Driving over to the home of Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) earlier today, I was reduced to the confused ramblings of Luca Brasi struggling in the opening scene of The Godfather to pay his respects.
“Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home today on the day of your daughter’s wedding… and I hope that their first child, be a masculine child.”
Okay, so the comparison is both inappropriate and unflattering. But what words exactly does one speak when you’ve got about ten seconds (if that) to make a positive first impression?
To millions of secular humanists scattered around the world, Richard Dawkins isn’t just a pillar of free thought. More important, he’s an inspiration who empowers those desperately needing a guidepost with his work, words, and ideas. His intense love for science is paramount. That’s his religion. Trained an an evolutionary biologist, and until recently on the faculty at Oxford, Dawkins has dedicated most of his adult life pondering what happens both in the galaxies and under the microscope, with equally intense curiosity. Indeed, all great discoveries start with asking the right questions.
Dawkins has been asking those questions for a very long time. However, several years ago his academic career took an unplanned detour. While writing and talking about evolution (“The Selfish Gene”), the public began to look upon Dawkins in a very different way. In a sense, this was a lucky break — especially for us who became members of the same philosophical tribe. Though Dawkins never planned it, he went from little-known scientist who spent a lot of time talking about genes, to a rock star-like celebrity who now packs auditoriums full of thousands of impressionable minds. Those minds gradually became a movement. Some are convinced this movement is not only humanity’s best hope, but the new wave of mainstream thought.Read More