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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dispatch from Dawkins' Tour

For the second time in the last few days, it's been reported that Richard Dawkins, on a university tour this month, has described making children participate in religious activities like Sunday school as "child abuse." The Badger Herald reports that at the University of Wisconsin on Tuesday night, Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and well-known atheist, said the problem is that young children are not yet equipped to critically examine religion or their own beliefs. Once they reach university, however, it's the perfect time and place to engage in discussions about science and religion, he said, urging students to use logic in seeking the truth. “Think critically for yourself,” he told them. “Don’t believe what people tell you unless they give you the evidence. What is the evidence? How do you know what you’re being told is true? Is it from faith, revelation, or Scripture? If it’s any of those things, forget it. Always go for evidence.”
At Stanford University on Sunday, where he spoke along with Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Case Western Reserve University, The Stanford Daily reports that Dawkins focused on bolstering a science curriculum free of religion in the country's public schools. While Krauss appeared to agree with many of Dawkins' views, he parts ways with Dawkins when it comes to wanting to eliminate religion all together; Krauss said he believes it's possible for religion and science, specifically evolution, to co-exist. —Heather Wax