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August 25, 2007

Normally I cope with jet lag well, but for some reason it’s hit me badly after three weeks in the US. Probably because I was on holiday, relaxed and got into a daily rhythm with Huw with regular meals and little stress. Not coping meant I was up at 0400 this morning. Rather than wake the household I made a cup of tea and headed for the sitting room with the Powerbook to check on email while watching early morning television.

I was lucky enough to catch the two part episode of South Park which satirises Richard Dawkins. For those who have not seen it I will summarise. Cartman, unable to wait three weeks for a new games console freezes himself. Things go wrong and he is not woken until 500 years in the future. He finds three competing groups of atheists (one of which comprises intelligent sea otters) who go to war over the great question: what should atheists be called. The language is delightful, lots of phrases like Thank Science and Dawkins is celebrated as the first prophet of atheism.

It’s a great episode and makes the point that militant atheism is the same sort of thing as fundamentalist religion. Dawkins however does not get the point, to quote: I’m buggered if I like being portrayed as a cartoon character buggering a bald transvestite. I wouldn’t have minded so much if only it had been in the service of some serious point, but if there was a serious point in there I couldn’t discern it. I can sympathize with with his bald transvestite point, but his lack of discernment speaks volumes.

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