So says Richard Dawkins–scientist, author, and activist for atheism–in his upcoming book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.
Later today, I’ll ask you what you think about this method of vocal confrontation and if it’s the most effective means for spreading the truths of science.
I’ve included a few excerpts from his book below. Read more at TimesOnline.
Imagine that, as a teacher of European history, you are continually faced with belligerent demands to “teach the controversy”, and to give “equal time” to the “alternative theory” that the Holocaust never happened but was invented by a bunch of Zionist fabricators.
Fashionably relativist intellectuals chime in to insist that there is no absolute truth: whether the Holocaust happened is a matter of personal belief; all points of view are equally valid and should be equally “respected”.
The plight of many science teachers today is not less dire. When they attempt to expound the central and guiding principle of biology; when they honestly place the living world in its historical context — which means evolution; when they explore and explain the very nature of life itself, they are harried and stymied, hassled and bullied, even threatened with loss of their jobs.
… This book is necessary. I shall be using the name “historydeniers” for those people who deny evolution: who believe the world’s age is measured in thousands of years rather than thousands of millions of years, and who believe humans walked with dinosaurs.
… Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips . . . continue the list as long as desired. That didn’t have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. It didn’t have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and [my] book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it.
BTW: Dawkins doesn’t much like the headline of the article, but I found it quite provocative, even though it takes the discussions to Hitler instead of to the seat of the problem, which is the anti-scientific views and biases prevalent in our societies. Do you think it distracts from the message or emphasizes the point?
Excerpt ©Richard Dawkins 2009, Bantam Press