Richard Dawkins Interviewed in Playboy August 21, 2012

Richard Dawkins Interviewed in Playboy

Chip Rowe has a lengthy interview with Richard Dawkins in the latest issue of Playboy (link contains sidebar ads that are NSFW).

In other words, you’ll actually want to read this Playboy for the article.

In the interview, there are plenty of openings for religious people to criticize him… as well as the phrase “buggering the bald transvestite” (take a guess)… and the words “fronkey” and “octocow.” Good times.

Most of the questions are pretty basic, but Rowe still managed to ask some questions of substance.

A few excerpts:

PLAYBOY: You’ve described yourself as a “tooth fairy” agnostic. What is that?

DAWKINS: Rather than say he’s an atheist, a friend of mine says, “I’m a tooth fairy agnostic,” meaning he can’t disprove God but thinks God is about as likely as the tooth fairy.

PLAYBOY: So you don’t completely rule out the idea of a supreme being. Critics see that as leaving an opening.

DAWKINS: You can think so, if you think there’s an opening for the tooth fairy.

PLAYBOY: Do you have any deeply religious friends?

DAWKINS: No. It’s not that I shun them; it’s that the circles I move in tend to be educated, intelligent circles, and there aren’t any religious people among them that I know of. I’m friendly with some bishops and vicars who kind of believe in something and enjoy the music and the stained glass.

PLAYBOY:… without faith in an afterlife, in what do you take comfort in times of despair?

DAWKINS: Human love and companionship. But in more thoughtful, cerebral moments, I take — comfort is not quite the right word, but I draw strength from reflecting on what a privilege it is to be alive and what a privilege it is to have a brain that’s capable in its limited way of understanding why I exist and of reveling in the beauty of the world and the beauty of the products of evolution. The magnificence of the universe and the sense of smallness that gives us in space and in geologically deep time is humbling but in a strangely comforting way. It’s nice to feel you’re part of a hugely bigger picture.

PLAYBOY: Some scientists say that you should stop talking about atheism because it muddies the waters in the debate over evolution.

DAWKINS: If what you’re trying to do is win the tactical battle in U.S. schools, you’re better off lying and saying evolution is religion-friendly. I don’t wish to condemn people who lie for tactical reasons, but I don’t want to do that. For me, this is only a skirmish in the larger war against irrationality.

PLAYBOY: The pope apologized for the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic church. Isn’t that enough?

DAWKINS: Oh, big deal. He hasn’t handed over any records to the police. He apologized with great reluctance after enormous pressure was brought to bear.

The whole interview is online. Sadly, there’s no Dawkins centerfold. Boooooo.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Santiago

    Booooooo indeed! 🙂

  • With all due respect to Dawkins… I’m delighted to read his words, and equally delighted there’s no centerfold!

  • Ed

    where are the hysterical feminists sqwuaking about how this is Playboy or some other such trite and silly nonsense?

  • I totally read his part in his voice in my head.

  • Blitzgal

    So, there currently are none of the comments you expected to find here, so now you’re just gonna make up the terrible thing that feminists did.


  • RobMcCune

    Yup, those feminists are so ubiquitous and hysterical you have to go looking for fights with them.

  • We decided to make this post about MRA squawking instead.  Thanks for playing!

  • Patterrssonn

    Well at least we have the hysterical Ed squawking about feminism.

    Sorry, that should be testerical Ed.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    PLAYBOY: Do you have any deeply religious friends?
    DAWKINS: No. It’s not that I shun them; it’s that the circles I move in tend to be educated, intelligent circles, 

    okay, so I’ve quote-mined but that is classic!

  • Doctor Jen

    I’m a feminist.  And an atheist.  And kinda disappointed about the missing Dawkins centerfold.  If I ever decided to get my old man freak on…. oh, yeah!

  • dearestlouise

    I haven’t read it yet, but I’m super excited because an interview with Dawkins is finally in a place a lot of my Christian friends will probably see it. 😉

  • Keulan

    I did too.

  • Rafiq Mahmood

    Yes indeed. I was very much looking forward to Dr Dawkins appearing on Maryam Namazie’s Nude Revolutionaries Calendar. Here was another chance and he blew it. Shame!

  • RebeccaSparks

    In all honesty, Playboy has some great articles.  If they had a SFW version, I’d still be reading it.

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