Dr. Richard Dawkins On Education, ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ and Rep. Paul Broun


In this video interview (with transcript), Dr. Richard Dawkins discusses religious exceptionalism with regard to the teaching of evolution, and the chilling effect of fundamentalism on the production of scientists and engineers. He says, “I can think of no other reason why, of all the scientific facts that people might disagree with or disbelieve, [evolution] is the one they pick on. Physics gets through OK. Chemistry gets through Ok. But not biology/geology, and I think it’s got to be because of religion.” He also addresses the recent comments from Rep. Paul Broun, who denounced evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies straight from the pit of hell,” and the recent Innocence of Muslims video that led to unrest in various parts of the world. “Freedom of speech is something that Islamic theocracies simply do not understand. They don’t get it. They’re so used to living in a theocracy, that they presume that if a film is released in the United States, the United States Government must be behind it! How could it be otherwise? So, they need to be educated that, actually, some countries do have freedom of speech and government is not responsible for what any idiot may do in the way of making a video.” He also has some very insightful comments about religion as one of the most arbitrary labels by which people divide themselves when involved in conflict. Hit the link below for the video.

See source article for transcript

Written By: Roblimo – Slashdot
continue to source article at science.slashdot.org


  1. Note to Roblimo, when you get the opportunity to interview one of the world’s great thinkers please find someplace quite. I can barely hear the questions and Professor Dawkins is trying to talk over a vacuum cleaner, other people’s conversations, people walking on a tile floor in heals.

  2. What does Dawkins have a doctorate in? I don’t think I’ve ever heard him called Dr. before. Just curious. I’m ignorant of his Doctoral studies, thats all.

  3.  Professor Dawkins has his DPhil from Oxford University in Zoology, having studied under Niko Tinbergen. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society. For more information regarding his background, please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R

  4. Actually, physics and chemistry get picked on too – hence the creationist scorn for the Big Bang, the size and age of the universe, the various dating methods for rocks and organic materials, and abiogenesis or “getting life out of lifeless elements”.  I encounter the logical fallacy of argument from incredulity all the time with creationists on these subjects, though evolution gets more media attention because of the controversy around teaching it in public schools.

  5. At the bottom of the transcript it says “part two of this video will be coming soon”.

  6.  He has a doctorate in Zoology. As a matter of fact you should actually call him ”professor”, which is technically a higher title than doctor. He got an honorary from the university of Antwerpen and the university of Brussels.

  7. @RussellBrittany:disqus 
    I know Elisabeth Cornwell answered you already, but I wanted to add more.
    – Professor (Emeritus) Richard Dawkins MA, DPhil, Dr .Sc., FRS, FRSL
    MA is a Masters.
    DPhil you probably know better as PhD, a few UK universities use the abbreviation D.Phil. instead of PhD (Oxford, Richard’s university being one of these).
    FRS – Fellow of the Royal Society (the elite scientific institute in the UK)
    FRSL – FRS of Literature
    The Dr. Sc. is Doctor of Science – one of the higher doctorates, that is, beyond PhD level. It is generally awarded for a long, distinguished and respected contribution to a scientific field.

  8. actually, it does not matter whether the professor is a professor or a doctor or not.
    what matters is what he says and if it is right, then he is right.
    credentials are only for the insecure.

  9. Well here we have good old Richard battling on to promote science and common sense to the heretics of of commmon sense.
    Sooner or later God will be given the same plausibility as Santa and the Easter bunny.


     actually, it does not matter whether the professor is a professor or a doctor or not.what matters is what he says and if it is right, then he is right.credentials are only for the insecure.


    …. .. .. .  and for those with fake or irrelevant credentials, posturing to the impressionable gullible, with flawed arguments based on  false authority.

    Having an honest professional reputation in a specialist subject area, does have some relevance.

  11. I found that question amusing.  I first came across him in 1976 when he wrote The Selfish Gene. 
    I presumed he would have to have a doctorate in Zoology to write that book.

    I suppose many others came across him later only in the context of The God Delusion. The very idea of a doctorate in Divinity strikes me as preposterous. It is like a doctorate in angel pin dancing.

    When I first got to see him in a video, I was unprepared for his accent.  I imagined he would be a Californian.

  12. I can’t think how many interviews RD does, but I’m pretty impressed with the way he keeps his answers fresh. Sometimes the interviewer helps with the way a question is framed, but he still gets the same old question, time and again.

    I particluarly enjoyed the Northern Ireland story and especially the follow up about giving children shirts to wear – say orange and green. A subtle but excellent link back to Northern Ireland.

  13. Hello mmurray…
    I am aware of the NCH position he holds (I hope his lectures will be filmed). Aside from the fact not having crossed my mind when I added Emeritus, he is still retired from his professorial chair at Oxford. But whatever way is correct (if the NCH thing warrants ‘out of retirement’ or not), I wanted to state his credentials.

  14. Yes, GPWC. The orange and the green … so subtly slipped in at the end.
    Brought my own Northern Ireland education/indoctrination fully to mind … again!
     Also just watched David Suzuki’s “Nature of Things” documentary on “baby morality” in which these orange-green kinds of label loyalties are elegantly tested on children as young as 5 months.
    (sorry, video itself is not available outside Canada)

  15. Actually, fields in chemistry and physics do come under attack as well – Climate change, radiometric dating, big bang theory, abiogenesis…

  16. Dawkins doesn’t know what he’s talking about, teaching the controversy between cleaning your teeth and smearing them with chocolate is a great idea. Not only does chocolate taste delicious, but people might learn to spot the difference between a well reasoned theory and one full of BS.

  17. I’ll try and explain this in a way you stupid Dawkinian’s can understand. The galaxy is only 52 years old so how can the Earth possibly be older? It’s much more likely that the Earth was created in 1986 when the galaxy was conquered by the God of war! Your theory of evolution is a total flake!

  18. I liked the bit about dividing kids arbitrarily, at my primary school kids were divided into two classes at random and remained in the same class throughout the 7 years and for no reason other than ‘they’re in the other class’ everyone in class 1 hated everyone in class 2 and vice versa. As soon as classes were mixed up in secondary school the hatred dissipated, it was totally illogical but we all had it.

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