Richard Dawkins was on The Daily Show last night. I’m a great fan of his, as you may know if you read my blog and have total recall. For your reading pleasure, a few of my many posts on his work:
A Presbyterian clergyman asked him, via Jon Stewart, whether he was aware that many believers in God were also believers in the scientific method.
Dawkins allowed as how he was aware of that. “I often join with bishops and other friends,” he said, and it was probably the first time that phrase has been uttered, “to combat the anti-scientific tendency of fundamentalist religion.”
Whether this was “some of my best friends are religious” or backing off from some of the extreme things he has said about religion, I do not know.
Later on, in choir, we sang, “How Many Are Your Works,” a sprightly little anthem which I could not find for you on YouTube, and I thought of Dawkins. For one thing, it has a very English sound, reminiscent of Ralph Vaughn Williams and his ilk, and I bet Dawkins grew up on that kind of stuff. For another, it’s a sort of recitation of all the stuff God made, from Psalm 104, which is one of my favorite psalms.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
I love the idea of whales being formed specifically to sport in the sea, in addition to all the luxurious listing of all the cool stuff God has made, but I assume Dawkins would disapprove.