‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Monday, 23 August 2010

Dawkins - the New Spanish Inquisitor ?

Apparently Richard Dawkins has been presenting his new series 'Age of Reason' on the fringe More4 Channel (Wednesday 18th August, 9-10pm), and has again been filming in the classroom to challenge school children about their beliefs. His zeal and desire to root out Darwin heretics in schools reminds me of that of a Spanish inquisitor. Although, he says that he wishes faith schools to teach about all religion in the classroom there would seem to be little room for respect for other's beliefs in Dawkins a-theology.

Dawkins in fact wishes to bring faith schools to an end even though he acknowledges that their teaching standards are often better than secular schools. So good in fact that he would be willing to lie to get his children into one. He comments that he does not blame those atheists who pretend to be religious in order to get their children into the best faith schools, and comments that as he has 'absolutely no belief at all, I wouldn't be betraying anything' by lying and pretending to be religious The First Post on Dawkins

But what he does not seem to understand is that the quality of the education in faith schools is to do with their ethos. Dawkins own words reveal that he is willing to destroy the very thing, the values, that make faith schools so good and to offer a set of values instead that allow children and adults to tell lies. I can't believe that Dawkins is so naive that he cannot see the sad irony here. If he can tell lies to get children into a good school, then why not also 'tell lies for Darwin.' His admission of a willingness to lie also does not lend itself to trust, nor does it give good reasons to listen to him about education or Darwin.

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