17 January 2006

Richard Dawkins - The Root of All Evil
Channel 4 Monday 16th January 8.00pm

I caught the tail end of Richard Dawkins' programme last night. He put forward an interesting idea:

Yes, we are all going to die. That's because we have been lucky enough to have been born. With the enormous gene-pool available, it's a magnificant chance that each one of us, as we are, is here at all. So we have this wonderful opportunity to be alive, to be ourselves and to enjoy the world around us ... in the here and now.

The programme has inspired me to go back to his books. I read the "Blind Watchmaker" years ago, perhaps I shall try the fat "The Ancestor's Tale" next. Dawkins has written many books, if you'd like help deciding which one to try, here's a helpful webpage (although it doesn't list The Ancestor's Tale, published September 2005):


Hi, my name is Thomas Dougan im a 2nd year student at Demontfort university.

Myself and two others are currently filming a 5 minute doucumentary on sex education and abortion.

We are compiling a list of questions we wish to ask to: a local Catholic Priest and a GP, amoung others, in filmed interviews.

We were wondering weather the Secular society has an actuall defined view on abortion (pro-life or pro-choice) and sex education (how old or young should a child be before they are taught).

Sorry to contact you via this journal, admitedly, i dont even know what position you hold in the society, so if you do not wish to answer our questions, would you kindly give us some other contact details to someone who may? I would be most greatfull.

Thank you for your time.
Thomas, you've not left any contact details :)

The Secular Society has regular meetings on Sunday evenings at 6.30pm. You could call into the Secular Hall and ask people whether they would like to be involved in your film then.

The Hall is opposite Sainsbury's in Humberstone Gate.
"More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey."


dawkins on tv again tonight - bbc2 9pm
Dawkins's recent TV programmes have prompted me to start a series of pages, The Protestant Atheism of Richard Dawkins on my website at Protestant Atheism. Given such appalling bigotry, I don't think I shall be calling myself an atheist as such any more! See what you think.

Thank you, i'll drop in this week. If you have any other usefull information, then i should have left my email which is tea_doogun@yahoo.co.uk
The opinion poll cited by Jammus is worrying if it reflects the way evolution is being taught in UK schools these days. I hope it is due rather to the small sample and a poor choice of questions.

However, I am worried about the inarticulacy of scientists on the subject in the press. Just last week (26th Jan) the Leicester Mercury carried two long leters from young-Earth creationists, with an inch-high bold headline "Chalenging Darwinian theory" and "Reality gainsays Evolution", but so far only a short reply from myself has been published.

I could have sent a much longer letter, but assumed others would take up other points. And of course shorter leters stand a better chance of being poublished.

Why are the scientists at the two Universities in Leicester not aroused, or indeed enraged, by this sort of misrepresentation of the theory of evolution? Is it that they are afraid of stating something that will be just slightly incorrect because the limited space does not permit a full logical argument with all the evidence and cited sources?

With regards to views on abortion and sex education I suspect Mr Dugan will find secularists have varied views, since we encourage freethought on difficult issues.

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