Coffee House

Richard Dawkins and the cost of rationality

16 August 2014

6:35 PM

16 August 2014

6:35 PM

Rationality doesn’t come cheap — not if you’re buying Richard Dawkins’ brand. In this week’s Spectator, Andrew Brown examines the costly cult of personality that has grown up around the professor; and the stratospheric cost of supporting his work. But your money doesn’t just aid Dawkins’ monstering of tithe-bloated religion — there are discounts and money-can-buy treats for non-believers too. So, what do you get?

For $85 a month or $1,000 a year – Reason Circle membership

  • Invitation to member-only event with personalities from Dawkin’s foundation
  • A discount for all purchases in the richarddawkins.net store

For $210 a month or $2,499 a year – Science Circle membership

  • One ticket to an invitation-only event with Dawkins, as well as all the benefits above

[Alt-Text]


For $420 a month or $5,000 a year – Darwin Circle membership

  • Everything above and another two tickets to an invitation-only event with Dawkins

$10,000 to $24,999 a year – Fifth Horseman Circle membership

  • All the above plus three more tickets to an invitation-only event with Dawkins
  • A private lunch with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Executive Director Robyn Blumner

$25,000 to $99,000 a year – Evolution Circle membership

  • Five seats at a table at an invitation-only event with Dawkins – plus everything listed above

$100,000 to $500,000 a year – Magic of Reality Circle membership

  • Private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins
  • A whole table at an invitation-only event with Dawkins – plus everything listed above

Make a donation of that size to a political party and you might (entirely coincidentally) find yourself made a peer a few months later. But if you’re more tempted by lunch with Richard, click here to join the enlightened.


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Show comments
  • Zzsz

    This is actually really important because Dawkins and his supporters are quite quick to attack the spending habits of religions, and, even more ironically, call their critics ‘fleas’ and ‘ticks’ who are leaching off their success to make money. You’ll notice that Richard’s charity habits are rather less impressive that your average Church’s raffle for the homeless shelter down the road. He doesn’t donate money unless he is trying to make some kind of PR move.

  • John Steadman

    I sometimes wonder about the company I keep, reading this mag. So many willing to demonise a man whose ideas are soundly based on reason and logic (and, in their fundamentals, supported by a couple of centuries of scientific endeavour), while adhering stubbornly to a wholly illogical and absurd notion about a ‘god’ based almost entirely on myth and legend. Extraordinary.

    • Fulgentian

      I think it’s extraordinary that in this day and age there are still people who, despite the work of men like Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Richard Swineburne, John Hicks, Richard Taylor, Peter van Inwagen etc., still dare to call religion ‘wholly illogical’, ‘absurd’, and ‘myth and legend’.

      Don’t you see, this kind of blinkered dismissal of all things supernatural is exactly what is so unreasonable and illogical about Dawkins and his minions?
      Dawkins himself really knows that belief in God is not illogical and absurd, hence why, in The God Delusion, he attempts to counter some of the traditional arguments for God’s existence. Good for him! I wish he would do more of this. It’s a whole lot better than shrieking out a load of ridiculous assertions about theism being unreasonable.
      Get with the 21st century.

      • John Steadman

        Do you suppose, then, that a knowledge of science, philosophy, theology and metaphysics is a necessary prerequisite to offering an opinion on a subject which is quite clearly a matter of common sense?
        Dawkins hardly ‘attempts to counter some of the traditional arguments for God’s existence’ in The God Delusion – I would say, rather, he demolishes them, certainly for those of us with some capacity for logical and empirically based reasoning. “Get with the 21st century”. Cool, man!

        • Ian G

          What is common sense? Presumably whatever you say it is.

          • John Steadman

            Don’t be silly, Mr Ian G. Now be so good as to refrain from asking me what ‘silly’ means.

            • Fulgentian

              What an awful response! You wouldn’t be much good in a debate. It’s not a good tactic to:
              a) completely avoid answering the question (because you make people think you have no idea what the answer is)
              b) respond to others with patronising sneers (because this shows you are not confident in your position and must resort to making your oponent look stupid in order to make yourself look good)

              The question asked is a completely valid one, so if you want to put up a good fight for atheism then for heaven’s sake answer it in a rational, reasonable manner. I thought that’s what you guys were best at!

              Let me explain – you seem to claim that deciding whether God exists or not is ‘clearly a matter of common sense’.
              1. What reason do you have for claiming that this is an issue that can clearly be decided by common sense?
              2. How do you define ‘common sense’ in this situation?
              One dictionary definition of Common Sense I found is:
              “good sense and sound judgement in practical matters.”
              But the existence of God is not a ‘practical matter’.

              • John Steadman

                It wasn’t a question – it was a silly statement. And now you’re being silly: I don’t have to ‘put up a good fight for atheism’ – it’s the believer’s obligation to provide evidence for the existence of an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful friend in the sky – and there is none. You know that – you’ve read The God Delusion. And I’m not making any illogical claims based on superstition (and very much geographically-based, as you’d expect of superstitious belief) – that’s the role of the faithful who have only ‘belief’ as a justification; ‘But the existence of God is not a practical matter” Quite so – which allows people to speak complete nonsense about it.
                . “Sneers’ ? Like “Get with the 21st century”?

                • Fulgentian

                  You do have to put up a fight for atheism! No judge in their right mind would say that the defendant need do nothing to show that they did not commit the crime. “Ah” you say, “but if there’s no evidence they did commit the crime…” More on that below.
                  If you are saying the burden of proof is with me the theist to prove that God exists, you’re basically saying “the default position is atheism. One should remain an atheist until proved otherwise.”
                  Why should I not say theism is the default position and I should remain a theist until I see evidence to the contrary?

                  Your claim that there is no good evidence God exists is completely false. Dawkins engages with the typical arguments for theism but as I showed above, his criticisms fail. This leaves us with good reason to believe in God from rational arguments, such as the Cosmological, Moral, and Ontological Arguments, as well as personal experience and God’s revelation. So not only ‘belief as justification’. If you want to show belief in God to be irrational, and without evidence, for goodness sake engage with the arguments themselves rather than making a sweeping ‘there’s no evidence’ statement.

                  You go on to make the genetic fallacy – that because belief in God varies from place to place it must be false. And you’re right, “get with the 21st century” was unnecessary! I’d like to propose that you have not met many theists who are able to stick up for their beliefs in a rational manner…

            • Ian G

              No more questions from me. Your answer to my first question tells me everything I need to know.

              • John Steadman

                Don’t be so disingenuous Mr Ian G. – ask a smart-arse question, get a smart-arse answer. And while we’re at why don’t you identify yourself?

        • Fulgentian

          Why is it clearly a matter of common sense? What a ridiculous assertion. And no, Dawkins comes nowhere close to ‘demolishing’ the classic arguments for theism. His counter-arguments are completely pedestrian and show his lack of philisophical understanding.

          Take for example his argument that God can not be the reason for the universe because he is more complex than the universe. This is not a good argument, because complexity is not an attribute of God! He may have complex thoughts, but as an unembodied mind his nature is completely simple.

          Or take the classic schoolboy refrain which he takes up – ‘who created God?’ Again this shows he has not read or understood the classical arguments – in his cosmological argument G. W. Leibniz makes it cleat that God exists necessarily. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be God! Some philosophers of the platonist persuasion think that things like numbers and sets exists necessarily, so it is with God. One of the attributes of God is there cannot be a possible world where he does not exist, and he is therefore necessary, so it is meaningless to ask who created him.

          ” certainly for those of us with some capacity for logical and empirically based reasoning”

          Please. Athiests do not have a monopoly on rational thought. In fact to suggest otherwise is totally irrational.

      • Jack Rocks

        I have to laugh. I mean really, the absurdity of using the name William Lane Craig. The man is a complete and utter idiot.

        Sam Harris destroyed Lane Craig in this debate, as everyone with half a brain does when they encounter him.

        • Fulgentian

          Right. So you fling dirt at Craig with a classic ad hominem attack. For goodness sake, what’s wrong with what he’s actually saying? Too many people just say ‘he’s an idiot’ and have nothing substantive to say in intelligent criticism of the premises of his well-reasoned arguments.
          And have you actually read any of the reaction to the debate you link?! Craig offered a complete knock-down argument which utterly defeated Harris’ moral landscape argument, for which Harris had no reply! Even other atheist ethicists thhink Harris’ idea completely flawed because of this, so go back and actually listen to the debate with more of an open mind.
          And for goodness sake stop contributing to the stereotype of thoughtless, irrational village atheism whose only response to intelligent theists is to insult them.

  • Sean L

    It’s a turf war. Science v Religion is a false opposition. Nietzsche hailed the man of science as the modern incarnation of the priestly type or man of God. The embodiment of “ascetic values” as he put it, having renounced faith in the one true God for faith in unconditional truth itself. The monotheistic God being the ontological as well as historical predecessor of the idea of pure truth. An idea that ultimately derives from Plato, which is why Christianity has been termed “Platonism for the people”. Dawkins himself exemplifies the type, and one could easily imagine him as a Victorian clergyman for instance.

    Of course if his blind watchmaker theory of evolution is true the very idea of human agency is illusory anyway. Nietzsche saw it as a “necessary illusion” enshrined in our grammar, which posits a doer behind the deed. Because really it makes no sense from a scientific standpoint to speak of me *and* my thoughts or deeds, for that’s all ‘I’ *am*, the sum of my thoughts and deeds. Nevertheless that’s how we’re bound to think and speak, constrained as we are by our language and its grammar.

  • sidor

    Here you can enjoy Dawkins in his full beauty. He presents his version of intelligent design:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8

    As a public entertainer Prof. Dawkins is indispensable. A born clown.

  • Woman In White

    Dawkins is a senile old fraud with zero understanding of philosophy, let alone Metaphysics, who seems to imagine that some debatable theories of his own invention might constitute some manner of universal constant.

    We can pray for him.

    But let’s forego treating this ghastly opportunist as anything other than a peddler of ill-provenanced snake-oil.

    • sidor

      Be respectful to age. I don’t think his cognitive capacity was better when young He has never been a scientist. Just a charlatan entertaining poorly educated public with idiotic theories.

      • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

        I’d stop if I were you – while you’re still only coming across as mildly ridiculous.

        • Fulgentian

          What’s ridiculous about sidor’s statements? Better to highlight the problems in what he/she’s saying than to issue an ominous imperative to simply ‘stop if I were you’.

    • Jack Rocks

      What is the point of metaphysics?

  • Murti Bing

    And church is free. Tea with the vicar thrown in at no extra cost.

    And free bread and wine every Sunday!

  • Gilbert White

    Dawkins is no Darwin.

    • sidor

      Both are scientifically illiterate charlatans. But the real founding father of that idiotic theory, claiming that progress may arise as a result of competition, is Spencer.

  • Andrew Wallace

    I’m sure Dawkins can take the stick he often dishes out. I’m also amazed at how people here are so faithfully protective of their guru. His deity looms and he won’t have any choice. How embarrassing for him!

    • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

      What deity, you idiot?

      • Fulgentian

        Cor, what’s got into you? Do you love Dawkins that much that you insult people who question his personality cult (To which you clearly belong)? That would have been a valid question, had it not been for the insult at the end. You idiot.

        • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

          Nothing to do with Dawkins and everything to do with science – but don’t let reality stand in the way of your ‘relationship’ with your grubby, mendacious, discredited ‘messiah’.

          • Fulgentian

            Why ‘grubby, mendacious, discredited’? You continue to make all of this sound extremely personal!

            • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

              Oh, don’t fret. I doubt he ever lived anyway.

  • macheath99

    Has anyone mentioned that he dropped the top three “circles” from his cult-like membership fees since The Spectator article came out? take a look;

    http://donate.richarddawkins.net/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/contribute/transact&reset=1&id=7

    • http://www.ajbrenchley.com Callipygian

      In truth they were risibly OTT. My favourite bit is the offer of a private lunch with the executive director. That once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is now no more (maybe it put donors off). Since I’m on a budget, perhaps I could ask for a shared ice lolly with whoever did his book’s Bengali translation.

  • http://ignorance-is-not-bliss.com/ Seraphinus

    What about all the good Dawkins does does that calculus come into play for this obviously insecure columnist who feels the need to print this crap.

  • Benjamin O’Donnell

    Is there any reason you didn’t mention that this money would go to a non-profit charity, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science?

    Are you suggesting that Dawkins profits from this personally somehow, either through fraud or some borderline excessive salary or “consultancy fee” arrangement? If so, I’d be keen to see the evidence, as *that* would be very disturbing.

    Or were you merely trying to insinuate that? In which case, what could have possessed you to so compromise your journalistic ethics?

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “Richard Dawkins Foundation for reason and Science?”

      Would that be the Foundation whose American website deleted my comment concerning a debate Dawkins had back in 2008 with John Lennox, titled “Has science buried God?” The comment I made was a then recent discovery of mine that proves that science is faking science to bury God. Well, my comment was deleted, and I was banned from making further comments!

      Here’s the offending comment in full…

      The Physics Community gives the constant 0 (zero) to Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE).

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mechanics/gravpe.html#c1

      The Physics community says that the constant is an arbitrary value (any value will do, they say), yet:

      (1) this value of 0 (zero) for GPE is necessarily 1, since the POTENTIAL of anything at its maximum is always 100%; and

      (2) a GPE of 0 (zero) is necessary for Stephen Hawking and others who use that value in order to prove that our universe popped up from nothing: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” – ‘God did not create the universe, says Hawking’, Reuters, By Michael Holden, LONDON | Thu Sep 2, 2010 9:08am EDT.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/02/us-britain-hawking-idUSTRE6811FN20100902

      For example, if the universe consisted of only the Earth and the Moon, and the Moon is catapulted so far away from the Earth that its gravitational energy no longer affects the Earth, the gravitational energy doesn’t disappear. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, the gravitational energy becomes POTENTIAL energy (GPE). This GPE Stephen Hawking (and the Physics community) assigns the constant 0 (zero) to. Now, when we return the Moon back to Earth’s orbit, GPE is said to be -1, according to the Physics community.

      Here’s the math for Stephen Hawking and the Physics community and my correction:

      Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [-1] = 0, so universes are for free,

      however if we use correct constants for what we are describing, the equation reads like this:

      Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [0] = 1, so universes are not for free.

      Let’s further examine the above:

      When the Moon’s GPE ceases when back in Earth’s orbit, that is when ACTUAL Gravitational Kinetic Energy (GKE) is 100%, which would have a constant of 1. Now GKE is simply the CONVERSE of GPE, so now let’s move the Moon away from the Earth again. KGE declines as the Moon moves further away from the Earth (.9, .8, .7, .6 and so on), and conversely GPE increases (.1, .2, .3, .4, .5 and so on until the Moon has reached infinity distance from the Earth, in which case, logically, GPE would be 1, not 0).

      GKE and GPE are the same phenomena, just separated by space, not unlike the duel sides of a coin. This converse relationship between GKE and GPE is also the discovery of what I call the Gravitational Converse Principle.

      Stephen Hawking’s (and the Physics Community) assignment of the constant zero to GPE at infinity is inexplicable.

      Proofs:

      1. If GPE is 0 (zero) at infinity, then there can be no GKE; and

      2. ask yourself how could Stephen Hawking and the Physics Community not know what “potential” means by assigning 0 (zero) to something (in this particular case, Gravitation POTENTIAL Energy) that is 100% potential? Obviously, if something is 100%, the constant one would use to quantify it is 1, and such a constant wouldn’t be an arbitrary assignment (as the Physics Community says the assignment of the constant zero to GPE is, it could be any number, they say), it would be a NECESSARY assignment.

      • JamesChambers123

        Now I see why they deleted your comment.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “Now I see why they deleted your comment.”

          Yeah, thanks for the thumbs up! They couldn’t respond to the comment’s logic, so instead it was deleted, otherwise everyone would have verifiable proof that science is intimately involved in pushing fraud for political motivations.

          Thanks for your support!

          • Ivan Ewan

            Now we know you’re trolling – instead of just suspecting it.

        • JabbaTheCat

          Lolz…+1

  • Englishoak

    Not sure why this publication takes such a delight in their hate fest against Mr Dawkins? It’s very creepy and smacks of desperation.

  • andagain

    I’m beginning to wonder why this publication is so obsessed with Professor Dawkins. Does he owe them money?

    • http://ignorance-is-not-bliss.com/ Seraphinus

      I think it’s a bunch of insecure people that feel threatened by Dawkins.

      • Woman In White

        I think it’s a group of those who wish to supply him with the ridicule that he deserves.

  • Bonkim

    If you are a non-believer you don’t want to be part of a group believing in something even if it is atheism. Groups foment a common belief.

    • Sean L

      Yes although sharing a common belief is more or less constitutive of what defines a group in the first place. Even you yourself come on here to promote your belief: in effect to recruit others to your point of view.

      • Bonkim

        Yes we all state our beliefs one way or the other – also our prejudices. But not worried if what I say is accepted or not – discussion should be on the main issues in the report rather than responding to what others say – I am guilty too by responding to you.

  • Gwangi

    The Church is mega-rich – especially the Catholic church (with its massive stash of ill-gotten gains in Rome) and the evangelical churches which demand 10% of worshippers’ incomes. And as for US tele-evangelists!
    So compared to them, any atheist organisation is very poor – and yet the churches are so worried that people will realise how much they are being scroo-ed by the church that they leave and get their heads straight. That shows deep intolerance and insecurity – but is so predictable.
    The USA really badly needs more people like Richard Dawkins. The US puritanical Christian bigotry is something to behold – Creationism is COMEDY!

    • stag

      The Catholic Church is not “rich”. Unless you are counting things like the gold in St Peters’ roof and the Vatican Museums. In terms of disposable wealth, it is not rich.
      My beef with the system of concentric circles is that it is so ridiculous. Half a million for lunch with Richard? No amount of cost-covering could ever justify such conceit.

    • Woman In White

      So compared to them, any atheist organisation is very poor

      LOL

      Look up the US military budget.

  • pearlsandoysters

    Hopefully, people won’t throw that much money to enrich one enterprising scientist.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    You forgot to disclose the annual $1,000,000,000 “Circle of Understanding” membership level (which affords the member a weekend with the Master, at a location chosen by the member), where Dawkins (1) explains the secret behind how a simple bacterium cell evolved; (2) how “early man” survived the quicker and stronger quadrupedal predators that now concentrated on the awkward walking, low-brain capacity, bipedal; and (3) why soft body tissue remains on the fossilized bones of sixty-million year old dinosaurs.

    Because of the high annual fee for this particular membership level, Dawkins hasn’t yet had to explain how a simple one-cell bacterium evolved, how “early man” survived his/her hostile environment, let alone explain how soft body tissue exits on the bones of dinosaurs after sixty-million years.

    Back in March 2012 I posted a comment on his American website concerning a debate he had back in 2008 with John Lennox, titled “Has science buried God?” The comment I made was a then recent discovery of mine that proves that science is faking science to bury God. Well, my comment was deleted, and I was banned from making further comments!

    Here’s the offending comment in full…

    The Physics Community gives the constant 0 (zero) to Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE).

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mechanics/gravpe.html#c1

    The Physics community says that the constant is an arbitrary value (any value will do, they say), yet:

    (1) this value of 0 (zero) for GPE is necessarily 1, since the POTENTIAL of anything at its maximum is always 100%; and

    (2) a GPE of 0 (zero) is necessary for Stephen Hawking and others who use that value in order to prove that our universe popped up from nothing: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” – ‘God did not create the universe, says Hawking’, Reuters, By Michael Holden, LONDON | Thu Sep 2, 2010 9:08am EDT.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/02/us-britain-hawking-idUSTRE6811FN20100902

    For example, if the universe consisted of only the Earth and the Moon, and the Moon is catapulted so far away from the Earth that its gravitational energy no longer affects the Earth, the gravitational energy doesn’t disappear. According to the Law of Conservation of Energy, the gravitational energy becomes POTENTIAL energy (GPE). This GPE Stephen Hawking (and the Physics community) assigns the constant 0 (zero) to. Now, when we return the Moon back to Earth’s orbit, GPE is said to be -1, according to the Physics community.

    Here’s the math for Stephen Hawking and the Physics community and my correction:

    Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [-1] = 0, so universes are for free,

    however if we use correct constants for what we are describing, the equation reads like this:

    Earth’s mass [1] + Moon’s GPE when back in Earth’s orbit [0] = 1, so universes are not for free.

    Let’s further examine the above:

    When the Moon’s GPE ceases when back in Earth’s orbit, that is when ACTUAL Gravitational Kinetic Energy (GKE) is 100%, which would have a constant of 1. Now GKE is simply the CONVERSE of GPE, so now let’s move the Moon away from the Earth again. KGE declines as the Moon moves further away from the Earth (.9, .8, .7, .6 and so on), and conversely GPE increases (.1, .2, .3, .4, .5 and so on until the Moon has reached infinity distance from the Earth, in which case, logically, GPE would be 1, not 0).

    GKE and GPE are the same phenomena, just separated by space, not unlike the duel sides of a coin. This converse relationship between GKE and GPE is also the discovery of what I call the Gravitational Converse Principle.

    Stephen Hawking’s (and the Physics Community) assignment of the constant zero to GPE at infinity is inexplicable.

    Proofs:

    1. If GPE is 0 (zero) at infinity, then there can be no GKE; and

    2. ask yourself how could Stephen Hawking and the Physics Community not know what “potential” means by assigning 0 (zero) to something (in this particular case, Gravitation POTENTIAL Energy) that is 100% potential? Obviously, if something is 100%, the constant one would use to quantify it is 1, and such a constant wouldn’t be an arbitrary assignment (as the Physics Community says the assignment of the constant zero to GPE is, it could be any number, they say), it would be a NECESSARY assignment.

    • Count Dooku

      I’m not sure you understand Darwin’s theory or evolution. How would you expect man to explain exactly how we evolved from bacterium?

      I’m sure though that you have a full explanation of how “God” put us here.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “How would you expect man to explain exactly how we evolved from bacterium?”

        We didn’t evolve, which is the point of that portion of the comment. Life could only come ready made, which is in-line with Genesis. The second half of my comment, dealing with GPE, further illustrates how science falsifies in order to do away with God, a God that science knows exists, otherwise why the blatant lies?

        Back to evolution…

        On the micro level, we see that the first simple bacterium cell couldn’t evolve, because that cell needs all of its hundreds of [internal] compositions to exist at all. So the concept of natural selection fails there.

        On the macro level natural selection forgot about predators! That means that natural selection would only select “early man” to come down from the trees as an error, where “early man” is immediately gobbled up by the faster/stronger/bigger quadrupedals that are now concentrating on their new, easy to catch, meal ticket.

        Conclusion: All species arrived ready-made.

        • Gwangi

          You, sir, are bonkers. Blinded by faith. But thankfully, most Christians now disagree with you and accept the fact of evolution.
          Evolution is fact, not a theory. Say hi to your appendix and wisdom teeth – vestigial things left over from when your ancestors where a primitive ape, which you still clearly are.
          Natural Selection is the theory, generally accepted.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Blinded by faith.”

            Where did I prove natural selection to be a self-imploding concept using faith? Where did you learn to use straw man diversion as argument?

            “But thankfully, most Christians now disagree with you and accept the fact of evolution.”

            Most people don’t think, but now that I’ve arrived watch the pedestal swing to the side of true science.

            • whs1954

              Well done. All those scientists working for years, from Darwin 150 years ago, building evidence and constructing the theory of evolution: all that, blown aside by you with three sarky sentences and a sweeping “It’s not in Genesis, so it can’t be true”.

              All that labour in vain while you have shown the world it was created in six days. Well done. You have disproved evolution, and proved God’s existence and intelligent design. The churches will hail you; you want to set up a bunch of membership clubs like Dawkins and coin it in.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “all that, blown aside by you with three sarky sentences and a sweeping “It’s not in Genesis, so it can’t be true”.”

                I see you’re back again, Gwangi, this time using a new account, but still using straw man diversions as argumentation!

                I thought I wrote more than the implied “It’s not in Genesis, so it can’t be true”.”

                I just checked my two comments you replied to, and I see I wrote a great deal more than what you implied I only wrote.

                Tell Dawkins he needs better groupies with better scripts if he’s to do battle with me!

                • whs1954

                  Alright then, you want argument, here is one: you have not in any way proved that natural selection to be a ‘hilarious, self-imploding concept’; you have merely asserted it. There is a big difference been proving something and asserting it. You have asserted it, but there is a strong scientific consensus that you are wrong and that evolutionary theory is correct.

                  You asserted man could not have evolved from, presumably, early Neanderthals, because all early Neanderthals would have all been ‘gobbled up’ by quadrupeds, yet you offer no evidence of this. It’s generally accepted that man’s journey began in Africa between 85 and 15 million years ago. Were there such predators there? If so, is it not possible some got ‘gobbled up’ but some got away to fight another day? Might early man have had traits that allowed him to fight back even against bigger creatures? Under evolutionary theory, we didn’t start off as brain dead knuckle draggers incapable of fighting bigger beasts, but as a split off from some other primate.

                  As for how natural selection impacts on bacteria, I don’t really see the point you’re making. I might presume natural selection doesn’t mean what you think it means.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “you have merely asserted it.”

                  There you go again, using straw man diversion. I ILLUSTRATED and thereby proved the absurdly hilarious concept of Natural Selection, not merely asserted it. Now deal with the illustrations proving my observations, why don’t you?

                • whs1954

                  Sorry, how did you illustrate it? By saying early man, if he evolved, would’ve been gobbled up by predators? I have just written above that this may not have been the case.

                  Natural selection is not absurd, hilarious, or self-imploding. It is the theory 99.99% of scientists believe shows how man came about. The overwhelming majority of Christians also believe in it, as against your idea that we just came here ready-packaged.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “By saying early man, if he evolved, would’ve been gobbled up by predators? I have just written above that this may not have been the case.”

                  You just can’t let go with straw man argumentation, can you?

                  “Natural selection is not absurd, hilarious, or self-imploding. It is the theory 99.99% of scientists believe shows how man came about.”

                  Famous last words! Where have we heard bold remarks like that before?

                • whs1954

                  Plainly, Dean, my up votes must be down votes inverted, for no one in the world could believe in evolution, as you have disproved it so perfectly and plainly that there isn’t a man alive who could believe in it now.

                  It’s all a conspiracy I tell you. By the way don’t drink the water, the communists have put fluoride in it.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “By the way don’t drink the water, the communists have put fluoride in it.”

                  The only one good thing they did, keeps my teeth in my mouth!

                • mike

                  a you old people christian creationist idiots will be extinct soon enough

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “By the way don’t drink the water, the communists have put fluoride in it.”

                  The only one good thing they did, keeps my teeth in my mouth!

                • Baron

                  whs1958: “It’s generally accepted that man’s journey began in Africa between 85 and 15 million (sic) ….’., but more to the point:

                  Before Copernicus, it was unquestionably accepted the Earth is the centre of the Universe.

                • Alexsandr

                  been a bit of science done since then…

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  “It’s generally accepted that man’s journey began in Africa between 85 and 15 million…”

                  whs1954 received two votes for that way off the mark time span.

                • Baron

                  It’s a waste of your time to argue with these people, Dean, that’s the caliber of supporters Dawkins attracts, Baron blames the comprehensive idiocy, in large part it has been the institution responsible for turning out these self confident, knowledge vacuous monsters similar to the two in this video:

                  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202517290999274

                • Baron

                  Last posting, Baron couldn’t resist.

                  Often, whs1954, one doesn’t have to prove anything, nor even assert it, the evidence in front of everyone’s eyes is so clear it pains, it only has to be read. Your postings, Gwangi’s, some of the others are a case in point.

                  Reading them furnishes all the proof one needs to conclude you’re a bunch of brainless, dumb, yet aggressive nobodies. Excellent examples of evolution working backwars for even the unfortunate baboon who features in your pedigree must have had a higher IQ than you.

                • http://www.ajbrenchley.com Callipygian

                  Don’t know quite what you mean by ‘man’s journey’, given that we don’t know when the LCA (last common ancestor) lived, and we can’t even be sure about the real human lineage (the line to us rather than offshoots and close-but-not-us branches) up till about 200,000 years ago.

                • Fraziel

                  I somehow get the feeling you have a rather inflated opinion of yourself. Do battle with you? What are you ,Godzilla? You are a nothing making laughably ludicrous comments not even worthy of contempt to be honest.

                • Gwangi

                  You are DELUSIONAL!

                  You think ONE person only thinks what you are saying is codswallop? Actually, 99.8% of scientists would say the same thing, as would most people (in the UK at least).

                  You have won not a single argument here against anyone – that you think you have shows the true depth of your delusory state.

                  Religion eh…

              • Baron

                whs1954, you know about a protein called cytochrome C?
                This isn’t a trick question, please, answer it.

                • whs1954

                  I don’t know what cytochrome C is. Enlighten me. Clearly it prove God created man in six days, and that all science is bunk.

                • Baron

                  Your postings, whs1954, and those of Gwangi, some others show it’s a waste of time to debate this issue with you. If this is the crowd Dawkins attracts, he is welcome to you, you to him.

            • Gwangi

              You have proven nothing but your ignorance, young man. An 8 year old child can grasp the basics of evolutionary fact. Why can’t you?

          • Baron

            Gwangi, you know next to FA, talk to much. Darwin’s theory, for it is a theory, is in three parts: common descend, random mutation, natural selection. Common descend is unarguably true, Charles would have won the competition of the bleeding obvious with it, if it ran when he was about. One can argue for and against natural selection but, most importantly, random mutation is the bit that cannot and doesn’t deliver.

            • Gwangi

              And the title of Darwin’s book is? Yep, it is a theory BUT a damn good one. Evolution is a fact, not a theory – or are you denying the fossil record?
              If you reject the fact of evolution because you cannot bear to accept the bible is a fantasy, then you are a creationist cretin, old bean.
              Random mutation happens all the time – just look at dogs and cats. Sphinx cats are all descended from a random mutation in Canada in the 60s, for example.

              • Baron

                Perhaps the mankind needs weeding out if it’s made up (as it seems) of individuals like you, Gwangi.

                • Gwangi

                  Read a book. you throwback! Then you might learn the basics of science before spouting piffle like dogweee all over here. Start with random mutations, of which there are vast numbers of examples within the last centuries too.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “If you reject the fact of evolution because you cannot bear to accept the bible is a fantasy, then you are a creationist cretin, old bean.”

                Gwangi, forget the Bible, evolution is a theory that exploded on its launch pad. It’s a hilariously implosive concept, as Baron’s and my comments have illustrated.

                Why not confine you arguments to debunking Baron’s and my arguments, instead of declaring the game over by observing that evolution is a fact, which it isn’t and why science refers to evolution as a THEORY.

        • Alexsandr

          not studied geology then? No explanation for fossils? Creationism is just ignorant babbe.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “not studied geology then? No explanation for fossils? Creationism is just ignorant babbe”

            You missed point #3 from my initial comment above:

            “(3) why soft body tissue remains on the fossilized bones of sixty-million year old dinosaurs.”

            • Alexsandr

              yes but we know about plate tectonics and orogenesis which show the age of rocks. They are very very old. And we also know about paleomagnetism which also aids dating,
              The earth is unbelievably old.

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                “yes but we know about plate tectonics and orogenesis which show the age of rocks.”

                I also know about the following…

                http://www.icr.org/article/catastrophic-plate-tectonics-flood-model/

                • Alexsandr

                  OK, there are theories that the flood and the parting of the red sea were caused by seismic events. That’s how many legends start. And your point is?

                • Baron

                  Alexandr, would you agree that a car that misses a key component such as a proper transmission cannot do what cars are supposed to do? A human cell is unarguably by far more complex system than a car. Not unlike a car that’s missing a functioning transmission (hence it ain’t any good, cannot function as a car) so, too, a cell with a missing subsystem cannot function as a cell. The replicating cell couldn’t have evolved, it must have been fully functioning from the word go.

                • Gwangi

                  Ignorant twaddle!
                  Try watching David Attenborough’s nature programmes – they explain evolution in a really simple way that even you could understand.

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  Excellent analogy, Baron! Sometimes one must illustrate one’s argument via “show & tell” in order for the children to get it.

                • JamesChambers123

                  There’s failure and then there’s quoting “The Institute for Creation Research”; you should have just quoted the bible mate, you would have sounded slightly more credible, but not much.

            • whs1954

              Kindly show ignorami such as I, where soft tissue has been found on sixty million year old fossilised bones.

            • JamesChambers123

              You (and others) keep asking that question as if it were some unanswered mystery; yet literally 10 seconds of searching Google would find you the answer, and here’s a tip: perhaps you should look up the answer before you start touting what you think it is, because (surprise, surprise) scientists have found a completely natural, deity-free answer for said tissues.
              http://www.livescience.com/41537-t-rex-soft-tissue.html

              So I guess you’re going to be an atheist now, as that soft-tissue thing was what keeping you a believer right? Nah, I didn’t think so! Haha I do love the smell of post-hoc justifications for supernatural beliefs burning in the morning…

              • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                If science were to say they discovered that 1 actually equals 2, and 2 equals 1, you’d believe it because science said so!

                Just for your edification, if bones are fossilized for 60-million years, there can’t be soft tissue present! Period!

                • JamesChambers123

                  I bet you a penny to a pound you either didn’t read that article or it was beyond your comprehension. The key concept here is “partial fossilisation” due to iron.

                  As for your gibberings on matter, matter is a macroscopic view of energy, which is neither created or destroyed. Radioactive decay is arbitrary, if by that you mean random.

                  None of this has anything to do with God either might I add, believe whatever you like, just leave the T-Rex out of it!

                • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

                  ‘”partial fossilisation” due to iron.’

                  As I said, if science told you that 1 = 2, you’d accept it! Iron is a refrigerant…who knew!

        • Fraziel

          LOL, that really isnt the conclusion at all. Imagine you didnt know about God or want there to be a God, would that be the conclusion? I doubt it. You see what you want to see and have already decided what you want the answer to be, regardless of science. Now please go away to a forum where such laughable tripe will be welcomed.DNA science has all but proved evolution.

    • HFC

      Always good to hear directly from you, God.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “Always good to hear directly from you, God.”

        LOL!

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      –September 25, 2015 Update–

      Proofs:

      1. If GPE is 0 (zero) at infinity, then there can be no GKE; therefore we see that…

      2. there is no GPE, which brings us to the new discovery that as a mass increases its distance from another mass, where the GKE once in existence between the two masses is now said to become GPE, that GPE is still GKE, where the two separating masses refocus GKE to other masses that they are now getting closer to; and

      3. therefore the Gravitational Converse Principle is abandoned for the Gravitational Constant Principle, where GKE isn’t lost to GPE, GKE is refocused towards other masses.

      See complete revised article…

      https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/i-don-t-think-you-appreciate-the-gravity-of-the-fraud

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Scientology, anyone?

    • Rex Ironsmith

      No thanks.

      • whs1954

        I think the point is that this ludicrous Dawkins scam, with people hawking tens of thousands to sit at the Master’s right hand and hear his words of wisdom, seems awfully like the Scientology scam.

        • Rex Ironsmith

          Er, I got the point, thanks. I disagree with the comparison so posted the disparaging reply it deserved.

          • whs1954

            What’s wrong with the comparison? I see paying thousands to join the cult of Dawkins as as much of a scam as paying thousands to join the cult of Scientology.

            • Rex Ironsmith

              Here’s a clue – a cult is defined by its essence, not by its membership fees. Unless you consider golf clubs and organisations like the National Trust to be cults?

              • Baron

                You may be wrong, you most certainly are wrong, Rex, to compare a cult outfit with one where the members play golf, walk in the forest. The filler of the former is a belief system, of the latter a game, the love of nature.

                The cult of Dawkins differs little from any other cult, it has ceremonies, it venerates a leader, has a body of faithful admirers …. except that, shrewdly, it asks for money in advance of its ritual ‘performances’ rather voluntary contributions after the Eminence, the anointed acolytes have delivered the message.

                • Fraziel

                  And unlike many cults you are enouraged to have free thought and question everything. Doesnt sound like a cult to me. Nor do they believe in Aliens waiting behind the moon in spaceships to come and save us.

                • whs1954

                  But, may one use one’s free thought and ability to question everything to question Dawkins once inducted into the cult…. sorry, the circle, of true believers and true shellers-out of cash? May one say Dawkins is wrong? May I get my hard-earned thousands back if Dawkins’ explanations of life, the universe and everything are not to my satisfaction, or he has a headache on the day of our appointed breakfast and doesn’t come up to expectations?

                  Or should we true believers accept that Our Saviour, Our Lord Richard Rex, is entitled to off days and that we should hang on his words of wisdom all the same?

                • Baron

                  The way Dean Jackson is treated questioning the cult’s teaching here on this blog doesn’t suggest the fruitcakes of the Dawkins’s cult encourage questioning, unless you mean they encourage questioning everything but the cult’s dogmas. .

                • ms

                  They should just pass a plate around like churches do then everyone can hear his wisdom

              • Fraziel

                lol, genius.

              • whs1954

                You’re right. Cults are defined by their essence. Mr O’Neill has given a taste of the Dawkins essence above.

                I, for one, am not paying Dawkins 50 thousand a year so I can fawn on him, hang on his every word, call him a genius, and listen to his exclusive words of wisdom about how religion is awful and cults of the individual are pernicious nonsense.

                The Dawkins cult is as much a cult and as much a money grabbing scam as the Scientology cult. As an atheist I am ashamed someone could be creating a new Scientology under the aegis of godlessness.

        • Fraziel

          err, no it doesnt. Do you even know what scientology is? Banned in several countries as a ludicrous,brainwashing cult. I think most atheists are more than capable of thinking for themselves.

          • whs1954

            I am an atheist, and I can think for myself – and as I can think for myself, I don’t need to pay $50,000 pa to Dawkins to tell me how to think for myself, nor to do I need to pay $100,000 pa for a special exclusive breakfast with Dawkins where he can tell me there is no true God (but him).

            The Dawkins scam on ADD hyperactive atheists is the Scientology scam redux.

            • Woman In White

              I am a Catholic — wey-hey !! I can think for myself too !!!

  • swatnan

    Is ‘ and restore reason. Atheism’ the new Religion then? When the cult of personality becomes too overbearing, its time to remove that personality. Dawkins is begining to sound like Billy Graham, that faker evangelist of old.

    • Gwangi

      No, atheism is not a religion at all, silly.
      It just means NOT believing in a god or gods, because there is no evidence.
      That is all.
      Any other belief systems held by atheists are NOT atheism. That includes any cults with atheist leaders. No-on has ever been killed in the name of atheism alone (unlike with Islam, Christianity et al).

      • swatnan

        ‘Man and Superman ‘ … The Supreme Being … leading to Hitler …. the cult of personality (a motivational speaker according to some leading UKIPPERS). You’re wrong. Atheism is just another belief system that can exploit the weak minded and vulnerable.

        • Gwangi

          The cult of personality? Oh you mean the way Muslims worship that murderous warlord polygamous slave-trading paedo Mohammed then? You know, the one who cobbled together a religion to get himself more land and power and money?
          Atheism is NOT a belief SYSTEM at all. It ONLY means NOT believing in god/s. There is NO ‘system’. It exploits no-one. It is based on fact and reason and demanding evidence, as no doubt you would do if the police arrested you for being under the influence of your religious drugs whilst in charge of a brain.
          You are thinking of communism, I think. Not atheism. Doh! Communism and fascism are quasi-religions of course started by those with religious upbringings.

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh The Spectator Monitors…again.
    I’ll change my words.maybe i shouldn’t have mentioned church mice.
    I just said something about someone making a living out of
    something he doesn’t believe in.And that he should be grateful
    that others have faith and grateful to God for giving them faith.
    Or life would be somewhat different.

    • Rex Ironsmith

      Hello Kitty
      I’m a policeman and was just thinking the same thing. I’m so grateful that others have criminal urges and am grateful to God for giving them criminal urges, otherwise things would be somewhat different and I’d be on the dole! Thank God for criminals!

      • Chris Morriss

        Are you attempting to maintain the stereotype that all policemen are irredeemably thick?

        • Rex Ironsmith

          Er, I’m not actually a policeman.

          I was parodying Kitty’s post in which she stated Dawkins should be grateful to the faithful for keeping him in work. By that logic the police should be similarly grateful to criminals. Obviously too subtle for you.

          I suppose Dawkins is a bit like a policeman. He prosecutes the criminally dim-witted.

      • Gwangi

        Funny you should say that as a rozzer.
        Why else do you think the plods seem to spend most of their time arresting people for stating opinions on Twitter, Facebook and emails (ALL of which can be deleted and blocked)? Why do you think they waste millions on fishing expeditions into historic abuse? (Meanwhile, robbers, muggers, raypists, violent thugs – many from our vibrant and diverse communities – get away with anything and everything untroubled by the busy bee bumbling plods).
        In an age of falling crime rates internationally, the police NEED new crimes to criminalise a whole new generation. So they invent stuff and shift the emphasis from real crimes to non-crimes, such as freedom of speech online. Forget Magna Carta, forget the 18th century reforms to Search Warrants – not the UK police are out of control.

        • Rex Ironsmith

          I’m not a ‘rozzer’ Gwangi. My comment was intended to ridicule the logic used by Kitty.

          I agree with you about the absurd new laws concerning ‘hate speech’ Much better (or rather, fundamental in a democracy, surely?) to let people freely say what they think, no matter how distasteful some might find it. Then you know who you’re dealing with – “by their words …” We already had satisfactory laws to deal with the incitement of violence.

          • Gwangi

            Yep, I know that and saw the irony – but replied in kind nonetheless! Just for fun…
            There’s much more than just a hate speech law. We have a harassment law introduced in 1997 and intended to lead to the arrest of 150 approx. stalkers per year, people (usually men) who follow and harass others (mostly women). A German aristo woman campaigned for that law after her daughter was murdered.
            BUT now 6000 are charged with harassment every year. And so what can get you charged? Sending 2 emails, posting 2 tweets or Facebook messages. A man can just email ‘why won’t you email me? Can we try again’ twice and he gets the plods at the door arresting him and taking him away with his laptop so all the neighbours think he’s a paedo. The police arrest to meet targets – they see an opportunity for easy meat in ANY ‘crime’ done on a computer as the evidence is there on the hard disk. So the plods adore such arrests and complete to make them.
            The only stupid law is the malicious communications one.
            The police are out of control. They need urgent reform and I want to see senior officers arrested. I hope they get a damn good kicking! (which is in no way condoning any violent behaviour against police offers of course – unlike them, I don’t believe in violence).

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Don’t change a word, simply repost. Odds on you’re get a more enlightened Mod. Face it, the turnover rate must be high. Who would want such a thankless job? Where’s the Mod section run from now? Bangalore?

      • Alexsandr

        In the beginning there was the word. and it was good. then they invented computers.

  • Alexsandr

    Why the hatchet job?
    I am sure most here are clever enough to not feel the need to give Dawkins our cash.
    why not run a piece on some of the fund raising activities by the political parties? The lunches when you can meet the leaders for a sack of cash for instance.

    • sarah_13

      Agreed. Not sure why such a downer on Dawkins, he’s perfectly reasonable and like Christopher Hitchens said of George W “he’s right on the big issues”!

      • Chris Morriss

        Question.
        What’s the difference between God and Richard Dawkins?
        Answer.
        God is aware of the fact that he’s not Richard Dawkins.

        • Rex Ironsmith

          For a moment there I thought you might be Chris Morris the famous satirist … then I read your comment.

        • Englishoak

          Wrong. There is evidence that one of them actually exists.

        • Zzsz

          Chris, that was really funny, and spot on.

    • Mr Grumpy

      What hatchet job? Surely the great man will welcome the free publicity.

    • Count Dooku

      Yeah, ad homs are never the way to go.

      • stag

        Hold it – an “ad hom” is not simply any instance of personal criticism, it is personal criticism masquerading as logic. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing Dawkins and his ridiclous system of concentric circles, as long as I do not go on to say “therefore his arguments about God are false”. *That* would be an ad hom.

        • Count Dooku

          Okay, more poisoning the well to make Dawkins look like a money grabber and not addressing his views on religion on their own merit. Play the ball, not the man.

          • stag

            But the article was about the man. Why should I play the ball if the article was about the man? He is, after all, a man as well as a scientist and professional critic of religion.
            Are we not entitled to speak about Richard Dawkins The Man?

            It seems you managed to miss the specific point I made. Dawkins could be the world’s biggest money grabber, and it would not affect the rightness or wrongness of his arguments. Problems only arise when we claim it would – but neither I nor the article did that. However, everyone would still be perfectly entitled, from a moral standpoint, to criticize or ridicule him for his money grabbing.

            (I actually don’t know whether or not he is a money grabber; but I do think his system of very expensive ‘circles’ is ridiculous.)

            • Count Dooku

              Well people choose to pay for it privately so what’s the problem? It’s like me writing an article on the boss of LVMH moaning that the cost of his goods are too high.
              No one is forced to pay for it so why’s that a problem? The writer doesn’t explicitly state it but the fact he’s trying to discredit Hawkins is pretty obvious.

              • stag

                He’s trying to gently ridicule him, with some justice. If people want to pay, fine. They too deserve gentle ridicule. Once again: only a fool would think that any of this has anything to do with whether or not God exists.

          • ms

            truth hurts

        • ms

          It shows Dawkins enjoys the Caste system of old.

      • Woman In White

        Criticisms of objective moral failure do not constitute ad hominem.

        • TheJustCity

          Goodness, ‘objective moral failure’? Refs please.

    • Tim Reed

      Cynical click bait – these articles regularly get the most reads and comments.

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