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Full Transcript of Brian Lehrer Interviewing Richard Dawkins Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Posted by Henry in Brian Lehrer, evolution, faith, God, radio interview, radio talk show, rationality, religion, Richard Dawkins, science, transcript, WNYC.

Lehrer: Brian Lehrer, WNYC. We have something new on our webpage, by the way, it’s our online video-picks. Every week we will choose five videos from the web, which I anchor in our Picks Video. This week they include a clip of Karl Rove when he was an unknown colleague student, working for the Nixon campaign. And for others, check out our online Video Picks at WNYC.org, click on Brian Lehrer Show.

Lehrer: My guest now has been described as Darwin’s Rottweiler – a scientist and an atheist, he’s come to the conclusion that religious belief is not only irrational, but harmful – a case he makes in his latest book The God Delusion, which was published in 2006 by Houghton Mifflin. He is a renowned zoologist, evolutionary biologist, and best selling author and he teaches at Oxford University where he is the professor of The Public Understanding of Science. Richard Dawkins, welcome back to WNYC.

Dawkins: Thank you.

Lehrer: He is in New York today, by the way, to accept the Lewis Thomas Price at Rockefeller University. Maybe some of you, er, as I did, read Lewis Thomas’ essays on science which certainly contributed to the public understanding, so congratulations on that price, Dr. Dawkins.

Lehrer: I see you are not wearing your Atheists for Jesus t-shirt (Dawkins laughs) today. You have such a shirt?

Dawkins: I do have such a shirt. I wrote an article in the magazine Free Inquiry called Atheists for Jesus, and then somebody presented me with a t-shirt which I occasionally enjoy wearing.

Lehrer: What’s the basic Atheists for Jesus argument?

Dawkins: Jesus was a very good man; if Jesus had been alive today, and if he had known what we know, he would be an atheist.

Lehrer: And do you think religion, in itself, is fundamentally harmful?

Dawkins: Well I don’t want to stress that too much. I mean in your introduction you rather implied that that was the main point of The God Delusion. The main point of The God Delusion is that God doesn’t exist – it’s a matter of scientific truth. However after having established that in the first half of the book, the second half of the book does then go on and point out some of the bad things that do flow, from widespread faith.