Why is it fine for Richard Dawkins to criticise Christianity but not fine for him to do the same to Islam
If you believe in free speech and human progress through the exchange of ideas this should frighten you.
Richard Dawkins is a well known atheist, debunker of myth and promoter of the scientific method.
He has a new book to sell and is embarking on a promotional tour of the United States (I've reprinted Amazon's review of his book below).
He was to speak at an event hosted by a Californian public radio station - Berkley's KPFA.
A couple of days ago KPFA cancelled his presentation, apologised for inviting him and sent an email to ticket purchasers along with the refund of their money.
Their decision had nothing to do with science, nor with his book, nor with his proposed presentation.
Dawkins had criticised Islamism.
In the so-called free West that renders him persona non-grata.
It's not too hard to join the dots from a societal black-ball today - to the Sharia's punishment for that offence.
Quincy McCoy is KPFA's general manager.
I'm sure Quincy would love to hear from you.
Quincy McCoy, General Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
6:23 AM (0 minutes ago)
Here are some alternative emails for KPFA which is doing without Quincy for a short while - no doubt on a radio perennial, the "well-earned break".
The legendary biologist, provocateur, and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time.
For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeans—all written with Dawkins’s characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world.
Though it spans three decades, this book couldn’t be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’trepresent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers.
Dawkins has equal ardor for “the sacred truth of nature” and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtles—whose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy—“a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation”—and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues—“explanation, consolation, and uplift”—without its detriments of superstition and prejudice.
In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.
Advance praise for Science in the Soul
“The illumination of Richard Dawkins’s incisive thinking on the intellectual world extends far beyond biology. What a treat to see so clearly how matter and meaning fit together, from fiction to philosophy to molecular biology, in one unified vision!”—Daniel C. Dennett, author of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
“I thank Thor and Zeus that in their infinite wisdom they chose to make the great wordsmith of our age a great rationalist, and vice versa.”—Matt Ridley, author of The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge
“In this golden age of enlightened science writing, it is stunning that no scientist has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is time literature’s highest award be granted to a scientist whose writings have changed not just science but society. No living scientist is more deserving of such recognition than Richard Dawkins. . . . Science in the Soul is the perfect embodiment of Nobel–quality literature.”—Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People
“Science in the Soul is packed with Dr. Dawkins’s philosophy, humor, anger, and quiet wisdom, leading the reader gently but firmly to inevitable conclusions that edify and educate.”—James Randi, author of The Faith Healers