I watched Dawkins on the Bill Maher show last night. Among other interesting things he said was when it comes to belief in gods if you were to rate his belief on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being most belief and 10 being least he puts himself at a 6. Then he compares belief in gods with belief in fairies and pink unicorns. So I guess he’s conflicted about those too. Bill Maher then ridiculed religion in predictable trite ways which caused Dawkins to reconsider the belief rating and up it to “6 point 9”. Hilarious. Richard Dawkins is really a centrist on religious beliefs. Who’da thunk?
Too bad Bill Maher didn’t ask Richard Dawkins to rate his belief in the existence of material intelligent agents who can alter the course of evolution by tinkering with the DNA of living organisms. Personally I put that “belief” at a 1 (no doubt) unless someone convinces me that Craig Venter doesn’t really exist.
Ahem. Dawkins, of course, ranked his level of belief as a six out of seven, not ten.
The idea that anyone remotely familiar with Dawkins’ view of things could think he ranks his belief in God at a six out of a possible ten is rather amusing. But if you’re going to be snotty about it, you really ought to make sure you get your facts right.
As Dawkins himself once wrote, in response to a critical review of The Selfish Gene written by someone who plainly had made no attempt to glean its point:
Indeed, we are in danger of assuming that nobody would dare to be so rude without taking the elementary precaution of being right in what she said.
As for the interview itself, well worth the six and a half minute investment. It’s mostly the usual talking points, and I think he’s a bit unfair to Francis Collins, but listening to Dawkins and Maher is always good for the soul. (Well, usually good for the soul in Maher’s case…)
Update: 5:28 pm: DaveScot has added a correction to his post acknowledging his error.