I get that, but not as a scientist.

FS: But those feelings of being a lovelorn young man are true, are they not? They exist in the universe?

RD: They are true for this subject, what’s going on in his own mind, yes.

FS: Hearing you talk about a Yeats poem, you don’t sound that different to religious people. Just as when you talk about the beauty of the natural world and the miracles of science — although you might not use the word “miracle” — it feels as though you’re moved by that. Perhaps the difference between you is more a question of language?

RD: I think there’s something wrong with that idea. According to supernaturalism — which is what I take to mean religiousness — there is something beyond physics, beyond the material world, which I do not believe. I do not believe in anything beyond the material world, no matter how poetic you feel, no matter how much you’re in love, or no matter how deeply you feel emotionally about looking at nature, looking at fields of wheat, looking at the stars. These are all human reactions, which I feel as strongly as anyone. But there is nothing supernatural about that.

As a human being, when contemplating the Milky Way, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach. There’s nothing supernatural about that, it’s something in my nervous system. That’s not to demean it — it feels real to me. But it’s not truth in the scientific sense, which really is actually physically true about the material world.

FS: In the realm of theoretical physics, for example, there are whole dimensions of the universe that we simply don’t know how to describe yet. Is there not a chance that some of those feelings might be perceiving physical realities that we don’t yet have a way to analyse?

RD: As it happens, this evening I’m going to a meeting in London with Lawrence Krauss, the American theoretical physicist, who has just written a book called The Known Unknowns, which is about all that we don’t yet know. And physicists are proud to admit that there’s a lot that they don’t know, but they’re working on it. It is entirely possible — probable, even — that there are beings in the universe who already do understand things that are beyond our understanding, and that our brains simply aren’t big enough to understand these profundities about the universe. But to somehow equate those with mystical feelings that you get when you’re in love, or when you contemplate a rose, or religious feelings, that’s a naive confusion.

FS: Your work on evolution and natural selection holds that most things about human nature and the human body, in our evolved cells, are there for a purpose.

RD: Yes — and I might be in a minority of biologists for believing that. For that reason, I’ve been called an ultra-Darwinian. Quite a lot of other biologists feel there’s a lot in life that is not actually Darwinian, in the sense that it’s not actually designed by natural selection, but is there by chance.

FS: In which case, should we not view the religious impulse, or mystical impulses, and those feelings that we were just talking about, with more respect? Should we not view them as more likely to be more intelligent than purely a kind of mistake, possibly being wiser and more purposeful than you have been prepared to admit?

RD: Not wiser and more purposeful, but possibly there for a reason. I readily agree that, because it’s a human universal, pretty much, and therefore logically that means that it is highly probably that it is of Darwinian advantage. That, I get. It doesn’t mean religion is true, though. I mean, you could say, the tendency to be religious, the tendency to believe in something supernatural, the tendency to think there’s something higher than you, the tendency to think that people also can connect… all this could have been built in by natural selection.

I often suggest that this could be because children have been naturally selected to be respectful of what their parents tell them, what their culture tells them, because they need that in order to survive. Religion flourishes because children who are vulnerable, in a dangerous world, need to be instantly obeying their parents advice, not to endanger themselves. You don’t question what your parents say, you just believe what they say, which means the child mind is pre-programmed by Darwinian natural selection to be credulous of what elders tell them. And that is fertile ground for falsehood, as well as truth.

FS: But if it’s there by natural selection, it must be a net positive?

RD: A net positive in a survival sense, yes – but it doesn’t make it true. It’s not true that if you sacrifice a goat at the time of the full moon, you will cause the crops to succeed. But it’s a net positive in the sense that it’s a by-product of the impulse to obey authority, because the impulse to obey authority, in general, is a net positive.

FS: In that context, the latest mostly secular generation could be seen as a species-wide experiment. It hasn’t happened before in history — and you had a fair bit to do with bringing it about. Judging on the evidence, how do you think the secular experiment is going?

RD: The statistics I’ve seen suggest it is slowly getting better. The statistics I’ve seen suggest that the number of people who profess some kind of religion is going down. It’s now below 50%, which is the first time that a British census has shown that to be the case, which I think is good. Similarly in America, which is lagging behind, in this respect, but it’s still going in the right direction. Those are the only figures I’ve seen and, all I can do is offer you my intuition, which is worthless.

FS: There’s a book by Tom Holland called Dominion, which has been very influential in suggesting that a lot of what we consider to be secular Western ways of thinking on morality is still drenched in Christian thinking. So perhaps, although people aren’t describing themselves as religious in the census, they’ve just moved those religious intuitions into other realms?

RD: Yes, I think that’s very likely true. You can make a good religious case for the trans debate. I make an analogy with the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, whereby the wine in the Aristotelian accidentals remains wine but, in its true substance, becomes blood. Similarly, the trans person: he has a penis, but that’s a mere accidental, and in true substance he’s a woman. I mean, that’s a perfect analogy to transubstantiation. It even begins with the same prefix.

FS: So which is better, then? We’ve gone through this whole process, we’ve had a whole generation who’ve now been brought up reading your books, and Christopher Hitchens, who are now ardent and proud atheists, and then they end up believing things like you just described. And that has all sorts of societal repercussions. Should we now look back on the New Atheist movement with regret?

RD: No, I don’t get that at all. It’s just an interesting analogy to point out that there is a strong religious element to a current political fad. So what?

FS: The question is: empirically speaking, between conventional religion and what appears to be its successor ideology, which will be proven by history to be better for the flourishing of the species? Early signs are that this new kind of religion, which thinks it’s secular, has some major problems.

RD: Well, if you care about the flourishing of the species, yes, but I care about truth.

FS: So you don’t care about the flourishing of the species?

RD: Well I do care about it as a human being, but more deeply I care about truth.

FS: And if your sense of truth would lead to the annihilation of the species, would you be content with that?

RD: No I would not be content with that. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t happen. I think that truth actually is a genuine value. I believe that a true scientific outlook on the world would actually be best for the flourishing of humankind.

FS: We have to talk about the most recent scientific controversy of our age: Covid. It feels like we are now emerging from the Covid years, when our trust in science was enormously damaged. Millions of people now intuitively distrust what they are told by scientific authorities. Do you think Covid was a moment of scientific glory, or something more problematic?

RD: I think glory, with regards to the unprecedented speed that vaccines were developed. And that is a tribute to molecular biology. It was possible, almost instantly, to sequence the genome of the virus, and to transmit the genome directly to labs all over the world, who set to work developing vaccines with, as I said, unprecedented speed. That is magnificent. Whether humans mistrust or trust science, that’s their business.

FS: But the vaccines were enormously over-promised in terms of their efficacy. They were originally sold to us as being 95% effective in preventing infection. That was then endlessly revised downwards and, in the end, we were told vaccination didn’t stop transmission, it only improved outcomes for vulnerable patients.

RD: The speed with which things were happening means that it’s very difficult for people entrusted with authority to give advice. And normally, there’s much more time in order to examine all the evidence and give balanced, wise advice. When you’re required to give advice almost instantly, there inevitably are going to be mistakes.

FS: During the pandemic, you condemned people who were sceptical about the pandemic response. You tweeted that: “Some faith heads have a ritual of handling snakes, believing faith will protect them. When they’re bitten, they deserve it, they alone suffer. Vaccine refusal is different. Others are endangered. It’s as though their faith told them to release rattlesnakes in supermarkets.” This was April 6, 2021. Your vilification of people who were hesitant about taking the vaccine, in retrospect, seems too much, doesn’t it? Do you take that back?

RD: Well, I had become aware of the conventional wisdom about vaccination, which is that it’s a matter of altruism, because it’s not simply a matter of saying: “This is my private business, whether I’m vaccinated or not.” And in the case of the measles vaccine, for example, it really is a matter of altruism, because if you don’t get vaccinated, then then you are part of the problem if there’s a measles epidemic. And I thought that that would be the case with Covid. Now, it’s not entirely clear that that was right. And so, to that extent, I would take that back, yes.

FS: Do you also think that Covid showed how vulnerable scientists and institutions such as universities have become in this social media age — to peer pressure, to a fear of being cancelled and of being on the wrong side of mainstream thought?

RD: Yes. There are some heroic scientists who go off on their own and don’t need grants and just get on with their research — people like James Lovelock, who I’ve criticised on other grounds, but…

FS: Recently, universities have not been good at defending their own when they come under assault, on social media and elsewhere, for taking an unpopular position. The trends we saw with American universities during Covid, but there are lots of other examples. Professor Kathleen Stock springs to mind. Surely we can be constructively critical of universities for this?

RD: I think we can, and I think Kathleen Stock is a very good example of somebody who’s been appallingly treated. I think she’s a real hero. I think J.K. Rowling is a real hero. She’s not at a university, but she’s another one. Yes, I’ve been rather shocked at the way universities have not stood up to a rabble, a lynch mob, really, going after people like Kathleen Stock. But you can also sympathise with a university vice-chancellor with a baying mob of students after their blood. It’s difficult, but I think in that case they should hold the line.

FS: Another concept you’ve defended recently is AI, and whether we might be leaving human nature behind altogether, either through some kind of AI future, or via extraterrestrial life. With your materialist hat on, explain how you think AI could supplant organic life?

RD: Well, the brain is a material object — and what it does is, although we don’t understand it fully yet, it must have a scientific explanation. And it must be the case that whatever the brain can do, in principle, could be done by an AI simulation. So, an artificial intelligence must be capable of doing what the human brain can do — and there’s no obvious reason why it shouldn’t be greatly superior to it.

It is conceivable that an artificial intelligence could greatly surpass what the human brain can do. And in many ways, that’s a very frightening prospect. People, many people, are very frightened of it. I haven’t decided whether I’m frightened of it or not. I think I could imagine it going both ways. But, as a materialist, I can’t deny that it’s possible.

FS: People might also be surprised by how much credence you give to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. How likely do you think it is that life exists on other planets?

RD: Very likely — especially when you think of the sheer number of opportunities in the universe for it to exist. It has arisen here and evolved to the point where it can understand its own existence. That was a ridiculously improbable event, but it happened. So why deny that it has happened anywhere else in the universe?

FS: So, on the balance of probabilities, we’re talking more than 50% likely, in your estimation, that there is life beyond our own planet?

RD: Yes. And I would make a distinction between life existing elsewhere, which is far more probable, than actual intelligent life, because one’s got to come from the other. We might well discover intelligent life through radio communication, but we will never be visited by it. Flying saucers, no — very unlikely. But visitation by radio communication, electromagnetic waves , that’s not totally unlikely. And I think that SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is a worthwhile enterprise that should be pursued and funded.

FS: You don’t think interstellar travel will become possible through some breakthrough in physics?

RD: Well, that’s very, very far off in the future, because of the huge distances involved. So far, we are waiting for interplanetary travel within the solar system. Light years is a very long distance for solid, physical objects to travel.

FS: So if Elon Musk succeeds at getting human beings to Mars in your lifetime, would you volunteer for his next flight?

RD: No, I wouldn’t volunteer… actually perhaps yes. If I knew I was dying, it might be the last thing I’d do.

* “The Poetry of Reality” With Richard Dawkins is available to download now.


Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.

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Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

I was once a follower of Dawkins and other like him, such as John Gray. But one thing that always troubled me about their writing was that they made a convincing case that the impulse towards religion was universally hard-wired into human nature, yet they seemed to exempt themselves from it somehow. Then “covid” happened. And they joined the faux-religious mob. And then it all made sense.

Good on Freddie for not letting Dawkins off the hook on his profession of faith in the “magnificent” vaccines in this interview, and good on Dawkins for at least partially recanting his deluded evangelism of 2021. Perhaps, Professor Dawkins, you may reflect that the “pre-programmed credulity” of the child-mind doesn’t always get left behind in childhood, or perhaps it never does? And, as we see time and again throughout modern history, it’s often the most scientifically literate or supposedly “enlightened” people with narrow, naive, Cartesian worldviews who, despite their decency and good intentions, fail to see the creeping totalitarian woods for the supposedly empiricist, rationalist, trees, leaving them ripe to be gulled by cynical political actors spinning manipulative stories about “public health” and the “common good”?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Lesley van REENAN, a much respected UnHerd commentator put it very well some weeks ago when she said with regard to the whole COVID debacle: “This has changed my view of the morality and intelligence of humanity forever”.

I’m afraid I’m not that impressed by Dawkins’s recantation, I expected better from a Balliol man.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I find myself agreeing with your general point.. The Balliol bit is neither here nor there. All colleges produce their fair proportion of idiots.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

RD is a total di*k. I read his Selfish Gene in the early 70’s – and it was fun, but from there he has marched down a dark path, pretty much Satan’s little buddy.

‘universe has given rise to us, supremely complicated beings capable of even understanding where we came from,”

Really? you get the ex nihilo nihil fit thing? Some big bang because, ‘Why Not’? And then the ex-nihilo atoms all up to stuff with energy and the strong and weak force and muons and dark matter, and Electromagnetic spectrum, and photons, and Schrodinger’s cat and string theory, and paired atoms, and time and higgs bosuns, and people and what seems like soul but is just stuff getting complex enough to be self aware, because again, ‘Why Not’?

But what makes him such a Dic* is his arrogance. This little goofball pronouncing what is Ultimate, and that Ultimate is mundane – because he says so. I imagine him walking around with a hammer and saying ‘If I can hit it with this hammer I can believe in it – other wise is it just superstition’. what a dic*.

He is not even a thinker anymore, he peaked at ‘Selfish Gene’, from then he is really just a celebrity.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Once a Balliol man always a Balliol man.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Agreed. I highlighted the same quote. Once someone figures out where the rocks and gas that collided came from, I’ll begin to listen.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Once a Balliol man always a Balliol man.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Agreed. I highlighted the same quote. Once someone figures out where the rocks and gas that collided came from, I’ll begin to listen.

Daiva Brr
Daiva Brr
11 months ago

where were their morals and integrity? A lot of people
defending this s/show have slunk off, but more by far treat this years long destruction, lying, manipulation, corruption and illogic like a ‘nothing burger’.

h/t Lesley van Reenen

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Daiva Brr

Yes I completely agree.
Fortunately I am in the WFD* Cohort so I can afford to be complacent, but for the ‘young’ this is simply terrible.

Kipling put it rather well with this:-

“ I could not dig, I dared not rob,
Therefore I lied to please the mob,
Now all my lies are proved untrue,
And I must face the men I slew,
What tale shall serve me here among,
Mine angry and defrauded young?

(* Waiting For Death.)

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago

Splendid

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago

Splendid

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Daiva Brr

Yes I completely agree.
Fortunately I am in the WFD* Cohort so I can afford to be complacent, but for the ‘young’ this is simply terrible.

Kipling put it rather well with this:-

“ I could not dig, I dared not rob,
Therefore I lied to please the mob,
Now all my lies are proved untrue,
And I must face the men I slew,
What tale shall serve me here among,
Mine angry and defrauded young?

(* Waiting For Death.)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I find myself agreeing with your general point.. The Balliol bit is neither here nor there. All colleges produce their fair proportion of idiots.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

RD is a total di*k. I read his Selfish Gene in the early 70’s – and it was fun, but from there he has marched down a dark path, pretty much Satan’s little buddy.

‘universe has given rise to us, supremely complicated beings capable of even understanding where we came from,”

Really? you get the ex nihilo nihil fit thing? Some big bang because, ‘Why Not’? And then the ex-nihilo atoms all up to stuff with energy and the strong and weak force and muons and dark matter, and Electromagnetic spectrum, and photons, and Schrodinger’s cat and string theory, and paired atoms, and time and higgs bosuns, and people and what seems like soul but is just stuff getting complex enough to be self aware, because again, ‘Why Not’?

But what makes him such a Dic* is his arrogance. This little goofball pronouncing what is Ultimate, and that Ultimate is mundane – because he says so. I imagine him walking around with a hammer and saying ‘If I can hit it with this hammer I can believe in it – other wise is it just superstition’. what a dic*.

He is not even a thinker anymore, he peaked at ‘Selfish Gene’, from then he is really just a celebrity.

Daiva Brr
Daiva Brr
11 months ago

where were their morals and integrity? A lot of people
defending this s/show have slunk off, but more by far treat this years long destruction, lying, manipulation, corruption and illogic like a ‘nothing burger’.

h/t Lesley van Reenen

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Magnificently put..

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Many impulses are wired into us, but that doesn’t mean we all act on them, so I see no contradiction in claiming that there’s an impulse toward religiousity while also not being religious.
On vaccines, my understanding is that the trials were focussed on whether the vaccines reduced the number of people getting symtomatic or serious illness (which they did), but that once they were out there, it became apparently that they also reduced transmission, but variants have reduced both these figures. This is examined (with references) in this Reuters fact check.The 95% figure was from those trials, and is for symptoms, not preventing onward transmission, so if the figure was being quoted in the news without that caveat, it was misleading, but Freddy’s “they were sold as 95% effective” makes it sound as if that was inaccurate, whereas that was the figure established by large trials.

Terry M
Terry M
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I believe a lot of the confusion came from the general public’s understanding of a vaccine as being something that almost 100% prevents disease and the spread thereof. Early on there was no evidence to make such statements, but the news commentators fell back on their understanding, although it was wrong. Throw in the politics of who gets credit/blame for the pandemic, responses, and vaccines and you have a real mess. Hence the horrible actions and results we have seen.

Terry M
Terry M
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I believe a lot of the confusion came from the general public’s understanding of a vaccine as being something that almost 100% prevents disease and the spread thereof. Early on there was no evidence to make such statements, but the news commentators fell back on their understanding, although it was wrong. Throw in the politics of who gets credit/blame for the pandemic, responses, and vaccines and you have a real mess. Hence the horrible actions and results we have seen.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

This is an edited transcript, but at the start of this interview Dawkins mentioned the importance of double blind control trials in medical therapies. He then ignored that completely when talking about the speed of developing the vaccines, which is impossible because of the time needs to conduct safety trials of a new vaccine. Freddie failed to pick him up on this point. At some point it seems that most people are capable of losing the plot.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Lesley van REENAN, a much respected UnHerd commentator put it very well some weeks ago when she said with regard to the whole COVID debacle: “This has changed my view of the morality and intelligence of humanity forever”.

I’m afraid I’m not that impressed by Dawkins’s recantation, I expected better from a Balliol man.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Magnificently put..

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Many impulses are wired into us, but that doesn’t mean we all act on them, so I see no contradiction in claiming that there’s an impulse toward religiousity while also not being religious.
On vaccines, my understanding is that the trials were focussed on whether the vaccines reduced the number of people getting symtomatic or serious illness (which they did), but that once they were out there, it became apparently that they also reduced transmission, but variants have reduced both these figures. This is examined (with references) in this Reuters fact check.The 95% figure was from those trials, and is for symptoms, not preventing onward transmission, so if the figure was being quoted in the news without that caveat, it was misleading, but Freddy’s “they were sold as 95% effective” makes it sound as if that was inaccurate, whereas that was the figure established by large trials.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

This is an edited transcript, but at the start of this interview Dawkins mentioned the importance of double blind control trials in medical therapies. He then ignored that completely when talking about the speed of developing the vaccines, which is impossible because of the time needs to conduct safety trials of a new vaccine. Freddie failed to pick him up on this point. At some point it seems that most people are capable of losing the plot.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

I was once a follower of Dawkins and other like him, such as John Gray. But one thing that always troubled me about their writing was that they made a convincing case that the impulse towards religion was universally hard-wired into human nature, yet they seemed to exempt themselves from it somehow. Then “covid” happened. And they joined the faux-religious mob. And then it all made sense.

Good on Freddie for not letting Dawkins off the hook on his profession of faith in the “magnificent” vaccines in this interview, and good on Dawkins for at least partially recanting his deluded evangelism of 2021. Perhaps, Professor Dawkins, you may reflect that the “pre-programmed credulity” of the child-mind doesn’t always get left behind in childhood, or perhaps it never does? And, as we see time and again throughout modern history, it’s often the most scientifically literate or supposedly “enlightened” people with narrow, naive, Cartesian worldviews who, despite their decency and good intentions, fail to see the creeping totalitarian woods for the supposedly empiricist, rationalist, trees, leaving them ripe to be gulled by cynical political actors spinning manipulative stories about “public health” and the “common good”?

Martin Dunford
Martin Dunford
11 months ago

Richard behaved like a zealot during Covid, acting like one of the religous people he so readily deplores. No evidence, no testing, nothing to suggest vaccines prevented transmission. Yet he jumped on the bandwagon of condemnation of those who chose to remain skeptical.
“The majority of men… are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and… are not accessible to reason, but only to authority” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Last edited 11 months ago by Martin Dunford
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

Well observed.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

My sentiments exactly!

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

Agreed. I have just made the same point above. He mentioned the randomised control trials at the start of the interview as a way science is used to establish the truth and then completely ignored their failure when he was discussing the covid vaccines. Freddie didn’t pick him up on that point.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

Well observed.

Amy Horseman
Amy Horseman
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

My sentiments exactly!

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Dunford

Agreed. I have just made the same point above. He mentioned the randomised control trials at the start of the interview as a way science is used to establish the truth and then completely ignored their failure when he was discussing the covid vaccines. Freddie didn’t pick him up on that point.

Martin Dunford
Martin Dunford
11 months ago

Richard behaved like a zealot during Covid, acting like one of the religous people he so readily deplores. No evidence, no testing, nothing to suggest vaccines prevented transmission. Yet he jumped on the bandwagon of condemnation of those who chose to remain skeptical.
“The majority of men… are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and… are not accessible to reason, but only to authority” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Last edited 11 months ago by Martin Dunford
Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
11 months ago

I used to be a huge fan of Dawkins.
I’ve read and enjoyed The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor’s Tale and The God Delusion.
But he’s always had a nasty streak (more apparent in interviews than his books), and Twitter showed it to the world. My respect for him plummeted in the Brexit/Trump days, and he carried on with a blend of hubris and aggression in COVID times.
Anyone with a respect for complex systems and evolutionary biology ought to be more sceptical of novel gene therapies.
Well done, Freddie.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Precisely, a present day Girolamo Savonarola in fact.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Precisely, a present day Girolamo Savonarola in fact.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
11 months ago

I used to be a huge fan of Dawkins.
I’ve read and enjoyed The Blind Watchmaker, The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor’s Tale and The God Delusion.
But he’s always had a nasty streak (more apparent in interviews than his books), and Twitter showed it to the world. My respect for him plummeted in the Brexit/Trump days, and he carried on with a blend of hubris and aggression in COVID times.
Anyone with a respect for complex systems and evolutionary biology ought to be more sceptical of novel gene therapies.
Well done, Freddie.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago

How can he say that covid was a moment of scientific glory when it is becoming increasingly evident that science was not able to inform public health policy wisely and created a so called vacine that is leading to an incredible rise in vacine hesitancy.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Think what he’s saying about it through. The scientific ability to produce those vaccines was a triumph. What you’re confusing it with is the political.manipulation of populations around the use of vaccines.

He also makes the point that due to the immediacy of the political demand for vaccines, the usual, proper timescales needed for sound scientific analysis of efficacy weren’t allowed. That’s not the fault of scientists, although in retrodpect they might’ve been more forthright about their lack of certainty with regard to efficacy and side-effects. In short, it was good, groundbreaking science made bad by global political demands to make haste.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

More than ability to produce groundbreaking science Covid revealed how our scientific and health institutions have been coopted by big money and corporations interests. It was quite painful to see prestigious scientific journals playing the corporate game and to see the majority of scientists in total silence when their colleagues were discriminated by having a different take on the subject. No I do not think science comes out of covid with much glory.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

You’re again confusing two things: the scientific endeavour itself, and its application by politicians, aided and abetted by some scientists.
I thought i’d made that clear, and that’s what Dawkins argument is concerned with. Rather than asserting that you ” don’t think science comes out of covid with much glory” what you seem to be wishing to state is that the scientific community didn’t emerge with much glory, which is something of a truism.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No. It is its application by scientists that is the problem due to their cowardice, greed, egomania.. in short its prostitution!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That’s what i just said, phrased differently.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That’s what i just said, phrased differently.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I certainly do not consider this Covid mrna injectable products a great scientific endeavor. They should never been called a vacine and the fact is that increasingly people do not want to take it. Sorry Steve, but no glory.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Why apologise? The scientific expertise that produced the vaccines (note the spelling) was exceptional. The application of the vaccines was a disgrace. If you’re unable to acknowledge the difference between the two, all it reveals is that you don’t understand the science that took place, in which case you need to apologise to yourself.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I may not understand the science that took place and maybe the scientific expertise that produced the so called vaccines might in the future produce something exceptional. So far it produced a lousy injectable product that nobody wants to take it anymore. And we still have to explain why the excess death in highly vaccinated countries with mrna vaccines will not abate after two consecutive years. Far from glory.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

So far it produced a lousy injectable product that nobody wants to take it anymore. 

You’re in a bubble of fellow Internet nutters egging each other on to further heights of nutterdom, as is revealed by your bizarre circumlocutions (“injectable product”). Most people in the UK took the vaccine.

And we still have to explain why the excess death in highly vaccinated countries with mrna vaccines will not abate after two consecutive years.

This is incorrect. The all-cause death rate is higher among the unvaccinated, though that effect seems to be getting less with time, presumably as everyone has had COVID.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Wright
Paul Wright
Paul Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

So far it produced a lousy injectable product that nobody wants to take it anymore. 

You’re in a bubble of fellow Internet nutters egging each other on to further heights of nutterdom, as is revealed by your bizarre circumlocutions (“injectable product”). Most people in the UK took the vaccine.

And we still have to explain why the excess death in highly vaccinated countries with mrna vaccines will not abate after two consecutive years.

This is incorrect. The all-cause death rate is higher among the unvaccinated, though that effect seems to be getting less with time, presumably as everyone has had COVID.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Wright
C Ross
C Ross
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

It was science that caused the virus in order to justify the science for a vaccine. “Doing Science” has become yet another form of virtue signalling

Last edited 11 months ago by C Ross
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

..but where were the scientists who developed the vaccines when the govts went fascist on the inoculation programmes and lockdowns etc., ..to enrich big pharma?
No.. in their silence they aided and abetted the crimes that followed. Hiroshima was not the fault of the relevant scientists but the airforce? eh, no.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good example of a guy who simply can’t change his perspective. He doesn’t *want* to make the distinction so he’s not going to.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I may not understand the science that took place and maybe the scientific expertise that produced the so called vaccines might in the future produce something exceptional. So far it produced a lousy injectable product that nobody wants to take it anymore. And we still have to explain why the excess death in highly vaccinated countries with mrna vaccines will not abate after two consecutive years. Far from glory.

C Ross
C Ross
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

It was science that caused the virus in order to justify the science for a vaccine. “Doing Science” has become yet another form of virtue signalling

Last edited 11 months ago by C Ross
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

..but where were the scientists who developed the vaccines when the govts went fascist on the inoculation programmes and lockdowns etc., ..to enrich big pharma?
No.. in their silence they aided and abetted the crimes that followed. Hiroshima was not the fault of the relevant scientists but the airforce? eh, no.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good example of a guy who simply can’t change his perspective. He doesn’t *want* to make the distinction so he’s not going to.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Why apologise? The scientific expertise that produced the vaccines (note the spelling) was exceptional. The application of the vaccines was a disgrace. If you’re unable to acknowledge the difference between the two, all it reveals is that you don’t understand the science that took place, in which case you need to apologise to yourself.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No. It is its application by scientists that is the problem due to their cowardice, greed, egomania.. in short its prostitution!

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I certainly do not consider this Covid mrna injectable products a great scientific endeavor. They should never been called a vacine and the fact is that increasingly people do not want to take it. Sorry Steve, but no glory.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

”No I do not think science comes out of covid with much glory.”

It came out with the glory of Dr Mengele and Unit 731.

A crime against humanity. No wonder the good Dr loved it – as there is no good or evil in this kind of scientist – then all which matters is if the science was cool.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I agree and upvoted you.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I agree and upvoted you.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

You’re again confusing two things: the scientific endeavour itself, and its application by politicians, aided and abetted by some scientists.
I thought i’d made that clear, and that’s what Dawkins argument is concerned with. Rather than asserting that you ” don’t think science comes out of covid with much glory” what you seem to be wishing to state is that the scientific community didn’t emerge with much glory, which is something of a truism.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

”No I do not think science comes out of covid with much glory.”

It came out with the glory of Dr Mengele and Unit 731.

A crime against humanity. No wonder the good Dr loved it – as there is no good or evil in this kind of scientist – then all which matters is if the science was cool.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Seems there is growing evidence that the work on the covid shots did not start from zero in 2020, but that there had been work on mRNA based therapies many years prior. That takes a little of the shine off the argument that these shots were developed “at the speed of science” – but in spite of that I do believe what is scientifically possible [generally speaking] today is very amazing.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

Check out the work done in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill laboratories.. it seems there is some evidence to suggest development of ‘add a function’ virology may well have been a military funded weapons program? Scary stuff indeed!

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

It is Amazing – and even more Horrible. Wait till we what they are cooking up in labs for us people – the AI, the AI psy-opps, the AI war Machines, the chemicals to do unspeakable things to us, the bio- silicon implants, the enslaving of humanity in everlasting misery…

it is amazing, but may be the gates of hell

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Glory be to the holy scientists
For their works wrought great things
And lo, great destruction followed
As the dark night follows a bright day.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Glory be to the holy scientists
For their works wrought great things
And lo, great destruction followed
As the dark night follows a bright day.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

Check out the work done in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill laboratories.. it seems there is some evidence to suggest development of ‘add a function’ virology may well have been a military funded weapons program? Scary stuff indeed!

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Rossol

It is Amazing – and even more Horrible. Wait till we what they are cooking up in labs for us people – the AI, the AI psy-opps, the AI war Machines, the chemicals to do unspeakable things to us, the bio- silicon implants, the enslaving of humanity in everlasting misery…

it is amazing, but may be the gates of hell

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The guy who patented the mRNA wrapped in a nano-lipid vaccine, Dr Malone, says the vax was 100% a product of the Bio-Weapons Industry – and has been around for decades – being further and further refined for dubious purposes. Like they were creating the virus in a bio weapon lab as a bio weapon they were creating the mRNA vax as a bio weapon adjunct.

All they had to do was open the recipe Book deep in some Langley safe and get making billions of doses. There was no lightspeed – it was just a very bad experimental genetic treatment, re-named as a vaccine, tested on 8 mice, and sent out to wreck the health of the world. (and introduce a police state, and make $Trillions and cause The Great Reset. It was a Crime Against Humanity – not some amazing scientific miracle. It was evil.)

The PLANDENIC this fool above was so taken up by shows what a total dic* he is.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

More than ability to produce groundbreaking science Covid revealed how our scientific and health institutions have been coopted by big money and corporations interests. It was quite painful to see prestigious scientific journals playing the corporate game and to see the majority of scientists in total silence when their colleagues were discriminated by having a different take on the subject. No I do not think science comes out of covid with much glory.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Seems there is growing evidence that the work on the covid shots did not start from zero in 2020, but that there had been work on mRNA based therapies many years prior. That takes a little of the shine off the argument that these shots were developed “at the speed of science” – but in spite of that I do believe what is scientifically possible [generally speaking] today is very amazing.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The guy who patented the mRNA wrapped in a nano-lipid vaccine, Dr Malone, says the vax was 100% a product of the Bio-Weapons Industry – and has been around for decades – being further and further refined for dubious purposes. Like they were creating the virus in a bio weapon lab as a bio weapon they were creating the mRNA vax as a bio weapon adjunct.

All they had to do was open the recipe Book deep in some Langley safe and get making billions of doses. There was no lightspeed – it was just a very bad experimental genetic treatment, re-named as a vaccine, tested on 8 mice, and sent out to wreck the health of the world. (and introduce a police state, and make $Trillions and cause The Great Reset. It was a Crime Against Humanity – not some amazing scientific miracle. It was evil.)

The PLANDENIC this fool above was so taken up by shows what a total dic* he is.

AC Harper
AC Harper
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

You have a fair point – although science works best on a slower timescale and this allowed the political activists room to jump in and paint their lurid forecasts of doom.
Once the ‘narrative’ was set real science struggled to make itself heard against political power and censorship. But now there are a number of ‘good’ scientific studies revealing the true nature of Covid and lockdowns. Good science takes time. Bad science tramples all before it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Really? All the scientists refused to advise politicians did they? Resigned en masse did they? Spoke truth to power did they? Funny, I missed that bit!

Terry M
Terry M
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Miss the Great Barrington Declaration, did you?

These brave scientists spoke truth to power, and look what happened. The governments, media, and YOU ignored them.

Terry M
Terry M
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Miss the Great Barrington Declaration, did you?

These brave scientists spoke truth to power, and look what happened. The governments, media, and YOU ignored them.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Really? All the scientists refused to advise politicians did they? Resigned en masse did they? Spoke truth to power did they? Funny, I missed that bit!

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Richard Dawkins is a great scientist. In his books he takes data and evidence from hundreds of years of science and makes an argument for the lack of a God. Others have argued that such scientific arguments are not relevant to the God argument – but this does not make him a bad scientist. Science is all about conflicting beliefs and different interpretations of evidence. The discussions continue until one belief overcomes others.
The same with the vaccination issue. You have a belief; others on this site have beliefs. But that doesn’t make you right or wrong. It doesn’t make all science bad either. At the time of COVID there were conflicting beliefs. Someone, the people in charge, had to make a decision. With hindsight, the decision was probably wrong. It doesn’t make science bad, nor scientists guilty of something.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

Agree that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with scientists being wrong. What is morally wrong, though, is asserting with certainty something you know may turn out to be false, and about which you are highly uncertain. It’s also wrong for scientifically and medically qualified people not to speak up if they have good reason to believe that harms may be occurring. If you believe in liberal democracy and personal autonomy, the “people in charge” refers to every human being alive. Political, corporate and scientific leaders, in a liberal democracy, don’t have the right to override individuals’ agency, bodily autonomy, freedom of movement, speech or association whatever “the science” might say.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

You believe in basic freedoms, like freedom of speech – as do I. But UnHerd represents people of higher brainpower and (probably) greater age.
Suppose that people like us represent 20% of the population – Nietzsche said 1%. The rest are the Herd, people who don’t think as much. Should everybody, even murderers, have basic rights of speech, even if they are trying to destroy us?
With freedom of speech comes a mutual agreement to abide by the laws and conventions of society. I’m sure that 99% of our population know their rights but do they also know what is expected in return? I think not.
Today, I am intimidated by what I see around me. I am quite open with UnHerd but it is not really safe. For others to stand up and disagree with the trend is difficult. It is not about scientific thought but more about personal bravery. Would you do it?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I will defend the rights of murderers to speak provided their speech doesn’t do murder which, obviously it cannot. Speech doesn’t kill. I would fully expect a murderer to try and justify his/her act pleading provocation etc. and I would expect others to speak against that. This, after all is what happens in a court of law. Do you suggest the murderer be prevented from speaking?
It doesn’t take a lot of courage to disagree with the trend (I do it all the time and live to tell the tale).. unless you’re a snowflake of course in which case it’s best to stay at home, alone, in your bed lest you find some words offensive. Yes I am old but my IQ is about average for a 3rd level graduate, no big deal. If you are unsure don’t worry: you can always state your case in the form of questions, merely by adding: , surely? at the end. Please understand: denial of free speech is a gross oppression and a fascist denial of human rights.
You’d be surprised how well acquainted apparently uneducated people are when it comes to knowing their rights.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

Yes.

the 1% – I think that is 140 IQ – I wonder what the IQ of Unerd readers is….

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

Yes, I believe everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, and conscience, whatever intellectual capacity they might be perceived by others to possess. Basic freedoms need to be universal, otherwise they are not basic freedoms.

Equally, compelled speech is not free speech. But that doesn’t mean that, if one has a professional duty to impart your knowledge – including your uncertainties – to empower non-expert others in your care to make informed choices (eg as one does as a doctor), one does not have a moral obligation to fulfil that professional duty.

Beyond that, it’s down to our individual consciences as to how, as you put it, “brave” to be. No-one can be totally courageous all of the time; everyone needs some respite and sanctuary. I don’t agree, though, that those people who are perhaps less well formally educated and have better things to do with their time than post comments on Unherd are necessarily less tolerant of divergent viewpoints. In my experience the opposite is true, and it’s the so-called intellectual, scientific and political elites who are more likely to imprison themselves in lazy, fearful groupthinking, in part because their status depends on to and in part because they are more likely to be enthralled by abstractions and less likely to be connected to the real world in all of its diverse, concrete, contingent glory.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I will defend the rights of murderers to speak provided their speech doesn’t do murder which, obviously it cannot. Speech doesn’t kill. I would fully expect a murderer to try and justify his/her act pleading provocation etc. and I would expect others to speak against that. This, after all is what happens in a court of law. Do you suggest the murderer be prevented from speaking?
It doesn’t take a lot of courage to disagree with the trend (I do it all the time and live to tell the tale).. unless you’re a snowflake of course in which case it’s best to stay at home, alone, in your bed lest you find some words offensive. Yes I am old but my IQ is about average for a 3rd level graduate, no big deal. If you are unsure don’t worry: you can always state your case in the form of questions, merely by adding: , surely? at the end. Please understand: denial of free speech is a gross oppression and a fascist denial of human rights.
You’d be surprised how well acquainted apparently uneducated people are when it comes to knowing their rights.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

Yes.

the 1% – I think that is 140 IQ – I wonder what the IQ of Unerd readers is….

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

Yes, I believe everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, and conscience, whatever intellectual capacity they might be perceived by others to possess. Basic freedoms need to be universal, otherwise they are not basic freedoms.

Equally, compelled speech is not free speech. But that doesn’t mean that, if one has a professional duty to impart your knowledge – including your uncertainties – to empower non-expert others in your care to make informed choices (eg as one does as a doctor), one does not have a moral obligation to fulfil that professional duty.

Beyond that, it’s down to our individual consciences as to how, as you put it, “brave” to be. No-one can be totally courageous all of the time; everyone needs some respite and sanctuary. I don’t agree, though, that those people who are perhaps less well formally educated and have better things to do with their time than post comments on Unherd are necessarily less tolerant of divergent viewpoints. In my experience the opposite is true, and it’s the so-called intellectual, scientific and political elites who are more likely to imprison themselves in lazy, fearful groupthinking, in part because their status depends on to and in part because they are more likely to be enthralled by abstractions and less likely to be connected to the real world in all of its diverse, concrete, contingent glory.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

You believe in basic freedoms, like freedom of speech – as do I. But UnHerd represents people of higher brainpower and (probably) greater age.
Suppose that people like us represent 20% of the population – Nietzsche said 1%. The rest are the Herd, people who don’t think as much. Should everybody, even murderers, have basic rights of speech, even if they are trying to destroy us?
With freedom of speech comes a mutual agreement to abide by the laws and conventions of society. I’m sure that 99% of our population know their rights but do they also know what is expected in return? I think not.
Today, I am intimidated by what I see around me. I am quite open with UnHerd but it is not really safe. For others to stand up and disagree with the trend is difficult. It is not about scientific thought but more about personal bravery. Would you do it?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Like Dawkins you let scientists off the hook far too easily.. and you let Dawkins off the hook even more easily. Dawkins is the high priest of Scientism, a new religion replete with its dogma, certainty, instant dismissal of counter views and occasional fanaticism. In short, Dawkins uses all the mean tricks of dogmatic religion to attack religions. He also dismisses the science that disproves Ultra Darwinism so much so he’s now in a minority. It seems 500+ doctoral scientists including 12 Nobel laureates fgs have expressed major doubts on Darwin’s Tree of Life, Blob to man theory.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Funnily enough and very rare for me, I agree with you. Dawkins is over the top because he has found a way to make money. He is like a Celeb Scientist.
Science has a bad name today because the guys in the labs are led by research grants. When I did my best scientific work – before selling out – the government was the employer and really good work was done. Also we have the weasel words ‘Social Scientists’ who are not scientists at all – they have merely read a book on statistics. So I would agree with your implied view, that you can no longer believe anything.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Funnily enough and very rare for me, I agree with you. Dawkins is over the top because he has found a way to make money. He is like a Celeb Scientist.
Science has a bad name today because the guys in the labs are led by research grants. When I did my best scientific work – before selling out – the government was the employer and really good work was done. Also we have the weasel words ‘Social Scientists’ who are not scientists at all – they have merely read a book on statistics. So I would agree with your implied view, that you can no longer believe anything.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

he is not a scientist he is a celebrity. In 1973, or whenever he did ‘The Selfish Gene’ and has ridden on that since. He is just a loon.

C Ross
C Ross
11 months ago

Dawkins has not been a working scientist for more than a decade if not longer. He is a propagandist. And arguably as crude metaphysically as the evangelists he denounces

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
11 months ago

Agree that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with scientists being wrong. What is morally wrong, though, is asserting with certainty something you know may turn out to be false, and about which you are highly uncertain. It’s also wrong for scientifically and medically qualified people not to speak up if they have good reason to believe that harms may be occurring. If you believe in liberal democracy and personal autonomy, the “people in charge” refers to every human being alive. Political, corporate and scientific leaders, in a liberal democracy, don’t have the right to override individuals’ agency, bodily autonomy, freedom of movement, speech or association whatever “the science” might say.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Like Dawkins you let scientists off the hook far too easily.. and you let Dawkins off the hook even more easily. Dawkins is the high priest of Scientism, a new religion replete with its dogma, certainty, instant dismissal of counter views and occasional fanaticism. In short, Dawkins uses all the mean tricks of dogmatic religion to attack religions. He also dismisses the science that disproves Ultra Darwinism so much so he’s now in a minority. It seems 500+ doctoral scientists including 12 Nobel laureates fgs have expressed major doubts on Darwin’s Tree of Life, Blob to man theory.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago

he is not a scientist he is a celebrity. In 1973, or whenever he did ‘The Selfish Gene’ and has ridden on that since. He is just a loon.

C Ross
C Ross
11 months ago

Dawkins has not been a working scientist for more than a decade if not longer. He is a propagandist. And arguably as crude metaphysically as the evangelists he denounces

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Worse, can anyone point to any material issue on which the scientific establishment was right about Covid
Lockdowns – wrongMask wrongThe effectiveness of the vaccine – wrong.
It seems to the Mr Dworkin is suffering from some kind of delusion, lets call it the science delusion.
On a related subject, the God Delusion is the most convincing argument for the existence of a higher being that I have read. “Remember when you were a child and you were terrified of monsters under the bed an when you looked there were no monsters – see no God”. If that is the best you can do there must be a God

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

The god hypothesis remains as valid as it ever was. Unlike the scientific certainty which comes and goes with the seasons.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

The god hypothesis remains as valid as it ever was. Unlike the scientific certainty which comes and goes with the seasons.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Dawkins is pathologically unable to criticise any science, preferring instead to defend the indefensible and make feeble excuses for science’s glaringly obvious cowardice, greed, egomania, megalomania and prostitution.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

A bit like Catholic priests in history. Is there anybody who doesn’t sell out to the highest bidder? Are we all so pure on UnHerd?
These conversations remind me of the year I worked in Italy, pre-internet. Every morning, all of the old men were kicked out by their wives and they met in the cafes over a thimble-sized coffee. For hours they would loudly discuss politics, politicians and football. Every day the problems of the world were solved before lunch.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I can say, hand on heart, that I resigned on principle and went solo delivering a service that was ‘free’ from vested interest firms. Happily, industry was willing to pay for freely available expert advice knowing it was unsullied by corporate self-interest.
Governments should seek expert advice only from proven, qualified, solo, non-funded consultant experts. If they cheat, even once, their careers are over. Only professional accurate advice, total honesty and truth to power guarantees survival.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

I can say, hand on heart, that I resigned on principle and went solo delivering a service that was ‘free’ from vested interest firms. Happily, industry was willing to pay for freely available expert advice knowing it was unsullied by corporate self-interest.
Governments should seek expert advice only from proven, qualified, solo, non-funded consultant experts. If they cheat, even once, their careers are over. Only professional accurate advice, total honesty and truth to power guarantees survival.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

A bit like Catholic priests in history. Is there anybody who doesn’t sell out to the highest bidder? Are we all so pure on UnHerd?
These conversations remind me of the year I worked in Italy, pre-internet. Every morning, all of the old men were kicked out by their wives and they met in the cafes over a thimble-sized coffee. For hours they would loudly discuss politics, politicians and football. Every day the problems of the world were solved before lunch.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Think what he’s saying about it through. The scientific ability to produce those vaccines was a triumph. What you’re confusing it with is the political.manipulation of populations around the use of vaccines.

He also makes the point that due to the immediacy of the political demand for vaccines, the usual, proper timescales needed for sound scientific analysis of efficacy weren’t allowed. That’s not the fault of scientists, although in retrodpect they might’ve been more forthright about their lack of certainty with regard to efficacy and side-effects. In short, it was good, groundbreaking science made bad by global political demands to make haste.

AC Harper
AC Harper
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

You have a fair point – although science works best on a slower timescale and this allowed the political activists room to jump in and paint their lurid forecasts of doom.
Once the ‘narrative’ was set real science struggled to make itself heard against political power and censorship. But now there are a number of ‘good’ scientific studies revealing the true nature of Covid and lockdowns. Good science takes time. Bad science tramples all before it.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Richard Dawkins is a great scientist. In his books he takes data and evidence from hundreds of years of science and makes an argument for the lack of a God. Others have argued that such scientific arguments are not relevant to the God argument – but this does not make him a bad scientist. Science is all about conflicting beliefs and different interpretations of evidence. The discussions continue until one belief overcomes others.
The same with the vaccination issue. You have a belief; others on this site have beliefs. But that doesn’t make you right or wrong. It doesn’t make all science bad either. At the time of COVID there were conflicting beliefs. Someone, the people in charge, had to make a decision. With hindsight, the decision was probably wrong. It doesn’t make science bad, nor scientists guilty of something.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Worse, can anyone point to any material issue on which the scientific establishment was right about Covid
Lockdowns – wrongMask wrongThe effectiveness of the vaccine – wrong.
It seems to the Mr Dworkin is suffering from some kind of delusion, lets call it the science delusion.
On a related subject, the God Delusion is the most convincing argument for the existence of a higher being that I have read. “Remember when you were a child and you were terrified of monsters under the bed an when you looked there were no monsters – see no God”. If that is the best you can do there must be a God

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andre Rego

Dawkins is pathologically unable to criticise any science, preferring instead to defend the indefensible and make feeble excuses for science’s glaringly obvious cowardice, greed, egomania, megalomania and prostitution.

Andre Rego
Andre Rego
11 months ago

How can he say that covid was a moment of scientific glory when it is becoming increasingly evident that science was not able to inform public health policy wisely and created a so called vacine that is leading to an incredible rise in vacine hesitancy.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

I am tired of professional God-botherers. Believe if you want to – whatever you decide, I won’t hold it against you.
Me? I’m with Voltaire declining, on his deathbed, to renoumce The Devil: “This is no time to be making new enemies”. 

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

You’re so enlightened. It’s unfortunate that you and the rest of the Polygenic Community aren’t able establish your own Commune free from horrific terror of Judeo-Christian traditions.

I’ve always wondered how a nation detached from “superstition” would fare from the standpoint of human freedom. Unfortunately the 20th century never gave us the empirical evidence we needed to make that determination. May Science Bless you in your journey toward Self-Love.

AC Harper
AC Harper
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Wikipedia: Irreligion is common in Sweden, and Sweden is one of the most secular nations in the world. The majority of Swedish citizens are members of the Church of Sweden, but very few are practicing members. Sweden has legally been a secular state since 2000 when the Church of Sweden was separated from the state.
Sounds pretty detached from “superstition” to me, and Sweden is considered to be faring well in democratic measures.

Last edited 11 months ago by AC Harper
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

When the pandemic happened, the churches here (in Sweden) stepped up and did a lot of the co-ordinating in getting groceries — and everything, really — delivered to the elderly and others who locked themselves up tighter than a drum. Last year’s turnout for the elections in the Church of Sweden (which every citizen who hasn’t officially left the church can vote in) had the highest turn-out in I don’t remember how many decades. This is in part because the Church, which had hitherto complained when all these atheists showed up and voted in their elections, as was their legal right, made a point of welcoming those people who, despite not being practicing Christians, showed up to volunteer for the pandemic effort.
As a result, the Church has discovered that there are a large number of Swedes who want to be part of a Christian community but who don’t believe in God. I suspect that other countries would find plenty of similarly-minded people if they were to start looking.

Last edited 11 months ago by Laura Creighton
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

This is how Irish Christian missionaries have worked for many years. Initial attempts to preach ‘the good news’ fell on deaf ears. So they turned instead to behaving like decent Christians, feeding and educating the ‘pagan’ natives. Those who can do, those who can’t teach, those who can’t teach become critics, like Dawkins..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“So they turned instead to behaving like decent Christians, feeding and educating the ‘pagan’ natives”.

Or perhaps remained atop Great Skellig* eating gull’s eggs and b+ggering each other stupid.

(* Otherwise known as Skellig Michael.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Yep, that too.. dim lads dat prayed hard for d’udder lads out foreign! Have you been to Skelligs Michael? It’s far too steep for any buggerin’ ..sure you’d fall to your death: ‘just not worth the candle!!
But your time line is out: the Skelligs monks were contemporaneous with the great Irish educator monks travelling throughout the European mainland in the early middle ages. The missionaries I refer to came much later and indeed continue to this day.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Plenty of room in those beehive huts!

Yes, I went first in 1967, I gather it has now been ruined by becoming a ‘World Heritage Centre’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Plenty of room in those beehive huts!

Yes, I went first in 1967, I gather it has now been ruined by becoming a ‘World Heritage Centre’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Yep, that too.. dim lads dat prayed hard for d’udder lads out foreign! Have you been to Skelligs Michael? It’s far too steep for any buggerin’ ..sure you’d fall to your death: ‘just not worth the candle!!
But your time line is out: the Skelligs monks were contemporaneous with the great Irish educator monks travelling throughout the European mainland in the early middle ages. The missionaries I refer to came much later and indeed continue to this day.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

“So they turned instead to behaving like decent Christians, feeding and educating the ‘pagan’ natives”.

Or perhaps remained atop Great Skellig* eating gull’s eggs and b+ggering each other stupid.

(* Otherwise known as Skellig Michael.)

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

This is how Irish Christian missionaries have worked for many years. Initial attempts to preach ‘the good news’ fell on deaf ears. So they turned instead to behaving like decent Christians, feeding and educating the ‘pagan’ natives. Those who can do, those who can’t teach, those who can’t teach become critics, like Dawkins..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sweden, as we know from Covid, is kinda different.. you need to differentiate between the god hypothesis and religion/superstition just as some of us are able to differentiate between magic and science.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sweden is a tiny, culturally homogeneous nation that can function well because its people generally share the same values. Its Christian roots stretch back over a millennium. Approximately 60% of its population identify as Christians. So Christianity is still a dominating influence. Calling Sweden “irreligious” may be true in practice but it is tethered by Christian values.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Swedish death metal is a death metal music scene developed in Sweden”

Sweden is Secular? Not all the way – it has the world’s most evil music scene

Gates of Hell stuff, some popular bands listed:

67. Afflicted66. Brutality65. Torture Division64. Funebrarum63. Burial Invocation62. Divine Empire61. Incantation60. Interment59. Vomitory58. Puteraeon57. Asphyx56. Fleshcrawl55. Jungle Rot54. Mass Infection53. Disincarnate52. God Dethroned51. Scent of Flesh9. Blood Incantation98. Sarpanitum97. Volturyon96. The Chasm95. Necrophobic94. Demilich93. God Macabre92. Convulse91. Benediction90. Demigod89. Vallenfyre88. Baest87. Dying Fetus86. Repugnant85. Gorguts84. Hideous Divinity83. Goretrade82. Death Breath

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

My own son, bored with his classical jazz, played in the Austrian death metal band Hidoslem.. dreadful stuff; but with zero homage to anything Satanic. Just like Punk, merely juvenile anti authority venting.
Happily, he got over it very quickly and now plays in the Burgtheater et al.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

My own son, bored with his classical jazz, played in the Austrian death metal band Hidoslem.. dreadful stuff; but with zero homage to anything Satanic. Just like Punk, merely juvenile anti authority venting.
Happily, he got over it very quickly and now plays in the Burgtheater et al.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

When the pandemic happened, the churches here (in Sweden) stepped up and did a lot of the co-ordinating in getting groceries — and everything, really — delivered to the elderly and others who locked themselves up tighter than a drum. Last year’s turnout for the elections in the Church of Sweden (which every citizen who hasn’t officially left the church can vote in) had the highest turn-out in I don’t remember how many decades. This is in part because the Church, which had hitherto complained when all these atheists showed up and voted in their elections, as was their legal right, made a point of welcoming those people who, despite not being practicing Christians, showed up to volunteer for the pandemic effort.
As a result, the Church has discovered that there are a large number of Swedes who want to be part of a Christian community but who don’t believe in God. I suspect that other countries would find plenty of similarly-minded people if they were to start looking.

Last edited 11 months ago by Laura Creighton
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sweden, as we know from Covid, is kinda different.. you need to differentiate between the god hypothesis and religion/superstition just as some of us are able to differentiate between magic and science.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sweden is a tiny, culturally homogeneous nation that can function well because its people generally share the same values. Its Christian roots stretch back over a millennium. Approximately 60% of its population identify as Christians. So Christianity is still a dominating influence. Calling Sweden “irreligious” may be true in practice but it is tethered by Christian values.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Swedish death metal is a death metal music scene developed in Sweden”

Sweden is Secular? Not all the way – it has the world’s most evil music scene

Gates of Hell stuff, some popular bands listed:

67. Afflicted66. Brutality65. Torture Division64. Funebrarum63. Burial Invocation62. Divine Empire61. Incantation60. Interment59. Vomitory58. Puteraeon57. Asphyx56. Fleshcrawl55. Jungle Rot54. Mass Infection53. Disincarnate52. God Dethroned51. Scent of Flesh9. Blood Incantation98. Sarpanitum97. Volturyon96. The Chasm95. Necrophobic94. Demilich93. God Macabre92. Convulse91. Benediction90. Demigod89. Vallenfyre88. Baest87. Dying Fetus86. Repugnant85. Gorguts84. Hideous Divinity83. Goretrade82. Death Breath

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Dawkins’ connection between the emotional “leap of faith” required by those who believe in transubstantiation and transgenderism is something i’ve previously referred to.

There is, however, no “leap of faith” required by those of us who feel a deep spiritual connection with the universe we find ourselves inhabiting; and as far as we’re concerned, entirely god-free. So i’ll say it again – religion gets in the way of understanding the universe; a fallacy of the early stages of our human experience.

Despite that, you’re free to believe what you wish, if you feel you need to.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Many great scientists (Einstein for one) found their spiritual side and science to be entirely compatible. By contrast, puny scientists revert to a more ‘religious’ outlook namely Scientism. Sadly, Dawkins is one of the latter, but I see signs of a thaw..

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your characterisation of scientists who fail to meet your religiosity quota as “puny” is unworthy.
You’re also misinterpreting Dawkins. He’s not saying he’s recently discovered Yeats (as you seem to indicate in other comments), simply that he admires his work and some of it resonates with him.
And for good measure, i also see no incompatibility between spirituality and science. My point concerns the adherence to specific religious doctrines which preach a world view that is essentially unscientific.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I agree with everything you say. I merely suggested a tendency exists among many scientists, namely that the great scientists tend to be comfortable with spirituality while the puny (non PhDs let’s say) tend to be the other type, eschewing spirituality as if it were the black plague.. perhaps I overstretched.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Ah, fair enough, and i’d agree with that.
The key point here, i think, is distinguishing between spirituality and religion; the former precedes the latter by many millenia, probably since the dawn of human consciousness.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Couldn’t agree more! Religionists were either well-meaning and thought they’d explain spirituality to the plebs (improve on Jesus) or, worse, saw an opportunity to exercise their greed and megalomania to control and impoverish the same plebs. Best stick with the maestro and cut out the middlemen eh?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Amen to that!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Amen to that!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Couldn’t agree more! Religionists were either well-meaning and thought they’d explain spirituality to the plebs (improve on Jesus) or, worse, saw an opportunity to exercise their greed and megalomania to control and impoverish the same plebs. Best stick with the maestro and cut out the middlemen eh?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Ah, fair enough, and i’d agree with that.
The key point here, i think, is distinguishing between spirituality and religion; the former precedes the latter by many millenia, probably since the dawn of human consciousness.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I agree with everything you say. I merely suggested a tendency exists among many scientists, namely that the great scientists tend to be comfortable with spirituality while the puny (non PhDs let’s say) tend to be the other type, eschewing spirituality as if it were the black plague.. perhaps I overstretched.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your characterisation of scientists who fail to meet your religiosity quota as “puny” is unworthy.
You’re also misinterpreting Dawkins. He’s not saying he’s recently discovered Yeats (as you seem to indicate in other comments), simply that he admires his work and some of it resonates with him.
And for good measure, i also see no incompatibility between spirituality and science. My point concerns the adherence to specific religious doctrines which preach a world view that is essentially unscientific.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’ve read your post before so I know you believe in a transitional species somewhere between Man and Ape. Using basic deduction, wouldn’t that mean you believe some people are closer genetically to Apes than others?

I don’t run into that issue.
For instance, I don’t see Neanderthals or Denisovians as a different species or subspecies. I think they were the same species that just developed some different body characteristics in different conditions. I actually find the classification of Neanderthal itself a backdoor inference leading Scientific Racism.

What say you?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

I know you didn’t address your question to me but this is a public forum. The answer must surely be that nobody knows and whatever is asserted will surely be refuted. It is often said that science is never wrong but merely in need of fine tuning. I don’t agree. Science is often wrong, not merely slightly inaccurate.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Physiognomy?
The late, lamented George Floyd Esq for example?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

What i say is: you’re confusing me with someone else; i’ve never put forward that hypothesis about a transitional species. If you can find the author i’d like to look at that argument though, since i’d probably take issue with it.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

So you’re saying Humans didn’t evolve from Apes? So you reject Darwinian Evolution?

Last edited 11 months ago by T Bone
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Just show me the quote that you’re basing your assumptions on. We can proceed from there.

If you can’t produce the quote, may i suggest you should apologise?

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The Article on Wolftherians. You referred to vestigial tail as a remnant that humans share with a common ancestor. That all humans descended from a species with a tail.

Do you need me to find your exact quote? That’s a CLEAR REFERENCE to a transitional species.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

We also share multiple residual features with many other species, including fish. When the human foetus is in its very early stages, the characteristics we share with our very ancient fish ancestors are more apparent.
Evolutionary biology may not be your strong point, and i’ll accept that. However… the point you seem to be trying to make is intended to suggest that i’m in some sense racist, which is a simple slur, and requires a retraction or an apology; i’m not bothered which.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Of course a human fetus resembles other species in early development. Its developing into form. That’s a simple correlation fallacy that means nothing one way or the other.

I do not think you are a malicious person…at least based on the way you write. I believe you’ve either not read Darwin or haven’t processed his OBVIOUS Biological Racism. It’s unavoidable basic logic.

This is a matter of deduction-You can not buy into Darwin’s Hypothesis and reject Biological Racism. There is either One Human Race or a bunch of Root Races at the Base of the Human Evolutionary Flowchart.

I believe there is one Human Race with every being created in the Image of God including yourself.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

There’s no logic involved in your faith, which, as i’ve suggested elsewhere as a general point, is standing in the way of your understanding and it appears to be leading you into making spurious and unnecessary accusations, which you then find yourself unable to retract.
I’m not sure your god would approve of that, but i’ll forgive you.

T Bone
T Bone
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Oh but there is and that logic becomes apparent the more clear it becomes that Atheists created Pseudosciences like Anthropology to construct an Origin Narrative. Anthropology is a social science masquerading as hard science and every Atheist or Anti-Theist (I should say) bases Origin Narratives off Anthropological Mythical Fiction just as Christians are accused of doing.

Ironically, being an an Anti-Theist is as central to the Identity of a non-believer as being Christian is to a Believer because Anti-Theism is likewise a Religion of Faith. Faith in the “Science” of Anthropology.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

More false assumptions and misunderstanding, but i’ll leave it there.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray