In case you don’t read Salon, today’s issue has both a print and a video interview with Dawkins about his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth. Of course the reviewer can’t stay away from Dawkins’s atheism:
In the past few years, especially with “The God Delusion,” you’ve become sort of an evangelist for the atheist movement. How have you dealt with becoming a more polarizing figure over the past few years?
I don’t quite know why it should be polarizing. I like to think “The God Delusion” is a humorous book. I think actually it’s full of laughs. And people who describe it as a polarizing book or as an aggressive book, it’s just that very often they haven’t read it. They’ve read other people reacting to it. It is true that religious people do react to any kind of criticism as almost a personal insult, it’s almost as if you’re saying their face is ugly or something, and so that has put out the idea that “The God Delusion” is an aggressive book. You’ve heard words like strident and shrill, as well. I’d like to suggest that actually it’s quite a funny book.
Do you regret having that kind of reputation? Do you feel like it’s handicapping you in the future — that you’ll always be seen as having a certain kind of agenda in mind?
Yes, I think it’s unfortunate. I think it comes from people who haven’t actually read the book, or who haven’t actually met me personally, and so I’m described as a very aggressive, strident person, which I’m not.
And he isn’t.
Oh, curiously enough, the Socialist Party of the UK has published a joint review of The Greatest Show on Earth and Why Evolution is True. Let a hundred evolution books blossom!