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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Richard Dawkins: "Responses to Criticisms of The God Delusion"

Richard's website has just posted the video of the first lecture that he gave on our Galapagos trip.

Responses to Criticisms of The God Delusion (preface to new paperback edition).

Question and Answer Session afterward.

(Comment moderation is off again. However, if you are John A. Davison or VMartin, you are still banned. Don't comment here. Bye, now.)

UPDATED: Pharyngula has a take on the "atheists are just as fundamentalist as Christian fanatics" hogwash. How many library programs have atheists shut down?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How many library programs have atheists shut down?"

Seems as though the librarians who refused to comply with The Patriot Act managed to have that portion of the act "shut down." I assume that at least one of the librarians was an atheist.

June 21, 2007 7:54 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Good! That only demonstrates that atheist librarians are unified with most other librarians of diverse religious beliefs! Opposing an unconstitutional law is not shutting a library down.

That's protecting your privacy and your security in your person, as well as your right to confront your accuser.

It is unconstitutional to be told by the feds to hand over confidential information about you or anyone else who has not been charged with a crime, for a reason that the feds are not required to tell the librarian, to be used in a way that the feds are not required to explain to the librarian (or to you).

I go to a Catholic grad school, Anonymous. Many people in my classes are deeply religious. Our reference class, in discussing the Patriot Act, was united in its opposition, and so was our Intro to Library Science class.

So your cheap shot misses.

June 21, 2007 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that fool also misses with the cheap shot because the hypothetical atheist librarian did not "shut down" the library. It was the action of a overbearing federal government.

But I will give the fool a cheap shot. Who burned The Library Of Alexandria?


June 22, 2007 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a different note, about the Dawkins Q and A, how very different from the combative questioning he got from the Liberty U students in Lynchburg. Watched that on Book TV a few months ago and thought that the Q and A was quite trite. Those students kept asking the same old questions the has been answered over and over. But those people never listen to the answers.

This was much more pleasant and informative to watch. Thank you for the links. And Kristine, did you appear in the video?


June 22, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Thanks, Janine. No, I don't appear in this one. I'm to the right, off-camera.

I did ask Richard a question during his first lecture on Neo-Darwinian evolution, about the neutral theory - I had never heard it before. Fascinating idea. (Contrary to how IDists portray him, Richard is open-minded about legitimate possible alternatives to Darwinian natural selection.) I hope that Josh posts that video soon. I also took copious notes during that one.

One thing about the Library at Alexandria - it was burned first by the Romans, by accident; then by Cyrus's henchmen, deliberately, and Hypatia was killed; it still survived after that, and the story of the Caliph who burned it again is dubious.

But the real destruction of the library was that it was allowed to languish without funds to keep it up. It lost public support. And it contained, in most cases, the only copies of works. The works that survived were copies kept in homes, in many cases the homes of newly-converted Christians who were scholarly and civilized (as opposed to the Dark Ages that Christendom descended into later).

What was driven home for me in Into to Library Science class was that central libraries are safer when the populace at large is literate, cherishes learning, and maintains their own libraries in their homes. Books are meant to be read, no merely warehoused; and when the population reads, shares information, collects books, and supports their libraries, the knowledge of a civilization is preserved.

June 22, 2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see the parallel you are drawing between the respect for the modern american library system and the fate of the Library Of Alexandria and I agree with you. But I like to think things are a little of different. While many of the books burned were copies, because this was a time of manually copied books, each copy was rare. Plus it hardly matters if the destroyed document was a copy. The important thing was the ideas.

Now, with many more copies of books, I like to remain hopeful there are enough people who care for books to keep the copies around.

Funny, to think this started because I wanted to throw a silly cheap shot at an idiot.

Forgive me, I am not a scientist. While I read PZ's site and your site and can understand some of the content within, I say nothing about it because I have nothing to add. So I ask, what is the neutral theory? No need to go in detail, just a brief description, if you would.

Thank You,

June 23, 2007 2:01 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Janine, I need to go through my notes before I can answer - I don't want to mess it up! (I'm not sure that I quite understand it even now.)

June 25, 2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Okay, my latest post has it at time marker 41:11, with my question and the answer at 53:50.

June 28, 2007 3:01 PM  

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