Minor Note About Dawkins Documentary

In the Richard Dawkins documentary 'The Enemies of Reason' which I posted today, I noticed one statement by Dawkins that perhaps could use some clarification. In sitting with self-professed psychic Simon Goodfellow, Dawkins was asked if there was anybody in his background who was in the military. Dawkins replies "well I've got really nobody" fitting that description. This, as a statement, is incorrect - Dawkins' father served in World War II.

I barely thought this worth mentioning though, for a few reasons -

(a) Dawkins was probably thinking Goodfellow was referring to deceased family...Dawkins' father is still alive.

(b) A British person of Dawkins' age is very likely to have some family who served in the military, most notably WWII. So it's hardly a specific and amazing 'hit'.

(c) Goodfellow connects the military service to a 'G' initial, which does not correspond to Dawkins' father.

The only reason I note this is because some hints from psychics (the good ones, that I am still puzzled by) follow this trend of starting with obscure, incidental details which sometimes sound like they mean something else, which are then clarified later (no, I'm not talking about cold reading, which follows the same process - I'm talking about the clarifications involving highly specific details). In this case, it *could* (and I say that tentatively) be the case that a 'deceased spirit' was referring to his father's military service. Dawkins' reply that he had no-one in his background brought that thread to a close though.

I have plenty more to say about the documentary, but perhaps I should write a book. 'The Scientism Delusion' anyone?


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kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
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21 hours 22 min

I'm looking forward to the book already, Greg :)

In the meantime, how about starting an ongoing thread inviting TDG readers to submit, say, the top five difficult questions (after the movie "High Fidelity" - God, I love that film) that make the sceptics uncomfortable? I'm thinking along the lines of NDE's that just refuse to be answered with the term "illusion", despite the news today:


Or Ian Stevenson's reincarnation research, or cosmological "Fine Tuning", or the fantastic precision of the Great Pyramid, or even the nature of consciousness itself.

Well, there's my five as a starter.

Best regards,