Richard Dawkins describes a state of war against biology. He is proud of his atheism as well as his defense of evolution. Although he loves Kenneth Miller because Miller is a devout Christian who defends evolution, Dawkins believes that an understanding of Darwin is antagonistic to any religion.
Evolutionary science is atheistic for Dawkins. He considers the TED audience to be largely atheistic like himself. If he examined this belief, he might be forced to acknowledge that the majority of his audience is likely to have at least some passing belief in God. In fact, a quick search of TED for religion shows that a wide range of religious views have been expressed by speakers who all made the assumption that the TED audience was receptive to their ideas. (http://www.ted.com/search?q=religion)
Darwinian evolution is, to Dawkins, so beautifully simple that it does not allow for any God. Religion is a P.C. subject that you aren’t allowed to question, and Dawkins wants all of us to openly attack religious ideas.
Going further, Dawkins considers religion to be corrosive to science. It provides people with dogma, authoritarian beliefs, and makes people stupid.
Dawkins uses George Bush’s dislike of atheists as non-patriotic as a lateral proof of the war on science. He considers it an academic belief, and considers the intelligentsia to have all come to the same conclusion he has.
The latest U.S. survey said there were 160,000,000 Christians, and 30,000,000 non-religious, which Dawkins assumes are all atheists. Dawkins argues that these people should be politically active. Basically, people who are less religious are more intelligent. Again, Dawkins uses George W. Bush as an example of what people look like when they have religion. Dawkins quotes studies showing behavioral scientists who believe in a personal God 7%, and 20% agnostic, the rest he assumes are atheists.
He suggests a public outing of atheists, comparing it to being a homosexual in the 1960’s. Dawkins asks the audience to start recruiting fellow atheists, convincing others to out themselves. To help the transition, he recommends using Darwin’s “agnostic” rather than the word “atheist.”
“Tooth Fairy agnostic” is another option. Both mocking God and avoiding the “A” word. Or you could use the teapot around Mars, the unicorns, or any other agnostic dodge.
But Dawkins wants fellow atheists to use the term humanist or naturalist. His preference is “non-theist,” mentioning “the God of the physicists” as meaning the currently unknown parts of physics. If he could, he would have everyone grasp the word atheist.
Carl Sagan is quoted as showing that science is much greater and better than any current religion. But evidently this fact has been missed by the majority of U.S. citizens.
Dawkins later quotes “10% of you are likely to be religious” the rest of his audience is at least atheist, and a few must hate God as much as he does. Finally he blames 9/11 as being the time he realized he must stop being “so damned respectful.”
Going back to Dawkin’s love of Kenneth Miller, Dawkins considers Miller a deluded idiot who has simply not grasped the basics of evolutionary theory. Any other interpretation of the facts of Dawkins’ speech seems improbable. Why then is Dawkins so “damned respectful” of someone like Miller? Could it be that he is so caustic and has so few allies in his personal jihad that he is loathe to count Miller out despite the man’s evident delusions?