Sunday 20 July 2008

Dawkins Alert

As a service to readers, I must warn you that a series is impending on Channel 4 titled The Genius of Charles Darwin - though I suspect that, by the time it goes out, its presenter will have got his name into the title (Bill Oddie style), for it is none other than our old friend Richard Dawkins.
At the outset Dawkins nails his colours to the mast firmly enough to reduce any known mast to matchwood. Darwin's idea, he declares at the outset, was 'the most powerful idea ever to occur to a human mind'. It offers the way to 'a far richer and more spectacular view of life than any religious story', a view 'far more wonderful and far more moving than religion', etc, etc. As you might gather, this series is a polemic - and a proselytising one at that. Dawkins descends on a blameless bunch of schoolchildren who are studying science without - how thoughtless of them - having jettisoned their various religious faiths. He is therefore impelled to take them on 'a journey' that is clearly designed to make them see the error of their ways. (As one of the children appears to be a Muslim, this might not be quite the unmitigated success he hopes.) Along the way, Dawkins appears to become sexually aroused while fondling his precious first edition of the Origin of Species - and, rather undermining his own argument, travels to Africa to show us just how bloody, brutal and unredeemed the Darwinian world is - a world he yet describes as 'wonderful', 'beautiful', 'inspiring' in its 'grandeur', and many another term taken from a vocabulary that has nothing to do with Darwinism, and everything to do with that which he rejects - the dreaded R word.


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  2. Leave Bill out of it, Nige. That's a bit below the belt.

  3. Apparently all of the Jehovah's Witnesses residing in the British Isles are binning their TV sets. Mind you, with fur and feather flying in the Anglican church at the moment, and super Hermann apologizing for his understrappers abusing children it would appear to be six of one and half a dozen of 'tuther. Can we talk about the Tour de France, Alp D'Huez on Wednesday.
    Where would his supreme Oddieosity fit into the grand scheme of things?

  4. Absolutely Malty!

    Since most of the talk at the Anglican and U.S. Episcopalian Church these days has revolved around the anal passage of the male, rather than the teachings of Christ, the Tour de France would be a welcome diversion...

  5. Can't wait. Given that 99% of what's on the box is unadulterated shite, programmes such as this are welcome as far as I'm concerned.

    I, for one, admire Dawkins. His books are terrific. Ok, so he's a bit overzealous when it comes to the religion thing, but nobody's perfect. It shouldn't be allowed to overshadow his achievements.

  6. Surely Bill Odie is proof that flawed designs do become extinct... eventually (sigh)