January 25, 2011

RICHARD DAWKINS ON THAT KENTUCKY RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION CASE. All I can say is, Dawkins’ views on what the law should be bear little or no resemblance to what the law actually is. Interesting to see the BoingBoing commenters pushing back. I like this one: “I can’t help but think of the equally-religious beliefs held by adherents of particular operating systems, text editors, and programming languages.”

And this: “Oh, just come out and say it, you want to discriminate against a certain class of people even though there is no real objective logical reason to do so. You get an ick factor. Which is eminently stupid.”

And as far as I can tell, Dawkins is going out of his way to suggest — without quite saying — that a man who writes about the Big Bang as possibly divinely inspired is nonetheless some sort of Young Earth Creationist. But here’s what Gaskell says in the very passage truncated by Dawkins: “I have a lot of respect for people who hold this view because they are strongly committed to the Bible, but I don’t believe it is the interpretation the Bible requires of itself, and it certainly clashes head-on with science.”

Dawkins seems to have completely misrepresented Gaskell to buttress his argument. Really, one would expect better from someone devoted to reason above all.

UPDATE: Down in the comments, where I had missed it before, Dawkins backs off somewhat. Nonetheless, I think his post is quite unfair. Nor is he the first to do this. I think creationism is unscientific — but so, of course, is scoring points by trashing those with whom one disagrees. Sadly, however, it is often effective.

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