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So Mr 'Atheist' Dawkins, what's the full title of your hero Darwin's seminal work? '... erm, oh God!'


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So Mr 'Atheist' Dawkins, what's the full title of your hero Darwin's seminal work? '... erm, oh God!'

By STEVE DOUGHTY

He is a militant atheist and the country’s foremost champion of Darwinist evolution – and he was on the radio to accuse Christians of being ignorant of the Bible.

When the tables were turned, however, an embarrassed Richard Dawkins was momentarily unable to name the full title of his scientific hero’s most famous work.

In his frustration, he even invoked the name of the deity in which he does not believe, resorting to a helpless: ‘Oh God.’

Dawkins, the former Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, is a dedicated admirer of Charles Darwin, regarding the Victorian pioneer of evolution as the man who explained ‘everything we know about life’.

So his memory lapse on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme was deeply embarrassing.

Notwithstanding that the full title runs to 21 words, Dawkins confidently promised listeners he could reel it off – before flailing through a series of ‘ums’ and ‘ers’.

The dithering undermined his latest attack on Christianity – a poll produced by his think-tank which claimed that the great majority of people who call themselves Christian do not read the Bible and rarely pray.

In the broadcast, the 70-year-old geneticist said the survey showed that two out of three Christians could not name the first book of the New Testament as the Gospel According to St Matthew.

The controversial radio appearance comes at a time of fierce arguments over the proper role of religion

Last week a High Court judge forbade local councils to say prayers as part of the agenda for town hall meetings.

Another judge ruled that a Christian couple who run a hotel must not refuse rooms to unmarried couples.

The survey of those who describe themselves as Christian was carried out by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. It was designed to demonstrate that few people are truly Christian and so their beliefs should have no part in schools or the state machine.

It claimed that one in six Christians have never read the Bible, and only 28 per cent believe in Christian teachings.

On the Today programme, Dawkins said: ‘Many of them don’t go to church, don’t read the Bible, and an astonishing number couldn’t identify the first book in the New Testament.’

He said the survey had ‘pulled the rug out’ from under the claim, based on official census figures, that 70 per cent of the population is Christian.

The scientist’s downfall came with the assistance of the Reverend Giles Fraser, the cleric who quit as Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral during the ‘Occupy’ demonstration row.

Mr Fraser, a BBC regular, slyly asked Dawkins to give the full title of Origin of Species, afterwards saying: ‘You are the high pope of Darwinism.

'If you ask people who believe in evolution that question, and you came back and said 2 per cent got it right, it would be terribly easy for me to say they don’t believe it after all.’

Last night Dawkins’s failure was being widely mocked on Twitter as ‘an embarrassment to atheists’. One writer even suggested that the humiliation was proof of the existence of God.

But Dawkins said after the interview: ‘It was a dirty trick. Our survey wasn’t a trick at all. We gave people who said they were Christians a choice from Matthew, Genesis, the Acts of the Apostles and Psalms. They didn’t even have to remember Matthew, and it was just one word.

‘Giles Fraser’s trick would have been justifiable if the two cases were parallel. But the full title of Origin of Species has 21 words. I knew it perfectly well, and I got it in the end, but memory can fail, especially in a broadcast studio.’

* ANSWER: On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in The Struggle for Life

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101289/Richard-Dawkins-unable-remember-Charles-Darwins-seminal-work.html#ixzz1mRSQpWnd

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I think I would actually (for the first time ever?) have to agree with Mr Dawkins on that. A sneaky trick, really. Most "Christians" are woefully ignorant of the Bible, whereas I think most people, Christians or not, would at least know that Darwin's magnum opus was "On The Origin Of Species", or at least "Origin Of Species".

It really is a meaningless exercise on both sides.

I do find his expletive interesting for someone so adamant in his atheist views, however.

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He is right about most who claim to be Christians -

On the Today programme, Dawkins said: ‘Many of them don’t go to church, don’t read the Bible, and an astonishing number couldn’t identify the first book in the New Testament.’

two out of three Christians could not name the first book of the New Testament as the Gospel According to St Matthew.

And they were given this as a multiple choice question - so some of the 1/3 who did get it right might have just been guessing? That makes the number even less!

one in six Christians have never read the Bible, and only 28 per cent believe in Christian teachings.

Just a reminder of how important our World-wide preaching campaign is.

Thanks Sian.

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hello both

it is like who to dislike the most... Babylon the Great or Atheists...though atheism seems to be like a pagan religion...

Quote

Dawkins

one in six Christians have never read the Bible, and only 28 per cent believe in Christian teachings.

Just a reminder of how important our World-wide preaching campaign is.

that is a good point...

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It's not just questions about the Bible that people are ignorant of. It's embarrassing to watch things like "Jay Walking" where they stop people on the street and ask them simple questions. The whole educational system has broken down. Even teachers cannot answer simple grammar school questions. I saw a geography teacher that couldn't answer simple questions about places on the map.

I forget the exact number, but last year in the U.S. thousands of students graduated high school who couldn't read their diplomas! I think that more and more people rely on others to think for them!

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It's not just questions about the Bible that people are ignorant of. It's embarrassing to watch things like "Jay Walking" where they stop people on the street and ask them simple questions. The whole educational system has broken down. Even teachers cannot answer simple grammar school questions. I saw a geography teacher that couldn't answer simple questions about places on the map.

I forget the exact number, but last year in the U.S. thousands of students graduated high school who couldn't read their diplomas! I think that more and more people rely on others to think for them!

I love the "Jay Walking"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=er18Mh3Va6M

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That was hilarious, I've never seen that before. Funny, some of those pictures are hard to name...

Not if you live in the US.

I wish I could find the one where he shows them pictures of the world leaders and then Ronald McDonald. EVERYONE gets Ronald, but almost none know the others.

Of course his in California - so ..... :lol1:

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The Discovery Institute has this interesting thought on the Dawkins poll:

He [Dawkins] was uncomfortable having the spotlight turned on himself, of course. But as a thought experiment, let's follow up and suppose a survey that asked people if they accept the "theory of evolution." Of those saying yes, ask them the name of the famous book by Charles Darwin on the subject (not the subtitle, the actual title). How many people do you think would get the title, and get it right (On the Origin of Species). Then ask how many had read it? Rather a smaller percentage, I suspect, than those self-identified Christians who have read the Bible in full or in part.

A nice follow-up question would be to ask those who "accept the theory of evolution" if they can say what that theory is. You would get quite a collection of responses, many contradictory, I think. Ask them further if evolution was the result entirely of natural causes or if God had a role in it, and see the spectrum of concepts there. In other words, if you think Christians are ignorant, try talking to evolutionists.

An interesting article:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/richard_dawkins056371.html

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I liked these 2 points

"A nice follow-up question would be to ask those who "accept the theory of evolution" if they can say what that theory is. You would get quite a collection of responses, many contradictory, I think. Ask them further if evolution was the result entirely of natural causes or if God had a role in it, and see the spectrum of concepts there. In other words, if you think Christians are ignorant, try talking to evolutionists."

its like trying trying to find out ...what are athesist/evolutionists morals...you cannot get a straight answer

"His heart is much more in anti-Christianity than in any scientific case for Darwin's theory of evolution."

yes I think this is the case...

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