Talk:Richard Dawkins/Archive 7

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Why does memes redirect to this page? I know Dawkins coined the term, but this article mentions it in passing in a quote and does not explain what it is. --Rainedaye 22:26, 29 October 2008 (EDT)

Reference #7

  • The reference at #7 (as of this revision) needs to say what it references. Id. and Ibid. don't work on wikis, since a different reference could easily be placed between the original reference and the "ibid." The name attribute of the ref tag should be used instead. (I'd do it myself, but I don't know which reference the "Id." is the same as.) Usual disclaimers apply. -CSGuy 20:03, 31 October 2008 (EDT)


Shouldn't the picture of Dawkins be first in an article that's about Dawkins? LiamG 18:17, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Conservative, are you trying to make this site look stupid? Seriously, stop adding Hitler to every page. We are not Metapedia. HelpJazz 18:46, 4 November 2008 (EST)
I was going to fix it, but I see now that the article has been protected. I suppose that's the end of it then. It's kinda disenfranchising when a regular article gets locked just to protect one person's stylistic choices. And the inclusion of the picture does look a little silly, really. LiamG 18:58, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Protected? Didn't see that one coming... HelpJazz 18:59, 4 November 2008 (EST) he a parodist? --Ekeegan 19:01, 4 November 2008 (EST)
I don't know who specifically you're referring to, but the answer to everyone involved in this situation is "no". The article is unprotected now. Still, I'm thinking any changes will just be reverted and I'll get in trouble. Maybe another sysop could weigh in on this? LiamG 19:08, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Or any sysop? Conservative has yet to weigh in himself... HelpJazz 19:14, 4 November 2008 (EST)
I just tried a bit of out-of-character boldness. Hopefully, it will be viewed as an improvement. LiamG 19:28, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Apparently, it was not viewed as an improvement, as the article is again locked, now with three copies of the Hitler picture. LiamG 19:34, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Three times the fun!TM HelpJazz 19:36, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Down to two, now. LiamG 19:55, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Ok... lets forget for a moment that the Hitler picture(s) makes the article look like a joke. Do there really need to be 2 Hitler pictures? And if there do in fact need to be 2 Hitler pictures, do they really need to be the same Hitler picture? Im sure its reletivly easy to find public domain pictures of Hitler on the internet. And what about the caption, is it really nesicary to have that long of a caption twice in the same article, on the same picture? --ScottA 20:24, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Agreed. Two identical photos with identical quotes in one article is overkill, and boring. I'm sure it's simply an oversight. I'd suggest a second (different) photograph of Hitler, and break up the (long) quote into two parts, one part for each pic.--RossC 20:34, 4 November 2008 (EST)
It's fixed now. It's too bad we couldn't do anything about it ourselves. LiamG 20:47, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Well, if you all could convince me you'd make constructive edits, I'd be glad to unprotect the article. --Ed Poor Talk 20:50, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Hold on. I made a constructive edit and it was reverted. LiamG 21:01, 4 November 2008 (EST)


Couldn't we swap the positions of the images of Dawkins and Hitler? I mean, I don't have any problems with the Hitler image, but it is standard practice on wikis to have a photograph of someone at the top of their article.--PhilipV 11:31, 5 November 2008 (EST)

I think you are going to have to come up with a better argument than tradition. :) conservative 18:21, 5 November 2008 (EST)
How about the fact that a picture of the man the article is about is more relevant than a picture of anyone else? LiamG 18:25, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Agreed. I presume that you want people to take the article seriously, right Conservative? If (and that's a very large "if", but an "if" to be discussed elsewhere) the picture is appropriate at all, it only makes the article look stupid to put it up at the front. The article is about Richard Dawkins, not Adolf Hitler. HelpJazz 18:54, 5 November 2008 (EST) PS: Have you ever heard of Godwin's Law?

All your Hitler are belong to us

Conservative, by placing your trademark Hitler picture on top of the Dawkins article you pretty much guarantee that it will never be taken seriously by anybody who doesn't already agree with you. Corry 12:08, 5 November 2008 (EST)

Corry, why? Please be sure to back up any assertion you happen to make. conservative 18:11, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Conservative, you never explained to us why you added his picture in the first place, nor have you explained what reasoning you used to convince Ed that it was good to stay there. Can you please enlighten us on your thinking here? I just don't like being left out of the loop. HelpJazz 18:48, 5 November 2008 (EST)
To respond, Conservative, I'll put myself in the place of somebody looking up Richard Dawkins. I either follow a link from a blog with which you have an agreement or I follow a Google link (number twenty eight when I ran the search) and bring up the Conservapedia page. I immediately see a picture of Hitler. Me, I don't like Hitler, and when I see somebody pasting pictures of Hitler up everywhere I automatically assume that the author is bonkers, and possibly has an unhealthy fascination with Hitler. Now let's say that I already think that Dawkins is Hitleresque. I find your article, see Hitler, and think "Ah! I agree!" Again, you have convinced nobody. So what is your purpose here? Are you trying to convince people to come over to your viewpoint, or are you just posting pictures of Hitler everywhere? Corry 19:39, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Cory, if you could be more rigorous in your analysis it would be appreciated. With that in mind, how do people find the CP Dawkins article and can you back it up with data? conservative 19:59, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Sorry, Conservative, that survey on seems to have been taken down. Do you care to actually discuss the issue now? You are blatantly ignoring HelpJazz. Corry 20:13, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Are you just ignoring anything anyone else says? LiamG 20:00, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Liam, can you show that I am ignoring anything anyone else says? If so, how? conservative 20:03, 5 November 2008 (EST)
ME! You are ignoring me! Look at your talk page. Look at the section above. Look at this section. I feel like the invisible man. HelpJazz 20:05, 5 November 2008 (EST)
HelpJazz, I think we should probably agree to disagree on the whole evolution issue. Cory, exactly how easy it is to change the Dawkins crowd's mind I do not know. Setting that aside, however, first you have to get their attention. The Hitler picture with its very relevant caption at the front of the article gets their attention and right in the beginning of the article!  :) conservative 20:41, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Evolution? When did I mention evolution? You really are ignoring me. HelpJazz 20:45, 5 November 2008 (EST) PS: Please use the preview button to correct your posts, so that you don't edit conflict others who are trying to respond.
I doubt the stock Hitler pic will ever be changed, however the caption could use some improvement as it starts off on an incorrect note. The caption says he made the statement "regarding Hitler", this is incorrect or at the very least ambiguous. The comment was regarding the moral relativity of his philosophical position. Hitler was just an incidental example, a well known figure to drive his point home. It could have just as easily been religious extremists (the interviewer offers Muslim extremists as an example), Stalin, or any other various faction that has committed atrocities thought human history. The way the caption is now, makes it read like he is hinting that he supports the things Hitler did. For accuracy's sake I think the caption should be changed to begin with "Evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins stated the following regarding the the relativistic morality in his philosophical position during an interview:" However since that would only add more length to an already jam packed caption box, it might just make more sense to put the whole caption into the article proper. It might also help if the whole quote is added, since as it is now, its fairly ambiguous compared the the very specific meaning he was conveying in the interview.--ScottA 21:32, 5 November 2008 (EST)

(unindent) The point of the picture is to insinuate that Dawkins supports Hitler. If that weren't the intention, there'd be no point in having the Hitler picture first. LiamG 21:39, 5 November 2008 (EST)

I'm going to have to agree with jazz and his sockpuppet. I think the image does not belong here. HenryS 22:37, 5 November 2008 (EST)
(I know you're kidding, but I just wanted to state clearly that I am not HelpJazz's sock puppet.) LiamG 22:52, 5 November 2008 (EST)
It certainly looks a little silly at the top there. If it has to stay perhaps further down? PatWills 22:38, 5 November 2008 (EST)
At least below the picture of the subject himself... HenryS 22:44, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Isn't that Hitler image more ideological... which sysops are against... ?? Jazz's sockpuppet 22:41, 5 November 2008(EST)
I'm just glad that people can actually see my posts. :) HelpJazz 22:57, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Isn't that Hitler image more ideological... which sysops are against... ?? It's not ideological to make the case - through images as well as words - that Atheistic Social Darwinianism of the type preached by Dawkins was the rootstock of Nazi genocide. Bugler 04:22, 6 November 2008 (EST)
The bigger issue, which has yet to be addressed, is not whether the Hitler picture is appropriate (because let's face it, Conservative ain't taking it down when he knows it just increased the pageviews), but rather whether or not the Hitler picture is appropriate on top of the picture of the person about whom this article is written! Conservative, do you have any comment yet? I realize that I must be typing in white-on-white text, but other people can read me, why not you? I'd really like to hear a comment. HelpJazz 12:00, 6 November 2008 (EST)
He's just going to ignore you until you give up. Doesn't seem to matter how right you are. EternalCritic 12:06, 6 November 2008 (EST)
If that's true, he's not setting a very good example of how a sysop (or any editor, for that matter) should behave. If this were any other editor, I would have changed back by now; no comment means your edit doesn't stay. However, the article is locked for no apparent reason, so I can't make any changes to it. Woot collaboration. HelpJazz 12:08, 6 November 2008 (EST)
You mean you're throwing a strop because Conservative hasn't bowed down before the Mighty Words of HelpJazz, and done whatever you want. Get a grip, really. Bugler 12:11, 6 November 2008 (EST)
I think its perfectly reasonable to be annoyed that an article on someone with a legitimate interest from editors is stuck plastered with a picture of Hitler as opposed to a picture of him. It makes the site look petty, unacademic, and throws the article to the lunatic fringe. Is this the message we want to send? Sensationalism is not academic. It's disingenuous and plays solely to pathos. EternalCritic 12:21, 6 November 2008 (EST)
Yes Bugler, you caught me. My entire goal in getting Conservative to acknowledge my repeated requests for collaboration on a collaborative project really was just to get him to write the article exactly how I wanted him to. I thought I get could get it by you, but your powers of analysis are simply beyond comprehension. HelpJazz 13:50, 6 November 2008 (EST)
The annoyance here, Bugler, is not just the ridiculous Hitler picture, but the fact that there are basically two parallel wikis going on here, Conservapedia and User:Conservativeapedia. On the former, people edit, and maybe get continually reverted, but for the most part the articles aren't locked by some sysop who has made the article a pet project. On the latter, you have a person obsessed with Google rank who keeps many articles he works on permalocked, and not because of vandalism, but because of a need to maintain control. Corry 17:02, 6 November 2008 (EST)
I think Conservative's a force for good. Say what you want about the man, he's got style. --Wikinterpreter
Yes, a style that involves a lot of Hitler pictures. Corry 17:08, 6 November 2008 (EST)
Perhaps if there were more DIFFERENT pictures of Hitler ? yanno Hitler playing Golf , Hitler skiiing , Hitler as a young man ... Markr 17:31, 6 November 2008 (EST)

The Hitler pic and caption helps puts the foolishness of Richard Dawkins front and center. If anyone knows of equally absurd comments from Dawkins about Heinrich Himmler or Julius Streicher, I certainly wouldn't mind adding pictures to the Richard Dawkins article. conservative 23:36, 6 November 2008 (EST)

Is a Hitler picture your standard procedure for highlighting something you see as foolish? This highlights foolishness, but not on the part of Dawkins. As an exercise, why not try making your point without invoking Hitler? My experience is that rational discussion ends the moment you compare somebody to Hitler, unless you are directly discussing the Third Reich. Corry 23:55, 6 November 2008 (EST)
Ok, Conservative, let's say for a minute that I agree that the Hitler pic is appropriate to highlight the fooleshness of Dawkins. Shouldn't the subject of the article be front and center? We are building an encyclopedia, right? HelpJazz 00:27, 7 November 2008 (EST)
(edit conflict, and sorry if I'm stepping on HelpJazz's toes) It is a fairly simple matter. Is a picture of Dawkins more relevant on a page about Dawkins more relevant than a picture of anyone else? The answer is an obvious "yes", but somehow, there's still a discussion here. I have to say, as a new editor, this is all extremely disheartening. It's really shown me where "regular" editors fall in some people's spectrums. I guess it's not worth even objecting if this is what it takes to even get noticed, you won't be involved in the decision making process, and nothing changes anyway. LiamG 00:29, 7 November 2008 (EST)
The article does have a pic of Dawkins. At the same time, the Hitler pic and caption at the beginning of the article helps readers quickly see what a fool Richard Dawkins is. It provides useful context for the rest of the article right at the beginning of the article. conservative 15:10, 7 November 2008 (EST)
No it doesn;t, it helps readers see how foolish Conservapedia editors are. Be honest, Conservative, if you went to an encyclopedic site, and looked up...say, Reagan, and the first thing on the page, before a picture of the subject, was a picture of Saddam Hussein with a caption like "Ronald Reagan and his administration funded and supplied Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden multiple times before deciding they weren't good guys." You'd laugh at them and dismiss any claims they made. However, the Reagan/Hussein link is much stronger than this strange Hitler/Dawkins like you're trying to provide. SamuelA 15:22, 7 November 2008 (EST)
Too bad Godwin's law doesn't apply here. EternalCritic 15:30, 7 November 2008 (EST)

Nice to know Conservative likes collaboration by deleting his user talk page in regards to the Hitler image... Ema 15:40, 7 November 2008 (EST)

Bugler, you just banned EternalCritic with the reason Sarcasm. As the comment above was the last before his block, this seems to be the sarcastic one. So, do you think that Godwin's law does apply - and therefore, Conservative has lost the argument?
Of course, my comment contains traces of irony. Not a blockable offense on a talk page, I hope. --BRichtigen 17:27, 7 November 2008 (EST)
SamuelA, re: what other encyclopedia's do: I don't think conservapedia needs to be always in slavish lockstep with some of the practices of other encyclopedias. However, feel free to cry: TRADITION! By the way, has anyone seen the Richard Dawkins Owned video conservative 17:44, 7 November 2008 (EST)
That video's a hoax, mate. [1] HDCase 18:21, 7 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, I have seen the video. Creationists Using Deceit. Stop trolling with refuted junk, and other encyclopedia's have an article style that makes them encyclopedic... so... if you don't think conservapedia needs to follow other encyclopedias, then are you suggesting that this isn't an encyclopedia??? Ema 18:25, 7 November 2008 (EST)
Ema, are you selectively quoting me? The reason I asked is there appears to be some words missing. :) conservative 18:50, 7 November 2008 (EST)

(unindent) "Slavish lockstep"? A good practice is a good practice. There's nothing virtuous in being rebellious for its own sake. When you look up a person in an encyclopedia, any encyclopedia, the first picture should be a picture of him. LiamG 21:44, 7 November 2008 (EST)

I see that the Hitler picture has been moved. Although I support Conservative putting in a picture of Hitler where appropriate (and it is appropriate in this article), I do agree that the picture of Dawkins should have come first.

As for the video "hoax", it was most definitely not a hoax, despite Dawkins' more recent claim (linked above by HDCase). He has previously claimed that he was tricked into doing it (i.e., he didn't realise that the video was being done by creationists, which is of course neither here nor there), not that it was a hoax. Both can't be true. Dawkins calling it a hoax is a blatant lie. He does indicate that he was writing this in a hurry, but if it was an honest mistake made in a rush, he's had time to correct it since.

Philip J. Rayment 23:38, 10 November 2008 (EST)

You're confusing this video with the interviews from Expelled, which he did claim he was tricked into doing. That was a different set than this one. HDCase 19:58, 13 November 2008 (EST)
If I understand you correctly, you are wrong. He has previously claimed that he was tricked into doing the "Frog to a Prince" interview that this article talks about. Philip J. Rayment 09:55, 14 November 2008 (EST)
I did some searching to try and find backing for that; Unfortunately, I failed. Is there any chance I could get your source for that? HDCase 15:38, 14 November 2008 (EST)
See here. Philip J. Rayment 08:16, 15 November 2008 (EST)
Apologies for the late response and thanks for the source. However, I'm not quite sure it supports the claim that it isn't a hoax-- After all, he attributes the pause to thinking of what to do with the revelation that he was being inteviewed by creationists. Is it not, at the very least, deceitful to frame this as an inability to answer a simple question from his field? HDCase 20:45, 24 November 2008 (EST)
Now I'm the one with the (very) late response! (So late you are no longer around. Oops.) I take "hoax" to mean that he never did the interview; that the claimed interview itself didn't happen. By claiming that he was tricked, he's admitting that it did happen. And no, it's not at all deceitful to "frame this as an inability to answer a simple question" when that is exactly what occurred. Philip J. Rayment 08:12, 14 March 2009 (EDT)

Being "tricked" into an interview is neither here nor there. All that matters is whether the subject of an interview maintains or repudiates the views he expressed on film.

If Dawkins refuses to reveal his real thoughts, except when he thinks the interviewer is sympathetic, then he's dishonest anyway. People interested in the truth have a right to "ambush" him if that's the only way to get him to speak honestly.

But all the fuss conceals an even bigger bit of dishonesty. Dawkins and his ilk continually brand intelligent design as "Creationism", on the grounds that ID developed out of Creation Science. They refuse to respect the careful attention ID proponents have taken to remove God completely from the design argument. They pretend not to see it. That is what is so infuriating about these deceivers.

They censor the facts, because they have no counterargument. Science should be a marketplace of ideas. As you said yesterday,

  • Why should students only be taught the leading theory? Wouldn't it be better for them to be taught about opposing theories and how to try and determine which is correct? Isn't teaching them only the leading theory a form of indoctrination (teaching them what to think rather than how to think)?

There's a process to science, but Dawkins is not a scientist. He is just a philosopher who brings in science when it suits him. It is the selective use of facts which is the hallmark of liberal hypocrisy. --Ed Poor Talk 10:08, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Do you also support the teaching of Classical Elements alongside the Periodic Table of Elements? HDCase 15:38, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Hitleresque Views

The caption underneath the Hitler image is rather large. Why not make it a separate section within the article? It's just an opinion but I think that caption is too big to be just a caption. If one was to add a "Hitleresque views" section, they'd pretty much be saying what's underneath that image. I understand that Conservative is trying to catch attention by putting Hitler right at the top, but as seen in the talk-page it looks more like a parody. Hitler having his own section would grab more attention because you get room for more information, it would be less parodic, not to mention bigger text than what you get under the photo. Though I don't neccessarily agree with the hitleresque idea itself (one of the few evolutionist christians...I hope this doesn't change your opinion of me) I think this article would be a decent compromise with everyone's requests. Hitler wouldn't be at the top of the page, but there'd be a section dedicated to why he's on here in the first place. St0dad 09:33, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Unlock please

I would like to update the information about his post at Oxford. Please unlock the article.

-- Ferret Nice old chat 17:26, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Full name?

Does it need to be the full name at every (almost) mention? After the first couple, I'd have thought that "Dawkins" rather than "Richard Dawkins" would suffice.GeorgeK 18:16, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Agreed, and updated (in some places at least). -- Ferret Nice old chat 18:36, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Well known video


Just because a video is well-known and has been watched many times, does not make it a reliable source. I mean, I think there's a fairly well-known and oft-watched video about Paris Hilton, but I don't recommend we use that as a source about her.

There is a charge by some is that it is not a reliable source. Are those people right? I presume you have done your homework and know for sure, yes? -- Ferret Nice old chat 18:42, 8 November 2008 (EST)

It's a Creationist hoax; Expect it not to be removed. HDCase 11:06, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Just for completeness here, this is discussed further up this page, and it's not a hoax. Philip J. Rayment 08:18, 15 November 2008 (EST)

Dr. Dallas Willard picture

Is there not a picture available without the eerie blue hair? GeorgeK 19:04, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Would there be an issue with me taking the image, making it b/w and resubmitting it? --St0dad 21:37, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Solved. See article.conservative 22:06, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Still a goofy looking guy, but a much better picture. Thanks a bunch! -- St0dad 21:22, 12 November 2008 (EST)

Richard Dawkins cameos

I've heard he's been featured in several entertainment shows. Should we have a section on that? I'm sure he didn't appear in most, but was there as more of a parody, but doesn't it still count? -- St0dad 21:35, 13 November 2008 (EST)

Quote in regards to Hitler

I've put Dawkins' full comment in regards to determining the morality of extremists, which was previously removed, back in the article. It contextualises his comment about Hitler, & his comment regarding the Bible may be of interest to Conservapedia users too. Please don't remove this again without explaining why. Thank you. Sideways 10:27, 16 November 2008 (EST)

TK's back, so the article will stay as Conservative wrote it. Hopefuly Conservative doesn't make any spelling mistakes. That would be embarassing. HelpJazz 19:44, 16 November 2008 (EST)
I don't understand. This article looks like a collaborative effort by multiple editors, not just one or two. & I requested (here & in edit summary) some kind of explanation & discussion why the full quote regarding Hitler shouldn't appear if it's to be removed again. Instead of which it's been taken out again with no explanation & I've been accused of reverting a sysop's edits. Sideways 19:58, 16 November 2008 (EST)
Yup. HelpJazz 21:01, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Please Help Me

I need someone else's eyes. This article is currently in the Liberalism category, but I can't see the category tag anywhere. The {{liberalism}} template puts him in the category of Liberals, not Liberalism. Is there another template somewhere I can't see? I'm losing my mind here! HelpJazz 21:01, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Nevermind, the template did it. Someone needs to update the template description. I'd do it, but it's locked. HelpJazz 21:02, 16 November 2008 (EST)

Rabbi discusses Dawkins professship issue

A Rabbi discusses Dawkins professorship issue at Huffington Post:

I thought this part was rather interesting:

"But that does seem to directly contradict the Hebdamadol Council decree cited above which expressly says "Notwithstanding the provisions of Ch. VII, Sect. III (which discuss the election of a professor to the post), the income from the endowment shall be applied in the first instance to fund a post in the Public Understanding of Science to be held by Dr C.R. Dawkins, Fellow of New College." It seems, so your critics contend, that your appointment was a condition of the grant rather than the product of an election, and since it may be that you are falsely maligned in the matter, your clarification as to the true nature of your professorship, whose official location is the Museum of Natural History, is welcomed."[2]

Aschafly, I thought you were dead wrong about the whole professorship issue although I admit I did not follow it super closely. Now I think you might be right. My apologies if I was indeed wrong. If you have not already incorporated the above information perhaps you might wish to. However, I do still that since Oxford classes are offered in the Museum that it is a part of the Oxford. The Museum does not have to be a department that confers degrees to be a part of Oxford University. conservative 23:12, 28 January 2009 (EST)

I added the above material to the article. conservative 23:38, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Doctor Who

He recently cameod in popular sci-fi programme Doctor Who. It was a small scene but he basically logically assessed and explained the situation to calm some panic, it's a great TV show and very notable, couldn't find it anywhere on the article, we should we mention it. User:Deadpool (ETD) (Hello!)


In the list of prizes given to Dawkins, the Deschner prize is not mentioned. Deschner was formerly in the German Army, until 1945. The claim that Dawkins is from the U.K. has disappeared, correctly. He seems to have been born in Kenya in 1941. He is variously said to have left in 1943 and 1949. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jackson123 (talk)

Can someone remove the "Dawkins Stumped" Parts?

Now lets get something clear, I despise Dawkins' use of militant atheism and think it is an unneeded component to science, but for the sake of honesty can we remove the hoax Dawkins "stumped" links? The video itself has been proven to be a hoax for a long time now and is basiclly a heavily edited interview used in some other video. Now all these things aside the question given:

  • "Can you show a evolutionary process etc. that increases information in the genome?"

A reasonable answer can actually be Down's syndrome because during birth it's genetically caused by the transfer of an extra chromosome that adds additional and unneeded DNA information leading to the defect (I'm actually studying this right now!).

All these things aside, using that video kinda degrades the Intelligent Design/Creationist viewpoint because it's not really honest and it just gives it an overall bad name :/

--ConservaCollege 16:25, 27 February 2009 (EST)

If you'd read other comments on this page, you would have seen that this video has not been proven a hoax. It is genuine. Your claim is simply false.
Secondly, your attempted answer (if the answer was so obvious, why didn't Dawkins quote it?) is wrong, because a duplication of existing information is not new information, which was the point of the question.
The video is genuine; the interview is genuine; the inability of Dawkins to answer the question is so embarrassing to the evolutionary lobby that they'll do anything they can to discredit it, including calling it a hoax without any grounds to do so. It is they who are being dishonest and have a bad name as a result.
Philip J. Rayment 08:21, 14 March 2009 (EDT)
CC, you've got the cart before the horse - or maybe you are wearing blinders?
Dawkins supporters dismiss the stumping, as well as his losing the Oxford debate, but we do not work like that here. When a topic or an aspect of it is controversial, we present both sides.
I saw the entire video, and Dawkins really did pause for a long time. Now, this doesn't mean in itself that he is wrong. But it probably shows that he never thought about that question before.
A lot of the difficulty that atheists have with the idea of God is that there are aspects they have never really considered. Sometimes they even waste time setting up strawmen and knocking them down, instead of sincerely searching for the truth. Materialists have the same problem with the supernatural.
A good skeptic will question conventional knowledge, but will also be wary of accepting side currents uncritically. Question everything! That's the motto, eh? --Ed Poor Talk 09:10, 14 March 2009 (EDT)
Not really disagreeing, but saying that "it probably shows that he never thought about that question before" is letting him off the hook too easily. First, he actually asked for the camera to be turned off so that he could think of an answer. This gave him the necessary thinking time. And his answer when he said the camera could be turned on again didn't address the question. Second, it's a pretty basic question, essentially asking for actual evidence of an evolutionary claim. So why shouldn't he have thought about it before? Because evolutionists don't bother with that little thing called "evidence"? Third, the Skeptics, thinking that he had been tricked (or whatever), gave him the opportunity to explain what happened. The one thing that he didn't do in that explanation—for which he had as much time and space as he needed—was answer the question. Conclusion: not that he hadn't thought about it before, or was caught on the hop, but that there is no answer. Philip J. Rayment 10:34, 14 March 2009 (EDT)
Also, he hasn't offered an answer in all the time since, and he has now had more than a decade to think about the question. The efforts to dismiss the episode have been: Question the motive of the questioner (note: not the validity of the question or the actual lack of an answer), claim no notice (refuted by the unedited tape clearly indicating that he was asked the question twice at different times in the interview and had 3 seperate breaks to think about it), call the whole thing a hoax (again refuted by the unedited tape). The cry for years has been "He didn't answer because ..." but conspicuously lacking is "The answer is ..." Like Philip said the conclusion is that there is no answer - or at least the answer is "no".LowKey 20:08, 15 March 2009 (EDT)