Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dawkins Uninvited from NECSS

Welp, that'll happen when you start making an ass of yourself on social media. Dawkins' science writing literally changed the way that I (and a couple of generations of scientists and science enthusiasts) looked at the world. The problem is in the last 10 years he's veered his public presence away from science and more into social issues and his often misguided views have come more under fire.
There's a line between being critical of Islam as a philosophy (which I am also) and just being hateful and judgemental towards muslims. It's a line that he's crossed in recent years. To be fair, not in an all-out Donald trump sort of way. I've always said that I'm critical of Islam (and all the world's major organized religions), but I'll always stand up for the right of people to believe what they wish (to the extent that it doesn't involve stepping on others' rights). I get it, violent Islamist extremism is a big problem in the world today. The answer, or the correct tactic is NOT suggesting the immediate annihilation of a belief system. The answer is what it has ALWAYS been: preaching tolerance. I know progress seems slow that way, but thems the breaks.
And more to the point of his most recent asinine tweet: There's a line between being critical of certain feminist ideas or tactics, and unnecessarily alienating the entire feminist community. The fucked up thing is that if you read his books, he has spoken often about casual sexism in society that goes oft overlooked. He even says in the tweet that he identifies as a feminist. So why then is it so difficult for him to understand how his words will be read?
Rant over I guess. I'd still recommend to ANYONE that they read Dawkins' science writing. Really, the man is brilliant in that sense. Just stay away from his twitter feed. What do you do when one of your personal heroes disappoints you? Take the good, leave the bad, and understand that humans will do that sometimes I guess.