Friday, 22 June 2012

Dawkins and Bacon

I was fortunate enough - if that is the right word - to hear Richard Dawkins being interviewed by Richard Bacon yesterday afternoon.

The Good Prof had a book to plug - and it sounds like quite an interesting one. It would have been nice to hear all about it. Unfortunately he had to spend quite a lot of time swatting Bacon's attempts to get him to attack belief in God, which the Good Prof clearly wasn't there for. Dr Dawkins is clearly a good time manager. In his diary, yesterday was clearly marked as "Push the Book", not "Attack Religion (Tuesday)" or "Reminisce with Lalla about how great Douglas Adams was (Friday)". I didn't make notes (as that is illegal whilst driving) but some of the conversation went a bit like this. Apologies for any minor discrepancies.

RB: You're talking about the wonders of science. But some religious people don't believe in Evolution, do they?

RD: No educated person doesn't believe in Evolution.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, for example, believes in Evolution. Now, about my book...

RB: But Christians have to believe in the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth, don't they?

RD: Some of them do. But that's a different debate. Have you read my book?

RB: But you can't believe in God and Science can you?

RD: what's that got to do with my book? Can we get back to the point? I've got a book to sell and I'm talking to somebody more intelligent than you in 8 minutes. Look - there in my diary - "Plug book with someone more intelligent than Richard Bacon".

And so on. Bacon came across like an over-excited fanboy meeting Gary Numan in a data processing centre in Walsall. Prof D came across as an intelligent, reasonable man trying to sell a book. I'm going to buy it. Or, at least, borrow it off Richard Bacon.

8 comments :

  1. Did he bring the intellectual rigour of Blue Peter to the interview?

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    1. "Today we'll be showing you how to get a cow to evolve from a lizard. But that takes a long time, so here's one God made earlier..."

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    2. You have now planted the image in my mind of John Noakes attempting to construct a cow using sporks foons and sticky-backed plastic - and sticking the udders on in the wrong place (where they fall off and are eaten by Shep).

      I suppose that's better than picturing Richard Dawkins.

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  2. I listened to it on the WEB, I thought it wasn't too bad, a little uninformative which is a shame because the book is interesting and different from other science books.

    But, don't get the paperback get the one with the illustrations they add something IMO. The iPad application is good too, especially the game where you get to wield the finger of natural selection with virtual frogs, playing God you might say .. ;)

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    1. A 21st century equivalent of the old Biomorphs, eh?

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  3. Martin Haworth22/06/2012, 12:21

    One of the best exchanges was Bacon asking Dawkins when he last prayed / read the bible...the answers were when I was 14 / 2 days ago.

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  4. This belies the stories about Dawkins not having a sense of humour :)

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    1. I think he does. And I think his reputation sometimes suffers from his followers. And The God Delusion, obviously. That wouldn't have helped.

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