Spin in the Dawkins Circle

What was that about Dawkins’s never having “proclaimed himself as any kind of atheist ‘leader'”?

What about this then – what about Join the Dawkins Circle?

Reason Circle: $1,000 to $2,499 annually (or $85/month)

  • Invitation to Dawkins Circle member-only event with RDFRS personalities
  • Member-only discount for all purchases in the richarddawkins.net store

Science Circle: $2,500 to $4,999 annually (or $210/month)

All the benefits listed above, plus:

  • One ticket to an invitation-only Dawkins Circle event with Richard

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What language are they speaking? Is it English?

I think what set Dawkins off on his University Probably Is Not For You hashtag spree was Christina Hoff Sommers on her own Twitter spree on the subject of her talk at Oberlin on Monday.

He replied to one of her tweets:

Richard Dawkins‏@RichardDawkins
@CHSommers What language are they speaking? Is it English? English is my native language and I couldn’t understand a single word they said.

Kids today eh. Students eh well I never. Young people talk a strange lingo get offa my lawn wot wot. [Read more…]

But it’s terribly important to understand

I saw a discussion of a video of Dawkins talking to someone on a stage in front of an audience, which is an extract from the full video posted by the RDF. It’s an event at Kennesaw State University in Georgia last November 21. I watched the first four minutes of the extract because it’s interesting. I transcribed most of it for the purpose of saying what’s wrong with it.

The guy asking the questions, Dr. Michael L. Sanseviro, Dean of Student Success at Kennesaw State, asks about the controversy about feminism and why Dawkins has been comparing degrees of badness when one could say the same thing about atheism. Yes, Dawkins says. “I want to be clear about this.” Then he pauses to think and then proceeds:

When I say something like, “This kind of maltreatment of women in America is bad but the treatment of women in Islam is worse,” I’m not saying treatment of women in America is good. I’m just saying it’s not asbad. I get the feeling there are some people who can’t tell the difference between saying that this is bad but that’s worse. They seem to think I’m saying this must be good because that’s worse and of course I’m not saying that at all.

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That’s why

Adam Lee has a post on the “suppression” of Richard Dawkins, based on that interview with Kimberly Winston a few weeks ago. There’s a comment on it that is surprisingly oblivious to something that seems completely obvious to me. (Which just goes to show – what’s obvious to me is not obvious to thee. That’s what all this is about, in the end.)

Adam, your points are as always well thought through and equally well written.
What I don’t understand is the obsession that some in the atheist community have in following Richard Dawkins every word and then proceeding to perform an autopsy on the perceived flaws in his character. He is after all human like the rest of us, albeit extremely talented and skilled in areas I am only just able to understand as a layman. [Read more…]

Dana’s advice for Coyne Dawkins and Harris

Dana Hunter has a brilliant post on all this. It draws on brilliance from Libby Anne and from Hiba Krisht, for a hat trick of brilliance.

I’d like to ask a favor of anyone who can manage to get a critical viewpoint through the defenses of atheist celebrities like Harris and Dawkins: please get them to read Libby Anne’s infuriating and heartbreaking post, Do They Care about Women, or Simply Bashing Religion? Because it’s a question they need to address. They’re driving people like Libby Anne away from movement atheism. That is very much to the detriment of the movement.

It most certainly is. And Libby Anne is very far from the only one they are driving away. [Read more…]

The arbiter of what feminists should or shouldn’t get upset about

Michael Nugent has a terrible, patronizing, let-me-fix-this post chastising Adam Lee for his article quoting Dawkins’s recent forays into anti-feminism. I’m very tired of Michael’s self-appointed let-me-fix-this posturing, and I was going to ignore the post, but then I saw on Twitter that Adam had responded so I clicked on the link, which turned out to be to a comment – a very good comment – on Michael’s post.

You said that you were going to address the question of where my article was “inaccurate”, but the majority of your article is a complaint about various choices of wording I made, the thrust of which is that it’s unfair for me to use emotive language in support of the conclusions I advocate. I reject this. [Read more…]

Sleepwalking towards that feared world

Adam Lee is taken aback at Richard Dawkins’s comment on Jerry Coyne’s blog post yesterday (the one about Adam’s Comment is Free article about Dawkins).

I saw that comment yesterday, and I saw that it was bad, but I didn’t have time to do it justice. Adam has done it justice; read his post. I want to say a thing or two about it myself.

Thank you, Jerry.

I long ago declared that I would not wish to go on living if I found myself in a world dominated by people who no longer care about what’s true and express open contempt for factual evidence. Either a 1984 world where the Party in power is the sole arbiter of what is “true” and enforces it with violence; or a world where truth is whatever society deems it to be, regardless of evidence, and where dissenters are ruthlessly punished by vitriolic abuse or ostracism rather than violence.

I fear we are sleepwalking towards that feared world, where people shun evidence and despise facts: a world where dogma is king, emotion is queen and evidence is exiled; and where dissent from orthodoxy is suppressed by verbal if not physical jackboots.

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Isn’t it obvious?

Adam Lee thinks Dawkins needs better defenders.

This week, I published a column in the Guardian arguing that Richard Dawkins’ sexism is overshadowing his contributions to the atheist movement. It got, shall we say, a large reaction. But not all negative, I hasten to add! I was very pleased with the amount of praise and compliments it attracted – I heard from a lot of people who told me that I said exactly what they’ve been thinking (including this piece by Allegra Ringo in Vice, published the same day as mine).

Because believe it or not, Jerry & Russell & Michael & the rest of the gang, we are not the only ones who are noticing Dawkins’s Twitter freakouts, and he’s not actually doing a fabulous job of PR for atheism right now. You clearly want to think it’s all just an attempt to grab the throne for ourselves or some such damn fool thing, but it’s not. I, for instance, would like a much less sexist atheist movement. I have zero hope of getting it at this point, but that’s what I want.
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He has never heard a sexist word pass their lips

As some of you have already seen, Jerry Coyne has written a blog post complaining that Adam Lee has had the unmitigated temerity to criticize Richard “Beyond Reproach” Dawkins. This is great, isn’t it? Constantly being told by Important Guy Atheists that other Important Guy Atheists must not be criticized by underlings? It’s like being a nun, or a corporal.

One of the most despicable attacks on Richard Dawkins in recent years (and that’s saying a lot!) has been posted at the Guardian; it’s by Adam Lee, atheist blogger who writes at “Daylight Atheism”. I won’t bother to dissect it in detail because reading it makes me ill. Dissing Richard is a regular thing at the Guardian these days, and there’s no shortage of unbelievers willing to answer the call. Lee’s piece is called “Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name.” Read it and weep. If you cheer, you shouldn’t be reading this website.

Blog, he means. It’s a blog. Why Evolution is True is a blog. [Read more…]

What does “explicitly stated” mean?

Today Dawkins is angry about an article in the New Statesman titled I was raped when I was drunk. I was 14. Do you believe me, Richard Dawkins?

He’s angry that the New Statesman didn’t call him. But after all, he did tweet last week, hours after Mark Oppenheimer’s article appeared,

“Officer, it’s not my fault I was drunk driving. You see, somebody got me drunk.”

And a later one:

Raping a drunk woman is appalling. So is jailing a man when the sole prosecution evidence is “I was too drunk to remember what happened.”

But as I pointed out, jailing wasn’t the issue.

But the odd thing here is that in his tweets about the New Statesman article he’s claiming that his tweets about rape were explicitly hypothetical.

In my tweets I explicitly stated that I was considering the hypothetical case of a woman who testified that she COULDN’T REMEMBER.

Do those two that I just quoted explicitly state that they are hypothetical? No they do not.