Australia Politics Religion

“…you’re a parliamentarian, in Australia, who believes that the world you live in is less than 10,000 years old…?”

An absolute pleasure, last night, while flicking through the small selection of terrestrial channels we have to choose from here in Australia, past the uninspiring Oscars coverage and dull US drama imports, to stumble across Richard Dawkins on Q and A, the ABC’s local version of Question Time.

If you watch this clip from the start of the show, you may be struck as I was by the gulf between Dawkins and the rest of the guests–juxtaposed with someone who can speak so articulately, the politicians on the panel seem spectacularly incapable of stringing a coherent argument together to explain their daft beliefs.

Steve Fielding, sitting to Dawkins’ left, came across particularly poorly by contrast, I thought.

People voted for this man?

Now I know that voting is compulsory here in Australia so it’s not like anyone went the extra mile out of their way to elect him, but do you really mean to tell me that there were choices and people chose him over the other candidates? Who was he up against?

[I see from his website that he’s also a Climate Change Denier, which is nice–I still don’t quite get how anyone in Australia can deny climate change. It’s a little bit like the turkeys voting for Christmas, because if there’s anywhere that’s going to bear the brunt of the increasingly extreme wacky weather we have to look forward to as a result of screwing up the planet, it’s surely Australia…]

2 thoughts on ““…you’re a parliamentarian, in Australia, who believes that the world you live in is less than 10,000 years old…?””

  1. I saw that too Matt – agree that Steve Fielding came across as a joke, mainly due to his inability to give a straight answer to any question.

    Dawkins is great to watch – and obviously smart – but not sure I like his slightly sneering, patronising way of talking down to almost everyone else on the panel/in the audience. I’d like to read his book though. Have you seen Christopher Hitchens on tv in OZ – I think he was on the same show and he really was awesome.

  2. Yeah I know what you mean. He doesn’t necessarily always do the best job of getting people onside. The books are good–I enjoyed The God Delusion and I have a copy of The Selfish Gene in my “to read” pile…

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