"Dr. Jason Gastrich" <email@example.com> wrote in message news:fxtJb.39471$nG3.firstname.lastname@example.org...
> Tim Tyler wrote:
> > In talk.origins Lucas Bachmann <email@example.com> wrote or
> > quoted:
> >> Like he was rather angry some creationists misrepresented themselves
> >> to get aninterview?
> >> http://www.hubbynet.com/anger.gif
> > ``he states that he was upset because it suddenly became obvious to
> > him that the question was being asked by a creationist and he had
> > been under the impression that he was being interviewed by impartial
> > interrogators. His flustered appearance was a result of the internal
> > conflict he felt between British hospitality and the intense desire
> > to "throw the bums out."''
> > - http://www.tccsa.tc/articles/dawkins_pause.html
> I find this hard to believe. The video gives the picture of a person who is
> genuinely searching his brain for an answer; not a person who is
> contemplating "throwing the bum out."
No doubt you consider yourself a better judge than any atheist over what the atheist was actually thinking at any given time, but for what it's worth, Richard Dawkins is of a different opinion than yourself on this matter:
"In September 1997, I allowed an Australian film crew into my house in Oxford without realising that their purpose was creationist propaganda. In the course of a suspiciously amateurish interview, they issued a truculent challenge to me to 'give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.' It is the kind of question only a creationist would ask in that way, and it was at this point I tumbled to the fact that I had been duped into granting an interview to creationists - a thing I normally don't do, for good reasons. In my anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop the camera. However, I eventually withdrew my peremptory termination of the interview as a whole. This was solely because they pleaded with me that they had come all the way from Australia specifically in order to interview me. Even if this was a considerable exaggeration, it seemed, on reflection, ungenerous to tear up the legal release form and throw them out. I therefore relented.
"My generosity was rewarded in a fashion that anyone familiar with fundamentalist tactics might have predicted. When I eventually saw the film a year later 1, I found that it had been edited to give the false impression that I was incapable of answering the question about information content 2. In fairness, this may not have been quite as intentionally deceitful as it sounds. You have to understand that these people really believe that their question cannot be answered! Pathetic as it sounds, their entire journey from Australia seems to have been a quest to film an evolutionist failing to answer it.
"With hindsight - given that I had been suckered into admitting them into my house in the first place - it might have been wiser simply to answer the question. But I like to be understood whenever I open my mouth - I have a horror of blinding people with science - and this was not a question that could be answered in a soundbite. First you first have to explain the technical meaning of "information". Then the relevance to evolution, too, is complicated - not really difficult but it takes time. Rather than engage now in further recriminations and disputes about exactly what happened at the time of the interview (for, to be fair, I should say that the Australian producer's memory of events seems to differ from mine), I shall try to redress the matter now in constructive fashion by answering the original question, the 'Information Challenge', at adequate length - the sort of length you can achieve in a proper article."