Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Was going to see Richard Dawkins this week, but I think I might have changed my mind on that:

�After you and Jeb stole the election (by a smaller margin than the number of folks you executed in Texas), you were rightly written off as a one-term president: a fair advertisement for Drunks for Jesus but otherwise an idle nonentity; inarticulate, unintelligent, an ignorant hick.�

I can�t forebear pointing out that that the author of that last letter - the one that called Bush "idle" but who himself could not be bothered to open up Google and check the number of convicted murderers executed in Texas between 1995 and 2000 (156 in total) - is Richard Dawkins, a prominent British scientist. Dawkins has written that �among the gifts that science has to offer is a baloney-detection kit.� Alas, if Dawkins was ever issued such a kit, he lost it when he started writing about politics.

-from David Frum's Diary

I've enjoyed very much the bit that I've read of Dawkins's work and I think he's a wonderful speaker. If he's going to go the way of, say, Noam Chomsky, who considers himself an expert on American Foreign Policy based on his position at MIT, well, that loses points. What can I say. What is so infuriating to me is the assumption that we should take him seriously when he makes these sort of statements. That seems to be the trend nowadays, though. We are to assume you are an expert on American Government/American Foreign Policy regardless of your specialty.

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