Love Letters to Richard Dawkins

Discretion Advised: Contains Strong Language. 

 

Part 2 (Part 1 below)

April 11th, 2014 – In a candid moment, filmmaker Eric Preston, founder and producer at Fusion Films, rolls his camera as Dr. Richard Dawkins – Author, Professor and Evolutionary Biologist – again reads “fan mail” he has received from some of his not-so-great admirers. (Parental Discretion is Advised!)

Copyright 2015 Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

 

Part 1

SIMILAR ARTICLES

163 COMMENTS

  1. Romantic love letters from typical followers of the Religion of Love. Haven’t they learnt they cannot say foul words? They should wash their mouths with soap ( from an old recipe for good behaviour in Roman Catholic “schools”).

  2. Thank you for doing this again, Dr. Dawkins. Extremely enjoyable and helpful to see you how someone like you might react to criticism. Did your organization ever determine if it was the real Ann Coulter that wrote you on the previous video? One of these videos every year would be grand.

  3. It just shows what hypocrites these religious nuts are. They go around professing they’re all about love, forgiveness and turning the other cheek in their meekness, yet they hardly sound meek. Are these letter authors trying to re-institute the inquisition? Burn in hell? WTF? 2000 yrs plus of tired old cliches and they struggle to get past an old gem like burn in hell. I guess all those who wrote in still think atheism is a religion or a belief model lmao. It is pretty pathetic to see supposed mature and sane adults adhering to such inane drivel. If the world does get over run by the filth that wrote these letters then I think I would enjoy every moment of my plane plummeting 5 km straight down.These whackadoo’s can never be in any serious position of power or real importance again ever, that should be a goal of atheists. Man, that level of indoctrinated brainwashing is some people’s normal, that’s actually frightening.

  4. I’m one of the ‘some’ and I ask because I hoped you would actually spend the time debating with those that matter rather than screaming in the streets at idiots. I watched this and although amusing to some degree I wished I hadn’t. I can accept that RD would like to take some time off and have a laugh with his mates but I don’t think its worth broadcasting. The people that send him these emails are not the intellectual type and should no more be mocked than a mentally ill person…..at least not by people who are super in intellect. I just don’t see the point.

  5. Lee Jan 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Man, that level of indoctrinated brainwashing is some people’s normal, that’s actually frightening.

    The other problem is that more educated but apologist theists wearing the same tribal badges, rush to their defence when they are justifiably ridiculed!

  6. Its a perfect and timely lesson in not taking offense.

    Its a perfect illustration of how innocuous being wrong is, how utterly undamaging to one’s public image unsubstantiated attacks are. (And by implication how public insults that are evidenced will hurt the most.)

    It is the perfect parry to papal pugilism…

  7. If we are to take the intentions of the pope or the professionalism of Hebdo and put them on a par with these emails then I understand but……I don’t understand.

  8. “Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but calling names won’t hurt me”
    really well done great post, keep up the god work :-9 lol
    PS. this massage is not smell checked

  9. It’s been said the reason why England has never needed a proper revolution, or to engage in the extensive decapitation of monarchs, or other such continental histrionics, is because we have instead satire, irony, and ridicule.

    Weapons don’t come more powerful than that. As Richard here demonstrates.

  10. I really needed that!
    I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time. Thanks to Richard for sharing, and to his team for producing this titbit.
    Richard’s totally cool persona, and dead pan reading of these love letters just added to the spectacle. jcw

  11. Exactly so, Mark. I recall just such a thesis from a political cartoonist in the UK a couple of years ago. His evidence was rather persuasive.

  12. My greatest respect for reading it out and not falling off the chair – laughing! But on the other hand it shows how deeply indoctrinated people can be. If – just if they understand their own religion right they should know that these “love letters” will bring them the direct ticket to their hell! Oh they already live in it without mentioning it – I see! It shows how differently the results of neuronal development can be!

  13. The mother of my eldest son was once, long ago, PA to the Chairman of a national broadsheet. To her office would be passed all the lunatic letters addressed to the newspaper, presumably in the hope that some journalist would investigate whatever imagined conspiracy was currently exercising each lunatic’s cranium.

    She kept a large boxfile labelled ‘Cranks’ Corner’ from which she would occasionally show me some of the more entertaining epistles.

    What astounded me was that the old saying about ‘green ink letters’ or ‘green inkers’ was literally true. The most mad missives were actually written in green ink.

    I wonder if the same is true of communications from the more unhinged of the God-bothering fraternity? At least until electronic communications spoiled the fun. Although I suppose there’s always the possibility of setting the font colour …

  14. I’m from Indonesia, and I’d love to write to Mr. Dawkins (especially regarding the currently popular trend of “New-Age, pseudoscience, spirituality woo-woo, self-help, motivators” , that today have even reached to my country and quite popular, especially to the unthinking, uncritical, naive, gullible, & ignorant MAJORITY of people (sad but true.. !).

    How can I write to him?
    I would really appreciate if anyone here could kindly tell me (the best would be via e-mail, as it would be the easiest method for me to reach him)

    thank you.

    from Indonesia,
    -Niki-
    ([email protected])

  15. The people that send him these emails are not the intellectual type and should no more be mocked than a mentally ill person…..at least not by people who are super in intellect.

    He has not read out their names you know. Maybe one or two will hear about this post and be embarrassed to see their own comments ridiculed, rather than taken seriously. And equally embarrassed to read your comment “not the intellectual type and should no more be mocked than a mentally ill person”.

    As Sam Harris said, “when someone expresses their belief that Elvis is still alive they immediately pay a price in ill-concealed laughter”. They will probably think twice before doing so again or may even question that belief. Unfortunately, as Richard Dawkins has also pointed out, many people believe that irrational religious beliefs should not be mocked, they should get a free pass.

  16. Maybe you are right Mark but it’s not really about those who wrote the comments, just those who respond in this way. Doesn’t sit well with me. Shows an ugly side of people I don’t like. Perhaps I’m remembering it wrong but Dave Alan attacked the establishment and those at the very top. I don’t remember him attacking the ordinary person much???

  17. I see your point about the mentally challenged and ordinary people. However if you’ve had any discussions in comments on various religiously themed articles yourself, you may have noticed that there is a tendency for those that profess to be religious to resort to name calling, obscene language and general tantrums against those who disagree with their view. What Professor Dawkins read out is sadly typical and not necessarily aimed at only people who have fame. Ordinary people whether Atheist or of a different religion are acceptable targets in these sorts of peoples view. It is rare that people who profess to be Atheist resort to this sort of rhetoric and those that do upon reading their posts, leads me to believe they aren’t quite what they’re professing to be!

  18. And we shouldn’t go down to their level Mark, is all I am saying. That is why I come here and not other forums. This forum has a great firewall…..well done mods!!!!

  19. We comment on the schisms in Islam, and compare the past schism in the xtian church, and after reading these inanities, most of which I have read before, and the inanities of almost invariably self confessed republicans comments following the “worlds Hottest Year” report on CNN, I fear another schism coming, not surprisingly in the most religion blinkered country outside the middle East, being of course the USA.

    The comments here in RD’s email, and the theist websites, and the climate denial sites, are spitting non stop illiterate venom at the real enemy, perceived, “liberals,” “leftists,” “commies,” and of course, Obama.

    The US of A is shaping up for a very nasty rewrite of “them” vs. “us,” and of course they are armed to the teeth.

  20. At first I felt sorry for these people… then, I worried about people this mentally ill running around free… then I realized there is no way to help them… then I just laughed!

  21. It’s no worse than your average internet troll, really. And they say they don’t descend from poop-flinging ‘monkeys’. Well, here’s the evidence.

  22. Dawkins had better be careful, soon fans will start writing him ridiculous hate mail in the hope of featuring in the next video!

  23. Although I’ll admit to feeling concerned at some of these messages (threats), I suppose humour is the best way to deal with such silliness. Carry on!

  24. The homophobia is a bit of a surprise. Usually that comes if you express anti-war sentiments.

    I think perhaps the same guy is writing over and over.

  25. It is encouraging to know your opposition are so addled. Nothing anyone said made even a lick of sense.
    I suppose you could quote them the next time someone argues that only with Christianity is morality and decent behaviour possible.

  26. A concentrate of acute arguments and agile reasoning from christiandom, imbued with the universal love their doctrine teaches as a high value… very funny!
    Very nice aquarium, by the way.

    Director – What does that do to your self esteem?
    Dawkins – Well… pretty good, really.

    Like.

  27. I understand if people disagree with Professor Dawkins for whatever reasons however, I am shocked to see so much hate. I would argue if these individuals could not hide behind their veil of internet anonymity they would never stoop so low.

  28. Perfectly charming, both Richard and the fan mail. Of course I’m only being sarcastic about the fan mail. I kind of just imagine all these writers crying with stubborn denial as they write while their faith falls through their hands like their tears.

  29. I feel sorry for those who actually wrote those hateful letters. There is a quote that I think is relevant here.

    People like what Science GIVES them. Not the questions it asks.

  30. A ‘freesome’, Julie, is a threesome engaged in with people who can’t spell.

    Not recommended, as it always leaves one intellectually unsatisfied.

  31. Cherry picking as usual. I wonder what proportion of his mail is hate mail and what proportion is slightly-better-thought-out material which, of course, fails to warrant his mockery, and probably even less his careful attention. And that leads me to a question or three. Why does he suggest in his books that religion should be mocked at all? What purpose is mocking likely to serve a community that prides itself on being ‘rational’? Does it make religious people any more likely to abandon their faith, or is RD just a self-absorbed celebrity who loves to get a laugh … as I see Stephen Fry claims we MUST mock on his website too? Why is mocking mandatory for atheists? Quite honestly I would guess that the more we in the West mock the Muslim world the more angry it will get since, as far as I know, there is no ‘turn the other cheek’ instruction in Islam.

  32. CumbriaSmithy Jan 22, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Cherry picking as usual. I wonder what proportion of his mail is hate mail and what proportion is slightly-better-thought-out material which, of course, fails to warrant his mockery, and probably even less his careful attention. And that leads me to a question or three.

    Hi Smithy,

    You can find three links to answer your questions in my earlier comment :-

    https://richarddawkins.net/2015/01/love-letters-to-richard-dawkins/#li-comment-166388

  33. Good memory, that you remember my name! 🙂

    It said something about Sam Harris giving Richard Dawkins a “freesome”. Makes no sense since we’re talking about 2 people. And you don’t “give” someone a freesome!

  34. It is a true measure of Mr. Dawkins’ sublime character to take these awful rantings in such stride without stooping their level. Sadly, it also shows how far the world still has to go in embracing reason.

  35. Well, that is just wonderful, really brightened my day! Over 20 years ago I read The Selfish Gene when I was a young girl at University, it changed my life then and still now. I DO sleep peacefully at night, that book gave me and my children that. It gave me a wonderful peace, no higher being to ‘be afraid of’ and an eloquent and wonderfully simple reason for being! Wonderfully, I haven’t pushed mine and my husbands beliefs on our children but they too seem to revel in the simplicity of evolution! Thank you!

  36. Well, that is just wonderful, really brightened my day! Over 20 years ago I read The Selfish Gene when I was a young girl at University, it changed my life then and still now. I DO sleep peacefully at night, that book gave me and my children that. It gave me a wonderful peace, no higher being to ‘be afraid of’ and an eloquent and wonderfully simple reason for being! Wonderfully, I haven’t pushed mine and my husbands beliefs on our children but they seem too revel in the simplicity of evolution! Thank you!

  37. I particularly liked the person who was looking forward to spending an eternity in heaven laughing and sneering at the torments of those sent to hell … the others were funny but that one was perfect !

  38. I particularly liked the person who was looking forward to spending an eternity in heaven laughing and sneering at the torments of those sent to hell..

    I pondered this one as well but my mind turned to logistics and engineering that would enable this saint to look down on the sinners. The saint would need to be close enough to identify Richard Dawkins from all the other sinners. Given the billions of Homo Sapiens that have ever existed, and that the option of going to heaven only became available 2000 years ago, and that there is a high probability that most Homo Sapiens worship the wrong god, I figure that Hell must be a huge and crowded place. So for a saint to be able to identify RD amongst that crowd indicates there must be some sort of database. Row 9, level 12, pig pen 27.

    Now heaven in comparison must be almost empty, given the very low probability of selecting the right god, then living scrupulously by the demands of said god. So I picture a vast plain of fire and brimstone with a small heavenly island floating somehow above this. So to get the Saint in a position to view RD, would require the island to be programmable so that it could move and sit neatly over RD, and close enough for the saint to revel in RD’s agony. But this would mean that the sulphur fumes, smoke and sundry other by products of combustion, given that heat rises, would swamp the viewing saint. Also, the noise levels given the wailing and gnashing of billions of teeth would be greater that the decibel rating of the 12th man at a Seattle Seahawks home game.

    So with my limited engineering, I propose that the island heaven and the saint, must be enclosed in a prophylactic bubble to shield the virtuous any discomfort. Now god has proven to be a very poor designer and engineer. Dare I mention wisdom teeth… again. So our saint, to achieve his vicarious pleasure, must take a great risk on the supporting engineering designed by god to get this close to RD, and revel in his torture.

    All a bit pointless really. More Monty Python me thinks.

  39. I’d love to see a video of the Pope reading out some of the nasty comments posted about him on this website, but I guess he wouldn’t stoop that low.
    Richard Dawkins – The gift that keeps on giving.

  40. Hi Richard. We were just watching these “love letters” and thinking….how hypocritical. You ARE Like “Jesus.”….in a way. Sacrificing yourself, promoting yourself as the target.. Trying to influence society..Prepared to be “crucified” (via emails) ..For common sense and science and Atheists world wide. Wow. Now that’s a paradox! Don’t you think?

  41. Hi Richard. We were just watching these “love letters” and thinking….how hypocritical. You ARE Like “Jesus.”….in a way.

    I love this thinking that tries to draw links between dots on opposite sides of the universe. The people Richard was quoting were god fearing christians. You’re lot Smith321. Do you really want to align yourself with this type of vitriol, threats and promises of violence. Is this the christianity you signed up for.

    So in some circuitous and desperate defence of the people sending the emails, your brain conjures up a line that says the RD is channeling Jesus. Did RD look like he was in pain. Did he look like he was sacrificing himself. Taking one for the team. Or was he exposing good christians like yourself to the sterilizing effect of a ray of sunshine. Was he having a good laugh at the effects of religion on the brains of homo sapiens. Did Jesus laugh on the cross. Nice try but no chocolates.

  42. Smithy please!!

    After the explosion occurred, the law of gravity is supposed to have
    invented itself, which is quite a thought. Soon the complete formulas
    of other laws began inventing themselves.

    I am just a simple electrician but even I understand that gravity did not come ‘after’ the explosion (Big Bang) but is part and parcel. It is an essential part and not an ‘invention’. It is not one of the processes that was ‘invented’ in the ‘seven day’ process. I am sorry but it shows why you believe in a god if you can’t understand this process.

  43. CumbriaSmithy Jan 23, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Thanks, yes, there are some interesting letters in that selection. I particularly like this one which speaks about fairy tales:

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/letters/bad?letter_id=642609&page=1#letter_642609

    Looking at that letter on the link, it has the usual comical lack of understanding of elementary astrophysics!

    The initial “Bang” explosion is said to have produced only hydrogen and perhaps helium, but after the stars had pushed themselves together they began exploding like strings of firecrackers. Then, reforming, large numbers exploded a second time. And presto! All 90 elements had been produced by the second wave of explosions!

    Yep! That’s how gravity and nuclear fusion work to fuse lighter elements into heavier ones, with massive explosions from collapsing stars scattering elements back across the universe in massive nebulae.

    As the fairy tale goes on, explosion after explosion took place as loose gas pressed itself into stars and then those stars exploded. Hundreds of billions of stars were exploding all over the universe. This went on for long ages.

    The mechanism is explained and mapped here: –

    http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/h/hertzsprung-russell+diagram

    ..and supernova explosions and their remnants continue to be observed today.

    There was no reason why it started, and there was no way for it to stop.

    Actually atoms clump in space due to gravity.

    It was a self-initiating activity, destined to continue on forever.

    Or at least until the supply of matter and energy run out.

    These regularly occurring explosions should be occurring in our own time. When you go out tonight you ought to be able to see exploding stars in the sky.

    Yep! Those nebulae are clear to see with telescopes!

    Each time these stars exploded outward, they gathered back together and exploded again. We are told that our own sun had its third explosion about 5 billion years ago.

    Nope! Our Sun ignited but did not explode.
    The Sun is a second generation star which FORMED from its accretion disk 4.6 Billion Years ago, from primordial hydrogen and helium mixed with the supernova remnants of earlier exploded stars.

    https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Sun&Display=Facts

    But, quite well aware that stars are not now regularly exploding in the sky, the theorists came up with the idea that about a million years ago the explosions mysteriously stopped!

    Comically WRONG fiction! – Stars follow a sequence according to their types, and big ones continue to explode when their nuclear reactions can no longer support their structure against the force of gravity.

    Why did they set that terminal date at “a million years ago”? Because the most distant stars were thought to be a million light years away, and since they are not now seen to be exploding it was decided that they must have stopped exploding just before the time that their starlight was sent to us from that those farthest distances from Earth.

    This is made up nonsense! Supernova explosions continue now and will do for far into the future.

    End of story and the theorists lived happily ever after.

    The scientific theorists continue to confirm their detailed knowledge of astronomy, – while fanciful fairytale-tellers continue to confirm their ignorance and incredulity, by making stuff up instead of looking up scientific research!

    It often gives the educated a laugh, when some story-telling faith-thinker, tries to use circular thinking to prove that well evidenced, observable science, does not work, simply because THEY cannot understand it and don’t want to believe it!

  44. I am sorry but it shows why you believe in a god if you can’t understand this process.

    That’s exactly right!
    Theists/creationists have a real problem to admit and handle ignorance. They outsource it: “there is a god who’s unfathomable and responsible for everything we can’t understand”. And the problem here is the full stop after understand, because a vital part is missing: the yet. Also, there’s the hidden -and rather impolite- assumption that if something can’t be understood by H.S.Sapiens after 70~50 thousands of years after it achieved modern cognition, then it can’t be understood at all… such an assumption is just stupid.

    ~~~

    Note: as far back as I can remember, gravity is thought to have separated from the other forces shortly after the Big Bang. But it was there. This “separation” model is still somewhat in fashion and is based on the observation that the coupling constants, which are not constant but parameters that, put too simply, depend on the energy of the interaction, seemed to converge at one point.
    By refining measures, it has been found that this convergence isn’t as beautiful as we would have hoped, yet the trend seems to be valid so the concept of a single force at very, very high energies is still mainstream.

  45. To Richard Dawkins…..

    Well done you Biaaatcchhhh 🙂 , it is great to see that you are just a human being who likes to take 5 and let down his hair amongst trusted friends… I hope this video gets preserved for future generations..
    (I hear some asks why…)

    For the following reason….. In two hundred years, (possibly much less), some of the decedents of the followers of this website will declare you as a prophet incapable of saying the word “fu*k”, and at that stage, I hope someone will show them this video…. 🙂 …

  46. I’d love to see a video of the Pope reading out some of the nasty comments posted about him on this website, but I guess he wouldn’t stoop that low.

    For he is an honourable man !

    (Unlike his paedophile priests and their supervisors who covered up the rape and abuse of children over many years.)

  47. True greatness comes with the ability to laugh at one’s self and not take the self seriously. Well done Richard. 🙂 Oh and absolutely hilarious by the way.

  48. Quite possibly one of favorite Dawkins videos. I don’t think it would be quite as funny if the angry creationists that emailed him used proper grammar.

  49. Looking for any ‘sense’ in any of this is a futile exercise; by definition!

    I think the suggested ‘freesome’ may have been Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and a Chimpanzee. I shan’t listen to it again to check, as hearing something which generates a mental image of that particular ménage à trois, even one time in a lifetime, is one time too many.

    And yes, Julie, I remember you from the old forum. Aren’t you the cartoonist? A currently rather fashionable (and indeed honourable) skill. Will you be deploying your talents towards a currently deserving target? 🙂

  50. He’s just reading the mail as it was sent. So Richard isn’t mocking them, they are actually mocking themselves.

    I think he’s only making them due to popular demand. I think they are great so you blame me 🙂

    What puzzles though is why they use the word ‘gay’ as an insult.

  51. I’d just like to say how much I appreciate Mr. Dawkins’ intelligence, his life and his work. When reading one of his books I recall how difficult it was in my teens to get to the books I was interested in in the library. They were always locked up! Thank you very much Mr. Dawkins.

  52. You make it rather difficult for those of us who tend towards libertarian, or classical liberal political concepts, and who (likely) have a very high population of atheists in our midst.

    Both Republicans AND Democrats are joined at the irrational hip. The U.S. is a bit more philosophically complex than the simplistic stereotypical labels you espouse.

    Concerning Mr. Dawkins’ reading of “love” letters: It was both funny and yet quite sad at the same time — to think that anyone with the initiative to write him would have such a low caliber of intellect, and “common” logic.

  53. I wonder what percentage of posts on this website would remain, if those posting actually cared about other people, really cared.
    There seems to be a lot of breast-beating about being in the club of people who only have correct thoughts. Yet even in the “hard” or empirical sciences, this used to be frowned on by the scientists themselves. It did not bother them to acknowledge that they were studying something, such as the nature of heat or light, and that they still did not have a definite answer.
    Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions was a real eye-opener for me. When I explained to my lab prof in Cell Biology that I was using the paradigm shift concept to prepare for labs, (I had been singled out as my marks were highest in the section) she almost had an aneurism. Then she tried to get the Dean of Natural Science to throw me out of school, which went on for a full year.
    Fifteen years after I graduated, I was handed a book entitled In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, written by a metallurgist named Ian C. Taylor. In there, to my astonishment, were my university science lessons, designed to proved that evolution was real. Except this time, the confessions of Kettlewell about how he fudged his experiments on the peppered moth. The flaws in every example were clearly told.
    Someone who wants to know the truth about something will not just read about it, but will read other explanations and comments about it, and think about it. You don’t ask a man who hates football whether or not it’s a good sport.
    I personally spent two years deciding for myself (back in the mid 70’s) what the truth was about acid rain and the scrubbers installed by Inco on their new 500 metre tall stack in Sudbury. Everyone was blaming Inco; and Inco was claiming innocence. I worked overtime 5 days a week at my factory job in the summer so that the foreman would let me leave 2 hours early every Tuesday, and research the issue. In the end I was certain about Inco contributing not only to Ontario’s acidic deposition, but also that in Ohio. We in turn received theirs.
    As a Christian, I know what I believe, and why I believe it. I did not go in saying “I think this is nonsense” but I know many who have entered their inquiry, and come out convinced that Christ is Lord.
    No one is forcing you to be a Christian. You are free to choose.

    Michael

  54. I was not going to watch these videos, knowing the kind of inane content would be in the emails. But I underestimated Prof. Dawkins’s calmly entertaining manner of delivering them. Well done! An enjoyable laugh. The senders of those emails really have no idea how inconsistent and ridiculous they show themselves to be.

  55. Bully for you, Michael.

    I would consider resuming faith in Christ, if it meant anything in terms of knowable reality about which we can make responsible decisions; but putting one’s faith in an imaginary being is delusional and hardly to be expected of any reasonable person.

  56. I wonder what percentage of posts on this website would remain, if those posting actually cared about other people, really cared.

    Oh those evil atheists. They don’t “Really” care about other people. How can they. They don’t believe in god. You can only be good and moral and care if you have a spiritual gun to your head. You can’t possible come to a conclusion that it is morally good to care about other people through rational thought. This is just way beyond those god create neurons in homo sapiens.

    Stick around Michael. You will find some of the most ethical and caring people on the planet. (Plus erudite and witty.) They care so much, that they’re prepared to help you think for yourself.

    You have no idea who I am or what I care about. How much community work do I do. Am I a volunteer. How much do I contribute to charities. How many awards I’ve received. How many old people in my neighbourhood rely on me. Do I ever look after my grandchildren. Do I put my shopping trolleys back. Do I pay all of my taxes. Do I conduct myself at all times with the highest possible ethical standards. Do I sacrifice and accept personal pain for the greater good. Do I live by the motto, “First, do no harm.” Did I lock up the Chief Inspector of the drug squad for corruption. You don’t know me Michael but you but your are prepared to judge me as evil sight unseen. I don’t think your saviour would think very highly of you.

    I dismissed your post after I read this first sentence. If your first sentence is irrational, then the rest has very low credibility.

  57. Michael, I understand why you struggled with your biology lab professor. Your biblical paradigm shift is irrational.

    Ian J. Taylor clearly suffers from paranoid biblical psychoticism. He’s the darling of the ID brigade for his conspiracy theories about Darwinism. The delusional Taylor imagines The Royal Society is a front for Freemasons and that scientists conspire to control and rule the world.

    No one is forcing you to be a Christian.

    You’re not being forced to accept evolution. There are numerous books on biology if you’re genuinely interested in the subject but you’re not obliged to investigate. Tell me Michael. Do you reject climate science as well? Do you believe Jesus wouldn’t allow the planet to be damaged by us?

  58. Cherry picking as usual.

    You are on his forum he set up to discuss issues, so anyone who cares to can make intelligent comment if they so choose. Can I ask you a question? I mean to actually ask the question (not to trap you) I’m interested in your reply. How did they letter make you feel? How would they make you feel if directed towards you?

    I think given that he is being threatened or at least the writers are hoping he will die a painful death followed by a painful eternity in hell. I think doing this sort of thing would be somewhat cathartic, it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone (he is after all only reading letters addressed to him by these people – he is not suggesting all religious think like this).

    Why does he suggest in his books that religion should be mocked at all?

    Because the alternative – not being allowed to mock is what leads to totalitarian regimes. I think you may be making the mistake of thinking mockery will stop the religious from being religious, I agree in most cases it will not, but done well it highlights hypocrisy, silly thinking and if no rational response is forthcoming then it illustrates poor ideas very well which can have a massive impact on fence sitters.

    Quite honestly I would guess that the more we in the West mock the Muslim world the more angry it will get since, as far as I know, there is no ‘turn the other cheek’ instruction in Islam.

    This to me is the problem, at what point are you prepared to concede that Islam has gone too far and be prepared to make some sort of stand? Should Islam be able to have exemption to laws on child abuse because some of them may want to practice female circumcision? Should Islam be allowed to kill their daughters in Honour killings as some Muslims do because their daughters disobedience offends them to the point of overcoming any love they hold for said daughter? Should we accept anything they say is offensive to them and bend over and change our behaviour for fear of offence being given? I don’t think you would go so far as to suggest that politicians cannot be the subject of satire. If this is so why should religions (which hold similar amounts of power over individuals lives) be immune? The sort of Muslim who is prepared to do these things is taking a very literal view of the Koran, thus anyone who is not a Muslim is a target to these people. Cartoons and criticism may well draw their murderous attention in that direction but IMO is it wasn’t cartoonists it would be bombs in buses, buildings and trains. They believe it is their destiny to take over the whole world and convert of kill the infidels.

  59. Has Richard suggested that by reading these letters he is somehow to be equated to Jesus? In what way? He was asked very clearly how they make him feel and he said something like “just fine”. He is not claiming to be some sort of martyr.

    What is is showing clearly is that being a Christian doesn’t make you a better person. As a major argument in every religious debate I’ve every watched is based upon the idea that it is only through God that you can gain morality, this selection of vile abuse shows this to be not so well supported.

    Unpack the humour for a moment, why was it funny, it was funny because of the disparity between the claim of some of the religious on one hand to be the sole recipients of morality, of following a turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour attitude and how quickly it comes undone when Richard writes a book pointing out problems with their beliefs.

    What do you suggest he does with these letters, pretend they do not exist, report them to the police, complain about them or in this case just read them out literally?

  60. “How much community work do I do. Am I a volunteer. How much do I contribute to charities. How many awards I’ve received. How many old people in my neighbourhood rely on me…. Do I sacrifice and accept personal pain for the greater good.”

    This is nice, being kind and acting on one’s values(?); however, it underscores the importance you place on altruism as a defining principle of “the good” in and of itself — especially sacrifice for “the greater good.” Benevolence, benefit-of-the-doubt, respect and help for one’s fellow human (when rationally appropriate), are all good attributes of character. However, the singular importance of altruistic behavior is a fundamental basis for many religions, primarily Christianity. So, you (like many atheists living in religious Western countries), reject the concept of a god (as I have all my conscious life), yet embrace the pre-philosophical underpinnings of Christianity!

    So, a god is dismissed as the authority for those altruistic epistemological priorities, and (I assume) society becomes the authority basis — “the greater good.” Thus, a belief — or not, in a god becomes simply an academic issue with no rational alternatives to Christian principles.

    It’s kind of funny. You write back to a Christian, and demonstrate how truly Christian you really are as an atheist by espousing the importance of Christian principles!

  61. @LCBoliou

    the pre-philosophical underpinnings of Christianity!…the importance of Christian principles!

    We’ve tested running purely Xian societies to establish what principles emerge from them, at least twice now. Both examples have been abject failures.

    The only common practice to emerge from either of these authentically Xian communities has be child sex abuse, mostly rape. Neither society could be properly called a country but both have been isolated from secular influence for hundreds of years.

    I’m referring to The Vatican of course. The other group of unadulterated Xian makeup, guided only by the bible, was isolated on Pitcairn Island where the majority of the male population has been convicted of child rape. Like the Vatican those who weren’t involved went to extraordinary lengths to protect the perpetrators.

    We can now recognize the underlying “pre-philosophical values” of Xianity by observing the behaviour of these groups.

  62. There seems to be a lot of breast-beating about being in the club of people who only have correct thoughts.

    Michael how much have you read here? I have been rightly corrected many a time on this site by other athiests, I in turn have attempted to correct others from time to time. The real difference here is an attempt to be rational, an attempt to ask questions, and a love of the scientific method. In your post you have gone some way to convince us of your credentials and devotion to the scientific method. Good on you. I too am aware of scientific fraud and errors, you have but to watch Ascent of Man or Cosmos (celebrations of science) to be exposed to many. You should also know that science only progresses if people challenge orthodox views or fraud when they see it, look at cold fusion for example.

    In your example of your Christianity, however you are short on detail and I can only therefore assume you expect me to believe you are right because you are familiar with the scientific method? Are you suggesting we respect your views because of some form of argument from authority? If you have used the scientific method to come by your beliefs please write a paper and correct us all.

    It’s not that the people on this site by and large do not think they are the only people capable of having correct thoughts, rather they are worried that so many refuse to consider that they may not have correct thoughts.

  63. It’s kind of funny. You write back to a Christian, and demonstrate how
    truly Christian you really are as an atheist by espousing the
    importance of Christian principles!

    I presume, without having met the gentleman concerned that there are a large number of the qualities and principles of the christian god that he does not espouse. These would include, and I listed them elsewhere recently, misogyny, genocidal murderousness, filicide, adultery, utter intolerance of apostasy in any form, homophobia, and more from a long list of abhorrent practices that the christian god apparently approves by so instructing his followers in his holy book. We can easily add utter absurdity to the list.

    Christianity did not invent altruistic principle, quite the contrary in fact, reading the emails that make up this thread. Are their authors not christian, or is the “No true Scotsman fallacy?”

    Christianity did a lot of altruisticly burning people at the stake, torturing people until they converted, and if you add Yahweh, the christian god, as well as the god of Abraham, and the god of Allah and his precious bloody prophet, it gets even worse.

    Some principles! Some god!

    The last thing you need to be a decent person is this appallingly bloodthirsty deity.

  64. I’ll tuck this here as a question for everyone. Who got closer Kuhn or Popper? There is a choice of two variables here, science as it is performed, science as it should be performed. Either or both.

    Mods I don’t intend this as a tangent but as a discussion point to bring back to Michael.

  65. @LCBoliou

    I endorse Len Walsh and JC Sheepdog’s comments. There’s not much more but to say this statement is false.

    However, the singular importance of altruistic behavior is a fundamental basis for many religions, primarily Christianity.

  66. Yep, I’m the cartoonist. What deserving target?

    Follow me on Twitter. I did a series of sketches that I called EXTREME TWEETING! with Richard Dawkins. The drawings had him skydiving, SCUBA diving, and even riding the outside of a jet plane with one of his dogs!

  67. No one is forcing you to be a Christian. You are free to choose.

    And if I choose badly, you have, have to believe that I’ll burn in hell forever.

    Nice try.

  68. Michael Jan 24, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I was handed a book entitled In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, written by a metallurgist named Ian C. Taylor. In there, to my astonishment, were my university science lessons, designed to proved that evolution was real. Except this time, the confessions of Kettlewell about how he fudged his experiments on the peppered moth. The flaws in every example were clearly told.

    There are so many thousands of scientific studies confirming that evolution is happening all around us all the time, that even if some studies are found to be flawed (It is unlikely that they are actually flawed just because some science illiterate thinks so!) it is of no consequence. – *Just as when the circumference of the Earth was miscalculated in Columbus time, that did not make the Earth flat!

    A metallurgist pontificating on biology he cannot understand!

    Using pseudo-science evolution-deniers like this as sources, no wonder you are using confused make-it-up wish-thinking in place of evidenced reasoning!

  69. First of all, Christianity has become quite domesticated within the last several hundred years. As there is no objective basis within faith-based belief, it’s not surprising that a secular based legal structure, based on constitutional law, would influence religious citizens. As Mark Twain put it, in effect: ‘religion never became popular with the common folks until man’s laws superseded God’s laws.’

    Your rendering of past egregious actions performed in the name of (any) religion, or political dictatorship are irrelevant. The point is, the somewhat domesticated present Christianity has views which are quite instep with Mr. Allen’s comments of altruism and virtue. What, for example, is the objective epistemological basis of stating “Do I sacrifice and accept personal pain for the greater good?”

    Every totalitarian dictatorship, whether religious or collectivist/statist based, has claimed common ground with their definition of sacrificing the individual for the “common good.” Of course the common good is anyone and everyone, but no one in particular.

    The corollary of faith is force, and without an objective, rational rule-of-law, political institutions or religions end up with the same disregard for human/individual rights. One can have faith in the authority of government, as well as faith in the authority of a god. Both act to distort and destroy the functioning of reason. There is no substitute for reason, logic, and objective thought.

    I didn’t claim that Christianity invented altruism, altruism is likely an evolutionary based tendency of behavior (not really hardwired like our speech center — biological EPROM), as it relates to differential reproduction and child rearing, which is the fundamental mechanism of evolutionary change. Altruism thus has objective value outside of the typically contractual relations adults engage in.

    When religion or government engages in the creation of laws imposing altruism as law for adults, then they are acting the same, with the only difference being the source of authority — a god, or the state. How they enforce these laws is based on the extent that those irrational laws are promulgated. Present day Islam, like both 7th century Christianity and 7th century Islam still has a monopoly on governmental law and morality — we see the disgusting results!

    Christianity has changed because of the separation of church and state, and constitutional law based on our species nature. Consider The Declaration of Independence: “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…” Now simply substitute in: “… they are endowed by evolutionary laws with certain unalienable Rights.” Or as the late Konrad Lorenz put it, “the great constructors of evolution.”

    Christianity is based on self sacrifice — altruism. Consider Jesus, presumably the perfect man of virtue, is sacrificed for the evil nature of man. This is the ultimate definition of sacrificing and accepting personal pain for the greater “good!” It is the ultimate definition of altruism as a vehicle of religion, or bad government. It is, in fact, an inversion of an objective and rationally based morality.

  70. LCBoliou Jan 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Christianity is based on self sacrifice — altruism.

    The problem is, that this is just reading into Christianity, what the believer wants to see. It has nothing to do with the mass of Biblical self-contradictions and inhuman acts, from which chosen bits are cherry-picked,

    Consider Jesus, presumably the perfect man of virtue, is sacrificed for the evil nature of man. This is the ultimate definition of sacrificing and accepting personal pain for the greater good!

    It is also a fairy story about a mythical garden and a “sin” which never existed, a “fall from grace” which never existed, and a supposed sacrifice for these “sins” which never needed to exist, to supposedly redeem people for some imaginary “original sin” which never existed!

    It is the ultimate definition of altruism as a vehicle of religion, or bad government. It is, in fact, an inversion of an objective and rationally based morality.

    It is indeed a nonsensical claim, which obscures rational based morality.

  71. Sorry for the run-on sentence — should be: “I didn’t claim that Christianity invented altruism. Altruism is likely an evolutionary based tendency of behavior (not really hardwired like our speech center — biological EPROM), as it relates to differential reproduction and child rearing, which is the fundamental mechanism of evolutionary change. Altruism thus has objective value outside of the typically contractual relations adults engage in.” I have to do this, in order to improve my writing skills ; )

    Of course the Jesus death and rising is myth. Point is, it’s an epistemological basis of Christianity — they believe it!

  72. The problem is, that this is just reading into Christianity, what the believer wants to see. It has nothing to do with the mass of Biblical self-contradictions and inhuman acts, from which chosen bits are cherry-picked,

    Christianity, as well as all religions, read into their books with interpretation, and leave out — in the case of pulling the thread on Christianity — the some 23 versions of their “perfect” book (among other things!). My point is that Christians who live in Western societies have been greatly influenced by secular law. Indeed, if rational secular law was removed, the Christians would likely morph back into the tribal savages they were a few hundred years ago.

    Whether acquired through cultural osmosis, or conscious thought, ideas drive the direction of a culture. Irrational ideas produce irrational laws and culture. A return to religion in government law would completely destroy Western civilization.

    Hence, constant vigilance.

    To me, the biggest threat to Western civilization is the growing emergence of Islam. For one, it is a religion which prides itself as having the pure book of truth — no versions, no renaissance. Their religion is in concert with primitives armed with spears and swords. But unlike early Christians, who were still quite effective at murdering hundreds of thousands with those simple weapons, the Islamist has access to modern weapons, including nuclear weapons!

  73. As awesome as The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, The Devil’s Chaplain, and all his other works are there is nothing quite so wonderful as hearing Richard read his fan mail. I love the contrast of his erudite voice and the idiocy of the words. But seriously Richard do you really suck Noam’s cock? I’ve never gone the gay way myself but I would be tempted to join in that threesome.

  74. I didn’t interpret his comment as saying that Richard was a hypocrite or that Richard was comparing himself to Jesus. Rather that Smith was making an analogy and a rather apt one and just pointing out that its somewhat paradoxical. Responding to hatred with good nature and humor is rather Christ like. Its only atheists who have completely closed minds and have to immediately equate anything with the words Jesus or Christ as automatically evil that don’t get it… which unfortunately is many people on this site. Which is one of the reasons I mostly don’t waste my time here anymore but I’ll always come back to hear Richard read more fan mail.

  75. In other contexts I would agree with you although for the most part Richard doesn’t mock theists who talk respectfully. On the contrary I’ve seen him put up with some very venomous attacks in person and respond with polite reason. Its his rabid fans who have one thousandth of his intellect who have to resort to mocking and nastiness. And in any case dude lighten up a bit, if you can’t see the humor in this then you don’t have much of a sense of humor.

  76. Hi Red Dog,

    It wasn’t the way I read it but happy to be proved wrong I see your point. Thank you. If that is what you meant Smith123 then my sincere apologies if I caused offence.

  77. Michael Jan 24, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I was handed a book entitled In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, written by a metallurgist named Ian C. Taylor. In there, to my astonishment, were my university science lessons, designed to proved that evolution was real. Except this time, the confessions of Kettlewell about how he fudged his experiments on the peppered moth. The flaws in every example were clearly told. Cherry picking misleading scraps of information is common in creationist pseudo-science authors – so let’s fininsh the story:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution

    This selective survival was due to birds which easily caught dark moths on clean trees, and white moths on trees darkened with soot. The story supported by Kettlewell’s experiment became an example of Darwinian evolution in standard textbooks.[4]

    However, failure to replicate the experiment and criticism of Kettlewell’s methods by Theodore David Sargent in the late 1960s led to general scepticism.

    Sargent’s experiment failed!

    When Judith Hooper’s Of Moths and Men was published in 2002, Kettlewell’s story was more sternly attacked, accused of fraud, and became widely disregarded. The criticism became a major argument for anti-evolutionists. Michael Majerus was the principal defender. His seven-year experiment since 2001, the most elaborate of the kind in population biology, the results of which were published posthumously in 2012, vindicated Kettlewells’ works in great detail. This restored the peppered moth evolution as “the most direct evidence”, and “one of the clearest and most easily understood examples of Darwinian evolution in action”.

    So there you have it. Creationists latched on to a failed experiment challenging a valid one, but a more competent scientist eventually replicated the original experiment and added greatly to the evidence and detail – that pollution and bird selection were the driving forces behind the changes in the moth populations.
    One or two other careless scientists have made comments which lend themselves to being misquoted and misinterpreted, by those wilfully seeking to promote pseudo-science agendas.

  78. Republicans and Democrats are joined [ ]

    Subject of discussion recently with friend…

    how many voters, staring at the ballot, select a presidential candidate simply as the lesser of two evils – or, don’t cast a vote for one of the many other parties because 1)it’s too much trouble to research, ‘two is easy’, 2)are told it just takes a vote away from the Rep and Dem. Ironic and sad.

  79. Actually, around 2001, Michael Majerus performed a long-term evaluation of the peppered moth. Kettlwell was vindicated, and the peppered moth example is still considered valid evidence for evolutionary adaptation (good crud, doesn’t everyone understand the adaptation of antibiotic resistant bacteria?).

    Anti-evolutionists always love to context drop. Or they point out “holes” in evolution theory, and claim that since we don’t understand everything about evolution, then everything we do understand becomes invalid. They use a distorted form of critical thought. Their critical thinking only applies when it suits their intellectually dishonest rationalizations. When it comes to their beliefs they simply retreat to their faith-based nonsense, and utter such absurdities as, ‘god is beyond knowledge and understanding’ — yet still treat this not understandable intellectual swill as knowledge!

    The fact is — yes it is a fact, the existence of any god invalidates virtually everything we know about this universe. The existence of a god is impossible, as such would violate one of the most, if not the most, fundamental laws of causality. Matter exists unconditionally. It requires nothing to make it come into existence. It will interact — matter/energy, but cannot be created or destroyed. A god is not required, and is not wanted by anything except lower primates living on isolated rocks orbiting in the “Goldilocks” zones of certain species if stars. Any god would simply gum-up the entire beautiful universe with it’s idiocy.

    Note: The singularity was composed of the entire potential universe. It was the singularity of the ultimate reaction of matter/energy.

  80. Hi Savvy and welcome to the site.

    Whilst your English is a whole lot better than those quoted above from “fans”, what does

    I really hate to see your face when you realize it.

    mean ?

    And as for poor old Satan, created by God, what did he ever do that was so evil, apart from on God’s direct instruction, to kill a few peope ? Unlike the heavenly Al Capone, who was quite happy to wipe out most life on Earth by a (non-existent) global flood. Certainly Savvy’s God has a higher body count and lesser morals than Satan, who couldn’t stand for tyranny !

  81. LCBoliou Jan 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Actually, around 2001, Michael Majerus performed a long-term evaluation of the peppered moth. Kettlwell was vindicated, and the peppered moth example is still considered valid evidence for evolutionary adaptation

    .. and then there is all the research on insect mimics, which also illustrates visual predatory selection by birds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimicry

  82. Hello Richard,

    These letters are as disturbing as they are hilarious. I shudder to think what some of these people might be capable of, given the severity of their words.

    I just watched a few episodes of The Enemies of Reason. I was struck in episode 3, by the conviction with which “creationists” attack the Theory of Evolution as if it were some form of religion, rather than science.

    Perhaps religious people tend to attack reason with such vehemence, precisely because reason necessarily posits that religion is irrational, and often harmful?

    Wendy Wright stood out to me, for her zealous haste to quash your questions with answers worded to make Christians nod their heads, while containing only conjecture, assumption, and lacking any evidence. She then accused you of forming your arguments in the same way as hers, while claiming without any rational basis, that yours stood on the shaky ground of her arguments. I find it disturbing when I discover persons who are physically mature adults, but have not progressed much beyond early, pre-school childhood with respect to their formation of opinions and arguments. Only methods for delivery and persuasiveness seem to have been a focus for development in the case of Wendy.

    In 1997, I decided I would give “evangelism” a new name – evandalism. This more closely mirrors its true effects upon the minds of its victims.

    I happily and permanently removed myself from religion in 1996. If I can use my brain to determine my own fate in this manner, why should others be incapable of such action?

    Sincerely,

    Donn – a human whose happiness no longer hinges upon seeking to validate a myth.

    (I go now to un-pause episode 3 of The Enemies of Reason, and finish watching.)

  83. It’s just brilliant. It really shows these fundamentalists in their true light. Doesn’t the Bible say ”love thy neighbour” and ”love your enemy”. I think some of these will burn in hell for not following the work of the holy book. Dr. Dawkins is their enemy and they are wishing for his painful death and that he burns in hell, this is surely a sin in their book so…. 😉

  84. These letters reek of impoverished imagination, impotent rage, and pathetic desperation. Most read like the written temper tantrums of frustrated two-year-olds. What’s really rich is the criticism of Richard’s writing from people who can’t even cobble together a coherent sentence without misspellings, punctuation mistakes, and grammatical errors, and whose vocabulary seems limited to variations of “fuck” and “fag”.

    Keep it up, religious idiots. Your demonstrations of the relationship of religion to illiterate ignorance and bigotry is doing more for atheism than almost anything else.

  85. Hear Hear!! I completely agree with you Richard, and don’t these religious people get their knickers in a twist!

  86. That Love letters film makes me a more than a little uneasy. Yes, there are lots and lots of stupid religious people. There are lots and lots of stupid people who don’t give a shit whether they can be labeled religious or something else. We all know these people exist.
    The dangerous people are those who are deluded and well articulated, and sit in powerful positions.
    Why gloat over a few idiotic religious hate letters?
    This person says fuckity-fuckity, this one says “bi-aaatch” – snicker, snicker. That is sooo funny.
    It reminds me of high school, where the ultra-cool teenager cliques pointed fingers and snickered at the un-cool. This gloating is bit immature, me thinks,
    I’m not convinced that it serves any useful purpose.

  87. Sorry, one more thing. If HOPE is just a word and not a true “gift of the spirit”, then why would anyone ever commit suicide? Can a person live without HOPE? It’s just a word…..right?

  88. Look at the world around you, aren’t we becoming more divided by the day…..black vs white, gay vs straight, man vs woman (divorce rates), muslim vs Christian and on and on…..spiritual and moral divisions. Just something to think about.

    No. Your perception is wrong.

    Like Sweden, where rape statistics have gone through the roof. Its not that rape has gone up but that Swedes have started to really care about about the crime and have overhauled how they look at it. Its definition has greatly broadened (especially around marital rape and unprotected sex) and the whole process of reporting the crime has been re-implemented to be properly fair and considerate of the abused.

    Things like this have been happening since the Enlightenment. Some led by a few Christians, (take a bow Quakers), some led by political and social innovators, but all backed by increasingly clear sighted non religious folk. The lowest crime rates, teen pregnancies, longest living, lowest infant mortality, most educated, most equal, most caring societies are secular non religious societies. Northern Europe is awash with these decent folk.

    Their moral lives have never been busier, its true. No sooner do you start to care a little more than you notice more problems and have to spend more time trying to deal with them. Fairness is increasingly, over the centuries, being hard wired into the fabric and institutions of the state. An individual’s outrageous slings and arrows of misfortune are made the less for everyone if shared.

    Take a look at “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker for a hugely evidenced account of how our murderous and cruel selves are being steadily tamed by increasingly compassionate societies.

    In this age of astonishing insight into every last corner of the world we see more and more of what we never saw before, and decently we are often appalled. Watch Fox News and these are presented not as new problems to be solved but as scare tactics to build consensus for a Christian Catastrophism. Listen to a cooler headed source like the BBC World Service and you will hear something closer to the truth, of societies, of communities, going through growing pains, joining hands and helping each other.

    Your catastrophism is best kept to yourself.

  89. I get the news about all the Sharia patrols over in England and all the protesting going on over there about it. There is more unrest on the way regarding that issue over there. I never said anything about a catastrophe. If you see it as such, that’s your opinion/perception…..not mine. So, you might want to heed your own advice and keep it to yourself 😉

  90. Varied sources. It’s been all over the news over here. Sorry, it is taking me so long to reply but it has a 10 minute hold on all my comments.

  91. Honey Feb 1, 2015 at 5:15 am

    I get the news about all the Sharia patrols over in England and all the protesting going on over there about it. There is more unrest on the way regarding that issue over there. I never said anything about a catastrophe. If you see it as such, that’s your opinion…..not mine.

    One of the problems of the modern world, is that many people remote from events, have their perceptions, misled by the wild exaggerations and misreporting, from the likes of Faux-News, who make up sensationalised drivel and call it news.

    My brother’s partner is a Muslim, but I have yet to see any “Sharia patrol” anywhere in England!
    There might be a few gangs of youths in some inner cities and pressures on people attending mosques.

  92. You and the other guy, Phil, I think is his name, are diverting from the meaning of my whole message anyway. My message was about the bible, not the news. I don’t watch much television period, and the stations I do watch are usually local, and that’s usually only so I can get the weather report. I’m not here to debate just to give a little food for thought. Think on it or don’t, that’s your option.

  93. They are simply wrong.

    A couple of blokes near here in the East End of London were arrested for harrassing passers by with leaflets on dress code. They were taken to court and given Anti-Social Behaviour Orders. There is little tolerance for such displays in the UK.

    Our Prime Minister very nearly choked on his porridge when hearing of something similar about Birmingham. Called the Fox News correspondent an idiot. The idiot apologised and failed utterly to indicate in interviews that he had any sources for his information at all. Unluckily for him he got caught out too early, before his lie took wings.

    Still, look on the bright side. Our Prime Minister very nearly choked

  94. Honey Feb 1, 2015 at 2:36 am

    In the beginning, God divided opposites, light from dark. Then He divided again, likeness, water from water.

    I take it you have not studied physics, astronomy, cosmology, or planetary formation.

    The bible says He is the beginning and the end….full circle.

    You say you have read the bible once, so don’t seem to have read the history of its authors at all! The circular thinking of “faith”, excludes most of human knowledge and fills the gaps with miracles.
    Perhaps you even think the New Testament was written at the time of supposed events, by the people featured in the stories whose names appear on the 4 gospels. You have probably never heard of the other gospels in the list from which the 4th century Roman bishops picked the 4 to put in the Bible because those suited the politics of the Roman empire!

    The problem of faith-thinking, is that it simply uncritically accepts what the believer is told by preachers, friends, or family, who often simply believe what they have been told by preachers . … . . . without bothering to check historical records or documents or the self-contradictions in the gospels.

    Honey Feb 1, 2015 at 5:46 am – I’m not here to debate just to give a little food for thought. Think on it or don’t, that’s your option.

    This is a site for reason and science, where people come with open minds bringing evidenced knowledge to discuss and establish valid views. You only seem to be offering fanciful opinions which you have picked up from poorly informed sources.

  95. My message was about the bible,

    I don’t watch much television period, and the stations I do watch are usually local

    Look at the world around you, aren’t we becoming more divided by the day

    How do you see these things then? Do you get this stuff from newspapers or friends or the bible, if not TV or church?

  96. Maybe in your rush to argue/reply, you neglected to see the part about “I don’t go to church” and “I’ve never heard these things I’m saying from a preacher.” But I will say this regarding your uncritically accepts what is told comment. I questioned every single word in that bible. Maybe it’s why I got some answers. I don’t know. But it is in my nature to question everything. I have also read the Book of Phillip, the book of Thomas, checked into the dead sea scrolls, the Koran/Quoran (sp?), the book of Mormon etc. I read just about anything I can get my hands on when I am wanting answers. There were things I needed to know about the bible, things that seemed off to me, like why Jesus asks God to lead us not into temptation, if it weren’t possible for Him to do it in the first place. I needed to know if God hated us and wanted to destroy us or if He loved us so much that He sent His only Son. I needed to know why He put a tree in the middle of a garden that looked desirable to eat from and was pleasing to the eye and then said “Don’t eat it or touch it.” I needed to know if God created everything then why create the Serpent/evil, if in fact He did. I needed to know if Jesus was “good”. I needed to know why people assume He ever left us and there is a separation between man and God when clearly there never was as is proved by the fact that God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve outside of Eden, protected Cane with His own hand, walked with Enoch, Moses, Noah, and after Jesus, He basically walked with all mankind….so why do people see Him as not being here? I needed to know if we truly have free will or does God truly control everything. I needed to know all these things and more. And believe it or not…..now I know.

  97. Do you ever worry about the breadth of your sources of information? Do you ever worry you don’t know reliably what might be happening in the world?

  98. Phil, I am on fb and twitter quite a bit and if someone posts something that I find fascinating, I go and research it until I’m satisfied, that’s why I said varied sources, because I will look high and low for answers. And to the other guy, as far as physics…..the only thing we know about our “laws of physics” is based on what we see. Everything is relative and we don’t have the whole picture, so those laws only apply as to what we know about our world. Light for instance must travel through space and time, but if you could open your mind for one minute and just assume that God can stop time, move it forward and backward, just like it says in the bible, then really the only “law” is the law of God. Have you ever wondered which direction North is from God’s point of view? Have you ever wandered why the first woman mentioned in the bible besides Eve is a woman with an INDIAN name? Have you ever wandered why God shut mankind up in pitch darkness, inside and out, for exactly one year in an Ark? We think on such a small scale as humans. Think BIGGER. Take away the dimensions of the Ark and what do you see? Look at the big picture. There is nothing hidden in the bible. It’s all there for anyone to seek and find. But I’ll tell you this. It’s the most fascinating book I’ve ever read or ever will “read”. God exists and He’s closer than you think. But what could I say that would convince you? Absolutely nothing. It’s something you would have to find out for yourself.

  99. No, Phil, I don’t worry about much of anything. And to the other person, I”m sorry but I didn’t catch your name, but as far as an open mind, I believe science and God aren’t necessarily in conflict with each other. Actually, just the opposite as I believe God is the ultimate scientist. He set the world, laws of physics, nature, time, etc in motion. He created DNA, so where better to look for scientific answers than in the bible, as well as a laboratory?

  100. Honey Feb 1, 2015 at 6:12 am

    As Phil asked, – if you don’t know who gave you information, or have forgotten where you got from, how can you know if it is reliable or not?
    Like your misinformation on “Sharia patrols”, you are not using any critical checking system to reject false information.

    He loved us so much that He sent His only Son. I needed to know why He put a tree in the middle of a garden that looked desirable to eat from and was pleasing to the eye and then said “Don’t eat it or touch it.”

    It is an interesting myth, but there is no evidence any such garden or occupying characters existed. Planetary science and evolutionary biology give very clear explanations of how the Earth formed , and how living things evolved into present day life.

    I needed to know if God created everything then why create the Serpent/evil, if in fact He did.

    You can read mythology, but “facts” need supporting evidence. Your belief, does not make this “a fact”.

    I needed to know if Jesus was “good”. I needed to know why people assume He ever left us and there is a separation between man and God

    Assumption is a feature of faith-thinking (belief without evidence or proof). There never was a “garden of Eden” so there was no “fall”, no “original sin”, and no need for any “redemption” of humans. It is an ancient fairy story made up to tell to children to cover up the ignorance of their elders.

    when clearly there never was as is proved by the fact that God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve outside of Eden,

    I think you would need some evidence for the existence of Adam, Eve, or a god.

    There is of course a history of the evolution of the Trinity of Christian gods from:- Jehova, the old god of war – Yahweh, and the polytheistic Canaanite gods, all of which existed in the minds of various ancient peoples, who knew nothing about the origins of the Earth.

    .so why do people see Him as not being here?

    Other people don’t see “Him” because he is the God-Delusion in your mind. – just as you don’t see the imaginary 320million Hindu gods in other peoples’ minds.

    I needed to know all these things and more. And believe it or not…..now I know.

    Well – you believed chosen bits of stories you read, and may think you know, but actually you don’t even know who wrote those stories way back in history, and are not aware of the modern evidence which identifies them as self contradictory myths which are inconsistent with objective scientific observations.

    That is how religious fundamentalism stops people from learning about the real world, real history, and real science.

    He created DNA, so where better to look for scientific answers than in the bible, as well as a laboratory?

    Along with Adam, Eve, and a 900 year old Noah??
    Anyone who thinks there are scientific answers in the Bible, knows nothing about science.

  101. Have you ever wandered why God shut mankind up in pitch darkness…?

    I will stop questioning you now. Thanks for your time taken to answer me.

    Please don’t think me presumptious here. But if your daughter chooses not to be shut off from the world and chooses ideas other than your own, yet lives the kindest of lives as she probably would, you will love her just as much?

  102. Well, it’s been fun chatting. I’m always up for discussion/debate as long as it remains respectful, but it’s my bedtime. I’m going to sleep peacefully and you know why? Because God is awake….wink. P.S. that’s not my daughter, that’s my son. My kids have different views politically than I do and my two older ones have different opinions on lifestyle choices, as does my youngest son about his long hair choices. My kids have an open mind, just like their mama 🙂 I teach them to be kind to everyone and help someone if they can.

  103. Honey Feb 1, 2015 at 6:50 am

    but as far as an open mind, I believe science and God aren’t necessarily in conflict with each other.

    I think you would have considerable difficulty with Adam and Genesis, in the context of modern science’s well supported understanding of the formation of the Earth.

    If you have an open mind and want to learn, have a look at the cosmologists’ view of planetary formation.

    https://astroclock2010.wordpress.com/cosmic-timeline-17/

  104. But it is in my nature to question everything.

    Good policy.

    I have also read the Book of Phillip, the book of Thomas, checked into the dead sea scrolls, the Koran/Quoran (sp?), the book of Mormon etc. I read just about anything I can get my hands on when I am wanting answers.

    Might I suggest you broaden the sources of possible answers to your questions. I would include non-religious and non-fiction.

  105. He set the world, laws of physics, nature, time, etc in motion. He created DNA, so where better to look for scientific answers than in the bible, as well as a laboratory?

    It seems Watson & Crick didn’t give sufficient credit to the bible as a key knowledge resource in their research on the structure of DNA. What are the top three scientific advancements for which the bible should be given significant credit? Do you know of any scientific papers which reference the bible as a data or information source?

  106. I see the point of laughter. First it’s important to demonstrate to these people that their hate is irrelevant so perhaps they see their hateful emotional response as a waste of time and hense stop hating and perhaps start thinking. Second when we laugh together we create support and community. Together we are stronger and hurtful ignorant words have less impact.

  107. This is just so depressing…
    For some reason, these religious people somehow find a way to contact Richard with their ridiculous insults and getting his attention, while I’ve been dying to ask Richard serious questions about life, earth and other science related stuff and I can’t even find an email address to send my questions to…

  108. You are an amazing man and a treasure to us all. If anyone is making the most of this one life, it is you. Thank you for enriching mine.

  109. OK, well let’s say I strongly doubt that Mr. Dawkins expects to convert any of the authors of those idiotic letters.
    In a way I’m grateful that he published the films though, because they display a side of his own character that I find distincly unpleasant, intellectual prowess notwithstanding.
    I’m sure you’re right in your second observation; laughing together strengthens bonds, and I wish you good luck.

  110. Tomas Feb 7, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    In a way I’m grateful that he published the films though, because they display a side of his character that I find distinctly unpleasant, intellectual prowess notwithstanding.

    Is a calm rational response to irrational ranting abuse, unpleasant? Really?

    That looks very much like sort of psychological projection, which blames the victim for the crime.

    It also looks like the sort of “true member” tribal apologetics, which allows biased identifying with the perpetrators, to make mental excuses for their reprehensible actions.

  111. Filip Feb 2, 2015 at 7:27 am

    For some reason, these religious people somehow find a way to contact Richard with their ridiculous insults and getting his attention,

    Some of the abusive emails were shown on the old site years ago. I don’t think those people got personal attention, apart from featuring as idiots on this thread.

    while I’ve been dying to ask Richard serious questions about life, earth and other science related stuff and I can’t even find an email address to send my questions to…

    You could put questions as posts on relevant discussions.
    There are plenty of posters here who can answer science questions or quote you which of Richard’s books and videos are relevant to your questions.

  112. Wow, I am shocked by what Mr. Richard has read in his e-mails he has received from a bunch of ignorant uneducated morons who claim to be religious but speak with hatred and use foul language. If it was towards me, I would have publicly read them out loud for the world to know what kind of stupid people live in this world who have no ethics, no morality of any kind, and who are full of hatred and ignorance.

  113. It must concern you Richard that the future of human kind is possibly is a de-evolution process, with hate mail like this.

  114. phil rimmer
    Feb 1, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Honey – I don’t watch much television period, and the stations I do watch are usually local

    Look at the world around you, aren’t we becoming more divided by the day

    How do you see these things then? Do you get this stuff from newspapers or friends or the bible, if not TV or church?

    No sources given – but several denied!
    Being unable to quote my name in replies to my posts, does not suggest any depth of study, or referencing sources of comments or links!

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