Richard Dawkins versus Richard Dawson, sort of (reprise)

York Minster

A different version of this article was originally posted May 19, 2008.

Since then my readership has grown and this article has received many page views.

In the thousands. I thank you Lord.

So, I represent this post with some minor changes.

Thank you.

I have nothing against either gentleman. Richard Dawson is a fine comic actor and host.

This is posted for educational and satirical purposes.

Quotes from:


World of Dawkins

'Religious people split into three main groups when faced with science. I shall label them the "know-nothings", the "know-alls", and the "no-contests".'

There is also room for persons who are educated in both science and religion. It is closed-minded to overlook such a possibility. This would not make someone a 'know-all', or 'no contest', but simply someone with education in both science and religion.

The link is dead now, please see:



A pejorative term for the concept that only the methods of natural science and related categories form the elements for any philosophical or other enquiry. Blackburn (1996: 344).


Dawson ff

If at first you don't succeed....kill 'im. (Family Fued)


"I suspect that today if you asked people to justify their belief in God, the dominant reason would be scientific. Most people, I believe, think that you need a God to explain the existence of the world, and especially the existence of life. They are wrong, but our education system is such that many people don't know it."

Granted there are religious people that are not very educated within religious studies.

There are also non-religious people not very educated within their particular worldview.

One of my complaints on this blog over the years has been the overall lack of philosophical education within the Western education system until University/college.

Christian theism can appeal to first cause philosophical arguments which reason that an immaterial, non-measurable, infinite, eternal, first cause created the laws of science.


This would be mainly/primarily an appeal to philosophy/philosophy of religion and not science.

As well:

Philosophical ontological (and related) arguments are secondary considerations concerning the existence of God within Christian faith.

Philosophical ontological (and related) arguments are for theism and not the neccessarily the Christian God.


Christianity primarily appeals to historical, Biblical revelation for a belief in God.


Dawson imdb

Richard Dawson: I asked you to name a time when people usually get out of bed. And being the Einstein you are, you said..."Morning." Our survey said...[Bzzt]

Richard Dawson: Zero. And then as if that wasn't bad enough, I asked you, name a time when people usually go to bed. You said, of course..."Night." Our survey said...[Ding!]

Richard Dawson: Two!


"...when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity.

A good point, but then some persons are educated in religious philosophy and faith, and do not simply follow the worldview of parents.


Children often grow up being taught the worldview of parents.

The worldview often goes significantly intellectually unchallenged by the children.

Some parents are religous.

Some parents are non-religious.


The worldview of children who become adults could be religious or non-religious.


Dawson blim

"It's all part of life's rich pattern.



"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."

Yes, some religious faith is not warranted. On my blogs this type of faith is challenged again and again.

Those who hold that empiricism and science provide the ultimate answer to all questions do not have all the specific answers on how this takes place.


Faith may be placed in energy/matter as its own cause.

As well:

Religion can be a cop-out, but so can simply following pop science philosophy which can in ignorance and without proper religious education, reject all religion as blind faith.

Anyone that dismisses all religious academia and its philosophical and theological complex workings as pseudo-academic is intellectually ignorant on the issue, and there are plenty of these people on-line.


Dawson quotations

“ABC has told me that a sponsor has complained about my making anti-Nixon jokes. I would just like to say that I believe Mr. Nixon did his best to destroy this country.”


"It is often said, mainly by the "no-contests", that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"

There is not historical documentation from many sources over many years from different geographical areas for fairies at the bottom of a garden.

There is Biblical historical documentation of approximately 3500 years of actual persons, from various religions who experienced God. There are scribes, prophets, apostles and of course the resurrected Christ who are actual documented persons.

I conclude:

The documentation would still be actual even if the Scripture contained some falsehoods, meaning a false comparison and false analogy is presented.

Definition of False Analogy:

False Analogy


Dawson quotations

“There were people I know that got upset that I kiss people. I kiss them for luck and love, that's all. That's what my mother did to me.”

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Dr. Dawkins

Mr. Dawson

Allan Holdsworth back with Tempest 1972-73. Back before he was stuck in his current jazz-rock tone.

Thanks Philip from L.A., for the image below.

The original email message suggested these people were Obama supporters, but for the purposes of this blog let us just state that these people are very poor philosophers.

My more specific suggestions are:

These people are under the control of aliens and are being sacrificed for the cause.

These people are hellbound and going to a plain literal hell on earth. Yes, some fundamentalists hold to that type of view on hell.

These people are cultists giving it all for the cause.

Have some suggestions who these people are and what is happening? Please leave a comment.

Interesting how they jump in, rather than walk in and fall like mindless Zombies. No offense Zombie.

The final animation is Benny Hinn at 'work'.

Academic follies

Big Sur, California

Firstly, speaking of academic follies, as I mentioned in thekingpin68 blog comments, Skubalon in links on his blog posted the story of a Christian in the USA involved in an academic conflict with a University. For my satire and theology readers/comment writers I will post the headline here. Please feel free to comment on this interesting topic.

Lawsuit Claims College Ordered Student to Alter Religious Views on Homosexuality, Or Be Dismissed

Secondly, I have a new and more academic article, a PhD edit, here (comments appreciated on that blog as well).

Consciousness and soul/spirit (PhD edit)

Thirdly, Academic follies

Well, I have gone over my hassles with Manchester more than once (see 'A good guy...' posted April, 2010) but other follies have occurred. Here is one example.

My first trip to see Wales, Lampeter, my new campus and my advisor was in early 2004. I was to stay a few days. I had been staying with my friend Documentary Man in Greater Manchester and had to take the journey to west Wales. See map below.

Well according to RAC and its fuel and mileage claim calculator the driving distance from Manchester to Lampeter is 157.07 miles/252.78 km and about 3 hours 24 minutes.

Having never been to that part of the UK, and having not driven on the left side of the road since 1997, I decided to take the train. British Rail had no direct route to Lampeter and so I had to take several trains without sleeping in order not to miss my changes, and eventually got close enough to Lampeter to find a bus that would drive me to the centre of Lampeter, from which I could carry my luggage to the campus.

This trip which started very early in the morning in Manchester took approximately 9 hours. I arrived in the afternoon quite tired as I still had jet lag. I had only arrived in Manchester a day or two earlier. I managed to find a main office that directed me to my room. I then cleaned myself up and introduced myself to my advisor. He stated that I must have been tired and that he would see me for a meeting that evening with a several other PhD students.

I arrived at the meeting that evening and judging from the questions being asked there was basically, as there was with me at Manchester, a fairly large gulf between what I had been taught with my first two Christian degrees, and picked up with my own research and what they had been taught within the British system.

The planned discussion which took place concentrated on the methodology of certain writers as opposed to the theology or philosophy of writers. There was more concern with the assumptions and methods of Biblical writers and those who wrote on the Bible and theology, than the philosophical views presented.

This was a different approach for the most part me, although, I did do some methodological work at Canadian Baptist Seminary at Trinity Western University, for example. But my primary focus was the views presented as opposed to how these views came to be. Having written my MPhil and PhD theses I do now have a greater appreciation for background information and methodology. There is plenty of it with my PhD although it is far less interesting for me to research and write.

Much less interesting for readers too, hence you do not see much of it.

It has its educational benefits. A concern I have with it is its potential abuse. For example, reading into Paul's objections to homosexuality in Romans 1 and I Corinthians 6, in that Paul was a single man, and perhaps homosexual and was therefore speaking against a personal struggle he had. This opposed to simply recognizing that Paul, or a scribe on behalf of Paul, had a philosophical and theological objection to homosexuality as sin.

All of the students it seemed, when presenting seemed to favour methodology over philosophy and I was thinking that as a result they all seemed more like Biblical scholars doing PhDs in Biblical Studies as opposed to one like myself who was a philosophical theologian doing a PhD in Theology, who has now basically become a philosopher of religion as well. I do Biblical Studies too, of course.

When my turn came to speak, I stated although I did not neglect backgrounds and methodology, the philosophical views were primary to me. One gentlemen from the Caribbean got quite upset by that and also by the fact I stated I used the historical grammatical method of reviewing Scripture, which would use some methodology by the way. This as opposed to what I stated was overly subjective methodological approaches that risked reading motives into the writers of Scripture and modern writers of Biblical Studies, theology and philosophy of religion.

The gentlemen insisted that I did not know what I was doing and would not pass at Lampeter. Now I had just done a 40, 000 MPhil thesis at Wales, Bangor with no revisions after marking, and so I was confident but realized, as I still do now, that I always have much to learn. He insisted that after the meeting he would get my email address and so he could send me some information on how it is done. I stated that was fine.

Admittedly, since these men (no women there, figures) were apparently more so Biblical scholars than theologians they were ahead of me in certain areas of Biblical education.

I then spoke on my work with the problem of evil and theodicy and basically received some pretty blank stares as if no one knew what I was taking about. No one challenged me and I seemed to gain respect.

The gentlemen from the Caribbean, which I deduce was a kind man basically, came up to me after the meeting and seemed a little less cocky. He asked for my email address and it contained 'grandfinale' and does one of my present ones. He then asked me what it meant. Here, I thought I was going to have some fun. I asked him if he had heard of Rush from Canada. He said, yes. I told him I was the guitar player and I did a famous solo called 2112 Grand Finale from the album All the World's a Stage. I thought he would see through my joke, but he did not and so I did not go out of my way to correct him. I think I implied I was joking, but I am not sure how clear he was on it though. I told him to feel free to email me with his instructions but I cannot remember if he ever did. He went on to state how he could only do the PhD at Lampeter for as long as his Bishop in the Caribbean would cover it financially and allow it. I thought that perhaps he was obeying the party line from the Bishop and was glad I had no such line to follow in order to maintain myself in a PhD program.

I mentioned the gentlemen to my academic advisor at a later point, and I was told he was struggling. I hope he made it.

Aberystwyth is apparently about 50 km north of Lampeter. Wales is a beautiful country, by the way.

I think I am a 'little' too young to have done that 1976 solo.