Though from Dublin, I had never been to the National Concert Hall of Stephen’s Green and when a chance came to go see and listen to the brilliant mind of Richard Dawkins, I quickly purchased a ticket and made my way last night to join the sell out crowd with a wonderful evening of discussion and intellect conversation.
I have to say, what an amazing venue, rich in history with a beautiful interior and excellent acoustic sound. It was a great experience to be in a room, packed full of people, most like minded, here to see the genius and well respected scientist Richard Dawkins.
I am a huge, maybe fanatic fan of Richard and his brain. I have a huge attraction to thinkers and realists and through all my years of reading, researching, questioning and thinking, it is Richard Dawkins who has inspired and educated myself especially about the work of another brilliant mind, Charles Darwin.
So, it was a privilege to be in the same room last night with Richard as well as the BBC broadcaster and journalist William Crawley who was conducting the interview so to speak with questions about science, evolution, religion and personal life and like many in the room, I was drawn in and wowed by the wittiness and intelligence as well as the mild calm manner of this man, regarded by creationists and many religious nuts as the anti-Christ or as stated by Crawley last night, Darwin’s Rottweiler haha.
The night started of with Crawley talking about Dawkins love for poetry and we were treated to a verse by one of Dawkins favourite poets, Yeats, and as with everything with this man, you could feel the passion in his voice and was a wonderful start to an intriguing night.
Crawley conducted the questions sometimes adding the comic touch and for the next hour and a half we were brought on an illuminating journey in the brain of Dawkins and treated to opinions and answers on scientific reality from the complexity of genes to the thinking of creationists, discussions on religion in the daily lives of people and the effect it has, to his love about Charles Darwin and the brilliance and fact of evolution, quite a huge range of topics, all fascinating and to some, eye opening.
Dawkins shot to fame with his brilliant book ‘The Selfish Gene’ and ever more so when he wrote the excellent ‘The God Delusion‘ which caused controversy among the religious elite and fanatics bringing hate mail from all over the world, mostly from religious people who have never even read their bible, so it was fascinating to have a man in a predominantly catholic country, discussion the reality of the state of the church and the quite brave statement about there being no such thing as a god.
What struck me last night, with great delight I may say, was that the house was full, the tickets sold out, and the demand for more tickets and people wanting to see and hear Richard Dawkins was quite exhilarating and heart pounding to see our country Ireland in a transition away from church as well as religion and it gives me hope that the future of Ireland is turning more towards thinkers, realists, science and breaking the shackles of the Catholic church.
Yes, we are miles away from total freedom, but, as I have seen, Irish people are starting to think for themselves, question, which is most important, the value or need of a church, and open their minds to reason and science, and as seen by the crowds last night, the tide may be finally turning, well for some at least.
All in all, it was a fantastic night. A lot of people will judge me for this post and for my love of Richard Dawkins. But, I urge you, before making judgement, open your mind, read his books. You do not have to give up your religion, just educate yourself, and always never be afraid to question.
I am in the middle of reading ‘The Greatest Show on Earth‘ a book about evolution and I have to say, absolutely amazing, simply fascinating, and recommended to every being on this planet because it quite truly shows us how lucky we are to be on this complex planet, but a beautiful one at that.
Richard has constantly been accused of been irrational which funny enough is repeatedly barked by haters who preach about love and peach to a god, but, he is far from it and like myself, full of passion especially when it come to ignorance as I quite know, it is hard to stay calm when faced with silliness and stupidity, but he manages to be dignified and calm.
My next book will be his latest book ‘The Magic of Reality‘ and though it is a book aimed at children, I can’t wait to read it, as with all Richards book, he has a way of brilliantly education you about complex matters and keeps you thinking, an important book I suspect for the development of any child.
And if you were lucky enough to be there last night and here Richard recite his poetry,I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and if you where, what did you think of it?