Rooting about in the great YouTube basement of forgotten television programmes, I came across this BBC documentary in the Beautiful Minds series. I saw all the second series, broadcast last year. This episode was interesting to me because I knew practically nothing about Dawkins’ scientific credentials – it was primarily as a polemicist for atheism that I came to know him, and of his many books I’ve only read The God Delusion. I’m probably similar in that respect to his detractors, who may not even have read that one book.
What comes across is his absolute respect for the scientific method, combined with an almost child-like wonder at the world it reveals:
Science is magical in the best sense of being spell-binding, spine-crawling, exciting, magical in that sense.
I can understand his impatience with religion, which seeks to reduce all this incredible complexity to an authority-driven dogma.