Just time to note that Robin McKie’s “profile of Richard Dawkins”:http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1268687,00.html in yesterday’s _Observer_ was one of the most frustrating cuttings jobs I have ever read. What really teed me off was this %(loony)”He has maintained his fusillades of anti-cleric abuse, once utterly crushing the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries (a former scientist), in a debate over the common ground that exists between science and religion (no guessing what Dawkins’s view was)”.% I am pretty certain that I know what he’s talking about. It was a debate in Edinburgh, which I also attended. The Bishop’s Christian name is not Richard. His surname isn’t Harries. His see isn’t Oxford. It was John Habgood, then Archbishop of York. My memory is less that he was utterly crushed (though he certainly came off worse) than that the two were debating quite different things. Dawkins beat him up about the Virgin Birth. Habgood wanted to talk about metaphor and truth.

It all seems a little unfair on the real Richard Harries, who has collaborated with Dawkins in the struggle against creationism, and who was royally shafted by Rowan Williams last summer over Jeffrey John.

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2 Responses to harrumph!

  1. Charles says:

    And more to the point, why on earth were they writing about RD now? Weren’t there any other profileworthy people around?

    It seemed to me a thin issue – one of the big news pieces (trout fishing on the Wandle) was a complete retread of an article that had been in the Indie a few days before.

    (At which point I was going to say “If you’re re-using other papers’ ideas…” But as that’s pretty much all one does, it wouldn’t make much sense.)

    Still don’t know why the Dawkins piece though. Perhaps it had been sitting around looking for a home.

  2. el Patron says:

    oh — becasue the readers of Prospect voted him top of their list of public intellectuals; and because they did so in late July.

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