As it happens, though I share his views I actually think Dawkins has a hectoring approach when he is discussing religion that often doesn't do his arguments justice (I have to say this quietly as Mrs Tom is a major Dawkins fan). However I think his latest series has provided a really good overview of evolution, and based on what has appeared in The Times I find myself wondering if I am watching the same programme. There are certainly some digs at religion in there but a) these are few and far between, most of it is just the science and b) he gives believers the opportunity to say their bit.
I thought the latest programme was good as it saw him try and reconcile his own left-of-centre beliefs with the brutal nature of survival of the fittest. And again, even though I'm basically on the same side, I thought he came up short. But at least he acknowledged that there is a real contradiction between his beliefs and what he knows about evolution.
The twonks at The Times on the other hand seem to want to pretend that there isn't an implicit and fundamental challenge to religion in Darwin's ideas. Hence they have a pop at the tone of the programme, and celebrate superstition:
In the end, the wisest and most memorable observation came from the mouth of a schoolboy. After a day on the Jurassic coast, discovering ammonites, he said that yes, he believed in evolution, then paused and, with a faint smile, added: “But I’ll still say my prayers.”
What is 'wise' about continuing with a superstitious ritual in the face of contrary evidence?