Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Richard Dawkins vs. Francis Collins: The Crusading Atheist and the God-Faring Scientist Go Head to Head on God

I picked up the current issue of Time magazine to see if I could find any entertaining quotes in a write-up of a Francis Collins (leader of the NIH human genome project/christian) versus Richard Dawkins (Oxford evolutionary biologist/author/hard-core atheist) debate on religion and science. Although there's lots of photo-ops showing the two of them looking like they're thinking really hard about the mysteries of the universe, it's mostly pretty diplomatic but still pretty decent. Although both men showed themselves to be strong debaters, no punches were thrown or blood drawn. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was that Collins represents the religious camp much better than the yahoos that Dawkins kind of bullies around in his doco "The Root of Evil" (which curiously I can no longer find on Google video).
Some selected quotes:

Dawkins: "What Francis was just saying about Genesis was, of course, a little private quarrel between him and his Fundamentalist colleagues...he'd save himself an awful lot of trouble if he just simply ceased to give them the time of day. Why bother with these clowns?"

Collins: "Atheists sometimes come across as a bit arrogant...characterizing faith as something only an idiot would attach themselves to is not likely to help your case"

Collins: "I don't see that Professor Dawkins' basic account of evolution is incompatible with God's having designed it."

Dawkins: "I think that's a tremendous cop-out. If God wanted to create life and create humans, it would be slightly odd that he should choose the extraordinary roundabout way of waiting for 10 billion years before life got started and then waiting for another 4 billion years until you got human beings capable of worshipping and sinning and all the other things religious people are interested in".

Collins: "My God is not improbable to me."


Anonymous Coward said...

It's a close one but collins seems to have the upper hand on google fight.

Anonymous said...

Ummm. Isn't someone God-fearing, not God-Faring?

Bayman said...

Ha. Guess it depends which God you're talking....Zeus?...(scary but very manly) Bible Old Testament? (do not mess with this guy unless you've got good flood/life/pet insurance)...Bible New Testament? (definately more of a hippie) Buddha? (seems like a guy you could have a beer with...)

Anonymous said...

Dawkins schooled this guy.

Dawkins is the fucking man.