Richard Dawkins: ‘I never meet people who disagree with me’
By ANDY MCSMITH – THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 7:22 PM
Woodstock’s first big-name speaker charmed and ruffled feathers in equal measure last night Richard Dawkins seemed to be saying last night that he rather envied those teachers who have to drill irregular Latin verbs into the heads of schoolchildren. At least they do not have to teach their discipline against the background noise of well-organised and expensively funded pressure groups who deny that ancient Rome even existed and claim that all languages sprang into existence simultaneously more recently than that.
But that, in a sense, is the fate of the scientist who wants to teach evolution. In the USA, 40 per cent of the population believes that every word of the Bible is literally true.
Professor Dawkins recently visited an Islamic school in Leicester – “a lovely school, beautifully appointed, a lot of money spent on it, a lovely headmaster” – where no one among the staff and pupils, not even the science teacher, believes in evolution.
There he was informed that the Prophet had said that salt and fresh water do not mix, and therefore it must be true. He wished afterwards that he had had the presence of mind to send for some salt water and fresh water and mix them in front of their unbelieving eyes.