Richard gives a public audio report on his condition

On his RDF site, Richard now has posted a 7-minute audio “postcard” reporting on the genesis of his stroke and his prognosis, which is very good. You can hear it by clicking on the screenshot below and then clicking on the arrow.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 5.11.19 PM

You can hear that his voice isn’t completely back to normal, but only in terms of volume rather than lucidity. And given his quotation of Steve Pinker, it seems that his cognitive functions are as keen as ever. Notice that even in his ill state, he’s still musing about natural selection and, as many scientists do, is taking a curious and scientific view of his malady.

We all wish Richard well, and I’m confident he’ll be better soon.  Do go listen to his report; there are some interesting twists, including the fact that he was re-invited to the NESSC conference that had previously “no-platformed” him.

38 Comments

  1. Aaron Ferguson
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Good to hear that he’s as lucid as ever. His musings on the evolution of the hand were interesting as I’ve heard creationists citing its complexity as evidence for God!

  2. Trevor H
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear the mind is unaffected, and that he will make a full recovery

  3. mikeb609
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Oh my, the irony. “Keeping out of controversy is not something I’m very good at.” Was it the stress of being “disinvited” that precipitated the stroke, or the elation at being “reinvited”?

    Ah, probably neither. What this talk reveals, however, is that Dawkins is a super star for a reason. What a terrific guy.

    • Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      My guess is probably neither. He’s always under pressure, travels relentlessly without a rest, has a punishing schedule, and needs to relax more! I don’t think he’ll be able to keep out of religious controversies, but were I his doctor I’d prescribe a long vacation from Twitter.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      It’s probably just something that happened. The only elevated risk factor is his age.

      I fear strokes because I get chronic migraines and that can put lesions on your brain.

      He sounds like many do after a stroke – weak in the voice. Imagine how exhausting a stroke must be!

  4. Randy Schenck
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Great to hear it from the source. Thank you, professor Coyne for this connection.

    Buttons. I just recently admitted my dad to a nursing facility and buttons is just one of the things he has a very hard time with.

    • mordacious1
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Makes note to self to start company that fashions adult clothing with Velcro fasteners (imagines elderly walking around with socks stuck to their shirts). Crosses out note to self.

      • Randy Schenck
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        snaps, which you don’t see much any more on shirts is a good improvement for many.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes you do. There’s one in the washing machine at this very moment.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    It is good to hear him. I note he talks about recent stress, and that upsets me for his sake.

  6. Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Re-invited? Has that been announced anywhere else? Considering how many people close to the NECSS wrote in support of that decision, with justifications that seemed hard to overcome, that is surprising.

  7. rickflick
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s a relief to hear his voice. A little scratchy, but, as he said, not cognitively impaired in the least.

  8. Mary A. Drake
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Really glad to hear Richard is recovering. He is so important to so many of us. Hang in there, Richard.

  9. BobTerrace
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    He is an amazing man. Obviously further evolved than I am. I am astonished that he can send us this message at this point.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Phew…I don’t consider many humans “my hero”, but Richard Dawkins (and Jerry Coyne for that matter) is certainly on the list. Take care and be well.

  11. Les
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear he is doing quite well given his stroke.

  12. Posted February 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    So RD was re-invited by NECSS? Why do I see nothing about this anywhere?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Probably because they thought it politic to contact Richard and get his response *before* they announced it to the world…

      cr

  13. Rob
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Truly saddened to hear of Dawkins stroke. Sincerely wishing him the best with hopes for a full recovery!

  14. Diane G.
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    What an impressive speech, so soon after a stroke! As always, much better than I could ever do at the top of my game. Very, very good to hear, thank you for the message, Richard!

    This mortality thing can be a bummer…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I couldn’t find the word “nervous system” today so just said “brain”. But I’m having that “can’t find words problem that starts with an alpha privative”. Odd that I remember “alpha privative”.

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        lol!

        *googles “alpha privitive”*

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          And the word I’m looking for is aphasia. That only took 12 hours. Maybe the migraine postdrome has ended.

          • Diane G.
            Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            Hope so, kiddo!

            But you may have the distinction of being the first person to be aphasic about aphasia.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

              You know next time I’m going to try to make that joke and be frustrated that I’ve forgotten the word again.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:06 am | Permalink

                Ooh, meta-aphasia!

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 14, 2016 at 12:12 am | Permalink

                I, OTOH, can’t seem to type my eddress correctly anymore…

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 14, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

                But you got a fancy nym out of it.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 15, 2016 at 2:25 am | Permalink

                Er, avatar? (Tho the geometric WP thingies aren’t very avatar-like, unless you want to be seen as a quilt square.)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 15, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

                Or doily.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 16, 2016 at 12:05 am | Permalink

                Ha Ha!

                That’s me–doily.

  15. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone clarify the difference between an haemoragic stroke and an ischaemic one?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I think ischaemic is the artery is clogged and blood can’t get up there while haemorrhagic is the artery bursts. The latter is worse. Bleeding I the brain probably causes more extensive damage.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

  16. harrync
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Dawkins alive, Scalia dead. Obviously, god has spoken.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      The Onion: “Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle With Social Progress”

  17. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    CLERIC WASTES EFFORT FLAPPING GUMS
    ==================================
    The Grauniad is reporting that some man in a purple skirt is flapping his gums uselessly :
    Church of England defends prayer tw*t for Richard Dawkins after stroke.
    Viewed from some perspectives, this is somewhere on the axis from pathos to comedy.


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