Home » Atheism, News » Happy anti-theist PZ Myers takes issue with pitiless Richard Dawkins over pedophelia

Happy anti-theist PZ Myers takes issue with pitiless Richard Dawkins over pedophelia

The anti-theist soap opera continues. PZ used to fawn over Dawkins, but no longer. I was surprised Dawkins didn’t even give so much as a tweet for PZ’s book, now it is apparent why — the two don’t seem to be bosom buddies anymore.

PZ writes:

I’ve strained to pardon Richard Dawkins’ many insensitivities — ‘dear muslima’, the missteps on twitter, the petty snits against other people — but his latest is just a disaster.

In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins, 72, he said he was unable to condemn what he called “the mild pedophilia” he experienced at an English school when he was a child in the 1950s.

other children in his school peer group had been molested by the same teacher but concluded: “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.

He seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children. He was a victim of an inexcusable violation; that he can shrug it off does not mean it was OK, or ‘zero bad’, or something trivial.

Should I have raised my children with such a lack of self-respect that they should have allowed dirty old men to play with their genitals? I would have wanted them to inform me, so that such behavior could be stopped.

Just when did it stop being OK for acquaintances to put their hands inside Richard Dawkins shorts? I presume it would be an utterly intolerable act now, of course — at what age do the contents of childrens’ pants stop being public property?

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/09/i-beseech-you-in-the-bowels-of-christ-please-stop

Dawkins can’t find it in himself to condemn adultery (in fact he promotes adultery and lying about it) or mild pedophilia. He ignores the terrorism of animal rights activists in his own back yard, but he’ll fume over someone accepting the idea of a Designer.

See: Dawkins Still MIA.

dawkins alf

panda

NOTES:
1. HT Mike Gene

2. The anti-theist soap opera doesn’t seem to make the anti-theist movement look especially more rational than any other philosophical group, it only reinforces the perception which even atheists have of anti-theists. Anti-theists are Angry, Narcissistic, Un-agreeable, Anti-Social Dogmatists.

3. Given the empirically established anti-theist psychological profile, it is no surprise we had elevatorgate, Shermer’s cease and desist order against PZ, and Happy Atheist PZ Myers and the Creative Pooper episode.

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31 Responses to Happy anti-theist PZ Myers takes issue with pitiless Richard Dawkins over pedophelia

  1. Hola, just checking in on y’all here at UD. I recently skimmed through the general bio textbook at my school and found even more of a focus on evolution in comparison to the last textbook. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you guys are fighting a losing battle. It’s not a question of “if” evolution happened, only “how” it happened.

    Cheers

  2. Didn’t Dawkins support that absurd movement to have the Pope arrested when he came to Britain a few years ago based mainly on the pedophilia scandal involving some members of the church? With GOD, we can condemn such acts, with atheism, it’s all relative as Dawkins has just shown. Dawkins = hypocrite.

  3. I believe that Mr. Dawkins’ problem is that he has misdirected his unconscious anger about his abuse. I think that it is this anger, directed at the Church and at God that drives him.

  4. So, PZ doesn’t support rational thought!? It’s no surprise to me, really, except that he now admits it. Dawkins’ position is completely consistent and rational within his worldview. Deal with it PZ! Maybe you too can become a fulfilled atheist like Richard.

  5. Hi Sal,

    It may interest you to know that the sentiments expressed by Professor Richard Dawkins in his interview with The Times (September 7, 2013) aren’t new. Here’s what he said in 2006:

    Priestly abuse of children is nowadays taken to mean sexual abuse, and I feel obliged, at the outset, to get the whole matter of sexual abuse into proportion and out of the way. Others have noted that we live in a time of hysteria about pedophilia, a mob psychology that calls to mind the Salem witch-hunts of 1692… All three of the boarding schools I attended employed teachers whose affections for small boys overstepped the bounds of propriety. That was indeed reprehensible. Nevertheless, if, fifty years on, they had been hounded by vigilantes or lawyers as no better than child murderers, I should have felt obliged to come to their defense, even as the victim of one of them (an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience).

    The Roman Catholic Church has borne a heavy share of such retrospective opprobrium. For all sorts of reasons I dislike the Roman Catholic Church. But I dislike unfairness even more, and I can’t help wondering whether this one institution has been unfairly demonized over the issue, especially in Ireland and America.… We should be aware of the remarkable power of the mind to concoct false memories, especially when abetted by unscrupulous therapists and mercenary lawyers. The psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has shown great courage, in the face of spiteful vested interests, in demonstrating how easy it is for people to concoct memories that are entirely false but which seem, to the victim, every bit as real as true memories. This is so counter-intuitive that juries are easily swayed by sincere but false testimony from witnesses…

    Once, in the question time after a lecture in Dublin, I was asked what I thought about the widely publicized cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland. I replied that, horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing up the child Catholic in the first place. It was an off-the-cuff remark made in the heat of the moment, and I was surprised that it earned a round of enthusiastic applause from the Irish audience (composed admittedly of Dublin intellectuals and presumably not representative of the country at large). But I was reminded of the incident later when I received a letter from an American woman in her forties who had been brought up Roman Catholic. At the age of seven, she told me, two unpleasant things had happened to her. She was sexually abused by her parish priest in his car. And around the same time, a little schoolfriend of hers, who had tragically died, went to hell because she was a Protestant. Or so my correspondent had been led to believe by the official doctrine of her parents’ church. Her view as a mature adult was that, of these two examples of Roman Catholic child abuse, the one physical and the other mental, the second was by far the worst.

    (The God Delusion, Transworld Publishers, 2006, pp. 315-316; Mariner Books edition, 2008, pp. 354-357.)

    And here’s what Richard Dawkins said in an article in The Washington Post, (March 28, 2010):

    “Should [Pope Benedict XVI] be investigated for how cases of abuse were handled under his watch as archbishop of Munich or as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer?”

    Yes, of course he should. This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican…

    “Should the pope resign?”

    No. As the College of Cardinals must have recognized when they elected him, he is perfectly – ideally – qualified to lead the Roman Catholic Church. A leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds… a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence: in short, exactly the right man for the job. He should not resign, moreover, because he is perfectly positioned to accelerate the downfall of the evil, corrupt organization whose character he fits like a glove, and of which he is the absolute and historically appropriate monarch.

    No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.

    H/t: Professor Edward Feser. See here.

    And here’s what Hemant Mehta, a.k.a. The Friendly Atheist, has to say about Richard Dawkins’ latest interview. Mehta’s article is very well-written article and definitely worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:

    On Twitter this morning, Dawkins attempted to respond to his critics. He kept arguing that “mild touching” was bad, but rape was far worse. But that’s not the real issue here. The issue is that the mild touching, even though it could be much worse, must still be taken seriously because of the lasting impact it can have on victims. Dawkins didn’t treat it with the appropriate level of condemnation, regardless of what his own experience was.

    If the Pope said the same thing, no matter how he framed it, we’d all condemn it and criticize it. I think Dawkins would, too. There’s no reason to let these comments slide just because they came out of Dawkins’ mouth (or computer).

    Incidentally, the actual teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the salvation of non-Catholics (which Richard Dawkins alluded to above) was set out by Pope Pius IX in a papal allocution, Singulari Quadam, dated December 9, 1854:

    For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things?

    The American woman who wrote to Dawkins saying she was told by he parents that her Protestant friend who had died would go to Hell was evidently badly misinformed.

    On the link between changing attitudes to racism and child abuse, senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates takes Richard Dawkins to task in a short article in The Atlantic (11 September 2013):

    It’s very convenient to believe that racism is a relic of an unenlightened, barbaric past. But a good body of historical scholarship shows that modernism and racism go hand in hand. Indeed, you can find people condemning racism in the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and the 19th century. For a sliver of the 15th century, the city of Florence was ruled by a black man. Early 17th century Virginia was less racist than early 19th century Virginia. The myth of racism as a failure of manners is convenient because it conceals what lies at the heart of any system of exploitation–power.

    I don’t have the intellectual chops to extend that out to the history of children, and childhood, but I have my suspicions. At any rate I am very skeptical that if, say, Harry Truman was found to enjoy giving children a “mild touching up” the country would have cheered him on.

  6. Thanks VJTorley!

  7. AVS,

    I would be very enlightened if you can share specifics of “how” evolution has happened and as to why we are so lost in the dark here at UD. Tell us, oh wise sage, how we err.

  8. Unfortunately no, you would not be enlightened if I spoke about specifics of biology as the large majority would fly right over your head. And this also happens to be the very reason why the fellows here are “lost in the dark” as you say.

  9. Unfortunately no, you would not be enlightened if I spoke about specifics of biology as the large majority would fly right over your head. And this also happens to be the very reason why the fellows here are “lost in the dark” as you say.

    You’re full of it. There are PhD’s in biology and biophysics here and MD’s to boot. Engineers aren’t stupid, and neither are PhD physicists and mathematicians and computer scientists. Those are some of the UD authors and commenters.

    Here is evolutionary biology:

    In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.

    Jerry Coyne

  10. Who’s your PhD in biology and why haven’t I run into him yet? I’ve run into everyone else it seems like. And I never said anything about engineers, physicists, or mathematicians being stupid, you did.
    The fact of the matter is, that when it comes to biology, most people have no idea what they are talking about.
    This is because most people do not have training necessary to talk about the specifics of biology.
    Do I try to tell people what direction electrical current flows in? No, because I am a biologist.

  11. Do I try to tell people what direction electrical current flows in? No, because I am a biologist.

    Bioelectromagnetics

  12. I know we have to have a very broad knowledge base as biologists, but did you have a point computergeek?

  13. The point should be obvious to you AVS, just because someone is not trained in biology doesn’t mean they are clueless or uninformed or have nothing useful to offer. This is a classic case of “groupthink”.

  14. Correct, but unfortunately that’s how it works most of the time. Most people are clueless about biology, and to be able to talk specifics about a topic, you need to be well trained in the field.
    It gets dangerous when you have people with a very incomplete understanding of a topic, trying to talk about details of that topic.
    And that’s exactly what goes on here at our favorite website.

  15. AVS writes, “It gets dangerous when you have people with a very incomplete understanding of a topic, trying to talk about details of that topic. And that’s exactly what goes on here at our favorite website.”

    People who don’t know all the details of a topic might talk about it in order to more fully understand it. You do get that, right?

    Oh, and if you don’t like the atmosphere here, then why are you here?

  16. Yes, but on this here site Barb, they don’t just “talk.” You guys preach about how evolution is wrong and it’s so obvious that we were all intelligently designed. And to do this your buddies try to copy and paste scientific information that is very heavy on the details, which they then misinterpret due to their lack of knowledge on the subject and present to people with even less knowledge on the subject in a way that makes them seem like they know what they are talking about.

    And I love the atmosphere here, it keeps me entertained.

  17. Paul Nelson and Caroline Crocker have PhD’s in biology. They don’t post here much anymore to waste time with guys like you AVS.

  18. So you don’t have any PhDs in Biology here. That’s what I thought.

  19. AVS @ 16:

    Yes, but on this here site Barb, they don’t just “talk.” You guys preach about how evolution is wrong and it’s so obvious that we were all intelligently designed.

    And this is a problem for you in what way, exactly?

    And to do this your buddies try to copy and paste scientific information that is very heavy on the details, which they then misinterpret due to their lack of knowledge on the subject and present to people with even less knowledge on the subject in a way that makes them seem like they know what they are talking about.

    Sorry, stopped reading because I was laughing so hard. You have knowledge of every single person who posts at UD? You know for a fact that they’re uneducated? And your proof of this is where, exactly?

    And I love the atmosphere here, it keeps me entertained.

    Typical atheist troll. How very, very boring.

  20. I’ve been here a while, talked to most of your frequent posters and the guys who run this thing, and quietly read many other posts along with the babble that goes on about it.

    My problem is that you guys portray yourselves as a source of scientific information when you are far from it. No matter though, the vast overwhelming majority of people have never even heard of this site. I just come here to blow off steam and get a luagh, a few times at your expense actually Barb.
    =)

  21. AVS:

    It’s not a question of “if” evolution happened, only “how” it happened.

    No shit sherlock. We say it happened by design. Only morons buy into Darwin’s strawman that all opposition to evolution means the argue for the fixity of species.

  22. Yeah, and you can “say” anything you want. The question is whether or not you have the evidence to back it up. Unfortunately for you, there is no evidence that even hints at the existence of a designer.

    Also, let me tell you what makes an organism what it is in the most basic of terms so hopefully even you can understand:
    1:genome
    2:regulation of transcription
    3:regulation of translation

  23. AVS:

    Unfortunately for you, there is no evidence that even hints at the existence of a designer.

    Well there isn’t any evidence unguided processes can account for our existence, so perhaps we don’t exist.

    Also, let me tell you what makes an organism what it is in the most basic of terms so hopefully even you can understand:
    1:genome

    Not according to geneticists

    2:regulation of transcription
    3:regulation of translation

    That might be what you believe. However you don’t have any evidence for it.

  24. Sure, but there sure is evidence that wholly natural, biological processes can bring about the diversity of species that we see today from a universal common ancestor. It’s called the field of evolutionary biology, you should look into it.

    As you noticed, I did not just leave it at “1:genome” the inclusion of the the other two points is just as, if not more important wen talking about what makes a species what it is.
    I know real life geneticists, they would agree with me on this; the genome is a pretty important part of what makes an organism what it is. What you are referring to is the shift in a large part of the importance from just the genome to the transcription and translation regulation a well.

    feel free to ask questions, this might the first and last time you actually converse with someone who knows a good deal about biology.
    I don’t know everything though, I will warn you.

  25. Cornelius Hunter and Kirk Durston are PhD biophysicists.

  26. Please provide proof of your PhD in biology, AVS.

  27. AVS:

    Sure, but there sure is evidence that wholly natural, biological processes can bring about the diversity of species that we see today from a universal common ancestor.

    Please present that evidence.

    I know real life geneticists, they would agree with me on this; the genome is a pretty important part of what makes an organism what it is.

    I never said the genome was not important. It just does NOT dtermine what type of organism will develop and not one geneticist can refute that fact.

    What you are referring to is the shift in a large part of the importance from just the genome to the transcription and translation regulation a well.

    That still doesn’t help you.

    feel free to ask questions, this might the first and last time you actually converse with someone who knows a good deal about biology.

    I know many biologists, AVS. And they ain’t as dishonest as you are.

    So what about that evidence as opposed to your say-so?

  28. 28

    AVS,

    Can you provide a blow by blow account of the origin of any cell type, tissue type, organ, or body plan?

    Also, you should read what Kirk Durston (PhD biophysicists) has written on another thread on this blog regarding protein domains and attempt to render an informed and cogent response.

    That should keep you busy for awhile.

  29. 29
  30. AVS notes that there are three things that define what we call an organism:

    1:genome
    2:regulation of transcription
    3:regulation of translation

    The first is the genome, the sum total of genetic makeup that is inherited from both parents. Remarking on the Human Genome Project in 1989, George Cahill, a vice president at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, was positive. “It’s going to tell us everything,” he said. “Evolution, disease, everything will be based on what’s in that magnificent tape called DNA.”

    However, the genome project was completed in 2003, a full decade ago. We still don’t understand a lot about the transmission of disease, particularly prion diseases and viruses like HIV. There are no cures for many diseases.

    The second is regulation of transcription, a function of “the magnificent tape” called DNA. The catch is that DNA never leaves the safe shelter of the nucleus. So how can its genes—the recipes for all the proteins your body is made of—ever be read and used?

    Imagine if you were watching robots perform the same task as DNA transcription: this enzyme “machine” finds a spot along the DNA where a gene has been switched on by chemical signals coming in from outside the cell nucleus. Then this machine uses a molecule called RNA (ribonucleic acid) to make a copy of that gene. RNA looks a lot like a single strand of DNA, but it is different. Its job is to pick up the information coded in the genes. The RNA gets that information while in the enzyme machine, then exits the nucleus and heads to one of the ribosomes, where the information will be used to build a protein.

    DNA’s other role is replication. In reality, the enzumes that move along the DNA “track” (to use the illustration of a railroad track) at a rate of about 100 rungs, or base pairs, every second. If the ‘track’ were the size of a lieral railroad track, this ‘enzyme engine’ would be barreling along at the rate of over 50 miles [80 km] per hour. In bacteria, these little replication machines can move ten times faster than that. In the human cell, armies of hundreds of these replication machines go to work at different spots along the DNA ‘track.’ They copy the entire genome in just eight hours.”

    Truly a magnificent tape. But what set all of this in motion: what started the enzymes in motion that they assist with DNA replication? How does the nucleus know where to send the chemical signals to the gene in order for transcription to happen? Also bear in mind that scientists still hold to the theory that much of our DNA is junk, although they are having to change their views in light of new evidence.

    Where does the evidence lead? Imagine that you found a computer room in the heart of a factory. The computer is running a complex master program that directs all the workings of that factory. What is more, that program is constantly sending out instructions on how to build and maintain every machine there, and it is making copies of itself and proofreading them. What would that evidence lead you to conclude? That the computer and its program must have made themselves or that they were produced by orderly, intelligent minds? Really, the evidence speaks for itself.

  31. Thank you for proving my point Barb. You glossed over so much biology in that little description of yours that your average biology student would even be laughing almost as hard as I am right now.

    My point was that everything that makes an organism what it is, can be explained by the genome, and the regulation of transcription/translation of that genome. And my point still stands.

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