There’s no doubt about it though – there is a controversy around Richard Dawkins. Just mention his name in the blogosphere and you get all sorts of extreme reactions. Almost always negative.
Sure, you will get some, usually milder and more reasonable, positive reactions. After all, he is a bit of a scientific rock star. His recent lectures in New Zealand and Australia were sold out. Many had to be shifted to larger venues. And his books certainly sell well.
I myself waited in a queue for 2 hours to get my copy of “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution” signed by the author. As one wit said, this queue seemed to go right back to the “”Big Bang.” But I was in good company and enjoyed the conversations while waiting.
Personally I am always wary of personality cults. Elevate a person to sainthood and you will inevitably find they have feet of clay. I certainly don’t think it has come to this with Dawkins, despite the high regard many people have for him.
And he is a humble person. I heard a story of him seeing some young person wearing a “Dawkins is God” T-shirt. His rather embarrassed comment was “Does this mean I don’t exist?”