Meeting Richard Dawkins on QandA

I’m sure a lot of you watched last nights Q&A Easter
Special with a debate between Evolutionary Biologist, Author and
Outspoken Atheist Prof Richard Dawkins and Catholic Archbishop of
Sydney Cardinal George Pell. I am a big supporter of Richard
Dawkins so when I saw he was going to be on Q&A, naturally I
wanted to go. I was very lucky as the very kind Natasha Johnson
from ABC who interviewed me for a story on 730 last year, managed
to get me and my Sister a ticket for the show. I didn’t realise
just how lucky we were until we got there and was told by Tony
Jones that so many people registered to be in the audience that 300
people were turned down. He also said that they received the most
number of web and video questions they’ve ever had! It was very
exciting when my sister and I went into the studio and got seated.
It was interesting seeing how they prepare for the show and work
out where the ‘Question Askers’ were sitting so the cameras could
find them quickly. Then Tony Jones came in to welcome the 2
panelists. Richard Dawkins was welcomed in first and there was a
moderate cheer. But then when Cardinal Pell walked in there was an
almighty cheer. My heart sank when I realised how outnumbered we
were. I looked across at Clare (my sister) and we both exchanged a
look of ‘oh dear’ haha. It just happened to be that where we were
sitting, we were surrounded by a group of quite obnoxious
Catholics/Christians. I have no problem with Christians, Infact my
best friends are Christians! But this group were just….ugh.
Whenever Cardinal Pell said something they would all be like “Yeah!
Woooo! Amen!” and when Dawkins would say something that they didn’t
understand they would start laughing in a very rude manner and said
“Idiot!”. Gosh they were obnoxious! We were so relieved when we
realised the 3 peeps in front of us were on our side! I think it
was a great debate and both sides put forth a good argument.
Although Pell seemed to keep changing what he believed according to
the question, which I’ve noticed all Christians seem to do. Sigh.
It was funny when Pell said we evolved from Neanderthals and
Dawkins was like “Neaderthals?! They are our cousins, not
ancestors!” I found that Pell kept going around in circles and
never really answering the question. For example on the subject of
hell, Pell said that he hoped Hitler was in hell, and then preceded
to say that he hopes no one is in hell. And just to clarify, Hitler
was NOT an atheist. He was in fact Roman Catholic. Unfortunately
the topic of Embryonic Stem Cell research didn’t come up. I have
read that Pell is against ESC’s and I would love to know how he can
be passionate about saving the lives of an unborn baby, actually
just a bunch of cells, and yet deny a person like me the chance at
a longer/better quality of life? Anyways after the show one of the
producers said If I waited around I could get my book signed by
Richard Dawkins! (I’d taken my book just incase) For security
reasons, they had to clear out all the crazy Christians before
Richard could come out for a meet and greet. Once the crowd had
gone Richard Dawkins came out and he came over to me and said
“Hello! Would you like me to sign your book?” I said yes please and
he signed my copy of “The God Delusion”. He knelt down next to me
and my Sister took a photo. He was very kind and he kept looking at
me with a lovely smile. I think it was probably refreshing for him
to have a little girl that is obviously sick, not automatically
turn to the church but be a critical thinker and want to meet HIM
instead. There are A LOT of people who hate Richard Dawkins but I
happen to think he is a lovely man. :) And to the Creationists who
claim that there are NO ‘Beneficial Mutations’ and that they are
only harmful or detrimental to the genome, well you are wrong
because you could say that I have a beneficial mutation in that my
genetic illness allows me to meet cool people like Richard Dawkins
and The Cranberries! Checkmate! ;) You can
view the Dawkins vs Pell debate online here
here is his radio interview on RN the next morning

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5 thoughts on “Meeting Richard Dawkins on QandA

  1. Hi Nikki, I was an agnostic all my (longish)life until a
    few years ago; now I’m a Christian. I discovered that the God of
    the Bible is real, that He exists. I found answers to all the big
    questions, and most of the small ones. I’d like to share my
    testimony and experience with you so that you can have a changed
    perspective as I have on life, the universe and everything. There
    is absolutely no reason why you should trust or believe me; what I
    am asking though is that you give God a chance to reveal Himself to
    you. What do you have to lose? Even Richard Dawkins said that he
    can’t be 100% sure that God doesn’t exist. If He does exist, you
    can have a glorious future, free from your pain. If He doesn’t
    exist, you have had an open mind and intellectual honesty in
    seeking the truth. I found that the truth is better than I could
    have imagined; it’s actually better than most Christians themselves
    realise. You can have your parents “check me out” if you like; my
    wife and I and our two children are quite “normal”. Or you can talk
    to our daughter who is around your age if you prefer. I can give
    you my website URL if you’re interested; it’s really amateur
    however it’s totally honest. As I said, what do you have to lose?
    Nothing. You have, however, everything to gain. Kind regards

  2. Hi Nikki,

    Lucky you getting to see the debate and meet Richard! More impressive is your ability to be true to your skepticism and reality and as you say not to fall into the trap of belief.

    I hope your condition gets better and you get the benefit from all the advances science will bring.
    Best of luck
    Shea in ireland

  3. Dear Nikki, Take my hat of to you. What a mature and open minded attitude. I feel quite envious that you met Richard Dawkins face to face.

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