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Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003 
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Post Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
The following chat transcript was copied and pasted directly from the chat window. I put it into MS Word and edited some misspells. You will notice there is some overlap where certain segments of the chat are repeated. I'll try to edit this out soon, but I wanted to get this transcript posted quickly.



connected: ezChat version 0.54
Jeremy1952:: Of course attendance is better when we have guests
Chris OConnor:: Hello people
tarav:: Richard- we've been discussing your books
Meme Wars joined
Richard Dawkins:: So you all know each other., Do you all live in the same place?
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Chris!
Chris OConnor:: Good morning
Jeremy1952:: Oh no, all over the world
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Meme!
conanlee left
tarav:: no, not in the same place
Chris OConnor:: Well, good afternoon to Professor Dawkins
Jeremy1952:: oops, I hope conanlee isn't having computer problems, he's in China
Richard Dawkins:: Good afternoon
Meme Wars:: Yo!
Jeremy1952:: Probably our farthest away member
conanlee joined
Richard Dawkins:: Otherwise all American?
Chris OConnor:: Yes, we are all now. Conan is in China...no idea what time zone that would be.
tarav:: no
Jeremy1952:: I don't know, are we?
conanlee:: sorry, something wrong with my computer...
conanlee:: I'm in China
tarav:: i don't think so
Chris OConnor:: We have a "Guest Map" on our home page with a graphical representation of where we all live
Jeremy1952:: In "religion 1" chat room we get a lot of Australians, new Zealander, and brits of course
Chris OConnor:: www.booktalk.org
Richard Dawkins:: I have never been in a chat room before
Meme Wars:: conanlee Chinese Science Writer for National newspaper.
tarav:: this is only my 3rd time in a chat
Jeremy1952:: I think we'll list you as an African, Dr. Dawkins, just to make ourselves look good
Richard Dawkins:: We are all Africans
Chris OConnor:: Professor Dawkins - mind if we type "RD:" to address you? That makes it faster
Richard Dawkins:: That's fine
Jeremy1952:: Lol, good point!
tarav:: i joined booktalk after reading Selfish Gene
Richard Dawkins:: Good
Chris OConnor:: RD: You seem to type fast so chat rooms will be simple for you
tarav:: i wanted to talk about it
Meme Wars:: Selfish Gene is a classic!
Richard Dawkins:: Do you always discuss books?
Chris OConnor:: We discuss one nonfiction text every 2-months
Jeremy1952:: Speaking of selfish genes.... you've stated a couple of times that "Extended Phenotype" is your magnum opus, do
Jeremy1952:: you still feel that way?
Meme Wars:: Yes, mostly book on the Humanist bent.
Chris OConnor:: But we have forums for discussing other subjects
Richard Dawkins:: Well, I have written three other books since then
tarav:: we have a poetry thread
Chris OConnor:: I must read "A Devils Chaplain"
Richard Dawkins:: I think now I might give Climbing Mount Improbable as equal favourite
Meme Wars:: Yes, and I believe I have them all.
Jeremy1952:: I've tried to convince this crowd to skip selfish gene and go right to "phenotype" but no takers!
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, Jeremy I might agree with that
Chris OConnor:: You gave a very powerful talk at the conference about "A Devils Chaplain"
conanlee:: I first read Selfish Gene, next is Blind watchmaker
Richard Dawkins:: A Devil's Chaplain will appear in USA this autumn. It is published in Britain already
Richard Dawkins:: Conanlee, are you actually Chinese?
Meme Wars:: Selfish Gene, Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, and Unweaving the Rainbow. Am I missing any?
conanlee:: when will it appear in China?
Chris OConnor:: I'm really excited about that book
ZombieHatesYou joined
conanlee:: Yes, I am Chinese
Chris OConnor:: Hello Zombie
Jeremy1952:: I don't feel I personally got much from "mount improbable"; I'm glad I read it because I recommend it to people who want
ZombieHatesYou:: Okay, I am back.
ZombieHatesYou:: Hi Chris
arcAngle joined
Chris OConnor:: Hey Arc!
ZombieHatesYou:: Helping my friend in...one sec
Jeremy1952:: a short introduction to evolution
arcAngle:: Hello!
arcAngle:: Sorry to be late. Was catching up on the discussion.
Richard Dawkins:: So how do you want to proceed?
Chris OConnor:: I have no idea how many people to expect today
Jeremy1952:: I've read "Devils Chaplain", Dr. Dawkins; thanks to Amazon.co.uk, I have no trouble getting British publications
Richard Dawkins:: The US publishers won't like that. But I do
Chris OConnor:: Well, we usually just chat....no real format. People can simply ask questions and you answer however you like
Meme Wars:: So is "A Devil's Chaplin" your newest book? See my question above. Do I have all your Books?
Jeremy1952:: I almost wrote to thank you for sharing so much of your personal self in that book, so I'll do it now!
tarav:: or you can ask questions
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, A D C is my latest book
Jeremy1952:: Thanks!
Chris OConnor:: RD: I'm always nervous that the author/scientist will not know how to type...but we obviously don't have that issue now
Richard Dawkins:: It is what I do for a living, typing
conanlee::
Jeremy1952:: Lol, good point.
Jeremy1952:: Do you know the first book ever written on a typewriter?
Richard Dawkins:: Soon maybe I'll learn how to make those faces
Chris OConnor:: I don't Jeremy
tarav:: do some authors not know how to type?
ZombieHatesYou:: What authors can't type, Chris?
ZombieHatesYou:: Silly man.
Richard Dawkins:: Some write with a quill pen. Some dictate, and sound very longwinded
Jeremy1952:: One could dictate; my wife does all her book-writing longhand, even though she's an excellent typist
tarav:: lol
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: Oh, no fun.
ZombieHatesYou:: I type with the speed of ten thousand cheetahs, or something.
Chris OConnor:: haha
Meme Wars:: Mr. Dawkins, could you share with us a summary on your newest book, A D C?
Jeremy1952:: And at least one important author uses a rod in his teeth
Richard Dawkins:: A Devil's Chaplain is a collection of writings, essays, journalism, obituaries, book reviews etc
Richard Dawkins:: Arranged into sections
Chris OConnor:: RD: Chatting is fun in that you can interact with people from all over the world. There are all sorts of shorthand codes you have to learn such as "LOL" which means Laughing Out Loud
Jeremy1952:: The thing about the funny faces is, they are automatic: so sometimes they pop up when you don't mean them too
Jeremy1952:: to
Richard Dawkins:: Some polemical, some sad, some happy, some scientific
Chris OConnor:: Meme - excellent - I would like that too
Meme Wars:: Is there a theme to "A D C"?
Chris OConnor:: Professor Dawkins read some excerpts from "A Devils Chaplain" and it sounds incredible
Richard Dawkins:: No one theme. About six or seven themes, arranged into six or seven sections
Genryu joined
Jeremy1952:: Who chose the title? Yourself, or the editor?
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu
Richard Dawkins:: Much of it is already published, but only in Britain
Richard Dawkins:: I chose the title. It is a quotation from Darwin
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: This is Genryu, whom I told you I would bring.
Chris OConnor:: Hello Genryu
Genryu:: Hi all, Zombie
Jeremy1952:: Ah, I remember now, you mention in the book.
Chris OConnor:: Zombie - ok
ZombieHatesYou::
Genryu:: Sorry to interrupt
arcAngle:: Prof. Dawkins, I simply want to say thank you. I have so enjoyed reading your thoughts in your books and articles.. Again, thank you.
Meme Wars:: I see there is a waiting list on Amazon . com for that book.
conanlee:: some from newspaper column ?
arcAngle:: I'll stop gushing now.
Chris OConnor:: For ADC? I better get on the list
Meme Wars:: In what context did Darwin use that phrase?
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you arcAngle. By the way why do you all have such funny names?
tarav:: me too
ZombieHatesYou:: My name is funny? :O
tarav:: you can just call me Tara
conanlee:: just like..open letter to prince Charles?
Chris OConnor:: RD: Have you seen the Chinese cover of "Unweaving?" Conan posted a picture of it on the forums.
ZombieHatesYou:: I never noticed. *sniffs*
Richard Dawkins:: What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horridly cruel works of nature
Meme Wars:: I chose Meme Wars out of seriousness.
arcAngle:: When you join a service such as this for message boards or chat, real names are the first thing to go.
Jeremy1952:: Darwin talked about his dog in "Origin"; scientists have gotten so stuffy since then (present company excluded, of course};
conanlee:: it's here
conanlee:: a5.cpimg.com/image/27/5C/...90200-.jpg
Richard Dawkins:: Darwin said that, my hero Darwin, one of the greatest thinkers of all time
arcAngle:: So you're left with trying to find a unique identifier. Hence the funny names.
Meme Wars:: I believe there is a battle of religions and ideas and we are running out of time to wake up to the destruction of Earth's ecosystem and coming energy crisis.
conanlee:: the Chinese version of U R
Richard Dawkins:: Thanks for showing me the Chinese cover of Unweaving. I have never seen it before
Jeremy1952:: I use my real name in chat, just because I'm not bright enough to keep track of an alias
tarav:: me too
Jeremy1952:: Also I heard stories of old men pretending to be kids, so I put my birth date right up front
Chris OConnor:: RD: Many of us are very much laymen when it comes to evolution (me!) and never know how exactly to address critics (creationists) when they bring up the lack of a complete fossil record. Any quick responses to these people?
tarav:: Jeremy- too funny
Jeremy1952:: ty tarav
Richard Dawkins:: It is grossly misleading to say there is an incomplete fossil record
Chris OConnor:: RD:
Chris OConnor:: woops
Richard Dawkins:: We are lucky to have fossils at all
arcAngle:: My name is always gone, normally I use hypotenuse, but here it was taken as well.
Richard Dawkins:: Even without a single solitary fossil, the evidence for evolution would be utterly overwhelming
cinnamon321 joined
Chris OConnor:: RD: From what I understand there is....ahhh...exactly what you said. Fossilization is a rare process as it is
Jeremy1952:: Ah c'mon, Dr. D, we all know god put them there to fool people
Chris OConnor:: Hey Cinnamon!
cinnamon321:: Hi everyone.
Jeremy1952:: Hi cinnamon!
ZombieHatesYou:: Satan put those dinosaur bones there, Jer. Get with the program.
Richard Dawkins:: But as it is, we have lots of fossils, and they very convincingly indeed demonstrate that evolution is a fact
Jeremy1952:: Lol
Jeremy1952:: Thanks, Dr. D. And I hope you know I'm kidding!
Genryu:: isn't the problem though RD that it suits opponents of Evolution to be to say the least selective and reasoning with them is not really possible on those terms?
Richard Dawkins:: There are gaps in the fossil record. but not a single solitary fossil has ever turned up in the WRONG place
Richard Dawkins:: J B S Haldane once said that it would only take one fossil rabbit in the Precambrian to disprove evolution utterly
Chris OConnor:: RD: I see. And are gaps ever being filled in with new discoveries?
Meme Wars:: Unfortunately (pardon the pun), there will always be gaps in the fossil record, in-between any two we find!
Jeremy1952:: (How is that a pun)?
Richard Dawkins:: Quite right Meme Wars, and they play on that
tarav:: they are silly
Chris OConnor:: Meme - good point


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:23 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Richard Dawkins:: No matter how much we close the gap, there is always a smaller gap in between
conanlee:: e.g. eyes can't form fossil
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, trilobite eyes fossil beautifully
Richard Dawkins:: Trilobite eyes are MAGNIFICENT
Chris OConnor:: RD: Have you ever debated Michael Behe?
Meme Wars:: The Cambrian explosion is a myth. It only points out to life arming itself with shells.
Richard Dawkins:: I wouldn't waste my time debating with Michael Behe
conanlee:: Behe!
Chris OConnor:: RD: To me Behe simply throws his arms up in defeat when he cannot understand something
Chris OConnor:: This bothers me
conanlee:: I think you are right RD, it's wasting time for Behe
Richard Dawkins:: Yes. Why do you say the Cambrian explosion is a myth
ZombieHatesYou:: *chuckles @ Behe*
Chris OConnor:: Actually, he commits the "conformation bias." He is seeking data that agrees with his previously formed conclusion
Jeremy1952:: Lol. Chris, there's a whole essay in "Devil's Chaplain" concerning why real scientists shouldn't debate creationists.
Richard Dawkins:: I think I agree that the Cambrian Explosion is a myth, but I am not confident
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - I'm jealous...you already have read it?!
Meme Wars:: Because there was plenty of life before the explosion. It is that they had no shells or bones to become fossils.
Jeremy1952:: Yes - before "Unweaving"
arcAngle:: Life forms simply not conducive to fossilization?
Chris OConnor:: woops "confirmation bias"
conanlee:: Cambrian explosion.. there're many fossil in Yunnan,China
Jeremy1952:: Let me say it again: the Royal Post would be HAPPY to deliver a copy to your door!
Jeremy1952:: I think the question is, not whether there are many life forms in the cambrian, but whether it is really (was really)
Chris OConnor:: RD: Ok, a bit off topic....I'm curious about your views on the origins of life, not simply the evolution of life.
Jeremy1952:: an "explosion"
tarav:: Chris- he got it on Amazon. uk
Richard Dawkins:: I think the common ancestors of most of the phyla go back before the Cambrian, but fossils have not been found
Chris OConnor:: RD: I have always been impressed with Stanley Millers experiments
bravesfan2 joined
Richard Dawkins:: Somebody asked about not debating creationists. It is true that in A Devil's Chaplain there is a correspondence between me and S J Gould agreeing on the matter
bravesfan2 left
Chris OConnor:: RD: Like Sagan I am a strong believer in the possibility of life existing elsewhere in the cosmos. I believe it to be highly probable and it excites me tremendously.
Meme Wars:: I wish to personally thank you R. Dawkins, for joining the staff of Free Inquiry. I always read your article first.
tarav:: it can be fun to debate them
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you Meme Wars
tarav:: but i don't have to do it often
ZombieHatesYou:: I debate creationists when I am bored...which is often.
Chris OConnor:: Debating creationists is sometimes like acknowledging them...
Genryu:: RD how does one counter a creationist then who simply sees things simplistically? i e that there must be a creator for things to exist. What would your response be to this mechanistic viewpoint?
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, it can be fun to debate them. But it also gives them credibility,
tarav:: good point, Chris
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, i agree with Chris
tarav:: and RD
conanlee:: I translated some of RD's article, e.g. "what's natural"
Richard Dawkins:: Genryu, I can't answer that briefly. Three of my books are, in a sense, answers to you
cinnamon321:: I don't mean to be a jerk to creationists, but debating them just fuels the fire. Only once in a rare while can you get them to evaluate their position seriously.
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you conanlee for translating my articles
Richard Dawkins:: I agree with cinnamon
Chris OConnor:: RD: Exactly. But then when you don't they use that against you. But who really cares? Who do they use it on? Their flock of psuedointellectuals who already believe in an invisible superhero
arcAngle:: However, to not respond also leaves them room to declare you cannot respond. Not an easy tightrope to walk.
cinnamon321:: yes
conanlee:: I think it's a very impressive lecture
Richard Dawkins:: arcAngle yes, but I think that is a risk worth taking
Meme Wars:: So Richard, are there any other books in the work?
ZombieHatesYou:: I respond to them because I can respond. To not respond, to me, is like saying I can't defend my position...I think that we can, however, do it without fueling their needs for justification.
Richard Dawkins:: Ok ZHY, I think you are doing a good thing too. It is hard to decide
ZombieHatesYou:: *smiles*
Jeremy1952:: I'm gong to have to do a search for "what is natural". I'm rereading Wilson's "Consilience" and thinking
Jeremy1952:: a lot about the "naturalist fallacy"
Chris OConnor:: The only times I will debate a creationist is when I feel they are capable of understanding the science/logic involved, which is seldom. Most theists I meet seem to need their faith
ZombieHatesYou:: I won't say I'm not tempted (and I do succumb) to calling them names, though.
Richard Dawkins:: Perhaps for established scientist it is better NOT to debate with them, because it gives them credibility. For students, I think it is good to debate them
conanlee:: www.greenpeace.org.uk/con...uPoint=A-L
arcAngle:: Ignore them as nonsense? I agree on a scientific level. However as an atheist living within a very vocal theist environment, I find I must speak out on occasion. Especially on education.
Richard Dawkins:: I am having trouble reading the messages. Could some buffer have filled up?
Chris OConnor:: RD: That makes me feel better :) I consider myself a student.
Richard Dawkins:: Not scrolling up properly
Richard Dawkins:: OK now, it is working again
tarav:: me too arcAngle
Chris OConnor:: RD: You can click the "Clear" button up top
Jeremy1952:: Oh cool, thanks for the link; I thought I'd booted myself off by mistake
conanlee: what about click "clear"?



Chris OConnor:: Ok, I cleared it myself
Chris OConnor:: That seems to help keep things legible
Jeremy1952:: I've read Ridley, G. Miller, and Cherfas and Gribbon on your recommendation. Are their others that you would especially recommend?
arcAngle:: Drag the corner to the size you prefer.
conanlee:: Richard, do you have any comment on "postmodernism blather"
Jeremy1952:: Or just hit the "maximize" button?
Richard Dawkins:: I already have dragged it, but the business part just stays small
Chris OConnor:: Conan - oh this will be good
Meme Wars:: Your windows page near the upper left corner has an "X", to the right of that is a square. Click on that.
tarav:: or click in the square in the corner
Richard Dawkins:: I am on a Mac
Genryu:: aha
Jeremy1952:: Oh!
ZombieHatesYou:: Eeek, a Mac.
cinnamon321:: lol
Genryu:: lol
ZombieHatesYou:: Is that legal?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I've had that happen to. Here is the solution. Click on the "Use Text Mode" and then go back to Graphocs mode
arcAngle:: Thanks Jeremy. I tend to take the long way home.
Genryu:: required for the intelligencia I believe Zombie ;o)
ZombieHatesYou:: That must be my problem, babe.
Richard Dawkins:: It doesn't matter, it is working fine
Chris OConnor:: RD: That should work for you. Ok, good.
Chris OConnor:: RD: Any opinions on postmodernism?
Chris OConnor:: RD: We have one member that is still asleep that is a PM fan.
Chris OConnor:: So we can talk freely
Richard Dawkins:: Any idea what it MEANS? I suggest that it means absolutely nothing whatever
arcAngle:: RD: I remember you have a Mac. The best versions for your life form program were written for Mac. And I so wanted to play with them.
ZombieHatesYou:: *laughs at Chris*
Chris OConnor:: RD - We all totally agree.
conanlee:: I'm anxious to hear you talk about it
Meme Wars:: Dr. Dawkins, who do you recommend to keep an eye on (new young scientists) that will keep your torch lit?
Chris OConnor:: I love the Postmodernism random sentence generators.
Richard Dawkins:: David Haig
conanlee:: haha
Jeremy1952:: I think I got the link to the postmodernist generator from one of Dr. Dawkin's essays
Chris OConnor:: yes! haha
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, the PM generator is very funny
conanlee:: I got that generator through reading Nature
Richard Dawkins:: It is still up there, as far as I know
ZombieHatesYou:: Who has a link for the generator?
Meme Wars:: David Haig. Any one else?
conanlee:: yes, it still word
Richard Dawkins:: I think it is in Unweaving
Jeremy1952:: Does David Haig write anything for the masses?
Meme Wars:: What about Steven Pinker?
Chris OConnor:: RD - The first time I read one of the randomly generated statements I really thought I must be an idiot for not being able to decipher what was being said
cinnamon321:: Steven Pinker is great.
Richard Dawkins:: Unweaving the Rainbow, page 41
Jeremy1952:: One could hardly call Pinker "up and coming", though. He's a senior member of the community
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are reading Stephen Pinkers "The Blank Slate" right now.
Richard Dawkins:: Good, I greatly admire S Pinker
Jeremy1952:: EO Wilson says that's the reason nobody understands Kant: that it really doesn't mean anything
tarav:: What book would you recommend for us next, RD
cinnamon321:: lol Jer
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - lol
Chris OConnor:: Yes, good question Tarav!
ZombieHatesYou:: So it wasn't just me, Jer...
Richard Dawkins:: Well, I don't know that that is fair about Kant, but it is certainly fair of lots of pretentious charlatans
cinnamon321:: I like Socrates: "I know nothing."
Genryu:: RD, If I can ask you something about a view of yours that essentially many religions are harmful, if I understand correctly? I happen to agree but that has an implication for me that an ethical response would be to actively counter some of the things that religions do or say. Can you comment on that?
Richard Dawkins:: Genryu, I suppose that if you think religions are actively harmful, it would be an ethical duty to oppose them
Richard Dawkins:: I actively oppose the religious indoctrination of children
tarav:: you should come to a school in the south
Richard Dawkins:: And I actively oppose the LABELLING of children, e.g. Catholic child, Muslim child
tarav:: so sad
Richard Dawkins:: I think that is child abuse
Chris OConnor:: Stephen Jay Gould frustrated me in that he refused to acknowledge that religion does indeed step on the toes of science. He believed in his NOMA principle, or Non Over Lapping Magistraria (spelling?) and I disagree
arcAngle:: Yes they are harmful. Any point of view that discourages independent thought is harmful.
Richard Dawkins:: I strongly agree, Chris, and arcAngle
Meme Wars:: We lost Asimov, Sagan, and "punctuated equilibrium" man (forgot his name for a moment). You're a bit alone. That is why I've asked for more names to carry the enlightenment on.
Genryu:: yes but how is one to counter that without being dismissed as 'intolerant'?
Richard Dawkins:: Well, you have already mentioned Pinker.
Jeremy1952:: SJ Gould, Meme; who we've just been talking about
Chris OConnor:: I think Gould was afraid of loosing funding....how else could he be so blind to the devastating effects and history of religious indoctrination?
arcAngle:: I just had to speak with my children. The science teacher at my child's school announced that she didn't believe in evolution, but that she had to teach it.
Richard Dawkins:: I think you can disagree with something strongly without being intolerant, provided you justify it
Chris OConnor:: Arc - oh wow.
Richard Dawkins:: What is intolerant is attacking people for what they are (e.g. black or homosexual)
Chris OConnor:: RD - good point.
Richard Dawkins:: If you attack them because of their politics or their religion, that seems to me fine and not per se intolerant
Richard Dawkins:: It is honest disagreement
ZombieHatesYou:: I'm not sure that religion itself is the thing that's actively harmful. Most religions have a lot of 'good' to offer. Perhaps it's more of a matter of the religious people that mucks things up. Using the religion as an excuse, or platform, to further their own agendas, insecurities, and ignorance.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or somethin'
conanlee:: Richard, tell us something about GM food
cinnamon321:: I wonder if any research has gone on regarding early religious indoctrination of young children. I wonder what evidence would be found if a longitudinal study was conducted regarding that.

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sat Jul 12, 2003 11:27 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Chris OConnor:: Here is what I tell people. I respect you as a person and the rights you possess as a person, but I have no respect for irrational beliefs.
Richard Dawkins:: I agree, Chris
Genryu:: I suspect thought that in some contexts, disagreeing strongly can also be seen as intolerance. For example if I were to say that dressing 6 year old girls up in a veil is to me abusive, here in the UK, I'd be labelled as being racially intolerant

conanlee:: I remember your words "Unfortunately the warning voices have been rather quiet, and now they are drowned by the baying cacophony: 'GM GM GM GM GM GM!' "
tarav:: me too, Chris
Meme Wars:: Religion allows the justification of "us against them"
Richard Dawkins:: GM is not a substance, it is not like radioactivity
Meme Wars:: Religion allows Nationalism.
Richard Dawkins:: M means modified, and you can modify in a good direction or a bad direction. The trick is to choose the good
Jeremy1952:: More than "allow" it Meme Wars; an argument can be made that the purpose of religion is "us against them"
conanlee:: but I found GM attract people
Chris OConnor:: What frustrates me is when I hear "But its just what I believe" as if this justifies disengaging ones brain. Beliefs are not "harmless" even though they exist in ones head. beliefs are like viruses (memes) that travel faster than genes...and infect others
Meme Wars:: Yes, Jeremy.
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I agree that religion allows 'Us against them'
conanlee:: as a science writer, I'm a bit puzzled about how to tell people GM is ok.
NaddiaAoC:: Very true, Chris.
Chris OConnor:: Hey Cheryl
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Chris
Richard Dawkins:: Not all GM is OK. Some is good. Some is bad. We need research to tell which is which
Meme Wars:: An irrational "us against them", us against nature", .
tarav:: RD- I have to go, but not without thanking you for moving me profoundly with your books. Also, thank you for chatting with us.
Jeremy1952:: There are two sides to that argument, conanlee; the anti-GM people are not all irrational
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you tarav
conanlee:: but some people want to ban ALL of them, don't they?
Chris OConnor:: We need a new meme. We need the world to embrace "thinking critically" as a virtue
Chris OConnor:: Take care Tarav
arcAngle:: Hmm... Us against them has been around for a long time. Yes, religion encourages it, but I can't say that it was at it's root. I think that is genetic.
Richard Dawkins:: You know about the Brights?
Meme Wars:: GM cannot be a threat, as they are introducing genes in a new pool that has not adapted.
tarav:: RD- I hope that you will return to chat again
Richard Dawkins:: thank you for inviting me
Chris OConnor:: RD - Ahh! Maybe you can explain that!
Meme Wars:: It will always be a weaker gene.
Chris OConnor:: RD - I was at the conference
tarav:: bye
tarav left
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the new Gay
Chris OConnor:: RD - Is the Bright idea your bright idea?
Richard Dawkins:: Gay is a way homosexuals improved their image
Chris OConnor:: RD - or were you endorsing it?
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the way freethinkers can improve ours
Richard Dawkins:: No, I didn't invent it
Richard Dawkins:: I wrote an article in The Guardian
Chris OConnor:: I'll explain a bit too, for those that know nothing of the Bright concept
Richard Dawkins:: I'll give you the url
Meme Wars:: I'm a Bright!, Your a Bright! We're all a Bright!
Chris OConnor:: RD Many here have read that article
Jeremy1952:: An educated and rational opponent to GM (I'm not saying I'm against it, just that there is another side); is Barbara Kingsolver
Genryu:: I haven't yet Chris lol
arcAngle:: I have not, and would appreciate the url please.
Chris OConnor:: RD - yes that would be nice
Richard Dawkins: books.guardian.co.uk/revi...12,00.html
Genryu: ty


Chris OConnor:: Ok, I cleared it myself
Chris OConnor:: That seems to help keep things legible
Jeremy1952:: I've read Ridley, G. Miller, and Cherfas and Gribbon on your recommendation. Are their others that you would especially reocmmend?
arcAngle:: Drag the corner to the size you prefer.
conanlee:: Richard, do you have any comment on "postmodernism blather"
Jeremy1952:: Or just hit the "maximize" button?
Richard Dawkins:: I already have dragged it, but the business part just stays small
Chris OConnor:: Conan - oh this will be good
Meme Wars:: Your windows page near the upper left corner has an "X", to the right of that is a square. Click on that.
tarav:: or click in the square in the corner
Richard Dawkins:: I am on a Mac
Genryu:: aha
Jeremy1952:: Oh!
ZombieHatesYou:: Eeek, a Mac.
cinnamon321:: lol
Genryu:: lol
ZombieHatesYou:: Is that legal?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I've had that happen to. Here is the solution. Click on the "Use Text Mode" and then go back to Graphocs mode
arcAngle:: Thanks Jeremy. I tend to take the long way home.
Genryu:: required for the intelligencia I believe Zombie ;o)
ZombieHatesYou:: That must be my problem, babe.
Richard Dawkins:: It doesn't matter, it is working fine
Chris OConnor:: RD: That should work for you. Ok, good.
Chris OConnor:: RD: Any opinions on postmodernism?
Chris OConnor:: RD: We have one member that is still asleep that is a PM fan.
Chris OConnor:: So we can talk freely
Richard Dawkins:: Any idea what it MEANS? I suggest that it means absolutely nothing whatever
arcAngle:: RD: I remember you have a Mac. The best versions for your life form program were written for Mac. And I so wanted to play with them.
ZombieHatesYou:: *laughs at Chris*
Chris OConnor:: RD - We all totally agree.
conanlee:: I'm anxious to hear you talk about it
Meme Wars:: Dr. Dawkins, who do you recommend to keep an eye on (new young scientists) that will keep your torch lit?
Chris OConnor:: I love the Postmodernism random sentence generators.
Richard Dawkins:: David Haig
conanlee:: haha
Jeremy1952:: I think I got the link to the postmodernist generator from one of Dr. Dawkin's essays
Chris OConnor:: yes! haha
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, the PM generator is very funny
conanlee:: I got that generator through reading Nature
Richard Dawkins:: It is still up there, as far as I know
ZombieHatesYou:: Who has a link for the generator?
Meme Wars:: David Haig. Any one else?
conanlee:: yes, it still word
Richard Dawkins:: I think it is in Unweaving
Jeremy1952:: Does David Haig write anything for the masses?
Meme Wars:: What about Steven Pinker?
Chris OConnor:: RD - The first time I read one of the randomly generated statements I really thought I must be an idiot for not being able to decipher what was being said
cinnamon321:: Steven Pinker is great.
Richard Dawkins:: Unweaving the Rainbow, page 41
Jeremy1952:: One could hardly call Pinker "up and coming", though. He's a senior member of the community
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are reading Stephen Pinkers "The Blank Slate" right now.
Richard Dawkins:: Good, I greatly admire S Pinker
Jeremy1952:: EO Wilson says that's the reason nobody understands Kant: that it really doesn't mean anything
tarav:: What book would you recommend for us next, RD
cinnamon321:: lol Jer
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - lol
Chris OConnor:: Yes, good question Tarav!
ZombieHatesYou:: So it wasn't just me, Jer...
Richard Dawkins:: Well, I don't know that that is fair about Kant, but it is certainly fair of lots of pretentious charlatans
cinnamon321:: I like Socrates: "I know nothing."
Genryu:: RD, If I can ask you something about a view of yours that essentially many religions are harmful, if I understand correctly? I happen to agree but that has an implication for me that an ethical response would be to actively counter some of the things that religions do or say. Can you comment on that?
Richard Dawkins:: Genryu, I suppose that if you think religions are actively harmful, it would be an ethical duty to oppose them
Richard Dawkins:: I actively oppose the religious indoctrination of children
tarav:: you should come to a school in the south
Richard Dawkins:: And I actively oppose the LABELLING of children, e.g. Catholic child, Muslim child
tarav:: so sad
Richard Dawkins:: I think that is child abuse
Chris OConnor:: Stephen Jay Gould frustrated me in that he refused to acknowledge that religion does indeed step on the toes of science. He believed in his NOMA principle, or Non Oer Lapping Magistraria (spelling?) and I disagree
arcAngle:: Yes they are harmful. Any point of view that discourages independent thought is harmful.
Richard Dawkins:: I strongly agree, Chris, and arcAngle
Meme Wars:: We lost Asimov, Sagan, and "punctuated equilibrium" man (forgot his name for a moment). You're a bit alone. That is why I've asked for more names to carry the enlightement on.
Genryu:: yes but how is one to counter that without being dismissed as 'intolerant'?
Richard Dawkins:: Well, you have already mentioned Pinker.
Jeremy1952:: SJ Gould, Meme; who we've just been talking about
Chris OConnor:: I think Gould was afraid of loosing funding....how else could he be so blind to the devastating effects and history of religious indoctrination?
arcAngle:: I just had to speak with my children. The science teacher at my child's school announced that she didn't believe in evolution, but that she had to teach it.
Richard Dawkins:: I think you can disagree with something strongly without being intolerant, provided you justify it
Chris OConnor:: Arc - oh wow.
Richard Dawkins:: What is intolerant is attacking people for what they are (e.g. black or homosexual)
Chris OConnor:: RD - good point.
Richard Dawkins:: If you attack them because of their politics or their religion, that seems to me fine and not per se intolerant
Richard Dawkins:: It is honest disagreement
ZombieHatesYou:: I'm not sure that religion itself is the thing that's actively harmful. Most religions have a lot of 'good' to offer. Perhaps it's more of a matter of the religious people that mucks things up. Using the religion as an excuse, or platform, to further their own agendas, insecurities, and ignorance.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or somethin'
conanlee:: Richard, tell us something about GM food
cinnamon321:: I wonder if any research has gone on regarding early religious indoctrination of young children. I wonder what evidence would be found if a longitudinal study was conducted regarding that.
Chris OConnor:: Here is what I tell people. I respect you as a person and the rights you possess as a person, but I have no respect for irrational beliefs.
Richard Dawkins:: I agree, Chris
Genryu:: I suspect thought that in some contexts, disagreeing strongly can also be seen as intolerance. For example if I were to say that dressing 6 year old girls up in a veil is to me abusive, here in the UK, I'd be labelled as being racially intolerant

conanlee:: I remember your words "Unfortunately the warning voices have been rather quiet, and now they are drowned by the baying cacophony: 'GM GM GM GM GM GM!' "
tarav:: me too, Chris
Meme Wars:: Religion allows the justification of "us against them"
Richard Dawkins:: GM is not a substance, it is not like radioactivity
Meme Wars:: Religion allows Nationalism.
Richard Dawkins:: M means modified, and you can modify in a good direction or a bad direction. The trick is to choose the good
Jeremy1952:: More than "allow" it Meme Wars; an argument can be made that the purpose of religion is "us against them"
conanlee:: but I found GM attract people
Chris OConnor:: What frustrates me is when I hear "But its just what I believe" as if this justifies disengaging ones brain. Beliefs are not "harmless" even though they exist in ones head. beliefs are like viruses (memes) that travel faster than genes...and infect others
Meme Wars:: Yes, Jeremy.
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I agree that religion allows 'Us against them'
conanlee:: as a science writer, I'm a bit puzzled about how to tell people GM is ok.
NaddiaAoC:: Very true, Chris.
Chris OConnor:: Hey Cheryl
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Chris
Richard Dawkins:: Not all GM is OK. Some is good. Some is bad. We need research to tell which is which
Meme Wars:: An irrational "us againt them", us against nature", .
tarav:: RD- I have to go, but not without thanking you for moving me profoundly with your books. Also, thank you for chatting with us.
Jeremy1952:: There are two sides to that argument, conanlee; the anti-GM people are not all irrational
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you tarav
conanlee:: but some people want to ban ALL of them, don't they?
Chris OConnor:: We need a new meme. We need the world to embrace "thinking critically" as a virtue
Chris OConnor:: Take care Tarav
arcAngle:: Hmm... Us against them has been around for a long time. Yes, religion encourages it, but I can't say that it was at it's root. I think that is genetic.
Richard Dawkins:: You know about the Brights?
Meme Wars:: GM cannot be a threat, as they are introducing genes in a new pool that has not adapted.
tarav:: RD- I hope that you will return to chat again
Richard Dawkins:: thank you for inviting me
Chris OConnor:: RD - Ahh! Maybe you can explain that!
Meme Wars:: It will always be a weaker gene.
Chris OConnor:: RD - I was at the conference
tarav:: bye
tarav left
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the new Gay
Chris OConnor:: RD - Is the Bright idea your bright idea?
Richard Dawkins:: Gay is a way homosexuals improved their image
Chris OConnor:: RD - or were you endorsing it?
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the way freethinkeres can improve ours
Richard Dawkins:: No, I didn't invent it
Richard Dawkins:: I wrote an article in The Guardian
Chris OConnor:: I'll explain a bit too, for those that know nothing of the Bright concept
Richard Dawkins:: I'll give you the url
Meme Wars:: I'm a Bright!, Your a Bright! We're all a Bright!
Chris OConnor:: RD Many here have read that artcile
Jeremy1952:: An educated and rational opponent to GM (I'm not saying I'm against it, just that there is another side); is Barbara Kingsolver
Genryu:: I haven't yet Chris lol
arcAngle:: I have not, and would appreciate the url please.
Chris OConnor:: RD - yes that would be nice
Richard Dawkins:: books.guardian.co.uk/revi...12,00.html
Genryu:: ty
ZombieHatesYou:: *loves Kingsolver's books*
arcAngle:: Thank you.
conanlee:: some organizations, e.g. Geenpeace , want to ban all GM
Chris OConnor:: I'm recording a transcript here so we will have that URL people
Richard Dawkins:: The Brights own web site is
Richard Dawkins:: www.the-brights.net/
Chris OConnor:: Ahhh! I didn't have that URL
Jeremy1952:: Kingsolver was trained as a biologist, so she's not an "off the wall" nut. She makes well-reasoned arguments
Jeremy1952:: about sustainability.
Meme Wars:: On GM, we are introducing new genes into an old pool. And that gene pool hasn't learned how to play with the new player. It may not work in good concert with it. That is why it is not a threat.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Do you think this meme is catching?

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Richard Dawkins:: It is also referred to in my Guardian article (which, b y the way will also be in Free Inquiry)
Richard Dawkins:: Today's New York Times has a wonderful Op ED piece by Daniel Dennett on being a Bright
Richard Dawkins:: Look at the NY Times today
Chris OConnor:: RD - It seems to be very difficult to create a powerful and contagious enough meme to spread faster than it is wiped out.
Richard Dawkins:: Send it to all your friends
Chris OConnor:: RD - Oh wow...then it does seem to be getting regognition
Richard Dawkins:: It will be very interesting to see whether this engineered meme spreads
conanlee left
Genryu:: and how it mutates
Meme Wars:: You have link to that article in NY Times?
conanlee joined
Richard Dawkins:: www.nytimes.com/2003/07/1...2DENN.html
Chris OConnor:: Yes, to see if engineered memes work will be interesting
Meme Wars:: Thankyou!
Chris OConnor:: I wonder about the meme for the word "gay" and if it was engineered consciously
Jeremy1952:: www.nytimes.com/auth/logi...2DENN.html
conanlee:: Richard, is it ok to translate your article into Chinese? of course non-profit use only
NaddiaAoC:: I need to go, folks. Thank you for coming by, Richard!
Chris OConnor:: I've found that even creationists and/or theists get offended when I say I'm a "freethinker." They claim to be freethinkers too, not really understanding what the term means
ZombieHatesYou:: Be well, Naddia.
Richard Dawkins left
ZombieHatesYou:: Ack, he gots booted.
NaddiaAoC:: Bye all
Chris OConnor:: I booted him for being rude.
Jeremy1952:: ooops
Chris OConnor:: ROFL
ZombieHatesYou:: LOL Chris
Jeremy1952:: Lol CHris
NaddiaAoC left
conanlee:: ah...I think JAVA chat program is not that good
Meme Wars::
Chris OConnor:: Just kidding
cinnamon321:: Most people I've met don't know what a freenthinker is.
conanlee:: I lost 3 times
Chris OConnor:: I am exploring options for other chat softeware
Meme Wars: Get the star of the show back on here!
Jeremy1952: Yup, we're getting an upgrade soon, concanlee


Chris OConnor:: Ok, I cleared it myself
Chris OConnor:: That seems to help keep things legible
Jeremy1952:: I've read Ridley, G. Miller, and Cherfas and Gribbon on your recommendation. Are their others that you would especially reocmmend?
arcAngle:: Drag the corner to the size you prefer.
conanlee:: Richard, do you have any comment on "postmodernism blather"
Jeremy1952:: Or just hit the "maximize" button?
Richard Dawkins:: I already have dragged it, but the business part just stays small
Chris OConnor:: Conan - oh this will be good
Meme Wars:: Your windows page near the upper left corner has an "X", to the right of that is a square. Click on that.
tarav:: or click in the square in the corner
Richard Dawkins:: I am on a Mac
Genryu:: aha
Jeremy1952:: Oh!
ZombieHatesYou:: Eeek, a Mac.
cinnamon321:: lol
Genryu:: lol
ZombieHatesYou:: Is that legal?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I've had that happen to. Here is the solution. Click on the "Use Text Mode" and then go back to Graphocs mode
arcAngle:: Thanks Jeremy. I tend to take the long way home.
Genryu:: required for the intelligencia I believe Zombie ;o)
ZombieHatesYou:: That must be my problem, babe.
Richard Dawkins:: It doesn't matter, it is working fine
Chris OConnor:: RD: That should work for you. Ok, good.
Chris OConnor:: RD: Any opinions on postmodernism?
Chris OConnor:: RD: We have one member that is still asleep that is a PM fan.
Chris OConnor:: So we can talk freely
Richard Dawkins:: Any idea what it MEANS? I suggest that it means absolutely nothing whatever
arcAngle:: RD: I remember you have a Mac. The best versions for your lifeform program were written for Mac. And I so wanted to play with them.
ZombieHatesYou:: *laughs at Chris*
Chris OConnor:: RD - We all totally agree.
conanlee:: I'm anxious to hear you talk about it
Meme Wars:: Dr. Dawkins, who do you recommend to keep an eye on (new young scientists) that will keep your tourch lit?
Chris OConnor:: I love the Postmodernism random sentence generators.
Richard Dawkins:: David Haig
conanlee:: haha
Jeremy1952:: I thnk I got the link to the postmodernist generator from one of Dr. Dawkin's essays
Chris OConnor:: yes! haha
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, the PM generator is very funny
conanlee:: I got that generator through reading Nature
Richard Dawkins:: It is still up there, as far as I know
ZombieHatesYou:: Who has a link for the generator?
Meme Wars:: David Haig. Any one else?
conanlee:: yes, it still word
Richard Dawkins:: I think it is in Unweaving
Jeremy1952:: Does David Haig write anything for the masses?
Meme Wars:: What about Steven Pinker?
Chris OConnor:: RD - The first time I read one of the randomly generated statements I really thought I must be an idiot for not being able to decypher what was ebing said
cinnamon321:: Steven Pinker is great.
Richard Dawkins:: Unweaving the Rainbow, page 41
Jeremy1952:: ONe could hardly call Pinker "up and coming", though. He's a senior member of the community
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are reading Stephen Pinkers "The Blank Slate" right now.
Richard Dawkins:: Good, I greatly admire S Pinker
Jeremy1952:: EO Wilson says that's the reason nobody understands Kant: that it really doesn't mean anything
tarav:: What book would you recommend for us next, RD
cinnamon321:: lol Jer
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - lol
Chris OConnor:: Yes, good question Tarav!
ZombieHatesYou:: So it wasn't just me, Jer...
Richard Dawkins:: Well, I don't know that that is fair about Kant, but it is certainly fair of lots of pretentious charlatans
cinnamon321:: I like Socrates: "I know nothing."
Genryu:: RD, If I can ask you something about a view of yours that essentially many religions are harmful, if I understand correctly? I happen to agree but that has an implication for me that an ethical response would be to actively counter some of the things that religions do or say. Can you comment on that?
Richard Dawkins:: Genryu, I suppose that if you think religions are actively harmful, it would be an ethical duty to oppose them
Richard Dawkins:: I actively oppose the religious indoctrination of children
tarav:: you should come to a school in the south
Richard Dawkins:: And I actively oppose the LABELLING of children, e.g. Catholic child, Muslim child
tarav:: so sad
Richard Dawkins:: I think that is child abuse
Chris OConnor:: Stephen Jay Gould frustrated me in that he refused to acknowledge that religion does indeed step on the toes of science. He believed in his NOMA principle, or Non Oer Lapping Magistraria (spelling?) and I disgaree
arcAngle:: Yes they are harmful. Any point of view that discourages independent thought is harmful.
Richard Dawkins:: I strongly agree, Chris, and arcAngle
Meme Wars:: We lost Asimov, Sagan, and "punctuated equilibrium" man (forgot his name for a moment). You're a bit alone. That is why I've asked for more names to carry the enlightement on.
Genryu:: yes but how is one to counter that without being dismissed as 'intolerant'?
Richard Dawkins:: Well, you have already mentioned Pinker.
Jeremy1952:: SJ Gould, Meme; who we've just been talking about
Chris OConnor:: I think Gould was afraid of loosing funding....how else could he be so blind to the devastating effects and history of religious indoctrination?
arcAngle:: I just had to speak with my children. The science teacher at my child's school announced that she didn't believe in evolution, but that she had to teach it.
Richard Dawkins:: I think you can disagree with something strongly without being intolerant, provided you justify it
Chris OConnor:: Arc - oh wow.
Richard Dawkins:: What is intolerant is attacking people for what they are (e.g. black or homosexual)
Chris OConnor:: RD - good point.
Richard Dawkins:: If you attack them because of their politics or their religion, that seems to me fine and not per se intolerant
Richard Dawkins:: It is honest disagreement
ZombieHatesYou:: I'm not sure that religion itself is the thing that's actively harmful. Most religions have a lot of 'good' to offer. Perhaps it's more of a matter of the religious people that mucks things up. Using the religion as an excuse, or platform, to further their own agendas, insecurities, and ignorance.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or somethin'
conanlee:: Richard, tell us something about GM food
cinnamon321:: I wonder if any research has gone on regarding early religious indoctrination of young children. I wonder what evidence would be found if a longitudinal study was conducted regarding that.
Chris OConnor:: Here is what I tell people. I respect you as a person and the rights you possess as a person, but I have no respect for irrational beliefs.
Richard Dawkins:: I agree, Chris
Genryu:: I suspect thought that in some contexts, disagreeing strongly can also be seen as intolerance. For example if I were to say that dressing 6 year old girls up in a veil is to me abusive, here in the UK, I'd be labelled as being racially intolerant

conanlee:: I remember your words "Unfortunately the warning voices have been rather quiet, and now they are drowned by the baying cacophony: 'GM GM GM GM GM GM!' "
tarav:: me too, Chris
Meme Wars:: Religion allows the justification of "us against them"
Richard Dawkins:: GM is not a substance, it is not like radioactivity
Meme Wars:: Religion allows Nationalism.
Richard Dawkins:: M means modified, and you can modify in a good direction or a bad direction. The trick is to choose the good
Jeremy1952:: More than "allow" it Meme Wars; an argument can be made that the purpose of religion is "us against them"
conanlee:: but I found GM attract people
Chris OConnor:: What frustrates me is when I hear "But its just what I believe" as if this justifies disengaging ones brain. Beliefs are not "harmless" even though they exist in ones head. beliefs are like viruses (memes) that travel faster than genes...and infect others
Meme Wars:: Yes, Jeremy.
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I agree that religion allows 'Us against them'
conanlee:: as a science writer, I'm a bit puzzled about how to tell people GM is ok.
NaddiaAoC:: Very true, Chris.
Chris OConnor:: Hey Cheryl
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Chris
Richard Dawkins:: Not all GM is OK. Some is good. Some is bad. We need research to tell which is which
Meme Wars:: An irrational "us againt them", us against nature", .
tarav:: RD- I have to go, but not without thanking you for moving me profoundly with your books. Also, thank you for chatting with us.
Jeremy1952:: There are two sides to that argument, conanlee; the anti-GM people are not all irrational
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you tarav
conanlee:: but some people want to ban ALL of them, don't they?
Chris OConnor:: We need a new meme. We need the world to embrace "thinking critically" as a virtue
Chris OConnor:: Take care Tarav
arcAngle:: Hmm... Us against them has been around for a long time. Yes, religion encourages it, but I can't say that it was at it's root. I think that is genetic.
Richard Dawkins:: You know about the Brights?
Meme Wars:: GM cannot be a threat, as they are introducing genes in a new pool that has not adapted.
tarav:: RD- I hope that you will return to chat again
Richard Dawkins:: thank you for inviting me
Chris OConnor:: RD - Ahh! Maybe you can explain that!
Meme Wars:: It will always be a weaker gene.
Chris OConnor:: RD - I was at the conference
tarav:: bye
tarav left
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the new Gay
Chris OConnor:: RD - Is the Bright idea your bright idea?
Richard Dawkins:: Gay is a way homosexuals improved their image
Chris OConnor:: RD - or were you endorsing it?
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the way freethinkeres can improve ours
Richard Dawkins:: No, I didn't invent it
Richard Dawkins:: I wrote an article in The Guardian
Chris OConnor:: I'll explain a bit too, for those that know nothing of the Bright concept
Richard Dawkins:: I'll give you the url
Meme Wars:: I'm a Bright!, Your a Bright! We're all a Bright!
Chris OConnor:: RD Many here have read that article

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sat Jul 12, 2003 11:37 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Jeremy1952:: An educated and rational opponent to GM (I'm not saying I'm against it, just that there is another side); is Barbara Kingsolver
Genryu:: I haven't yet Chris lol
arcAngle:: I have not, and would appreciate the url please.
Chris OConnor:: RD - yes that would be nice
Richard Dawkins:: books.guardian.co.uk/revi...12,00.html
Genryu:: ty
ZombieHatesYou:: *loves Kingsolver's books*
arcAngle:: Thank you.
conanlee:: some organizations, e.g. Geenpeace , want to ban all GM
Chris OConnor:: I'm recording a transcript here so we will have that URL people
Richard Dawkins:: The Brights own web site is
Richard Dawkins:: www.the-brights.net/
Chris OConnor:: Ahhh! I didn't have that URL
Jeremy1952:: Kingsolver was trained as a biologist, so she's not an "off the wall" nut. She makes well-reasoned arguments
Jeremy1952:: about sustainability.
Meme Wars:: On GM, we are introducing new genes into an old pool. And that gene pool hasn't learned how to play with the new player. It may not work in good concert with it. That is why it is not a threat.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Do you think this meme is catching?
Richard Dawkins:: It is also referred to in my Guardian article (which, b y the way will also be in Free Inquiry)
Richard Dawkins:: Today's New York Times has a wonderful Op ED piece by Daniel Dennett on being a Bright
Richard Dawkins:: Look at the NY Times today
Chris OConnor:: RD - It seems to be very difficult to create a powerful and contagious enough meme to spread faster than it is wiped out.
Richard Dawkins:: Send it to all your friends
Chris OConnor:: RD - Oh wow...then it does seem to be getting recognition
Richard Dawkins:: It will be very interesting to see whether this engineered meme spreads
conanlee left
Genryu:: and how it mutates
Meme Wars:: You have link to that article in NY Times?
conanlee joined
Richard Dawkins:: www.nytimes.com/2003/07/1...2DENN.html
Chris OConnor:: Yes, to see if engineered memes work will be interesting
Meme Wars:: Thank you!
Chris OConnor:: I wonder about the meme for the word "gay" and if it was engineered consciously
Jeremy1952:: www.nytimes.com/auth/logi...2DENN.html
conanlee:: Richard, is it ok to translate your article into Chinese? of course non-profit use only
NaddiaAoC:: I need to go, folks. Thank you for coming by, Richard!
Chris OConnor:: I've found that even creationists and/or theists get offended when I say I'm a "freethinker." They claim to be freethinkers too, not really understanding what the term means
ZombieHatesYou:: Be well, Naddia.
Richard Dawkins left
ZombieHatesYou:: Ack, he gots booted.
NaddiaAoC:: Bye all
Chris OConnor:: I booted him for being rude.
Jeremy1952:: ooops
Chris OConnor:: ROFL
ZombieHatesYou:: LOL Chris
Jeremy1952:: Lol CHris
NaddiaAoC left
conanlee:: ah...I think JAVA chat program is not that good
Meme Wars::
Chris OConnor:: Just kidding
cinnamon321:: Most people I've met don't know what a freenthinker is.
conanlee:: I lost 3 times
Chris OConnor:: I am exploring options for other chat softeware
Meme Wars:: Get the star of the show back on here!
Jeremy1952:: Yup, we're getting an upgrade soon, concanlee
conanlee:: what about IRC?
ZombieHatesYou:: Yeah, you need a better chat thingie here, Chris. I pay good nothing for this, and I demand satisfaction.
Richard Dawkins joined
cinnamon321:: wb
ZombieHatesYou:: Welcome back, Mr Dawkins.
Jeremy1952:: wb! booted?
Richard Dawkins:: Sorry, I got booted out
Genryu:: wb RD
Jeremy1952:: I was just telling conanlee, we're working on better chat software
Meme Wars:: Richard any life goals you have left to attain?
Genryu:: good nothing lol
ZombieHatesYou:: *grins*
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are limited with this chat room. There are better programs out there, but this is all we have right now.
Chris OConnor:: Meme - good one!
Richard Dawkins:: This one seems fine to me
arcAngle left
Jeremy1952:: Truthfully, I kind of like it too. Too fancy is just overkill
arcAngle joined
Chris OConnor:: I can't think of a better way to live beyond the grave than by writing books.
Meme Wars:: And do you have any burning issues. Mine are Human Overpopulation, waistful use of energy.
ZombieHatesYou:: This one doesn't have complete expressive smileys so that I can chat without typing anything but faces and still get my point across...
arcAngle:: Sorry. Screen freeze.
Jeremy1952:: Dr. Dawkins, did you see my question earlier about other authors you might recommend?
cinnamon321:: Yeah, I like this chatroom too. But I guess depending on your connection speed, you can get booted often.
Richard Dawkins:: The late Carl Sagan
conanlee:: Richard, is it ok to translate your article into Chinese? of course non-profit use only. Because I think your article really do some help, e.g. anti-antiscience, GM safety, etc.
Richard Dawkins:: The late Peter Medawar
Richard Dawkins:: You are welcome to translate any articles of mine into Chinese. So long as it is beautiful, poetic Chinese
Chris OConnor:: RD: Do you know anything about Howard Bloom and his books "The Lucifer Principle" and "The Global Brain?"
Genryu:: lol RD
Meme Wars:: What was the question that brought up Sagan and Medawar?
Richard Dawkins:: I know of him, but I am afraid I don't know much about Howard Bloom. Seems interesting?
Chris OConnor:: RD - We read both books here at BookTalk, and many feel Howard is not engaged in real science
Jeremy1952:: Just for fair warning: I think he's a nut
Richard Dawkins:: I was asked to recommend other authors, and I recommended Sagan and Medawar
Gluepot and Fatass joined
arcAngle:: I very much enjoyed Sagan's Demon Haunted World. The Dragon in My Garage, and The Bologna Kit especially.
Richard Dawkins:: Oh, OK J1952, I am warned
Chris OConnor:: RD - His idea is that group selection is as important as genes
Chris OConnor:: omg Gluepot!
conanlee:: Cosmos!
Meme Wars:: Richard, do you still have any outstanding life-goal to accomplish? And what issues burn within you?
Gluepot and Fatass:: I overslept
cinnamon321:: :D Jeremy---I sort of agree on Bloom not doing real science.
Jeremy1952:: Thanks! Few authors have made as many good recommendations as you have, Dr. Dawkins.
Chris OConnor:: LOL
Richard Dawkins:: Oh, I am not so keen on Group Selection
Jeremy1952:: I just finished Miller, "Mating Mind" on your recommendation
Richard Dawkins:: Matt Ridley, Mark Ridley
Richard Dawkins:: Geoffrey Miller is very good
Chris OConnor:: I love reading Desmond Morris
Richard Dawkins:: Helena Cronin: The Ant and the Peacock, beautifully written
Chris OConnor:: "The Naked Ape" is a fav
cinnamon321:: I believe Matt Ridley has a new book out on Nature vs. Nurture.
Jeremy1952:: I'm in the middle of "Nature Via Nurture (Ridley); you got me started on him, too.
Chris OConnor:: Wow, we have some great recommendations here
Richard Dawkins:: Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett
Richard Dawkins:: Susan Blackmore
Meme Wars:: I enjoyed the "Naked Ape" gee, that was ages ago!
Chris OConnor:: Daniel Dennett is who you suggested next Jeremy...right?
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, Naked Ape, around 1967
Meme Wars:: So Dawkins, any life goals left?
Jeremy1952:: NOT VERSUS CINNAMON!
Chris OConnor:: If I ever win the lottery I'll go back to school for science
Jeremy1952:: VIA!
Chris OConnor:: Wake up Tim
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, you make me feel so old
Chris OConnor:: haha
Meme Wars:: You're the same age as my parents!
cinnamon321:: Yeah, Jeremy...LOL...my memory ain't so hot. Its been stuffed with statistics homework.
Jeremy1952:: Oh yes, I forgot about Blackmore. I ran out and read "Meme Machine" as soon as you mentioned it
Chris OConnor:: Meme - ummm....shhhhhh
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about the anti-science trend of thought ?
Meme Wars:: I'm 45, my dad born 1940, Mom 1942.
Jeremy1952:: Holy heck, Meme. My dad was born in oh seven
ZombieHatesYou:: *feels terribly young*
Meme Wars:: I do admit, I was surprised by your age. You do look so young. What year were those pictures taken, anyway?
Genryu:: lol
Richard Dawkins:: conanlee, do you think there is a worldwide anti-science trend?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I have met you and you're young physically and otherwise.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia joined
Gluepot and Fatass:: He has a secret elixir of youth he's hiding?
conanlee:: well, I think so
Richard Dawkins:: I think there maybe a trend in America, perhaps driven by the religious right
Chris OConnor:: Michael! Welcome
Jeremy1952:: Nature via Nurture is a fabulous, fabulous book. Ridley is following up on many of the ideas in
ZombieHatesYou:: huahua!
Genryu:: i honestly think there is at least here in Europe
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi Chris...for some reason I thought it was at 10 Pacific
Chris OConnor:: RD can dance.
Chris OConnor:: ...too
Chris OConnor:: lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi zombie
conanlee:: at least I find them in us, uk and china
Jeremy1952:: Extended Phenotype, with specifics.... the actual genetic pathways from one organism to another
Richard Dawkins:: Where are you Genryu?
Jeremy1952:: have been traced , are being worked out
Genryu:: in the UK RD
Meme Wars:: Neighbors?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I asked earlier but I think my message was one that got lost. Any opinions on the origins of life? ...and also life elsewhere in the cosmos?
Jeremy1952:: Dr. Dawkins asserts that SJ Gould was a better writer than himself; I always disagreed... Dawkins has been my
Jeremy1952:: favorite, until I ran across Ridley.
Meme Wars:: So do you, Dawkins, have any other burning issues or passions, other than science?
ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: I tried reminding you in Rel:1 earlier, but you did not pay attention to me. *sniffs*
Richard Dawkins:: Sex
conanlee:: there're something similar in China
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: zombie--I didn't notice, sorry
Jeremy1952:: Lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I was multitasking
cinnamon321:: I don't think that there is a worldwide anti-science movement. But I do think that a lot of science is molded and researched is changed to support political and religious ideals. This often makes it harder for scientists to be heard.
ZombieHatesYou:: You always are.
arcAngle:: :snicker:
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - I agree. Not that I didn't like Gould as a writer, but I always felt Gould was too high on himself.
Meme Wars::
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think there is an anti-intellectual movement
conanlee:: just like "social text"
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: or a social pattern that attacks intellectuals from time to time
Chris OConnor:: I think there has always been an anti-intellectual movement.
Chris OConnor:: Its called religion.
Jeremy1952:: I never noticed that about Gould himself; but Dr. Dawkins has asserted several times that Gould is the better writer
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: chris, yes, but lately it's been worse, like anti-Semitism
Chris OConnor:: Ahh
Richard Dawkins:: I have never asserted, as far as I can remember, that Gould is a better writer
Meme Wars:: To me, religion is nothing more than a subset of culture.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Good, because he is not.
Gluepot and Fatass:: There has always been a anti-rational movement in philosophy--nominalism...or now postmodernism as its called
Meme Wars:: Tradition.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I see some properties of religion in all groups that close ranks when challenged
cinnamon321:: I agree meme.
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about "two-culture"?
Chris OConnor:: Conan - what is that?
Genryu:: including scientists Michael?

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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Gluepot and Fatass:: There has always been a anti-rational movement in philosophy--nominalism...or now postmodernism as its called
Meme Wars:: Tradition.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I see some properties of religion in all groups that close ranks when challenged
cinnamon321:: I agree meme.
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about "two-culture"?
Chris OConnor:: Conan - what is that?
Genryu:: including scientists Michael?
Richard Dawkins:: conan means C P Snow's lecture The Two Cultures
arcAngle:: My time is up. Thanks again RD. I enjoyed meeting you very much.
conanlee:: does this concept really exist?
arcAngle:: See everyone later.
Richard Dawkins:: OK, thanks for talking to me
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: gen--often
arcAngle left
Genryu:: see now that could be endless Conanleee lol
conanlee:: yes, Snow's "two culture"
Richard Dawkins:: John Brockman, NY literary agent, has founded The Third Culture
Meme Wars:: People are raised in culture, then as adults, their minds turn to cement.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: most groups of humans have an "establishment" that marginalizes whatever it sees as incompatible
conanlee: I have read the third culture
Chris OConnor:: Ok, I cleared it myself
Chris OConnor:: That seems to help keep things legible
Jeremy1952:: I've read Ridley, G. Miller, and Cherfas and Gribbon on your recommendation. Are their others that you would especially reocmmend?
arcAngle:: Drag the corner to the size you prefer.
conanlee:: Richard, do you have any comment on "postmodernism blather"
Jeremy1952:: Or just hit the "maximize" button?
Richard Dawkins:: I already have dragged it, but the business part just stays small
Chris OConnor:: Conan - oh this will be good
Meme Wars:: Your windows page near the upper left corner has an "X", to the right of that is a square. Click on that.
tarav:: or click in the square in the corner
Richard Dawkins:: I am on a Mac
Genryu:: aha
Jeremy1952:: Oh!
ZombieHatesYou:: Eeek, a Mac.
cinnamon321:: lol
Genryu:: lol
ZombieHatesYou:: Is that legal?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I've had that happen to. Here is the solution. Click on the "Use Text Mode" and then go back to Graphics mode
arcAngle:: Thanks Jeremy. I tend to take the long way home.
Genryu:: required for the intelligencia I believe Zombie ;o)
ZombieHatesYou:: That must be my problem, babe.
Richard Dawkins:: It doesn't matter, it is working fine
Chris OConnor:: RD: That should work for you. Ok, good.
Chris OConnor:: RD: Any opinions on postmodernism?
Chris OConnor:: RD: We have one member that is still asleep that is a PM fan.
Chris OConnor:: So we can talk freely
Richard Dawkins:: Any idea what it MEANS? I suggest that it means absolutely nothing whatever
arcAngle:: RD: I remember you have a Mac. The best versions for your lifeform program were written for Mac. And I so wanted to play with them.
ZombieHatesYou:: *laughs at Chris*
Chris OConnor:: RD - We all totally agree.
conanlee:: I'm anxious to hear you talk about it
Meme Wars:: Dr. Dawkins, who do you recommend to keep an eye on (new young scientists) that will keep your tourch lit?
Chris OConnor:: I love the Postmodernism random sentence generators.
Richard Dawkins:: David Haig
conanlee:: haha
Jeremy1952:: I think I got the link to the postmodernist generator from one of Dr. Dawkin's essays
Chris OConnor:: yes! haha
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, the PM generator is very funny
conanlee:: I got that generator through reading Nature
Richard Dawkins:: It is still up there, as far as I know
ZombieHatesYou:: Who has a link for the generator?
Meme Wars:: David Haig. Any one else?
conanlee:: yes, it still word
Richard Dawkins:: I think it is in Unweaving
Jeremy1952:: Does David Haig write anything for the masses?
Meme Wars:: What about Steven Pinker?
Chris OConnor:: RD - The first time I read one of the randomly generated statements I really thought I must be an idiot for not being able to decipher what was ebbing said
cinnamon321:: Steven Pinker is great.
Richard Dawkins:: Unweaving the Rainbow, page 41
Jeremy1952:: ONe could hardly call Pinker "up and coming", though. He's a senior member of the community
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are reading Stephen Pinkers "The Blank Slate" right now.
Richard Dawkins:: Good, I greatly admire S Pinker
Jeremy1952:: EO Wilson says that's the reason nobody understands Kant: that it really doesn't mean anything
tarav:: What book would you recommend for us next, RD
cinnamon321:: lol Jer
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - lol
Chris OConnor:: Yes, good question Tarav!
ZombieHatesYou:: So it wasn't just me, Jer...
Richard Dawkins:: Well, I don't know that that is fair about Kant, but it is certainly fair of lots of pretentious charlatans
cinnamon321:: I like Socrates: "I know nothing."
Genryu:: RD, If I can ask you something about a view of yours that essentially many religions are harmful, if I understand correctly? I happen to agree but that has an implication for me that an ethical response would be to actively counter some of the things that religions do or say. Can you comment on that?
Richard Dawkins:: Genryu, I suppose that if you think religions are actively harmful, it would be an ethical duty to oppose them
Richard Dawkins:: I actively oppose the religious indoctrination of children
tarav:: you should come to a school in the south
Richard Dawkins:: And I actively oppose the LABELLING of children, e.g. Catholic child, Muslim child
tarav:: so sad
Richard Dawkins:: I think that is child abuse
Chris OConnor:: Stephen Jay Gould frustrated me in that he refused to acknowledge that religion does indeed step on the toes of science. He believed in his NOMA principle, or Non Oer Lapping Magistraria (spelling?) and I disgaree
arcAngle:: Yes they are harmful. Any point of view that discourages independent thought is harmful.
Richard Dawkins:: I strongly agree, Chris, and arcAngle
Meme Wars:: We lost Asimov, Sagan, and "punctuated equilibrium" man (forgot his name for a moment). You're a bit alone. That is why I've asked for more names to carry the enlightenment on.
Genryu:: yes but how is one to counter that without being dismissed as 'intolerant'?
Richard Dawkins:: Well, you have already mentioned Pinker.
Jeremy1952:: SJ Gould, Meme; who we've just been talking about
Chris OConnor:: I think Gould was afraid of loosing funding....how else could he be so blind to the devastating effects and history of religious indoctrination?
arcAngle:: I just had to speak with my children. The science teacher at my child's school announced that she didn't believe in evolution, but that she had to teach it.
Richard Dawkins:: I think you can disagree with something strongly without being intolerant, provided you justify it
Chris OConnor:: Arc - oh wow.
Richard Dawkins:: What is intolerant is attacking people for what they are (e.g. black or homosexual)
Chris OConnor:: RD - good point.
Richard Dawkins:: If you attack them because of their politics or their religion, that seems to me fine and not per se intolerant
Richard Dawkins:: It is honest disagreement
ZombieHatesYou:: I'm not sure that religion itself is the thing that's actively harmful. Most religions have a lot of 'good' to offer. Perhaps it's more of a matter of the religious people that mucks things up. Using the religion as an excuse, or platform, to further their own agendas, insecurities, and ignorance.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or something'
conanlee:: Richard, tell us something about GM food
cinnamon321:: I wonder if any research has gone on regarding early religious indoctrination of young children. I wonder what evidence would be found if a longitudinal study was conducted regarding that.
Chris OConnor:: Here is what I tell people. I respect you as a person and the rights you possess as a person, but I have no respect for irrational beliefs.
Richard Dawkins:: I agree, Chris
Genryu:: I suspect thought that in some contexts, disagreeing strongly can also be seen as intolerance. For example if I were to say that dressing 6 year old girls up in a veil is to me abusive, here in the UK, I'd be labeled as being racially intolerant

conanlee:: I remember your words "Unfortunately the warning voices have been rather quiet, and now they are drowned by the baying cacophony: 'GM GM GM GM GM GM!' "
tarav:: me too, Chris
Meme Wars:: Religion allows the justification of "us against them"
Richard Dawkins:: GM is not a substance, it is not like radioactivity
Meme Wars:: Religion allows Nationalism.
Richard Dawkins:: M means modified, and you can modify in a good direction or a bad direction. The trick is to choose the good
Jeremy1952:: More than "allow" it Meme Wars; an argument can be made that the purpose of religion is "us against them"
conanlee:: but I found GM attract people
Chris OConnor:: What frustrates me is when I hear "But its just what I believe" as if this justifies disengaging ones brain. Beliefs are not "harmless" even though they exist in ones head. beliefs are like viruses (memes) that travel faster than genes...and infect others
Meme Wars:: Yes, Jeremy.
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I agree that religion allows 'Us against them'
conanlee:: as a science writer, I'm a bit puzzled about how to tell people GM is ok.
NaddiaAoC:: Very true, Chris.
Chris OConnor:: Hey Cheryl
NaddiaAoC:: Hi Chris
Richard Dawkins:: Not all GM is OK. Some is good. Some is bad. We need research to tell which is which
Meme Wars:: An irrational "us against them", us against nature", .
tarav:: RD- I have to go, but not without thanking you for moving me profoundly with your books. Also, thank you for chatting with us.
Jeremy1952:: There are two sides to that argument, conanlee; the anti-GM people are not all irrational
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you tarav
conanlee:: but some people want to ban ALL of them, don't they?
Chris OConnor:: We need a new meme. We need the world to embrace "thinking critically" as a virtue
Chris OConnor:: Take care Tarav
arcAngle:: Hmm... Us against them has been around for a long time. Yes, religion encourages it, but I can't say that it was at it's root. I think that is genetic.
Richard Dawkins:: You know about the Brights?
Meme Wars:: GM cannot be a threat, as they are introducing genes in a new pool that has not adapted.
tarav:: RD- I hope that you will return to chat again
Richard Dawkins:: thank you for inviting me
Chris OConnor:: RD - Ahh! Maybe you can explain that!
Meme Wars:: It will always be a weaker gene.
Chris OConnor:: RD - I was at the conference
tarav:: bye
tarav left
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the new Gay
Chris OConnor:: RD - Is the Bright idea your bright idea?
Richard Dawkins:: Gay is a way homosexuals improved their image
Chris OConnor:: RD - or were you endorsing it?
Richard Dawkins:: Bright is the way freethinkers can improve ours
Richard Dawkins:: No, I didn't invent it
Richard Dawkins:: I wrote an article in The Guardian
Chris OConnor:: I'll explain a bit too, for those that know nothing of the Bright concept
Richard Dawkins:: I'll give you the url
Meme Wars:: I'm a Bright!, Your a Bright! We're all a Bright!
Chris OConnor:: RD Many here have read that article
Jeremy1952:: An educated and rational opponent to GM (I'm not saying I'm against it, just that there is another side); is Barbara Kingsolver
Genryu:: I haven't yet Chris lol
arcAngle:: I have not, and would appreciate the url please.
Chris OConnor:: RD - yes that would be nice
Richard Dawkins:: books.guardian.co.uk/revi...12,00.html
Genryu:: ty
ZombieHatesYou:: *loves Kingsolver's books*
arcAngle:: Thank you.
conanlee:: some organizations, e.g. Green peace , want to ban all GM
Chris OConnor:: I'm recording a transcript here so we will have that URL people
Richard Dawkins:: The Brights own web site is
Richard Dawkins:: www.the-brights.net/
Chris OConnor:: Ahhh! I didn't have that URL
Jeremy1952:: Kingsolver was trained as a biologist, so she's not an "off the wall" nut. She makes well-reasoned arguments
Jeremy1952:: about sustainability.
Meme Wars:: On GM, we are introducing new genes into an old pool. And that gene pool hasn't learned how to play with the new player. It may not work in good concert with it. That is why it is not a threat.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Do you think this meme is catching?
Richard Dawkins:: It is also referred to in my Guardian article (which, b y the way will also be in Free Inquiry)
Richard Dawkins:: Today's New York Times has a wonderful Op ED piece by Daniel Dennett on being a Bright
Richard Dawkins:: Look at the NY Times today

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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Chris OConnor:: RD - It seems to be very difficult to create a powerful and contagious enough meme to spread faster than it is wiped out.
Richard Dawkins:: Send it to all your friends
Chris OConnor:: RD - Oh wow...then it does seem to be getting recognition
Richard Dawkins:: It will be very interesting to see whether this engineered meme spreads
conanlee left
Genryu:: and how it mutates
Meme Wars:: You have link to that article in NY Times?
conanlee joined
Richard Dawkins:: www.nytimes.com/2003/07/1...2DENN.html
Chris OConnor:: Yes, to see if engineered memes work will be interesting
Meme Wars:: Thank you!
Chris OConnor:: I wonder about the meme for the word "gay" and if it was engineered consciously
Jeremy1952:: www.nytimes.com/auth/logi...2DENN.html
conanlee:: Richard, is it ok to translate your article into Chinese? of course non-profit use only
NaddiaAoC:: I need to go, folks. Thank you for coming by, Richard!
Chris OConnor:: I've found that even creationists and/or theists get offended when I say I'm a "freethinker." They claim to be freethinkers too, not really understanding what the term means
ZombieHatesYou:: Be well, Naddia.
Richard Dawkins left
ZombieHatesYou:: Ack, he got booted.
NaddiaAoC:: Bye all
Chris OConnor:: I booted him for being rude.
Jeremy1952:: ooops
Chris OConnor:: ROFL
ZombieHatesYou:: LOL Chris
Jeremy1952:: Lol Christ
NaddiaAoC left
conanlee:: ah...I think JAVA chat program is not that good
Meme Wars::
Chris OConnor:: Just kidding
cinnamon321:: Most people I've met don't know what a freethinker is.
conanlee:: I lost 3 times
Chris OConnor:: I am exploring options for other chat software
Meme Wars:: Get the star of the show back on here!
Jeremy1952:: Yup, we're getting an upgrade soon, concanlee
conanlee:: what about IRC?
ZombieHatesYou:: Yeah, you need a better chat thingy here, Chris. I pay good nothing for this, and I demand satisfaction.
Richard Dawkins joined
cinnamon321:: wb
ZombieHatesYou:: Welcome back, Mr. Dawkins.
Jeremy1952:: wb! booted?
Richard Dawkins:: Sorry, I got booted out
Genryu:: wb RD
Jeremy1952:: I was just telling conanlee, we're working on better chat software
Meme Wars:: Richard any life goals you have left to attain?
Genryu:: good nothing lol
ZombieHatesYou:: *grins*
Chris OConnor:: RD: We are limited with this chat room. There are better programs out there, but this is all we have right now.
Chris OConnor:: Meme - good one!
Richard Dawkins:: This one seems fine to me
arcAngle left
Jeremy1952:: Truthfully, I kind of like it too. Too fancy is just overkill
arcAngle joined
Chris OConnor:: I can't think of a better way to live beyond the grave than by writing books.
Meme Wars:: And do you have any burning issues. Mine are Human Overpopulation, waistful use of energy.
ZombieHatesYou:: This one doesn't have complete expressive smileys so that I can chat without typing anything but faces and still get my point across...
arcAngle:: Sorry. Screen freeze.
Jeremy1952:: Dr. Dawkins, did you see my question earlier about other authors you might recommend?
cinnamon321:: Yeah, I like this chatroom too. But I guess depending on your connection speed, you can get booted often.
Richard Dawkins:: The late Carl Sagan
conanlee:: Richard, is it ok to translate your article into Chinese? of course non-profit use only. Because I think your article really do some help, e.g. anti-antiscience, GM safety, etc.
Richard Dawkins:: The late Peter Medawar
Richard Dawkins:: You are welcome to translate any articles of mine into Chinese. So long as it is beautiful, poetic Chinese
Chris OConnor:: RD: Do you know anything about Howard Bloom and his books "The Lucifer Principle" and "The Global Brain?"
Genryu:: lol RD
Meme Wars:: What was the question that brought up Sagan and Medawar?
Richard Dawkins:: I know of him, but I am afraid I don't know much about Howard Bloom. Seems interesting?
Chris OConnor:: RD - We read both books here at BookTalk, and many feel Howard is not engaged in real science
Jeremy1952:: Just for fair warning: I think he's a nut
Richard Dawkins:: I was asked to recommend other authors, and I recommended Sagan and Medawar
Gluepot and Fatass joined
arcAngle:: I very much enjoyed Sagan's Demon Haunted World. The Dragon in My Garage, and The Bologny Kit especially.
Richard Dawkins:: Oh, OK J1952, I am warned
Chris OConnor:: RD - His idea is that group selection is as important as genes
Chris OConnor:: omg Gluepot!
conanlee:: Cosmos!
Meme Wars:: Richard, do you still have any outstanding life-goal to accomplish? And what issues burn within you?
Gluepot and Fatass:: I overslept
cinnamon321:: :D Jeremy---I sort of agree on Bloom not doing real science.
Jeremy1952:: Thanks! Few authors have made as many good recommendations as you have, Dr. Dawkins.
Chris OConnor:: LOL
Richard Dawkins:: Oh, I am not so keen on Group Selection
Jeremy1952:: I just finished Miller, "Mating Mind" on your recommendation
Richard Dawkins:: Matt Ridley, Mark Ridley
Richard Dawkins:: Geoffrey Miller is very good
Chris OConnor:: I love reading Desmond Morris
Richard Dawkins:: Helena Cronin: The Ant and the Peacock, beautifully written
Chris OConnor:: "The Naked Ape" is a fav
cinnamon321:: I believe Matt Ridley has a new book out on Nature vs. Nurture.
Jeremy1952:: I'm in the middle of "Nature Via Nurture (Ridley); you got me started on him, too.
Chris OConnor:: Wow, we have some great recommendations here
Richard Dawkins:: Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett
Richard Dawkins:: Susan Blackmore
Meme Wars:: I enjoyed the "Naked Ape" gee, that was ages ago!
Chris OConnor:: Daniel Dennett is who you suggested next Jeremy...right?
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, Naked Ape, around 1967
Meme Wars:: So Dawkins, any life goals left?
Jeremy1952:: NOT VERSUS CINNAMON!
Chris OConnor:: If I ever win the lottery I'll go back to school for science
Jeremy1952:: VIA!
Chris OConnor:: Wake up Tim
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, you make me feel so old
Chris OConnor:: haha
Meme Wars:: You're the same age as my parents!
cinnamon321:: Yeah, Jeremy...LOL...my memory ain't so hot. Its been stuffed with statistics homework.
Jeremy1952:: Oh yes, I forgot about Blackmore. I ran out and read "Meme Machine" as soon as you mentioned it
Chris OConnor:: Meme - ummm....shhhhhh
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about the anti-science trend of thought ?
Meme Wars:: I'm 45, my dad born 1940, Mom 1942.
Jeremy1952:: Holy heck, Meme. My dad was born in oh seven
ZombieHatesYou:: *feels terribly young*
Meme Wars:: I do admit, I was surprised by your age. You do look so young. What year were those pictures taken, anyway?
Genryu:: lol
Richard Dawkins:: conanlee, do you think there is a worldwide anti-science trend?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I have met you and you're young physically and otherwise.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia joined
Gluepot and Fatass:: He has a secret elixir of youth he's hiding?
conanlee:: well, I think so
Richard Dawkins:: I think there maybe a trend in America, perhaps driven by the religious right
Chris OConnor:: Michael! Welcome
Jeremy1952:: Nature via Nurture is a fabulous, fabulous book. Ridley is following up on many of the ideas in
ZombieHatesYou:: huahua!
Genryu:: i honestly think there is at least here in Europe
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi Chris...for some reason I thought it was at 10 Pacific
Chris OConnor:: RD can dance.
Chris OConnor:: ...too
Chris OConnor:: lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: hi zombie
conanlee:: at least I find them in us, uk and china
Jeremy1952:: Extended Phenotype, with specifics.... the actual genetic pathways from one organism to another
Richard Dawkins:: Where are you Genryu?
Jeremy1952:: have been traced , are bieng worked out
Genryu:: in the UK RD
Meme Wars:: Neighbors?
Chris OConnor:: RD: I asked earlier but I think my message was one that got lost. Any opinions on the origins of life? ...and also life elsewhere in the cosmos?
Jeremy1952:: Dr. Dawkins asserts that SJ Gould was a better writer than himself; I always disagreed... Dawkins has been my
Jeremy1952:: favorite, until I ran across Ridley.
Meme Wars:: So do you, Dawkins, have any other burning issues or passions, other than science?
ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: I tried reminding you in Rel:1 earlier, but you did not pay attention to me. *sniffs*
Richard Dawkins:: Sex
conanlee:: there're something similar in China
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: zombie--I didn't notice, sorry
Jeremy1952:: Lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I was multitasking
cinnamon321:: I don't think that there is a worldwide anti-science movement. But I do think that a lot of science is molded and researched is changed to support political and religious ideals. This often makes it harder for scientists to be heard.
ZombieHatesYou:: You always are.
arcAngle:: :snicker:
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - I agree. Not that I didn't like Gould as a writer, but I always felt Gould was too high on himself.
Meme Wars::
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think there is an anti-intellectual movement
conanlee:: just like "social text"
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: or a social pattern that attacks intellectuals from time to time
Chris OConnor:: I think there has always been an anti-intellectual movement.
Chris OConnor:: Its called religion.
Jeremy1952:: I never noticed that about Gould himself; but Dr. Dawkins has asserted several times that Gould is the better writer
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Chris, yes, but lately it's been worse, like anti-Semitism
Chris OConnor:: Ahh
Richard Dawkins:: I have never asserted, as far as I can remember, that Gould is a better writer
Meme Wars:: To me, religion is nothing more than a subset of culture.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Good, because he is not.
Gluepot and Fatass:: There has always been a anti-rational movement in philosophy--nominalism...or now postmodernism as its called
Meme Wars:: Tradition.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I see some properties of religion in all groups that close ranks when challenged
cinnamon321:: I agree meme.
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about "two-culture"?
Chris OConnor:: Conan - what is that?
Genryu:: including scientists Michael?
Richard Dawkins:: conan means C P Snow's lecture The Two Cultures
arcAngle:: My time is up. Thanks again RD. I enjoyed meeting you very much.
conanlee:: does this concept really exist?
arcAngle:: See everyone later.
Richard Dawkins:: OK, thanks for talking to me
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: gen--often
arcAngle left
Genryu:: see now that could be endless Conanleee lol
conanlee:: yes, Snow's "two culture"
Richard Dawkins:: John Brockman, NY literary agent, has founded The Third Culture
Meme Wars:: People are raised in culture, then as adults, their minds turn to cement.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: most groups of humans have an "establishment" that marginalizes whatever it sees as incompatible
conanlee:: I have read the third culture
cinnamon321:: Some people rise above their own culture when they are exposed to new and different things.
Jeremy1952:: Sorry I misunderstood, then
Richard Dawkins:: The Third Culture includes many of the authors we were mentioning earlier
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: there may also be a rural vs. cities vibe
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: cities represent mixing of boundaries
Meme Wars:: I believe I have seen that web site on the Third Culture.
Richard Dawkins:: Glossolalia, how did you get your name?
Gluepot and Fatass:: sounds *vaguely* familiar to the Lucifer Principle...
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Richard--after the talking heads album
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: and a ninja turtle
cinnamon321:: I've been to the third culture too.
Richard Dawkins:: Have you looked up what it means?
Chris OConnor:: Tim - I guess he didn't recognize the name.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the talking heads album is "speaking in tongues"
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, speaking in tongues
conanlee left
Chris OConnor:: Michael has the hardest to pronounce name of anyone in any chat room...this was his goal I suppose
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I wrote poetry that resembled glossolalia on LSD some years ago
Gluepot and Fatass:: lol
conanlee joined
ZombieHatesYou:: *used to experiment with echolalia in high school and annoy everyone around her to bits*
cinnamon321:: Actually I think Michaels name is one of the easiest to pronounce (for me at least)
cinnamon321:: wb
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: lol zombie!
conanlee:: java killed me...
Genryu:: interesting link here on The Third Culture:
Genryu:: www.edge.org/3rd_culture/
ZombieHatesYou:: *grins*
Richard Dawkins:: Gluepot and Fatass, how did you get your name?
Richard Dawkins:: The edge website is excellent
cinnamon321:: lol Richard
Gluepot and Fatass:: Michaels name flow's right of the tongue...so to speak, hehe
Meme Wars:: Dr. Dawkins, what do you consider as the largest problem the world has to face?
Chris OConnor:: ROFL
Chris OConnor:: Oh, RD, ROFL means Rolling On Floor Laughing
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I think one of the largest problems is religion
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think mutual suspicion and projection of suppressed unconscious traits onto others is the biggest problem
Chris OConnor:: That was my doing
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: which includes religion
Gluepot and Fatass:: I was trying not to offend British sensibilities so chose something discrete
cinnamon321:: Yeah Michael
Richard Dawkins:: discreet
cinnamon321:: LOL Gluepot!
Genryu:: isn't the idea of an omnipotent creator god itself the ultimate projection of aspects of self Michael?
Gluepot and Fatass:: (Chris told me to actually)
Chris OConnor:: hehe
conanlee:: scientism, Richard, some people like to criticize "scientism", what do you think about it?
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: not religion by itself, but the group traits that religion represents for many of us...the targeting of anyone different etc.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: genryu--yes
Richard Dawkins:: Scientism means overweaning faith in science
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: you can probably tell a thing or two about people by what traits they assign their god
Chris OConnor:: Overweaning?
cinnamon321:: Now Chris...what are you doing telling people to use names like Gluepot and Fatass? LMAO
Meme Wars:: I see the largest is "Tragedy of the Commons" especially when referred to overpopulation. But of course, resistance leads me to the stone wall of religion.
Richard Dawkins:: It is true that scientism can go too far. But it is greatly preferable to the opposite: overweaning mistrust of science
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: meme--yes, definitely
Chris OConnor:: Cinnamon - I'll explain later
conanlee:: but some people consider Sagan as scientism...
Richard Dawkins:: Tragedy of the Commons is a deep problem
cinnamon321:: I was kidding....I think you already explained to me anyway.
Chris OConnor:: I've never heard of scientism
Chris OConnor:: Ahh
Richard Dawkins:: Scientism is mostly used as a way of badmouthing science. Like Reductionism and Determinism
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "scientism" is probably an epithet like "liberal"
Chris OConnor:: I put Sagan and Professor Dawkins in the same category....bringing the beauty of science to lay people
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: something not really bad, but made to sound bad
Genryu:: it's interesting to see how the term liberal is becoming a dirty word
Richard Dawkins:: Thank you Chris. That is a real compliment
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Genryu--it took years of coordinated attacks to do that
Richard Dawkins:: Who says liberal is a dirty word?
Richard Dawkins:: Who do you meet?
Chris OConnor:: RD - And it is meant as such. So many people would not know a think about ourn species evolution had it not been for your writing.
conanlee:: even more: "scientism" E.O Wilson
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Richard--I see "liberal" used as often as "communist" or "terrorist" to attack people in chat rooms
cinnamon321:: Every time I'm around certain people I know they like to refer to liberals as ****ing liberals, and anyone who disagrees with them is a liberal lol
conanlee:: this made me sick
Chris OConnor:: Not just our species...you write on so much more.

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sat Jul 12, 2003 11:45 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: cinnamon--yep
Genryu:: yes as Michael says and other examples
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if you are in a group that sees liberals as acceptable, you're lucky
Meme Wars:: Well, as of now due to the passing of Asimov and Sagan, you are now at my lonely top of the list. That is why I asked you to include other names.
Richard Dawkins:: Cinnamon, you need to choose better friends
Genryu:: lol
cinnamon321:: They're not friends...just people in my classes.
Richard Dawkins:: Meme Wars, I think Pinker belongs on your list
cinnamon321:: Pinkers books will be classics someday I think.
Chris OConnor:: RD - That makes me feel good...knowing we read Pinker next.
Richard Dawkins:: How old are your friends who think liberal is a dirty word?
Meme Wars:: Well, I have included Pinker just recently.
cinnamon321:: Anywhere from 20-50
Gluepot and Fatass:: Richard, which books would you recommend on POSTMODERNISM?
Chris OConnor:: Tim!!!! Oh no....
ZombieHatesYou:: I read an interesting article in a paper here ( I can't remember which it was, sorry) about the 'new conservatives' in America...college kids dressing like how liberals are supposed to look, or something, and running around furthering extreme conservative views.
Richard Dawkins:: I don't think postmodernism exists
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: zombie--I read that one
Chris OConnor:: RD - Gluepot (aka Tim) is our resident postmodernist
ZombieHatesYou:: I got worried, Michael. How will I tell the tree huggers from the gay bashers if they all dress the same?
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "postmodernism" is almost an epithet now, meaning "relativity in all things and no firm standard"
Meme Wars:: I live in a very liberal state (Washington State, home of Seattle) and even there the conservative environment is taking over. Liberal here even has a bad name.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: lol zombie
Genryu:: that's just bizarre Zombie lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: meme--me too
Gluepot and Fatass:: Many do though, and I think its important to understand the arguments....I don't think I have a good enough grasp on them.
ZombieHatesYou:: Twas, Genryu. I saved the article. I'll mail it to you.
cinnamon321:: I prefer moderate above liberal and conservative.
Chris OConnor:: Gluepot - and you very well never have a grasp on them. They are extremely slippery.
Genryu:: those I've come across RD are mostly young but from all ages groups
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, moderte is OK
Chris OConnor:: Cinnamon - me too
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: moderate is "liberal" now. "Liberal" is "communist".
Genryu:: tell them the tree's male Zombie
conanlee:: Richard, could I have your email address? Mine is planet03@163.com or conanlee@263.net
Chris OConnor:: I am considered a moderate. I'm socially liberal and financially conservative...
Meme Wars:: Same here Chris.
Chris OConnor:: Conan - I'm not sure posting that in this chat room would be in his next interest
Genryu:: Conan maybe it's not a good idea to do that in open chat
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu: Would certainly cut down on the rampant dendriphyllia around here.
Genryu:: lol Zombie#
cinnamon321:: Some ways I'm socially liberal....
Gluepot and Fatass:: deni...what?
Richard Dawkins:: dendrophilia
ZombieHatesYou:: Eh...tree fornicating.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'm liberal except with food. I'm a picky eater.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or however you spell it.
cinnamon321:: lol Michael
Chris OConnor:: LOL Michael
Gluepot and Fatass:: is that more glossolalia?
ZombieHatesYou:: It's early. I woke up special to be here. Leave me alone. :P
Genryu:: lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I almost missed this chat cos I thought it was 10 pacific
Meme Wars:: Atheism--my discomfort with the word is it is secondary to theism and has no meaning without first the word theism to refer to.
Chris OConnor:: I have always felt the conservatives have a better grasp on national defense
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, you have a point MW
Meme Wars:: The superior position is no position at all.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'm not so sure, Chris
ZombieHatesYou:: That's what you get for not paying attention to my expostulations in chat, Michael. You must hang on my every word.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: sorry zombs
ZombieHatesYou:: You ought to be. *nods solemnly*
Hyanxiety joined
Meme Wars:: When someone else states a position, the ball is in their court to prove their position.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: look both ways before you expostulate
Chris OConnor:: I am aware of how Professor Dawkins feels about the war/slaughter
Genryu:: they invented the concept lol yes Chris but the whole notion of a nation state has problems for me. It's an abstraction used to promote not always healthy agendas
ZombieHatesYou:: I always do. One can never be too careful with the expostulations.
Chris OConnor:: I doubt war will ever be eradicated.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: It seems easier to get people to sacrifice their time/money/blood for war than to make the necessary sacrifices for peace, even if those sacrifices are easier.
Richard Dawkins:: War is a lot less respectable in people's minds than it used to be
Chris OConnor:: That is one theme in "The Lucifer Principle" that really made sense.
Jeremy1952:: I'm not sure "nation state" is an abstraction. They seem pretty real
Richard Dawkins:: In 1914 war was thought to be glorious
Chris OConnor:: Hello Hyanxiety
Meme Wars:: I see Atheism is of no position and does not need defending, but unfortunately, definitions are assign and a position is postulated.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it's not that I'm against war absolutely, I just think we could make so much of it unnecessary with better planning and social involvement
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: war is still thought to be glorious by many
Genryu:: that's the problem with the notion Jeremy to my mind. There's no 'thing' there that is the nation state.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: war makes men out of boys
Hyanxiety:: Gee, I don't want to go to war with anyone, lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: it gives us a big stiff national self esteem
Richard Dawkins:: The recent Iraq war was supposed to be justified by UN and some sort of ethical and legal position. In practice it wasn't, but at least we paid lip service to it
Meme Wars:: In the Old Testament, Genocide was condoned and commanded by Jehovah, God.
Jeremy1952:: Well, take Great Britain, for example: is it real? You know if you are there....
Chris OConnor:: I am embarrassed to be learning that much of our basis for attacking Iraq was built upon bad information
Richard Dawkins:: Not just bad information. Outright lies
Jeremy1952:: When Tony Blair decides to send troops somewhere, they fire real bullets;
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think Bush gambled and lost
Genryu:: no it's not a real thing Jeremy. It's an abstraction that doesn't contain the reality
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: I think a lot of people knew that before we went in there...hence the huge amount of protest.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think he assumed there would be WMD and it would justify the war after the fact
Jeremy1952:: The fact that speaks for "great britain" causes real effects in the real world
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the last thing his people expected was to not find any
Richard Dawkins:: But Bush will probably be elected (for the first time) as a result of the war
conanlee:: Richard, someone said science is a "double-edge sword", how do you think about it?
Genryu:: sure that's the danger of the notion of the nation state
Meme Wars:: The USA could not hold out on the embargo against Iraq. We were having some oil shortage problems.
Chris OConnor:: RD - Yes
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Richard--Bush is in the "cracking" phase now. If he doesn't get another war, he could easily lose.
Chris OConnor:: Michael - you're probably correct
Richard Dawkins:: MG, I hope you are right
Richard Dawkins:: Tony Blair is in big trouble
Jeremy1952:: As well he should be
Meme Wars:: And Americans that are uncomfortable about the Iraq situation ar silent because oil prices went back down.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Tony will backfire on Bush. The British press isn't as weak as ours.
Genryu:: yes he is but I don't think he quite realizes that yet RD
Jeremy1952:: I lost my temper and told someone at work that Bush should be impeached....
Jeremy1952:: which I honestly think is true,
Richard Dawkins:: I agree, Jeremy
Jeremy1952:: But it isn't a popular position for continued employment
Chris OConnor:: I hate to admit in here that I voted for Bush. I've been a registered Republican for a long time. Soon I'll be Independent
Gluepot and Fatass:: The irony is, his bloodshet is supported most in the religious conservative camps
ZombieHatesYou:: Tsk, Chris
conanlee:: at least Tony doesn't prefer anti-science
Richard Dawkins:: What Clinton did with Miss Lewinsky is TRIVIAL compared to what Bush has done
Chris OConnor:: I know
Jeremy1952:: good point conanlee
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, Blair is pro science
Chris OConnor:: Blair has impressed me
Jeremy1952:: Before the stolen election and fake war, I already felt that the way the republicans here treated a sitting president
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think Clinton's sexual sins are what gave some people the belief that Bush would never lie.
cinnamon321:: lol regarding Monica and Bill
Meme Wars:: Yes. Trivial. Reason energy meeting was secret is because the Iraq issue was discussed.
Jeremy1952:: 'bordered on treason
Genryu:: is it entirely coincidental that we have two 'Christian' leaders taking the West into unnecessary wars?
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Bill was the "childish president" and Bush is the "responsible adult"
Richard Dawkins:: I don't think it is coincidental Genryu
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: the American public is governed by archetypes, not logic
Richard Dawkins:: Good point MG
Genryu:: yes that's what scares me
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'd like to see someone ask Bush if he believes in Revelation
Richard Dawkins:: The Rapture
Jeremy1952:: Is Blair Christian? I recall he declined to "pray" in public
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Because if he believes that WW3 is part of God's plan, I think we deserve to know
Richard Dawkins:: No, Blair is definitely Christian
cinnamon321:: lol....Bush scares me sometimes...he has done some things ok...but I think Bush is more of a representative of the mindset of the masses than Clinton was.
Gluepot and Fatass:: The more I hear Clinton speak, the more impressed I am with his ideas
ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: I can't even look at Bush and think about anything dealing with responsibility...he looks too much like a monkey, and can't speak properly.
Genryu:: he's a fairly open Christian verging on born again from what I've seen
cinnamon321:: I liked Clintons policies better.
Richard Dawkins:: Blair was embarrassed at being asked whether he prays with Bush. but he is Christian
Jeremy1952:: Too bad.
Chris OConnor:: This may seem extreme, but I am genuinely concerned with falling back into the dark ages. War is horrible, and with WMD we could easily cause a nuclear winter and regress culturally in every way.
conanlee:: a little strange
Jeremy1952:: About him being Christian, not about him being embarrassed!
Meme Wars:: Let's see. The rapture will contain mostly white women, a few white men, and hardly any one else. Something is wrong with equal opportunity!
Genryu:: lol Jeremy
Gluepot and Fatass:: Few know that Clinton is more of a historian than a politician
Richard Dawkins:: I think Presidents should be allowed to come back for a third term, provided they have four years out in between
ZombieHatesYou:: The born again bit gets dangerous.
Richard Dawkins:: It is only the advantage of a sitting president that counts
Jeremy1952:: Sounds right to me, Dr. Dawkins. It would satisfy the intent of term limitation
Jeremy1952:: One of the greatest problems of a democracy... maybe the greatest problem... is lack of consistency
Richard Dawkins:: Clinton for2004
Genryu:: now that would make sense RD. I could never quite understand why the Americans didn't just use their common sense and change the rules so that Clinton could be re-elected lol
Hyanxiety left
ZombieHatesYou:: We have common sense?
Genryu:: lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'd love to see Hillary become President. Ann Coulter's head would explode.
ZombieHatesYou:: Where'd you get that idea?
Meme Wars:: Clinton is young enough.
Richard Dawkins:: CLINTON FOR 2004
Genryu:: lol
Richard Dawkins:: I mean Bill
conanlee:: what about Al Gore ?
ZombieHatesYou:: I would prefer to see Clinton back in office, though I never thought I'd say that...lol. It's got to be better than Shrub. Shrub's made a mess of everything.
Chris OConnor:: RD - that actually sounds like a good idea.
Gluepot and Fatass:: I think we are fairly consistent in the significant issues....like war, hegemony, national interests
Meme Wars:: What's wrong with Gore? Too stuffy?
Chris OConnor:: RD - 4 years off
conanlee:: the former vice president
Richard Dawkins:: I like Gore
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think Gore got a bad deal. The press focused on what he wore and not on his ideas.
Jeremy1952:: I hear, Chris, fears of WWIII: but I don't' see who the other side could be. Russia is pretty much in bd with us
Richard Dawkins:: Yes
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Gore never got an honest hearing in the public
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: nobody read his book
Richard Dawkins:: Bush couldn't write a book if he tried
Jeremy1952:: nowadays, and there's real question if their nukes would even work
Genryu:: China maybe Chris
ZombieHatesYou:: Michael: But that's the American way. I know women that voted specifically for Clinton because he had good hair.
Meme Wars:: Well, at least with Gore we would sign on to the Kyoto protocol.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Bush's favorite children's book is Hop on Pop. Apt title.
conanlee:: Meme- nothing wrong, I think Gore is much better than Bush
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - In a split second we could have a confrontation with China and a group of other nations we have long trampled over
Genryu:: lol Zombie
cinnamon321:: lol zom
ZombieHatesYou:: *giggles...Hop on Pop*
conanlee:: you're right meme
Jeremy1952:: Well, I can't say he actually LIED in his book Michael, but there was huge failure to check sources
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - and our only hope with China would be to use Nukes
ZombieHatesYou:: Sure, it's funny...but it's also sad, because it's true.
Genryu:: mind you China's done it's fair share of 'trampling' too
cinnamon321:: I agree Chris---China is a dark horse.
Chris OConnor:: true
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'm not saying Gore was perfect, just that he never got a fair hearing, the press mangled him
ZombieHatesYou:: We are a media saturated country, assaulted by so many images...we end up clinging to the ones that look the best to us, regardless of what the actual content is.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: zombie--exactly. We're trained to do that.
Chris OConnor:: China is huge....and the sleeping giant of modern times
ZombieHatesYou:: Yep.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: advertisers know psychology better than we do
conanlee:: Richard, have you even been to China?
Chris OConnor:: Conan - any comments?
Richard Dawkins:: I'm worried about the amount of money candidates are allowed to spend advertising
Gluepot and Fatass:: We really ought to read some Chomsky
Richard Dawkins:: No I haven't been to China
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I wonder if it's possible to run a campaign online and win
Meme Wars:: Yes, and because China had the wisdom of the one child policy, it economy will take off.
Chris OConnor:: I would read Chomsky
ZombieHatesYou:: Without the advertising, the voters would actually have to think...and we can't have that, now, can we?
conanlee:: well, I'm wondering about how do you think China...
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: if you got millions of people to print out your essays and post them in public
Chris OConnor:: Michael - wow...excellent question
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I bet I could do it if I was old enough and crazy enough to run
Genryu:: so what do we have so far - themes of anti intellectualism, a politically powerful Christian right and an opposition that is dismissed as weak because of it's very liberalism
Meme Wars:: Ultimate Campaign reform. No adds, no pamphlets.
Chris OConnor:: Michael - it couldn't be 100% online, or you would miss out on reaching the lower income population
Jeremy1952:: One of the democratic candidates had a very successful online fundraising, raised about double
ZombieHatesYou:: This is how the world ends, Genryu
Jeremy1952:: what was expected
Genryu:: lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: Chris--you'd have people print things out
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: they'd know you entirely through your writing
Chris OConnor:: Michael - Ahhh...you have this planned out
Meme Wars:: A government pub would go out to all monthly, with each candidate having a say.
Jeremy1952:: Spend your campaign funds on handing out free computers first, Chris
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: maybe a single tv ad if you collected the money
Chris OConnor:: I say Richard Dawkins for President.
Chris OConnor::
Jeremy1952:: I think a computer in every home is more important than a chicken in every pot anyway
Genryu:: and why are candidates allowed to spend so much on advertising in the US? It seems the very opposite of freedom of speech to me
conanlee:: Richard, do you think nuclear weapons could be banned at least?
ZombieHatesYou:: Who needs food when you have the information superhighway?
Richard Dawkins:: I thought Bush promised McCain (spelling) he would reform that if elected?
Jeremy1952:: Lol, I'd certainly support him.... or even Blair! But there is that little citizenship detail
Gluepot and Fatass:: What do you guys think of Nader?
Meme Wars:: Reform what?
Jeremy1952:: Richard, Bush is getting around it by simply declining public money
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu: I think, like I said before, because we are a country built around the media. TV is everywhere you go, the billboards are huge, you never escape it.
Meme Wars:: Campaign Finance?
Jeremy1952:: The reforms only apply to those who take public money,
Jeremy1952:: so he just spends his own
Richard Dawkins:: Reform the amount allowed to be spent on election campaigns. McCain agreed to support Bush if he would reform that. he has broken his promise
Meme Wars:: Gore lost due to Nadar.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: promises don't matter if the public doesn't remember them
ZombieHatesYou:: If there was a cap put on the amount of advertising the politicians could do, then no one would know about any of them. We're not trained to learn without the television over here.
Richard Dawkins:: Nadar has a lot to answer for
Meme Wars:: If we had Australia voting system, Nadar would have receive his 5% and Gore would be president today.
cinnamon321:: To me Perot and Nader were political puppets used so a candidate would lose votes.
Chris OConnor:: Perot wrote some interesting, yet simplistic books.
Genryu:: so why isn't something done about health care, about gun control, about issues like that? There's a kind of obscenity about pointing the finger at 'terrorists' and fundamentalists and pushing the agenda of a country that can't even bring basic health care to those most in need and where those in power can virtually monopolise the media
Richard Dawkins:: Some sort of proportional representation would be a great boon
Genryu:: same here in the UK RD
Richard Dawkins:: Yes Genryu
Jeremy1952:: Massimo Pigliucci wrote a great article about alternative ways of running elections
Meme Wars:: Australia system has a person vote for all candidates and rate by choice, 1 top and then downward.
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu: Because that would ruin the American way...the idea that if you work hard, you win. Even though many of us break our backs forever and never get anywhere.
Jeremy1952:: some which sound much more fair
Richard Dawkins:: In UK the Liberal Democrats would benefit hugely from proportional representation
Gluepot and Fatass:: I agree, winner take all, elections promote a two-party system.
Meme Wars:: If your candidate was eliminated, your vote would transfer to next choice.
Genryu:: and common sense might be allowed a chance to prevail RD yes lol
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: social Darwinism seems to be the favored social strategy of those who deny evolution
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, Single Transferable Vote
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: irony is fun
Richard Dawkins:: MG, excellent point
ZombieHatesYou:: We all love irony, Michael...
Jeremy1952:: One problem is the situation of someone who prefers neither... Gore is a born again Christian, not likely to represent me
Jeremy1952:: And we've forgotten his running mate, a Jewish fundy
cinnamon321:: Gore is a born again Christian? Wow!
ZombieHatesYou:: I hope to see a President in my lifetime that's not Christian.
Meme Wars:: Our Senate is useless. Keep 50 Senator to represent states, and then have the other 50 candidates at large for proportional representation.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I don't think Gore is quite as likely to use religion as a political tool, beyond the usual "hey, I'm a family guy, vote for me"
Gluepot and Fatass:: The point is, he's preferable to bush
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - atheists will probably not have fair representation in politics for the next 100 years
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: a Buddhist president would be nice
Richard Dawkins:: Is that true about Gore. I thought he was far too intelligent to be a real Christian (as opposed to pretending to be one to get votes)
ZombieHatesYou:: I wonder if that can happen, what with the Christian hegemony we've got to deal with.
Genryu:: lol Michael but I'm biased on that one
Jeremy1952:: True, Chris
Chris OConnor:: RD - He is probably a faker
ZombieHatesYou:: There you go, Michael. Genryu, come over here and pretend to be American so you can be President.
conanlee:: Richard, how do you think about China?
Jeremy1952:: Well Dr. D, he was pretty open about it. And pretending to be one to get votes , you'd want to be less specific than he was;
Richard Dawkins:: Brights outnumber Jews tenfold. Yet politicians are terrified of the Jewish lobby and treat atheists with contempt
Genryu:: no I'd be intolerant of Christians and not spend a penny on defense lol
conanlee:: tell us your opinions
ZombieHatesYou:: *laughs*
Jeremy1952:: he associated himself with a particular sect
Gluepot and Fatass:: You have to be "religious" to get elected...an avowed atheist would be torn to shreds
cinnamon321:: With the censorship stuff that Gore and Tipper Gore put into effect, I could believe Gore is a born again.
Chris OConnor:: Gluepot - true
Richard Dawkins:: Yes, but WHY, given that there are more atheists than any religion than Christian
Jeremy1952:: Maybe we should use the anti porn laws that Tipper and Al love so much to get those disgusting statues
Jeremy1952:: of a naked guy on a torture device out of public places
Chris OConnor:: We will have a women or black president well before an atheist president.
Richard Dawkins:: There are 30 million Brights and only about 3 million Jews in USA
conanlee:: how many atheists are there in America?
Meme Wars:: One of the Democratic candidates deliberately left out religion in his speech. What is his name?
ZombieHatesYou:: Gluepot: I think that's sad. I would think that an atheist President would end up much more sensible and logical about running this country...take a look at what Bush has done regarding 9/11 and Iraq...turned it into this God thing. He even had to bring God into the space shuttle wreck.
Jeremy1952:: Well, Dr Dawkins, part of it is that "atheist" is an inherently negative position; Chris and I are both atheists,
Genryu:: damn good question RD and it confuses the hell out of me
Jeremy1952:: but our politics are diametrically opposed
Richard Dawkins:: If you count 'agnostics' and 'secular' there are 29 million of us. Brights
Gluepot and Fatass:: It's easy to sympathize with the Jewish lobby, atheists are stigmatized
Chris OConnor:: RD - We need 1 very charismatic leader for the Bright movement....to unify and bring Brights "out of the closet"
Richard Dawkins:: Call yourselves Brights
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: what is the Bright movement
Richard Dawkins:: Atheists under another name. To try to overcome the stigma
Jeremy1952:: I call myself a "Stochastic Newtonian Godless Jew"; but I must admit, "Bright" has a better ring to it
Chris OConnor:: RD - Are you assuming that role? Or just an endorser? You could be the key.
Meme Wars:: I'm a Bright!
Gluepot and Fatass:: I don't feel comfortable with that term--Bright
Richard Dawkins:: I'm a Bright
Chris OConnor:: I'm a Bright
Richard Dawkins:: www.the-brights.net/
ZombieHatesYou:: I dunno about having to slap a new name on an old idea to get people to pay attention to it...
cinnamon321:: Its just like the movie Contact when they don't want to send Eleanor Arroway to Vega because she's an atheist. That's the kind of response an atheist running for public office would get I think.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I'm a Dim cos I don't know what the Brights are
Meme Wars:: Even submitted a suggested symbol for the Brights!
Chris OConnor:: everyone...join hands and say "I'm a Bright too!"
Richard Dawkins:: I've just given you the web site
Chris OConnor:: I have the URL folks
Jeremy1952:: I'm afraid of it being taken as offense, in American jargon "bright" is the antonym for "stupid"
Chris OConnor:: So don't worry
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: That infringes on my personal space issues and sounds quite a lot like dirty hippie stuff. Please desist.
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - it is
conanlee:: I'm thinking about how to say "bright" in Chinese
Chris OConnor:: LOL
Jeremy1952:: Although it is true.... I'm not sure such a label will win many friends
Richard Dawkins:: Here is my Brights article
ZombieHatesYou:: Jer: Right...
Richard Dawkins:: books.guardian.co.uk/revi...12,00.html
Chris OConnor:: Conan - Wow! You could be our link to China.
Genryu:: it's a way of changing some of the 'baggage' attached to the term atheist Gluepot which kind of makes sense like gay for homosexuals. Interestingly though 'gay is now being used as a derogatory term by the very young who aren't even aware of the homosexual link.
Gluepot and Fatass:: I agree Jeremy...it is a bit combative by implication
conanlee:: Chris, good idea!
Gluepot and Fatass:: I would prefer something more inclusive
Chris OConnor:: Conan could help spread this meme to several billion people
Jeremy1952:: On the other hand, I haven't heard a better idea in the 30 years or so I've been looking -
Meme Wars:: Just because Brights usually display that characteristic doesn't mean you have to be bright to be a "bright".
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu: I've noticed that. I do it, too. If someone finds something annoying, they say, 'That's so gay!'
Jeremy1952:: And as with the gay analogy, we can change the meaning of the word
Richard Dawkins:: But you do have to be bright to be a bright, in our culture
Genryu:: that's so gay Zombie
ZombieHatesYou:: Oh hush up.
Chris OConnor:: Conan - You ought to read those articles, and we can discuss them on the forum "The Roundtable" or even in "Unweaving..."
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: blame south park
Meme Wars:: In our culture, yes.
cinnamon321:: I hear people say "That's so queer!" Or that's so Faggy.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "Dude, don't be a Republican"
conanlee:: Chris, I'll read them
Meme Wars:: Who would be fool enough to go against the majority unless reality dictates it?
Jeremy1952:: I dunno, Dr. Dawkins, I was raised that way. I'd probably be an atheist even if I was dumb as a dachshund
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "That's so Republican..."
Gluepot and Fatass:: I like Freethinker
ZombieHatesYou:: South Park will save us, Michael.
Chris OConnor:: Michael LOL
cinnamon321:: lol Michael
cinnamon321:: I like Freethinker too
cinnamon321:: I use that or humanist.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: freethinker is good
Chris OConnor:: I became an atheist after seeing too much ugliness in this world
Gluepot and Fatass:: Humanist is also very good...you can't be more inclusive and positive than Humanist
Richard Dawkins:: Freethinker and Humanist are both OK. but I'm giving Bright a try
Chris OConnor:: And spending too much time reading, thinking and learning about the natural world - this leads to atheism
Richard Dawkins:: I'm curious to see if the meme will spread\
Meme Wars:: Christianity is so irrational. I used to be a fundamentalist preaching in high schools.
Genryu:: well perhaps the truth is we can't always be inclusive. While part of me is uncomfortable with some of what I've read and heard about the term Brights, at the same time there is the possible consequence of being too passive in the face of a rising tide of fundamentalism, simple mindedness and anti intellectualism/anti scientific thought
Meme Wars:: But I also had a love for science and logic.
Gluepot and Fatass:: wow meme
Chris OConnor:: RD - Is there a banner I could put on our web site?
ZombieHatesYou:: It might just be my habit of improperly permuting things, but I hear Bright and I think 'Rainbow Brite' like the cartoon...sounds sort of like a joke...
Richard Dawkins:: Really, MW? What changed you?
cinnamon321:: For me, knowing a lot of psychology and reading about the brain causes a form of atheism.
Chris OConnor:: RD - a banner for the "Bright" idea
Meme Wars:: And the ministers couldn't answer my tough questions.
Jeremy1952:: Well said, Genryu
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I dunno if "Brights" would catch on in America, cos of the anti-elitist spin
Gluepot and Fatass:: Genryu, its true we can't but political efficacy demands we present the image that we are inclusive
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "oh, you think you're brighter than us?"
conanlee left
Genryu:: lol Birkenstocks and patchouli huh Zombie?
ZombieHatesYou:: *twitches*
Chris OConnor:: Zombie
Jeremy1952:: On the other hand, Michael, we can tell someone they can be a bright... no matter how dumb they are
Meme Wars:: What started me down the path of evolution was a creationist booklet against it.
ZombieHatesYou:: Patchouli makes me physically ill. I'd make a terrible hippie.
ZombieHatesYou:: Or a terrible Wiccan.
ZombieHatesYou:: Le sigh.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: jer--doesn't that imply you have to be an atheist to be bright?
Genryu:: well the main criterion surely is that people think for themselves and don't get seduced by the irrational
Jeremy1952:: <-- former hippie
conanlee joined
conanlee:: ......
Richard Dawkins:: Those creation booklets are so funny
ZombieHatesYou:: Jer: Well, that explains it all.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think "freethinker" would go over better in American culture
Chris OConnor:: If I find a banner I'll put it on our home page, which will soon be redesigned.
Jeremy1952:: No, it contradicts it . Or rather offers a new alternative
Meme Wars:: I, as a Christian who didn't here much about evolution thought evolution made a lot of sense, in a pamphlet badmouthing evolution!
Genryu:: lol
Richard Dawkins:: Well, Chris, you should talk to the Bright website people. they probably have some kind of logo by now
Chris OConnor:: RD - they are funny - up until the point when you realize that they are the sole means of "science" education for millions
Gluepot and Fatass:: The name itself isn't really what's important...the crucial point is the ability to ORGANIZE politically under one banner
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: someone should give out pamphlets on evolution
Meme Wars:: Yes, my grandfather smothered me with Christian cartoon pamphlets.
Chris OConnor:: RD - I will get in touch with them.
ZombieHatesYou:: Evolution is definitely not taught properly in American schools.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: "Have you heard the good news of natural selection?"
cinnamon321:: LOL!
Chris OConnor:: Michael! hahaha
ZombieHatesYou:: I didn't know a damned thing about it until well after high school when I started studying on my own.
Jeremy1952:: There's nothing like really reading the bible to make someone an atheist.... my dad, for one
ZombieHatesYou:: LOL, Michael!
cinnamon321:: Lots of Christians believe that evolution happened.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: true jer
Jeremy1952:: He told me he gave up on religion when he read the "offing Isaac" bit
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I like quoting parts of the bible to Christians who aren't familiar with them
Genryu:: lol Michael
Gluepot and Fatass:: Even the pope concedes to it
Richard Dawkins:: I have to go. Guests in the house
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: especially ones that quote the quran to show how evil it is
cinnamon321:: Or that evolution is a plausible theory.
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: bye Richard
Genryu:: bye Richard and thanks
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: nice meeting you
cinnamon321:: Bye Richard, was nice to chat with you.
Richard Dawkins:: Good bye, nice to have chatted to you
ZombieHatesYou:: I think the main problem is we end up with the creationism vs evolution debate when it really ought to be more along the lines of creation vs abiogenesis.
Jeremy1952:: Wow, thanks so much for joining us, Dr Dawiins!
Chris OConnor:: When I was 111 years old I was given the key to a private library at this place I lived. On the shelves was a donated copy of Darwin's "Origins"
ZombieHatesYou:: Be well, Mr. Dawkins. Pleasure to meet you.
conanlee:: bye Richard
Chris OConnor:: omg I meant "11" years old
Richard Dawkins:: Thanks, good bye
Meme Wars:: As a Christian reading a Christian pamphlet giving evidence against evolution, I thought evolution made sense. That is how bad a case against evolution they have.
Gluepot and Fatass:: An honor, thanks for coming!
Richard Dawkins:: thank you too
Chris OConnor:: Take care Professor Dawkins...Thank you!
Chris OConnor::
Genryu:: that says a lot Meme lol
Richard Dawkins:: Bye
Meme Wars:: By e.
Meme Wars:: It has been a honor.
Gluepot and Fatass:: /cheers
Chris OConnor:: Wer really appreciate you spending time with us
Genryu:: abiogenesis Zombie, sorry but what is that?
conanlee left
ZombieHatesYou:: Origin of life, rather than the evolution of it.
Gluepot and Fatass:: and what is dendrophilia?
Meme Wars:: You are my favorite author
Jeremy1952:: Technical term for the origin of life, Genryu
ZombieHatesYou:: Like, how did the world start?
Genryu:: aha ty Jeremy
ZombieHatesYou:: It's tree fucking, Gluepot.
Meme Wars:: This had been my greatest thrill!
conanlee joined
cinnamon321:: wb
Chris OConnor:: Zombie! LOL
Genryu:: lol Zombie
Jeremy1952:: Me too, Meme and Richard; I'll remember this day when my wedding anniversary is forgotten
Meme Wars:: Is Dawkins gone?
ZombieHatesYou:: Well, I answered less crassly before, but he didn't pay attention. =P
Gluepot and Fatass:: haha Jeremy
Meme Wars:: His name is still showing.
Chris OConnor:: He is still in the chat room...but probably doesn't realize it somehow.
Genryu:: your sucking up to fresh air there Meme lol
Jeremy1952:: Why, are you in a hurry to talk behind his back?
conanlee:: I think he is still ..I don't know
Genryu::
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - LOL
Meme Wars::
ZombieHatesYou:: Gossip hounds. I am ashamed to be in your company.
Chris OConnor:: Then again, this chat room is bugged.
Meme Wars:: Gotta get back to work. The place is falling apart without me.
Chris OConnor:: We have had problems.
cinnamon321:: Maybe he's coming back---I don't think so though.
conanlee:: Chris, do you have a chatting log?
Chris OConnor:: Meme - I'm glad you made it!
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: zombie, is this your first booktalk?
Gluepot and Fatass:: Did Sqwark ever show up?
Jeremy1952:: No Fatass
Chris OConnor:: Conan - I sure do. The whole thing.
Meme Wars:: Good Bye! It has been fun!
Genryu:: Bye Meme
Chris OConnor:: One person showed up named "Hyanxiety" that never chatted.
ZombieHatesYou:: No, huahua. I was here for the Bloom chat, remember?
ZombieHatesYou:: Be well, Meme.
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - LOL that sounds funny
Meme Wars left
Genryu:: mind you this chat has left me with some questions which is good
Chris OConnor:: I cannot wait to read "A Devils Chaplain"
cinnamon321:: It was a pleasure to have Mr. Dawkins here. He seems like a very nice person.
ZombieHatesYou:: I thought Glory would be here, Chris.
conanlee:: Sqwark ... that creationist?
cinnamon321:: Is Sqwark a creationist?
Gluepot and Fatass:: I can't believe I overslept...I knew I shouldn't have stayed up until 4:00
Genryu:: yes if a tad unused to chat conventions lol. Hope he wasn't overwhelmed at times
Chris OConnor:: Cinnamon - I spent a bit of time talking to him at the conference and he is veru friendly
Gluepot and Fatass:: damn SWG
Jeremy1952:: I hope I didn't offend him with the Gould comments.... he really did say those things; I guess he was being nice
Chris OConnor:: Not at all like Stephen Jay Gould
ZombieHatesYou:: Genryu: I sometimes forget how hard it is to follow a faster chat...
Genryu:: yes
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: dennett did a Bright article in the NYT
ZombieHatesYou:: Though this is awful slow compared to Religion:1.
Chris OConnor:: Stephen Jay Gould was an asshole. He was very rude to me.
ZombieHatesYou:: Good thing I type at 80 wpm.
Jeremy1952:: I found one of the quotes but decided it would be too argumentative to post it
cinnamon321:: Dr. Dawkins also seems very humble, that's unusual coming from such a famous writer/scientist.
ZombieHatesYou:: You had Gould in here, Chris?
ZombieHatesYou:: How did I miss that?!
Chris OConnor:: Zombie - as we grow it will have more and more people
Genryu:: yes but there you can iggy half the room and still not lose a single intelligible conversation Zombie
Jeremy1952:: He's not humble, just secure
Chris OConnor:: Zombie - No, I met Gould in real life and he was a pompous asshole
cinnamon321:: Ok Jer.
ZombieHatesYou:: More than half, Genryu. Curse Yahoo for torturing me with the illiterates so!
Jeremy1952:: Well Chris, I think this was a SmASHING success
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: Oh, goodness. What did he do?
Genryu:: lol
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - really? excellent.
conanlee:: SJG's book is a bit hard to read
Genryu:: Chris thanks for this yes and I hope RD enjoyed it too
Jeremy1952:: You notice he didn't' run out the door after an hour? Our guest was here 50% longer than he committed to! That's
Chris OConnor:: Zombie - He sat on stage during the question and answer phase and started at everyone...not saying a word. Then a minute later says "Well, its your time. If you want to just sit there that's fine"
Jeremy1952:: the sign of someone who wants to be tehre
ZombieHatesYou:: Chris: Sheesh.
Gluepot and Fatass:: Or of someone very considerate
Gluepot and Fatass:: or both
Chris OConnor:: Genryu - I am really happy Professor Dawkins agreed to spend some time with us...I wasn't sure if he would.
Gluepot and Fatass:: I lean toward both
cinnamon321:: Gould sounds like he had a major chip on his shoulder.
Jeremy1952:: It would not be inconsiderate in the least to leave at the time you said you would
Chris OConnor:: He is pretty big...and I don't mean physically.
conanlee:: Mr Dawkins is still "online", what's wrong with this chat program?
Jeremy1952:: He may have walked out of the room without closing the browser
Chris OConnor:: Conan - We have problems. I will have better chat software in the future.
Genryu:: perhaps he's afk Conan
Gluepot and Fatass:: no it wouldn't Jeremy, but it would be considerate to stay longer, even if you didn't have much desire to do so
cinnamon321:: Maybe he's still on because he's going to read what we say after he left...I dunno.
Chris OConnor:: Sometimes it says there are people in the chat room, you enter, and find nobody
cinnamon321:: Yes
Genryu:: that's religion 1 Chris lol
Jeremy1952:: Perhaps, Gluepot. I'll take it as a compliment to Chris
Chris OConnor:: Yes Genryu
Gluepot and Fatass:: Gluepot = Timothy Schoonover, btw
Jeremy1952:: I knew that, timothy
ZombieHatesYou:: Zombie = uh....Zombie.
cinnamon321:: I'm really excited that Pinker's book has been picked for our next selection.
Jeremy1952:: From your posts!
cinnamon321:: I knew that too Tim.
Gluepot and Fatass:: Wanted to make sure everyone was clear on that
Chris OConnor:: Professor Dawkins only agreed to stay an hour and he stayed about an hour and a half...I'm very happy
Genryu:: speaking of emptiness - I'm going to go and do less interesting things. thanks again Chris and been nice to chat with you guys.
Jeremy1952:: I'm looking forward to re-reading it, cinnamon; I planned to anyway
Chris OConnor:: Cinnamon - me too! Are you reading it?
Genryu left
Jeremy1952:: Nice to meet you, Genryu
Chris OConnor:: Genryu - take care
cinnamon321:: I read it already awhile back.
Jeremy1952:: ooops too late
Jeremy1952:: He did a "Jeremy"
ZombieHatesYou:: I ought to go, too. :) I'll tell him you said goodbye, guys.
cinnamon321:: I'll check it out again though. Refresh my memory.
conanlee:: Chris, someone tell me in America antitheist is not popular, is that true?
Chris OConnor:: I'm on Ch. 3 of The Blank Slate and loving it.
Chris OConnor:: Conan - I have never heard the term.
ZombieHatesYou left
conanlee:: Chris, I mean "atheist"
Jeremy1952:: For many people here, conanlee, "atheist" is considered a very bad thing to be
cinnamon321:: All of Pinker's books are well written. Very informative if you want to learn about psychology. He takes all the junk psychology out for the most part.
Chris OConnor:: Conan - in America the term "Atheist" is not always understood by theists. They do know what you mean when you say "I don't believe in a God"
Chris OConnor:: Conan - Yes, you're right. Many don't know the word Atheist
Jeremy1952:: Theists assume that morality comes from 'god' (whatever that is), and therefore that atheists are immoral
Gluepot and Fatass:: There are many theists, who by very nature of their beliefs must dislike atheism
Chris OConnor:: I am very proud to be an atheist, but I do understand the desire to find a new word without the negative connotation\
Jeremy1952:: Or, they assume that everyone must believe in their delusion, and therefore people don't really disbelieve,
cinnamon321:: Well a lot of theists call atheists heathens or heretics. lol
Jeremy1952:: they think 'atheists" are pretending, to piss god off.
Gluepot and Fatass:: Agnostic is a lot less provocative to the theist
Chris OConnor:: Atheists are in good company. The majority of top scientists are atheists or agnostics. I don't discount this.
Jeremy1952:: oops sorry about the jargon.. "piss off" means to "make angry"
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I still think "freethinker" is the best
cinnamon321:: Yeah, I like freethinker the best too.
conanlee:: do they consider atheists have no moral?
Jeremy1952:: yes, that is their assertion
Chris OConnor:: The people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the natural world are almost exclusively atheist/agnostic. This has weight with me.
Gluepot and Fatass:: The only thing bright has going for it, imo, is that it is a fresh and unblemished start
Chris OConnor:: Conan - Yes, that's a common belief.
Jeremy1952:: I think that is one reason why they are so threatened by sociobiology
Chris OConnor:: I do like the word "freethinker."
Jeremy1952:: We are proving that morals and ethics have deep roots in our biology
Jeremy1952:: which puts lie to the importance they attach to their religious explanations
conanlee:: It's strange to me. In China "atheist" is a common term
cinnamon321:: I think that the name Bright will be used as an insult or manipulated by some and used as something to divided themselves from the rest of the population in an Us against them because we are superior way. At least that's what I'm afraid of.

Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - to me morality is that which a social group deems beneficial to itself
Gluepot and Fatass:: I agree cinnamon
Chris OConnor:: Cinnamon - you may be right
Gluepot and Fatass:: Chris, I agree
Chris OConnor:: Morality is relative.
Gluepot and Fatass:: Morality seems to be justified self-preservation with benefits
Jeremy1952:: The Nazis thought killing all the Jews would be beneficial to their group... does that make it right?
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I don't think "Bright" will go over well in America
Gluepot and Fatass:: some thought so, and that is what matters
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: people will think it means you think you're better than them
cinnamon321:: Morality should be based somewhat on humanities natural tendencies in my opinion.
Jeremy1952:: Forgive me, but morality has been the province of theists and philosophers for too long
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: amen jer
Chris OConnor:: The only universality of morality is where things apply to all people. We can all die and none of us really wants to die. So we create the more about killing.
cinnamon321:: Yes
Jeremy1952:: We now know enough science to begin to find out the reality underlying our ethics
Gluepot and Fatass:: the funny thing is, philosophers have been denying their right to it for a long time
cinnamon321:: Yeah
Chris OConnor:: Jeremy - It is not about right or wrong...but about that which a social group thinks is right or wrong. Did that make sense? In Nazi Germany the people doing the killing probably thought they were doing something for the betterment of society.
Jeremy1952:: I think, Chris, these are questions that can be answered by research.
Jeremy1952:: Yes, they did
cinnamon321:: I hate to sound Machiavellian---but might makes one right with the masses. That's way religion is so popular.
Jeremy1952:: I think evolution is smarter than we are... I think we need to find out the purposes, goals that our propensities evolved to achieve;
cinnamon321:: *why
Gluepot and Fatass:: What do you think research can tell us about morality, other than it doesn't exist Jeremy?
Chris OConnor:: I will need to leave now to get ready for work.
Jeremy1952:: then use our intelligence to modify behaviour
Chris OConnor:: This was fun guys.
cinnamon321:: bye Chris
Jeremy1952:: Really Chris; kudos to you again
Gluepot and Fatass:: later Chris
Chris OConnor:: I need to copy and paste this whole chat to a transcript forum
Chris OConnor:: I am worried that this last section will be hard to copy.
conanlee:: why?
Jeremy1952:: Research has already proved that it DOES exist, Tim; what is left is details.
Jeremy1952:: And applications
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: I think our biological evolution may not have prepared us for the way we live
Chris OConnor:: If anyone wants to try to copy and paste it in to a thread in "Unweaving" please do. I have copied and pasted the first 1/2 already.
Gluepot and Fatass:: In what way Jeremy?
Gluepot and Fatass:: and how do you define it?
MichaelangeloGlossolalia:: we evolved in groups of 200 or so, now we have lots of subcultures mixed in huge groups
Chris OConnor:: I will stop chatting jow and try to copy the rest.
Chris OConnor:: Take care everyone
cinnamon321:: How we live is certainly a result of our biological evolution.;
MichaelangeloGlossolalia: you too chris
Jeremy1952: The foundation of morality is the instinctive tendencies that allow us to live as a cooperative species
MichaelangeloGlossolalia: cinnamon--but overcrowding and technology that we didn't evolve with
MichaelangeloGlossolalia: we have to adapt to our cultural evolution
cinnamon321: Our brains gave us the means to come up with the technology, and our brains allow us to adapt to the technology.
Jeremy1952: It's a major theme of "Blank Slate", so you'll get a better explanation there than I can give off the top of my head!
Jeremy1952: Anyway, duty calls...
Gluepot and Fatass: Jeremy morality must prescribe what *ought* to be, not was *is* or has been or could be, until it says with authority what we ought to do, it cannot be called morality
Jeremy1952: see y'all Thursday
cinnamon321: Bye jer
Gluepot and Fatass: later
(Jeremy1952 left)
Gluepot and Fatass: I think that we can find good, or better ways of living together, but I am skeptical if we can ever legitimate those ways a priori
cinnamon321: Right
cinnamon321: Too many ideals clashing
Gluepot and Fatass: at the same time, I don't think there is all that much need for an a priori legitimation, but we should not pretend that there is.

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sat Jul 12, 2003 11:47 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
I've already looked up a couple of things: On "What Is Natural" I found
Quote:
What, then, of the widespread gut hostility, amounting to revulsion, against all such "transgenic" imports? This is based on the misconception that it is somehow "unnatural" to splice a fish gene, which was only ever "meant" to work in a fish, into the alien environment of a tomato cell. Surely an antifreeze gene from a fish must come with a fishy "flavour". Surely some of its fishiness must rub off. Yet nobody thinks that a square-root subroutine carries a "financial flavour" with it when you paste it into a rocket guidance system. The very idea of "flavour" in this sense is not just wrong but profoundly and interestingly wrong. It is a cheerful thought, by the way, that most young people today understand computer software far better than their elders, and they should grasp the point instantly. The present Luddism over genetic engineering may die a natural death as the computer-illiterate generation is superseded.
I think the rest of it is in A D C, will look more later.


Science is neither a philosophy nor a belief system. It is a combination of mental operations that has become increasingly the habit of educated peoples, a culture of illuminations hit upon by a fortunate turn of history that yielded the most effective way of learning about the real world ever conceived. E.O.Wilson




Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:32 am
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Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Ignore this - I somehow violated an html code or something then double posted.

Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 7/14/03 2:16 pm



Mon Jul 14, 2003 1:12 pm


Post Re: Chat transcript - Professor Richard Dawkins 7/12/2003
Wow. I wish I hadn't missed this. Instead I sat out in the sun for my daughter's all day swim-meet. Her team took 3rd place in the 6 and under 100m freestyle relay. It's one of those "dad" things. Wish I could have done both, but I don't regret the decision.

Thanks for posting the chat, Chris. Any chance we could get Dawkins back for a second chat? He seemed to enjoy himself once he got used to it.




Mon Jul 14, 2003 2:09 pm
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