October 24, 2006

Richard Dawkins quote on the threat of the 'American Taliban'

Richard Dawkins's latest anti-religious crusade is saturating the media. I hope his name starts to carry the same weight here in North America as it does in Europe; I think it's very important to have a thinker and scientist of his caliber railing against religious irrationality as vehemently as he is. It's important because no one is doing a better job right now normalizing atheism and humanism to the degree that Dawkins is.

Here's a quote from Dawkins that I discovered today on BoingBoing:
"Does Bush check the Rapture Index daily, as Reagan did his stars? We don't know, but would anyone be surprised? My scientific colleagues have additional reasons to declare emergency. Ignorant and absolutist attacks on stem cell research are just the tip of an iceberg. What we have here is nothing less than a global assault on rationality, and the Enlightenment values that inspired the founding of this first and greatest of secular republics. Science education - and hence the whole future of science in this country - is under threat. Temporarily beaten back in a Pennsylvania court, the 'breathtaking inanity' (Judge John Jones's immortal phrase) of 'intelligent design' continually flares up in local bush-fires. Dowsing them is a time-consuming but important responsibility, and scientists are finally being jolted out of their complacency. For years they quietly got on with their science, lamentably underestimating the creationists who, being neither competent nor interested in science, attended to the serious political business of subverting local school boards. Scientists, and intellectuals generally, are now waking up to the threat from the American Taliban."

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