It would be Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday on February 12, 2009 -- which will also be the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On The Origin of Species. It is time therefore to revive the old God debate between creationism and evolution, which gives me an excuse to also post this short little exchange dating back to November 2006 between Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson, where Tyson took Dawkins to task for his methods:
"Your commentary had a sharpness ... You are a professor of the public understanding of science, not professor of delivering truths to the public. And these are two different exercises. One of them is, as you said, you put the truth out there and they either buy your books or they don't -- but that's not being an educator. That's just putting it out there. Being an educator is not just getting the truth right but there's got to be an act of persuasion there as well. Persuasion isn’t always "Here are the facts -- you’re an idiot or you are not," But, here are the facts and here is a sensitivity to your state of mind and it's the facts plus the sensitivity which together create impact... I worry that your methods and how articulately barbed you can be ends up simply being ineffective when you have much more power and influence than what is currently reflected in your output."
Dawkins replied, “I gratefully accept the rebuke.” And then added,
"Just one anecdote to show that I am not the worst in this. A former and highly successful editor of New Scientist magazine-- who actually built up New Scientist and took it to great new heights -- was asked, "What is your philosophy at New Scientist?" And he said, "Our philosophy at New Scientist is this: Science is interesting. And if you don't agree, you can fuck off."
Read more Richard Dawkins on the net
"Ya..there was a certain amount of pressure to be academically successful. Most people, as they grow up, imagine they will do better than their father.. or better than their grandfather and certainly better than their great great grandfather and I figured that was not going to happen in the academic sphere... So I kind of dropped out....