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Created on Jul 24 2013
Richard Dawkins
Richard,
I finished reading two of your recent books "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "The God Delusion". I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I think your writing has improved as far as readability goes from your very first books.
You and I actually met briefly in line for a men's room near the Paluxy river in Texas some 20 or so years ago (near the dinosaur tracks). I mentioned I had read your book the "Selfish Gene" or maybe I just said I read your book forgetting you probably had several out by then. I remember you felt there was a problem with so few good science programs on TV. I was aware of some of the good ones then but didn't say anything.
I hope your mind has changed with the plethora of science shows available on cable now. I am referring to the history channels and the educational channels like the History channel, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, even Animal Planet, and so forth. The shows on evolution, geology, biology, cosmology, physics and others are extremely well done. Of course, the Creationists do not watch any of these as part of their ignoring all scientific evidence that disprove their claims.
I have one problem with scientists answering the creationists claim of missing links. I think the scientists fall into the trap of trying to explain the gaps, when the actual unique fossils found are each missing links and proof that the Creationists are wrong. To me the gaps don't even need to be discussed as the Creationists have already lost the argument with undeniable proof of their ideological failure to explain fossils.
I winced when I read Stephen Gould's statement of missing links at higher orders, knowing the Creationists would pick up on that in a few years. But his analogy of evolution acting as a bush rather that a ladder shows that each fossil is really a link between at least 2 and probably many branches at any level whether any branches survived or not.
My daughter also had a problem with a biology teacher in Sherman, Texas a number of years ago. When she asked when they were going to talk about evolution, she was told she would need to drop the class as it would be skipped in her class. We managed to get the Superintendent to reassign the teacher the next school year.
By the way I was in a foxhole (position) in Vietnam with 3 other soldiers. Two of whcih told me they were atheists too :)
I hope this encourages you a bit about the large number of scientifically illiterate that believe in God in the state of Texas and the USA. By the way I am not a native Texan :)
Highest regards,
Jim Bartlett
Jim Bartlett