Richard Dawkins certainly does seem to upset some people. In a note in The Daily Star Tom Sears calls Dawkins a “maniacal, irrational fool” and a “self-absorbed megalomaniac.” Sears reveals the motive for his language in his claim that Dawkins “is just one of many who will resort to any means of insult, character assassination, snideness and lies to discredit those who have the nerve to question the myth of Darwinism’s invincibility.”
On the other hand the novelist Christopher Brookmyre dedicated his recently published book Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks to James Randi and Richard Dawkins. Reacting to criticism of the dedication he wrote:
“Suddenly divested of my inhibiting preconceptions regarding the impenetrability of science writing, I dipped my toes into Dawkins and found myself exhilarated. I am constantly bemused to see him depicted as “Darwin’s Rottweiler” and described as an aggressive polemicist; what engages me about Dawkins’ writing is its joy, passion and boyish excitement, its infectious desire to include and to illuminate. Sure, I also enjoy his waspish humour, but it is always allied to warmth and compassion, and when he deploys his weaponry, it is in defence of something he cherishes which we should all wish to protect.
Thus moved, excited and inspired, I wanted to dramatise this struggle between the open-minded inquiry of science and the infantile self-indulgence of those who believe that open-mindedness involves attributing an equivalency to solid evidence and notions that ‘we just like’.”
I have just finished reading Richard Dawkins’ book Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder. I think Brookmyre gives a more accurate (and honest) description of Dawkins than does Sears.
Why do we believe?
The Enemies of Reason
Richard Dawkins and the enemies of reason
Debating science and religion
Putting Dawkins in his place
“I’m an atheist, but ……”
Can science enrich faith?