Talk:Richard Dawkins

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Good article Richard Dawkins has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Why are there so many pictures of Richard Dawkins?[edit]

Can someone explain why need more than one or two pictures of Richard Dawkins? We don't need five different pictures of him standing behind a different podium at a different university in a different year. We just need one picture of him today, maybe one picture of him in college or as a younger man. Pictures of him interacting with others are OK, like when he receives an award or poses in front of the bus advertisement, but honestly you people can stop uploading all of your personal photos. You saw Richard Dawkins, congratulations why don't you put these pictures up on your facebooks?Brianbleakley (talk) 17:00, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Can you provide us with a Wiki rule that says 5 pictures are too many?2601:4:1500:C90:9408:F5B:8F31:BA92 (talk) 22:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
In such cases there's only one rule: wp:CONSENSUS: we, the contributors to the article and to this talk page, decide what is too many. If we want 50 pictures, we get 50. I personally don't think that five was too many, but I don't really care whether it's five or three. - DVdm (talk) 08:46, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
This is another topic, but so-called WP consensus is the bunk. Consensus decisions are by nature almost always flawed. Blanket application of such inevitably glosses over too many important details and unique considerations. When it contravenes scrutiny and common sense, "consensus" does far more harm than good. It's also intellectually lazy, and I wish WP editors wouldn't use WP consensus as a bludgeon when folks are trying, in earnest, to help. Pass it along. (talk) 12:17, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Will do. Meanwhile you are free to set up your own wiki, based on dissension. Good luck. - DVdm (talk) 13:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Criticism of Dawkins[edit]

I've just reverted an edit that added additional criticism of Dawkins. My edit summary probably didn't give a clear idea of why I reverted the addition. I think the problem with the edit is that, with the material added, it is no longer clear which critic of Dawkins is making which criticism. Every criticism needs to be clearly attributed to the person making it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:23, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Is this principle, that every criticism needs to be clearly attributed to the person making it, explicitly laid out somewhere? I can think of criticisms arising from organizations, governments, and other entities that suggest the principle you're invoking is not necessary. BabyJonas (talk) 17:55, 22 September 2015 (UTC)


Citation 39 relates to the discussion of spandrels, not Dawkins own criticism of spandrels which is what needs to be cited/ supported. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BenjaminSchooley (talkcontribs) 17:58, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Darwin's Rottweiler, and God's too[edit]

The article used as the source for the title "Darwin's Rottweiler" mentions a book by Alister McGrath, titled "Dawkin's God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life". That book mentions "Darwin's Rottweiler" once, on the first page, which is about McGrath's personal encounter with Dawkins:

"It would also be some years before Dawkin's reputation as "Darwin's Rottweiler" would be established." — Alister McGrath, 2004

I added the book to the original news reference. I felt obligated to mention someone else's Rottweiler, namely that of God, in the form of Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, later Pope Emeritus, who was born in Germany in 1927. That title predates "Darwin's Rottweiler." Rottweilers are German, so the Goddog is probably why Darwin has a Rottweiler instead of one of the English breeds that might have been suitable.

It will remain a mystery as to how Darwin got a Rottweiler in the first place, and why God doesn't have a lion, spotless leopard, unicorn, or some other animal that doesn't exhibit as much microevolution as dogs do. Perhaps the Catholic acceptance of evolution has something to do with it. Roches (talk) 06:08, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Thomas Henry Huxley was "Darwin's Bulldog" before. Whoever invented the Rottweiler moniker did not need to think a lot to come up with it. --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:26, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Right, but bulldogs are English and Rottweilers are German. In the absence of God having a Rottweiler, perhaps Dawkins would have been "Darwin's Border Collie." By that speculation, "Darwin's Pitbull" would suggest a guard dog related to the bulldog but even fiercer, although pit bulls are American. Roches (talk) 20:47, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Cultural Christian[edit]

In a interview Dawkins declared that he is "Secular Christian" (Cultural Christian). — Preceding unsigned comment added by AlbertBikaj (talkcontribs) 20:11, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

No. He said: "But I am a secular Christian, if you want to call me that." So the queston is: do they/we want to call him that? And whether they/we do or do not, how would that be of any value—or relevance—in this article? - DVdm (talk) 20:24, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Views on multiculturalism[edit]

I totally understand why people may view these edits as undue weight, but surely Dawkins' criticism of multiculturalism should be included in this article? Especially as editors keep removing Category:Critics of multiculturalism from this article, due to this content not being mentioned. – Zumoarirodoka(talk)(email) 17:25, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think that a short mention with source would be okay, like you did with this addition. But then you added this lot, which was quickly reverted here by I am One of Many. I propose we restore your first sourced addition. Ok with you, One of Many? - DVdm (talk) 17:46, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with your analysis! --I am One of Many (talk) 17:52, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you both very much! I've restored the edition you suggested Face-smile.svgZumoarirodoka(talk)(email) 17:56, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
You beat me to it. I had an edit conflict doing exactly the same Face-smile.svg. Cheers - DVdm (talk) 17:57, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Richard Dawkins#Criticism of multiculturalism looks like rubbish—the ref shows Dawkins objecting to creationism in schools. Does the video show anything by Dawkins to support the text in the artcle? If Dawkins really objects to "multiculturalism" I would expect to see him say so in print. Johnuniq (talk) 22:24, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I've looked at one article used as a source, and I think a reasonable interpretation of Dawkins's comments is that he is objecting to both creationism and multiculturalism. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:58, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
The section has two refs: 1 and 2 (video), plus a tweet. I have not watched the video. Please quote some words which show Dawkins is meaningfully a critic of multiculturalism. Has an independent source made that claim? All I can see is the standard stuff—Dawkins objecting to schools failing to present rigorous science. Johnuniq (talk) 23:09, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
In the Telegraph article, Dawkins is quoted saying, "Teachers are bending over backwards to respect home prejudices that children have been brought up with. The Government could do more, but it doesn't want to because it is fanatical about multiculturalism and the need to respect the different traditions from which these children come." Again, the reasonable interpretation is that Dawkins is being critical of both multiculturalism and creationism. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:13, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
That reasoning obliterates the meaning of "critic". Presumably there is some encyclopedic purpose for Category:Critics of multiculturalism, and I would expect that people in that category have said something that is clearly equivalent to "I oppose multiculturalism", or where independent secondary sources have stated that the person is such a critic. The above quote shows that Dawkins is objecting to what children are being taught in schools, and he is criticizing the government for abandoning education. Where is the source showing that Dawkins objects to multiculturalism? Editors should not interpret the above as placing Dawkins in the critic pigeonhole—doing so is WP:SYNTH (original research). Johnuniq (talk) 00:17, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
That Dawkins is critical of multiculturalism is the obvious, natural interpretation of his comments - the overwhelming majority of people would understand them that way, and they would be right to do so. This has nothing to do with synthesis, which involves using multiple sources to draw novel conclusions. It is just false to claim that someone has to say something exactly equivalent to "I oppose multiculturalism" for a "Critics of multiculturalism" category to be applicable to their article. Your position would make applying such categories all but impossible in most cases. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:45, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
One passing mention of multiculturalism in a quote is not enough to justify putting Dawkins in that category. Without reliable secondary sources it would be original research and also give undue weight.Charles (talk) 21:08, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

It seems reasonable to mention some of Dawkins' views on how science is taught, but I am not sure it is appropriate to put him in Category:Critics of multiculturalism. He seems to be saying that the truth of science overrides the variation of other beliefs in a multicultural society. I do not think that the sources support that he objects to multiculturalism itself. --Bduke (Discussion) 12:05, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I agree with that. Perhaps we can keep the text of this edit, but remove the category, and replace the section header with Multiculturalism". - DVdm (talk) 13:17, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
According to Criticism of multiculturalism, calling Dawkins a critic of multiculturalism means he "questions the ideal of the maintenance of distinct ethnic cultures within a state". Does anyone know of a reliable source connecting Dawkins with that or with any of the items discussed at Criticism of multiculturalism#United Kingdom? Two sources have been presented to verify the critic text: The Telegraph and Video

Would someone more patient and trusting than me please outline how the video is relevant. The first source shows Dawkins objecting to the acceptance of creationism in schools with an extremely thin mention of multiculturalism. I suppose the article could have a "Mentions of Dawkins" section where the current news-of-the-day is listed, but the multiculturalism section should be deleted as WP:SYNTH until a secondary source asserts that Dawkins is in any sense a meaningful critic of multiculturalism. True to form, Dawkins is objecting to the presentation of creationism in schools. Johnuniq (talk) 06:12, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

I can't help totally agreeing with all this too Face-smile.svg. - DVdm (talk) 11:21, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the multiculturalism section is pure synthesis and should be deleted. --I am One of Many (talk) 14:19, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

Culture: “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time of an ethnic group”. [Merriam-Webster]

Multiculturalism: “the presence of, or support for, the presence of several distinct cultural or ethnic groups within a society.” [Oxford Dictionaries (UK)].

When Dawkins said “Teachers are bending over backwards to respect home prejudices that children have been brought up with. The Government could do more, but it doesn't want to because it is fanatical about multiculturalism and the need to respect the different traditions from which these children come”, it is abundantly clear that he was objecting to "prejudices". To accuse him of being against multiculturalism in its broader aspects is outrageous and insulting.Ericlord (talk) 15:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

I removed the "Criticism of multiculturalism" text. Would anyone wanting to add it please respond to the points raised above. In particular, what is in the video and how does it verify that Dawkins fits the descriptions at Criticism of multiculturalism? What independent reliable source has described Dawkins as a critic of multiculturalism? Johnuniq (talk) 23:26, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
I think your edits were a mistake. The category clearly does apply, just on the basis of common sense. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I asked a couple of simple questions which should be addressed. If something is "common sense", there should be a source mentioning it. Johnuniq (talk) 05:44, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
@Johnuniq, I'm glad you removed the text, not only is it WP:SYNTH, but I also think WP:BLP applies given Ericlord comment above. --I am One of Many (talk) 05:56, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
I too am glad it is gone. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Same here. The presence of the category and the section header were inappropriate. At most we could mention his criticism of the Governement's fanaticism about multiculturalism, but I don't see where. Or why. - DVdm (talk) 17:34, 11 November 2015 (UTC)