[(London) Times] ”˜Ambushed’ Richard Dawkins seeks help from on high in Christianity debate

Richard Dawkins was crossing proverbial swords with Giles Fraser, the Canon of St Paul’s, on the findings of a poll by his foundation which found that many people who describe themselves as Christian have low levels of belief and little or no practice.

Dr Dawkins claimed that self-identified Christians were “not really Christian at all” because an “astonishing number” couldn’t identify the first book in the New Testament (Matthew) during questioning for the poll.

Dr Fraser then challenged the country’s top Darwinist to name the full title of The Origin Of Species…[which Dr. Dawkins was unable to do]….Dr Dawkins later accused Dr Fraser of an “ambush”.

Read it all (requires subscription).


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Atheism, Books, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

9 comments on “[(London) Times] ”˜Ambushed’ Richard Dawkins seeks help from on high in Christianity debate

  1. Mark Baddeley says:

    I feel for Richard Dawkins. He’s been such a gentleman, and has so consistently always striven to model the very best virtues of public debate, and has so thoroughly eschewed the cheap shot that this kind of tactic must have been a complete shock.

    Of course, if you are going to make an argument based on people’s inability to know the first book of the NT *and* you’ve been known to give public addresses on the wonders of Origin of the Species in Oxford – which both Giles Fraser and many of the bods who follow Dawkins in England would know, you *might*, just might, be prepared to expect that someone might ask you the obvious question that Giles (to his credit) did. Of course, if you think believers are dumb, and have been used to a career of softball questions from journalists, then, yes, you might get caught off-guard by the obvious ‘gotcha’ response.

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I do remember attending a lecture given by an eminent Oxford professor. His former students, now themselves eminent, fluttered round him like schoolboy acolytes. Then an elderly man courteously asked him a probing question on a case he had just been expounding on. The professor brushed him off with a rude and dismissive put down and a gasp went round the room. The elderly man was the now retired and extremely senior judge who had decided the case!

    Methinks Prof Dawkins thinks far to much of himself.

  3. DTerwilliger says:

    I guess that just as some self-styled “Christians” are not really Christians at all (no surprise here), SOME self-styled intellectuals are not intellectual at all.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Hilarious. You can listen to it here!

  5. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I have never been a big fan of Giles Fraser, but I have to hand it to him on that one. Dawkins threw down the gauntlet and then got smacked upside the head by it.

  6. Deep Freeze says:

    Since Darwinists are not called to, “study to show yourself approved . . .”, I guess I don’t see much here to do a happy dance about.

  7. MP2009 says:

    (1) Let’s see, what was that subtitle . . . The Origin of Species and . . .why I have cravings for bananas but get vertigo when I peel them

    (2) More seriously, Dawkins should have laughed it off and seen that part of what is going on is an academic making a statement about textual knowledge of/for something–a lived religion–that goes beyond the textual and even beyond the primacy of the textual, is practiced by people who are not academic or may never hope to be (viz., a greater universal reach)

    (3) And why is it that the utter self-seriousness never seems to leave Dawkins? My experience has not been that he has been the epitome of gentlemanliness BTW.

  8. Mark Baddeley says:


    [blockquote]My experience has not been that he has been the epitome of gentlemanliness BTW.[/blockquote]

    If that was a reference to my opening salvo at #1, then I concur. It was irony verging on sarcasm.