That is a bloody lie. I tried to persuade those children to abandon their belief in CREATIONISM. That is NOT the same as persuading them to become atheists. I was scrupulously careful to do no such thing.Well, no. At most Dawkins had grounds to believe that according to his view Meadon was incorrect. A justified assertion to the effect that someone is lying requires something else - it requires grounds for believing that they believed what they were asserting to be false, yet asserted it anyway. Dawkins had no such evidence, and although Meadon (who had indeed watched the film) has, on further watching and considering the responses to his original post, retracted some of his claims, last I saw Dawkins was still tiresomely insisting on calling him a liar. Dawkins has no grounds for doing so. Such evidence as is publicly available strongly suggests that Meadon (in general an admirer of Dawkin's work, which he follows enthusiastically through his blog) had absolutely no mendacious intent. At best Dawkins is bullshitting (in the sense of Frankfurt - asserting something for reasons other than concern with truth). I don't see any way to read his response where it doesn't turn out pretty mean, although the discussion continues.
I suspect that you didn't watch the documentary at all, but read one of the critics, such as Libby Purves, and believed her.
Please apologise NOW. As an educator, I feel extremely strongly about this.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
So there's a somewhat unseemly spat going on at Richard Dawkins.net occasioned by some criticism of Dawkin's new documentary by Michael Meadon, who earlier took issue with some of the pedagogy in the show. I thought that some of Meadon's remarks where a bit on the bracing side, but left the matter alone mostly because I'd not yet had a chance to see the film and so wasn't qualified to engage. But there's something here that can be remarked on without seeing the film at all. Dawkins responded to Meadon by saying (see the comment thread):