Dawkins on “Beautiful Minds” tonight

April 25, 2012 • 10:39 am

Tonight BBC4 profiles Richard Dawkins on a continuing series called “Beautiful Minds,” which you can watch online here (probably only in the UK) at 9 p.m. British Summer Time (4 pm EST in the U.S.). Previous episodes, with paleontologist Jenny Clack and physicist Andre Geim, can be seen here, but only for the next week.

Here’s a snippet of tonight’s program:

I’ll link to the whole show when it’s online.

22 thoughts on “Dawkins on “Beautiful Minds” tonight

  1. … at 9 p.m. Greenwich time

    Excuse the pedantry, but it’s 9 pm British Summer Time, not 9 pm Greenwich Mean Time (= UT, which is 1 hour different).

  2. Nothing much that I didn’t know already – apart from reminding me why I preferred experimental work to theoretical (I looked at the maths of Bill Hamilton’s paper and cringed!) but it was a sympathetic portrait of Dawkins – concentrating both on his views on religion and biology with explanatory links between the two. I enjoyed it ….

  3. I am fortunate to have access to the BBC’s UK channels, even though I live on the continent. BBC4 in particular is one of the best channels I know of, something you Brits out there can be proud of. What other channel would regularly have programs on statistics, botany, natural history, archaeology and the like, many of excellent quality? Just compare to NatGeo or Discovery, just to name the major soi-disant science channels in the US.

    Anyway, I just managed to watch the Dawkins episode, and of course enjoyed it quite a lot. I felt it gave a generally good, albeit necessarily condensed, idea of his many accomplishments. One shudders at the thought of what a US channel version would look like.

  4. I’m at a loss to explain how ostensibly educated people can’t recognize the clarity and precision of thought that characterizes Dawkins and his “beautiful mind.”

    I had an exchange, regarding postmodernism, in another forum with a PhD graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Yale in which he declared that “Gilles Deleuze > Richard Dawkins”, as he put it.

    I often have the thought that I’m in the wrong field.

      1. I’ve suggested to many of my colleagues in the humanities/arts that they read that very paper, or if the name Dawkins turns them off, go investigate what Chomsky has to say about postmodernism.

        (I hope it was clear in my original comment that I am impressed by Dawkins.)

    1. In my case it was The Blind Watchmaker. I found Dawkins’ prose interesting, fascinating and fun to read (and it finally disposed of any doubts I had about the Argument from Design. It made evolution logically consistent for me – and hence legitimised my atheism).

      It wasn’t till after that that I read The Selfish Gene, though I’d heard about it, I resisted it because I didn’t like the societal implications of the title – I notice Richard eventually concluded it was maybe a bad title. Though very catchy.

      (I resisted reading Richard’s friend Doug Adams’ books for years for a similar misapprehension, I thought Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a simplistic popularisation of cosmology for young readers. I must learn not to judge books by their titles ;).

  5. When I read the God delusion, I felt he articulated the private thoughts about god and religion I’ve had over the past decade so closely that it was as if he’d read my mind.

    1. Very good. Thanks for the link.

      I hadn’t realised that Darwinism had fallen into relative obscurity until the 50’s – 60’s.

  6. I thought it was a pretty fair view, though I was very interested to hear how RD was not a natural ‘naturalist’ from his youth in the way that say David Attenborough was (reminded me of what I read about him in Marek Kohn’s enjoyable book A Reason for Everything). I get very annoyed with friends who say he should stay out of commenting on non-scientific subjects, a patently absurd view. John Krebs said (he came over as a very nice man) that RD is perhaps uncomfortable at being on the way to becoming almost a dictionary term and the first name that comes up when Atheism is mentioned, but someone has to do that.

    Good for RD.

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