Dawkins & deGrasse Tyson Discussion

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I thought I should keep up with the Skeptics latest thinking and thus video seemed a good choice.


Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
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I was going to let some time pass before commenting on the video, but I suspect there won’t be much/any discussion about it until I do comment, even then I’m not very hopeful.

I thought that it was mainly a love fest of Dawkins and his ideas, very little detail was actually discussed, also notable was how they both seem fanatical about Science. I could not but be aware of how certain Dawkins seems to be/have been of his position, and how contemptuous of how others seemed to be viewed, as well as ideas outside (Dawkins&Tyson’s view) of Science.

Ego is something that is not easily definable, but I did get the feeling that both these men have big ego’s. I also got the sense that I was not listening to real ground breaking intellect, it was more about two men that have certain abilities to push and gather support for (limited) ideas. I do think that Dawkins I would find it highly laughable that anyone might listen seriously to a non expert degree less stroke sufferer’s opinions on this. Nevertheless, there they are. 

One thing I must give them both praise for, is their enthusiasm for the universe and all the mind blowing things that are to be found within it. It is ironic that they are not open to that wonder being magnified hugely if they could only see the possibility of their thinking being limited.

Was it useful? Yes, it was in some ways.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-04, 09:49 AM by Stan Woolley.)
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I was planning to listen/watch that video eventually. Probably best if I don't say more until after that.
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(2021-06-04, 10:49 AM)Typoz Wrote: I was planning to listen/watch that video eventually. Probably best if I don't say more until after that.

Well, I kind of watched this. Actually, I dipped in and out, watched sections, then moved both backwards and forwards through the discussion, looking for the main themes and possible punchlines. I got the impression that I'm not really the target audience for this. As far as it went, I had a lot of sympathy for Dawkins. I too like science. But I got the feeling the sort of opposition he was aiming at were the sort of "moon is made of green cheese" group (where 'green' means young or unripe), which I can understand and pretty much share his frustrations.

I suppose where those views start to pale is where it is taken for granted that they represent a complete and comprehensive view of everything. When I was about 18 years old I would have considered yes, that was it. But by the time I was 19 I'd moved, actually jolted forwards and out of that rut, to begin a lifelong quest for 'more', and there is more, so very much more. So yes, I can see Dawkins' point. But maybe he never turned 19. Well, that's a bit of a dig, but it's more out of frustration that I can see where he stands, but I'm not sure that consideration would be reciprocated back to where I stand. And many of us. Sometimes I don't know what is a good collective name or description for us. Maybe explorers.
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(2021-06-05, 11:27 PM)Typoz Wrote: I too like science.


Believe it or not Typoz, I do too. However, I think that the Science I would love to see in action is rarely visible. I think that Dawkins & Tyson have an ‘idealised’ thinking of Science that is now very far from what Science has become. Science has been turned into an ‘untouchable’, like a few other topics that I could mention. Their ‘idea’ of Science is nothing like the reality (from what I can see). They truly are (in the words of Thomas Dolby) Blinded by Science.

I couldn’t help but smile to myself when they were talking about how people ‘don’t understand risk’. The irony of that alone, to me, very much showed them up in the light of what we’re currently experiencing. 

Typoz, in some ways Dawkins may not have ‘turned nineteen’, but didn’t you also see a old man set very much in his ways ?
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-06, 07:06 AM by Stan Woolley.)
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(2021-06-06, 07:02 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: Believe it or not Typoz, I do too. However, I think that the Science I would love to see in action is rarely visible. I think that Dawkins & Tyson have an ‘idealised’ thinking of Science that is now very far from what Science has become. Science has been turned into an ‘untouchable’, like a few other topics that I could mention. Their ‘idea’ of Science is nothing like the reality (from what I can see). They truly are (in the words of Thomas Dolby) Blinded by Science.

I couldn’t help but smile to myself when they were talking about how people ‘don’t understand risk’. The irony of that alone, to me, very much showed them up in the light of what we’re currently experiencing. 

Typoz, in some ways Dawkins may not have ‘turned nineteen’, but didn’t you also see a old man set very much in his ways ?
Yes, that 'idealised' view is a bit of a fantasy. In reality science is carried out by people, many and varied, and has to take place not in the splendid isolation of some ivory tower, but out among the rest of humanity, with all that may bring, for better or for worse.

I think I may have missed the bit about risk. I'm not sure I have anything to add.

On the part about an "old man set very much in his ways", that is certainly true, though it is a pretty generalised condition to which most of us are prey. The way I see it is, there are just a few points in a person's life when there is an opportunity (or indeed are forced) to change. One is when we are young, we may set out on life full of hopes and dreams, but find ourselves drawn in an entirely fresh and unexpected direction. Later on, we find some sort of pattern and stay with it, things become familiar, we stick with whatever we have become accustomed to. Then it may take something else, that could take many different forms, I was going to mention NDEs as one way in which someone may dramatically change, but there are plenty of others, sometimes life throws something dramatic across our path and change may follow.

That's a longer paragraph than I expected. Suffice to say, opportunities for real change at the level of what a person believes or holds dear are relatively few.

I guess the real issue with the Dawkins-Tyson view is the degree of influence they hold, but in a way it is because other people put them there. I was thinking of someone like Susan Blackmore, a minor player in the topics we deal with, often called to appear centre-stage. That's (with no disrespect intended) not because she leads the field, but rather because she says what others would like her to say. A maintainer of the status quo.
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-06, 07:55 AM by Typoz.)
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(2021-06-04, 08:33 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: I thought I should keep up with the Skeptics latest thinking and thus video seemed a good choice.



I got as far as Tyson describing Dawkins' books as a crown jewel, a gift, to civilization on how people should think and how to make the world a better place.

That was about 2 minutes in.  Enough for me to stop watching.

I find both these men generally uninteresting and counter productive to what they state their goals to be: furthering of science and rational thought.

Both tend to make claims on topics to which they have limited or no expertise.  Both tend to deride metaphysical worldviews with lazy, disingenuous arguments.  Didn't see the point in investing a full hour listening to the discussion only to likely reaffirm what I already knew about them.

Probably not a rational action on my behalf, but its how I felt. Wink
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(2021-06-04, 09:47 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: I was going to let some time pass before commenting on the video, but I suspect there won’t be much/any discussion about it until I do comment, even then I’m not very hopeful.

I thought that it was mainly a love fest of Dawkins and his ideas, very little detail was actually discussed, also notable was how they both seem fanatical about Science. I could not but be aware of how certain Dawkins seems to be/have been of his position, and how contemptuous of how others seemed to be viewed, as well as ideas outside (Dawkins&Tyson’s view) of Science.

Ego is something that is not easily definable, but I did get the feeling that both these men have big ego’s. I also got the sense that I was not listening to real ground breaking intellect, it was more about two men that have certain abilities to push and gather support for (limited) ideas. I do think that Dawkins I would find it highly laughable that anyone might listen seriously to a non expert degree less stroke sufferer’s opinions on this. Nevertheless, there they are. 

One thing I must give them both praise for, is their enthusiasm for the universe and all the mind blowing things that are to be found within it. It is ironic that they are not open to that wonder being magnified hugely if they could only see the possibility of their thinking being limited.

Was it useful? Yes, it was in some ways.
In my opinion Dawkins is just running a cult that he grifts for expensive dinner dates. I don't take him seriously as an intellectual, and a passing read of his God Delusion book certainly dispelled my illusion that he was either honest or intelligent.
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