I’m back! I had a long, busy day at a teaching conference, and got persuaded about a few things — I’m designing a new course for freshmen biology majors for the fall term (“Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development”, or FunGenEvoDevo for short), and I’ve been following the pedagogical ideas of Eric Mazur for a while, and this was my chance to go hear him. He said what I wanted to hear about getting basic concepts across to students, which is going to help a great deal in my summer project.
I got back too late to catch Dawkins on the O’Lielly show, though. My wife saw it, said it was good but short and without much of substance. Fortunately, One Good Move was quick on the draw. O’Reilly started right off with idiocy. He doesn’t know how tides work, so he’s got to believe in God. There was the usual weird right-wing history lesson — Hitler was an atheist, the Founding Fathers wanted a god-worshipping nation; of course, O’Reilly’s explanation for why they wanted a Christian nation was that it would pacify the people. Is it good framing to argue for religion because it is the opiate of the masses?
I thought Dawkins was calm, relaxed, and treated the bozo lightly and with good humor. O’Reilly threw out that softball inanity right at the beginning, and you can almost see Dawkins crack up at the clown.
Tomorrow is my day at home before I make my Boston blitz — I might be able to squeeze in a few posts here, along with getting a pile of other work done.