October 2, 2009
Richard Dawkins’ Appearance on the Colbert Report
Dawkins was on Colbert the other night, and although the appearance went pretty much as I expected, I thought there were two pretty noteworthy moments.
First, Dawkins came on to the show wearing a custom “crocoduck” tie, after the nonsense strawman argument against evolution peddled by our Way-of-the-Master friends Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. (“If evolution is real,” Cameron asks, “then why don’t we see any transitional fossils?“) And by “transitional fossils,” Cameron doesn’t mean actual transitional fossils, but nonsensical fuzors, such as the half-crocodile, half-duck “crocoduck.” See how cute he is?
I love the idea of the atheist movement co-opting the crocoduck (and the banana, and other ridiculous arguments) and repurposing it as a teaching tool.
Second, although it’s always a challenge to make a serious point on Colbert, Dawkins was able to summarize his argument as: “In the beginning there was simplicity. Evolution (and other naturalistic processes) tell us how we can get from simplicity to complexity.” I think this is a pretty good two-line summary of the Ultimate Boeing 747 argument and a good shorthand answer to various design arguments.