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Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss in conversation at ANU

By johnboy - 20 April 2012 91

ANU has published to YouTube an hour and a half of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Kraus in conversation here in Canberra with this lengthy note:

Critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics at this event entitled ‘Something for Nothing’. This video was recorded at The Australian National University on 10 April 2012.

Richard Dawkins FRS is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. Born in British colonial Africa, he was educated in England, where he now lives. He did his doctorate at Oxford under the Nobel Prize winning zoologist Niko Tinbergen, then was briefly an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1967 to 1969, after which he returned to Oxford, first as a Lecturer in Zoology, then Reader, before being elected to his present professorship.

Richard Dawkins has Honorary Doctorates of Literature as well as Science, and is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society, the Nakayama Prize, the Cosmos International Prize, the Kistler Prize, the Shakespeare Prize and the Lewis Thomas Prize.

Lawrence M. Krauss is a renowned cosmologist and science populariser, and is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. Hailed by Scientific American as a rare public intellectual, he is also the author of more than three hundred scientific publications and nine books, including the international bestseller, The Physics of Star Trek, and his most recent bestseller entitled A Universe from Nothing.

He received his PhD from MIT in 1982 and then joined the Society of Fellows at Harvard, and was a professor at Yale University and Chair of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University before taking his present position. Internationally known for his work in theoretical physics, he is the winner of numerous international awards, and is the only physicist to have received major awards from all three US physics societies, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. Krauss is also a commentator and essayist for newspapers such as the New York Times, and the Wall St. Journal, and has written regular columns for New Scientist and Scientific American and appears regularly on radio and television. He is one of the few scientists to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, and is also active in issues of science and society. He serves as co-chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and on the Board of Directors of the Federation of American Scientists.

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91 Responses to
Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss in conversation at ANU
Mysteryman 4:07 pm 20 Apr 12

madamcholet said :

I appreciate what Richard Dawkins has to say, but personally I don’t like the way he says it. I don’t believe in any religion or any kind of deity, but happy to be proven wrong. All the same, I just hate the way he ridicules people and the way that it’s excused by way of his apparent “vast intellect”. He comes across as a spoilt child.

You’re right. He acts like a tool quite often. That isn’t evidence of vast intelligence, in my opinion, but rather vast arrogance and borderline intolerance.

Thoroughly Smashed 3:54 pm 20 Apr 12

Richard Dawkins is not the strawman you’re looking for.

Richard Dawkins quite rightly ridicules senior members of religious institutions for the ridiculous things that they say, their hypocrisy, and the long and glorious history of human rights abuses at the hands of institutionalised religion.

He does not ridicule believers wholesale. He merely points out that religious belief is based on faulty premises and suggests to believers that they may have been mislead by the religious authority figures they thought they could trust.

johnboy 3:43 pm 20 Apr 12

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Extremism is murdering people who don’t agree with you.

Or sneering. Sneering is much like murder.

Phiillip 3:39 pm 20 Apr 12

madamcholet said :

I appreciate what Richard Dawkins has to say, but personally I don’t like the way he says it. I don’t believe in any religion or any kind of deity, but happy to be proven wrong. All the same, I just hate the way he ridicules people and the way that it’s excused by way of his apparent “vast intellect”. He comes across as a spoilt child.

Agreed.

Thoroughly Smashed 3:37 pm 20 Apr 12

Gungahlin Al said :

It bothers me that Dawkins is so hard-line in his opinions and dismissive of other people (not just their opinions). But every field has to have their extremists I guess, and they serve a useful function in making other more moderate people stand out as more pragmatic and reasonable.

Extremist?

Extremism is murdering people who don’t agree with you.

Thoroughly Smashed 3:33 pm 20 Apr 12

Dammit. I knew about them doing the same thing in Sydney this Monday, but I didn’t know about this one. Thanks for putting the video up ANU.

madamcholet 3:18 pm 20 Apr 12

I appreciate what Richard Dawkins has to say, but personally I don’t like the way he says it. I don’t believe in any religion or any kind of deity, but happy to be proven wrong. All the same, I just hate the way he ridicules people and the way that it’s excused by way of his apparent “vast intellect”. He comes across as a spoilt child.

Gungahlin Al 3:09 pm 20 Apr 12

Mattenagger said :

CrocodileGandhi said :

Mattenagger said :

Was this an open to the public event? I absolutely would have gone.

It was. I believe it was only advertised on the ANU Events page. It was also thoroughly excellent.

Surprised that it wasn’t more widely advertised. Not that I’ve heard of Lawrence Krauss before but Richard Dawkins is a nerdy rockstar.

Subscribe to the ANU Events through your RSS reader, or checkout Twitter. Then you’l be less likely to miss this sort of thing. Likewise get on Eventbrite and CSIRO’s list.

It was a big week or so of events – NASA boss Charlie Bolden, Brian Schmidt, and this one – all free.

Love this town…

OT, this was an interesting show, with plenty of laughs – usually at Cardinal Pell’s expense.

One questioner evoked much cringing with her inability to couch a coherent question that they could actually answer.

Krauss tended to dominate a bit, maybe trying to cover for the still jet-lagged Dawkins…

It bothers me that Dawkins is so hard-line in his opinions and dismissive of other people (not just their opinions). But every field has to have their extremists I guess, and they serve a useful function in making other more moderate people stand out as more pragmatic and reasonable.

Mattenagger 2:14 pm 20 Apr 12

They didn’t need to advertise it more widely – tickets were all gone within 12 hours of the event going online, and the wait list was supposedly 700 people long. (It was a free event but you still needed to reserve a ticket.) I don’t think they were originally planning on letting people up to the top tier of seats, all those people up there in the video are the extras who just turned up on the night without a ticket hoping to get in anyway.

Yeah fair enough. I guess what I really meant was why didn’t they contact me directly and offer me a seat.

NoAddedMSG 1:19 pm 20 Apr 12

Mattenagger said :

CrocodileGandhi said :

Mattenagger said :

Was this an open to the public event? I absolutely would have gone.

It was. I believe it was only advertised on the ANU Events page. It was also thoroughly excellent.

Surprised that it wasn’t more widely advertised. Not that I’ve heard of Lawrence Krauss before but Richard Dawkins is a nerdy rockstar.

They didn’t need to advertise it more widely – tickets were all gone within 12 hours of the event going online, and the wait list was supposedly 700 people long. (It was a free event but you still needed to reserve a ticket.) I don’t think they were originally planning on letting people up to the top tier of seats, all those people up there in the video are the extras who just turned up on the night without a ticket hoping to get in anyway.

johnboy 1:13 pm 20 Apr 12
Mattenagger 12:54 pm 20 Apr 12

CrocodileGandhi said :

Mattenagger said :

Was this an open to the public event? I absolutely would have gone.

It was. I believe it was only advertised on the ANU Events page. It was also thoroughly excellent.

Surprised that it wasn’t more widely advertised. Not that I’ve heard of Lawrence Krauss before but Richard Dawkins is a nerdy rockstar.

chewy14 12:46 pm 20 Apr 12

Let us not forget the great Dawkins who freed the world of religion long ago

Praise Science!

CrocodileGandhi 12:27 pm 20 Apr 12

Mattenagger said :

Was this an open to the public event? I absolutely would have gone.

It was. I believe it was only advertised on the ANU Events page. It was also thoroughly excellent.

Mattenagger 12:08 pm 20 Apr 12

Was this an open to the public event? I absolutely would have gone.

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