Dawkins tweets

Though I’m not a big fan of Twitter, and use it only to announce new posts, many people follow it obsessively.  So I am compelled to announce that, in case you don’t know it, Richard Dawkins has a Twitter account, where he posts both personal and professional stuff.


  1. newenglandbob
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I still refuse to get a Twitter account. Communicating at 140 characters per thought is a game I am not willing to play. I also do not wish to be a ‘groupie’ who follows the sound byte pronouncements of other people and especially the often malformed thoughts of their followers.

    • Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I held out against Twitter for a long time for that reason, but once I gave in, I found that it does have its uses. It’s not much good for conversation, much less debate, but I use it as a kind of scratchpad to quickly store links and jot down ideas I may want to revisit later.

    • Stacy
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I agree with Adam Lee. I have found some good limited use of Twitter, mostly just to follow a few blogs I like. It is actually very useful to me in that way. I rarely tweet anything myself.

      I think this is true of many of the emerging technologies – they sometimes seem kind of pointless or self-indulgent, but often times we see some real utility begin to emerge as people develop creative ways to work with them.

    • Posted July 15, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

      Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s bad. It might be popular because it works. Trying it, making your mind up based on that, and then deciding to quit, is all fair stuff. If you’re rejecting tools because of what you suppose them to be, because the notion of what they are, or who uses them, or how popularist they are, offends your rationality, then perhaps you’re not assessing it rationally yourself: http://ronmurp.net/2012/07/15/what-the-tweet/

  2. Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’m sure this will hell Richard in his Sisyphean task if improving public understanding of biology…but I still don’t at all see the point in twittering. Hell, a hundred and fifty characters is hardly even enough for me to say my name, let alone get out a proper introduction.

    Then again, I’m equally baffled by the whole SpaceFaceLife social media fad, so I’m sure I’m not the best one to consult on such matters….



    • Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      I’m also sure the the iPad is help to type on, and doesn’t hell with effective communication very much….


      • DrDroid
        Posted July 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Very witty recovery from a typo. Are you a stand-up comedian in real life?

        • Posted July 15, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          HA! But thank you…no, I’ve never done stand-up. I don’t think anywhere near fast enough on my feet.


  3. dunstar
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    is it actually him tweeting? or is someone tweeting on his behalf?

    • newenglandbob
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      What difference does it make?

      • Posted July 14, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Well, it’d tell us where he falls on the hip grandpa / cynical curmudgeon scale….


        • Bruce S. Springsteen
          Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          I’m more a woofer than a tweeter.

          • John Scanlon, FCD
            Posted July 15, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink


    • gregfromcos
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I’d wondered the same things. It seems to be mostly posting what is ending up on richarddawkins.net.

      However there definitely are a few personal ones in there also.

  4. Rsbones
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, Dawkins has not “just begun” a twitter account. It has over 5,000 posts already.

    • Posted July 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      For what it’s worth, Dawkins has not “just begun” a twitter account. It has over 5,000 posts already.

      Er no, not 5,000. More like 400,000. So, as you correctly deduce, it is not just started. But hitherto I have had little personal input. The account has been used more or less automatically to call attention to items of interest on RichardDawkins.net. But this week I decided to contribute to it personally, and that is what Jerry is referring to in starting this thread.

      • Posted July 15, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

        And I, for one, am very grateful that you put your thoughts out there, Prof. Dawkins. I see it as a very good cement for your fans and the Atheist community at large.

        Thanks a lot!

      • DJ
        Posted July 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Richard, the comment regarded the c. 5000 tweets (posts). You responded addressing the followers, c. 400,000 !

  5. Kels
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    To be noted that this is the same Twitter in which he (assuming it wasn’t a staffer) took an odd dig at Rebecca Watson and anti-harassment policies earlier in the week.

    It was all very strange.

    • mordacious1
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    • David Leech
      Posted July 14, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t want to get involved in this drama and I know Jerry wouldn’t allow on his website anyway. Though I do feel the need to defend Richard here as he was just starting an anti-stoning campaign when it got buried by this drama. I think that was the only reason he dipped his toe in all the mess. I can certainly see where his frustration comes from as that was such an important human rights issue. Just bad timing and the way the internet works I guess, hopefully he will start it up again and we can all get behind it.

  6. Posted July 21, 2012 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I have a Twitter account since several years. I resent Twitter though. I think most people are superficial enough without having to enforce it. And superficiality is what one gets in 140 characters or less.

    I just had a look. It seems that I have been following Both Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins for a while. I forgot all about it, since I hardly ever visit Twitter in the first place.

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