So Mr Dawkins was on TV last night presenting a quite clear and non-OTT description of the "Genius of Darwin" to a bunch of kids, who were frighteningly under informed / indoctrinated (what the hell had the school been teaching them during this period ffs?).
Mackay doesn't like Richard Dawkins (qualified: anymore). He called him the "Atheist in chief" and I have to admit, he has allowed himself to become the slightly bizarre figurehead in that position. Having said that though, anyone who is even an irregular reader of this blog (want to bet on the figures for that? Heh) will know that more or less the only thing I loathe more than the concept of a deity is the bloody religions that promote that concept, as a way in to their manipulation and control. So, er, heh. Generally speaking, I'm easy going on Dawkins' jumping up and down, spluttering "Don't you get it, you ignoramuses?!" Some of his more recent off the cuff comments have been a little misjudged in that I doubt if calling someone with a deity belief "ignorant, stupid or insane" will really go down too well, so it could be argued he could do with being a tiny bit more humble. I have difficulty straying from any of his debate points however, since as far as I can see, he is simply clearly stating it As It Is. In the debate as to belief in a/several deity/s / Understanding the world from a scientific basis, I do think that there has to be a clear, unequivocal perspective at both ends of the spectrum. Obviously, the statements at the deity end being a bit, er, weird.
So we were discussing last night how Dawkins brilliant, beautiful and wholly understandable explanations of the glorious incites of Darwin, and the Theory of Evolution can, in McK's eyes, become tainted by his slightly hysterical atheist message. He feels that the Evolution message is too important, and those who turn from Dawkins because they think him too shrill, may turn from the Theory of Evolution also. My own thoughts are a bit... well. Darwin had the revelation that there was no God; the theory of evolution does clearly set out a world of development and change where no God has been present. McK believes that the theory of Evolution, quantum Physics and all the rest in no way actually excludes the idea of a deity. Whilst I can see the point, my gut reaction tends toward the "Oh come on..." perspective.
Anyway. So on the Evolution angle, in the programme, the reasons that were given by schoolkids for not 'believing' in Evolution (as if 'belief' in a deity is on a par with the acceptance of the evidence given to support a scientific theory! That semantic lunacy always makes my teeth grind) was wholly and absolutely as a result in their acceptance of the scriptures they'd been spoonfed from birth. So to try and extricate the Atheist argument from the promotion of the Theory of Evolution I think is impossible. I think it's possible to downplay it, and focus on the Evolution end, obviously.
ANYWAY! So the Theory of Evolution is under attack from religions worldwide, and I was thinking last night how incredibly important it is that people like Dawkins are worldwide advocates for the Theory, in a time where the rational, fact based answers are being dirtied and forgotten on a freakish scale. It reminded me a great deal of my continued and some might say, slightly grating adherence to basic (what I would describe as) 'seventies' Feminist principles, when something that clearly works against them is put in front of me. Take for example, the new design of Delicious. There I am. I'm Zoonie, obviously. Oh, well hold on... am I a little blue head? Or am I the word that most people would subconsciously associate with that figure, a 'man'?
So, where there is a subconscious slide away from de-gendered, open and non-partitioning practices, I feel compelled to say: What are you doing, you lazy pillocks, don't you get how damaging these messages are, taken altogether? Would it have killed you to use a non-gender-associated colour? And it is clearly simply laziness. There is no agenda to exclude women. Unless...! Aaaargh! There is!
Well, obviously not. But, and I'm sure my friends raise their eyebrows to the ceiling whenever I say things like this, we live in a time when the incredible gains that have been made, from Mary Wollstonecraft through to Germain Greer and the changes in legislation, and that great time when so called "PC" meant sexualised imagery appeared to be on the decline slightly... all of that is under attack. Honour killings are taking place *in the UK* never mind in other, stereotypically less 'civilised' countries. women on a global scale are abused, raped and killed by those who exert power over them and on a less traumatic scale, a glance through the FTSE 100 directors will still find a pathetically small constituency of women.Not to mention the clear, unequivocal sexualisation of women in public media industries.
Feminism (or rather, the rights of women), and the Theory of Evolution are both under attack, and I will happily claim my place as an advocate for both, but probably without quite as much eloquence (or visibility for my stupid off the cuff remarks) as Richard Dawkins.
Ah. there, that's better. I do like getting these ramblings off my chest. not that anyone actually reads them, of course, as is your right ;)