Religion

Dawkins takes on woo

We all know how Richard Dawkins feels about God and religion, but now he speaks out against all kinds of woo in a new TV series called The Enemies of Reason, which is on Google video.

In his last Channel 4 series, Root of All Evil?, the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins explored how organised faith and primitive religious values blight our lives.

But the fault line runs deeper even than religion. There are two ways of looking at the world – through faith and superstition or through the rigours of logic, observation and evidence – in other words, through reason. Reason and a respect for evidence are precious commodities, the source of human progress and our safeguard against fundamentalists and those who profit from obscuring the truth.

Yet, today, society appears to be retreating from reason.

Apparently harmless but utterly irrational belief systems from astrology to New Age mysticism, clairvoyance to alternative health remedies are booming.

Richard Dawkins confronts what he sees as an epidemic of irrational, superstitious thinking…

He explains the dangers the pick and mix of knowledge and nonsense poses in the internet age, and passionately re-states the case for reason and science.

Speaking about the apparent retreat from reason, PZ points out an interesting article about the Age of Endarkenment by David Colquhoun in The Guardian, and asks what we unbelievers will do to “let our little lights shine” — together, perhaps, to create a bonfire of reason instead of using individual twinkling candles to try to push back the darkness of superstition and religious extremism that seems to be engulfing our world. He asks “What will you do to oppose the dark?” A great question. I hope you’ll all read the post and think about taking action.

writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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