Defending Dawkins (UPDATED)
December 9, 2009
For those that aren’t aware, Richard Dawkins edited some kind of compendium of science writing recently published by Oxford University Press. Out of 80-something pieces included in the anthology, only two or three (depending how you count) were written by women.
Somewhat surprisingly, Dawkins showed up at Sheril’s to defend his shitty job of editing:
It is not an anthology of “science writing”…[but] a collection of writing by good scientists, many of them dead and very distinguished. I am not one of those who thinks men are genetically better equipped than women to become distinguished scientists. Presumably for other reasons, it is a regrettable fact that the great majority of distinguished scientists of the past 100 years, as measured by Nobel Prizes, Fellowships of the Royal Society, numbers of science publications, etc, have been male. That imbalance, and not an imbalance in my preference or my choice, is what is reflected in the anthology.
This is so woefully deficient and so transparently apologetic for his own white-d00d privilege, that I won’t say any more other than that it is a shame that Dawkins wasn’t willing to sack the fuck up and admit he blew it.
What is less surprising–and much more sadly hilarious–is that numerous rational skeptic d00d Dawkins fanbois came out of the woodwork to nuzzle up to his warm hairy sack and defend their hero. This is an example representative of the intellectual and moral rigor of their defenses:
I don’t see any books there written about the best articles by women scientists by Sheril Kirshenbaum. That was clearly my point. If she wants a book about the best articles by women scientists, why is she waiting/demanding Dawkins produce it like some sort of White Knight come to save her?
This is, of course, 100% hypocritical bullshit, rational skeptic d00d. No one is waiting for or demanding that Dawkins do anything. They are simply criticizing him on the merits for what he did. They are saying that his choice of articles was intellectually lazy and biased.
Isn’t criticizing others for their intellectual errors what you rational skeptic d00ds spend all day doing? You are all about criticizing the cherry-picking, confirmation biases, and other rhetorical antics of your perceived adversaries.
But when it comes to criticism of the intellectual celebrities you consider to be on your side, you turn into a bunch of credulous children swooning over the latest teen idol on the cover of Tiger Beat. Quit acting like hero-worshipping children, and apply the same rational skeptic d00d standards to yourselves and your heroes as you do to everyone else. It’s fucking embarrassing already.
UPDATE: If you think that this has anyfuckingthing to do with whether Dawkins “is sexist/misogynist”, then you are a motherfucking moron. This has nothing to do with Dawkins’s internal mental state, and has nothing to do with Dawkins’s qualities as a human being.