Monday, September 10, 2012

Richard Dawkins - Playboy Interview

This is a really good and funny interview with Richard Dawkins here:

PLAYBOY: You often hear evolution described as “just a theory.” Is it?

DAWKINS: The word theory can mean a hypothesis. But the word is also used in a more serious sense as a body of knowledge. It’s better to use the word fact. Evolution is a fact in the same sense that the earth orbits the sun.


PLAYBOY: What will happen when you die?

DAWKINS: Well, I shall either be buried or be cremated.

PLAYBOY: Funny. But without faith in an afterlife, in what do you take comfort in times of despair?

DAWKINS: Human love and companionship. But in more thoughtful, cerebral moments, I take—comfort is not quite the right word, but I draw strength from reflecting on what a privilege it is to be alive and what a privilege it is to have a brain that’s capable in its limited way of understanding why I exist and of reveling in the beauty of the world and the beauty of the products of evolution. The magnificence of the universe and the sense of smallness that gives us in space and in geologically deep time is humbling but in a strangely comforting way. It’s nice to feel you’re part of a hugely bigger picture.


wunelle said...

I have such admiration that he's able to spend his elder years fielding such inane topics as atheism leading to Hitler and Stalin. And plenty of people swallow that stuff without question! So I'm grateful that someone will take the time to debunk this nonsense, though one wonders how much good it does.

Having said that, I think Dawkins' books have made a real impact, and at the end of his life he must surely be accounted as one of the great and influential thinkers of our time.

dbackdad said...

Speaking of great and influential thinkers ... Christopher Hitchens' 'Mortality'. I'm definitely going to have to pick this up soon.