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Richard Dawkins praises ‘courageous people’ like JK Rowling for turning tide against 'dictatorial wokeism'

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who gained fame for his books about atheism and evolution, praised Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for challenging Scotland’s new hate speech law.

Dawkins, who this fall is set to release a new book, “The Genetic Book of the Dead: A Darwinian Reverie,” recently praised Rowling on the latest episode of his podcast for challenging transgender ideology as a new hate crime law appeared to imply such rhetoric was illegal.

“Brave and courageous people, like @jk_rowling, who speak out about the distortion of the definition of woman, will allow the tides to turn,” he wrote in a social media post with a clip from the episode.

Dawkins argued on the podcast that Rowling is “really out there in the thick of it. She’s invited the Scottish government to arrest her, and it would be very entertaining if they do. She’s not an easy person to put in prison, I would have thought.”

Taryn Southern, who co-hosted the podcast and picked questions from viewers to read to the author agreed.

“Correct, but I suppose it’s the people like that happening in greater numbers that’ll have for the tides to turn,” she said. “They say ‘Okay, well, I guess if we express this opinion we won’t be fired from our jobs, we won’t be put in prison so maybe it’s okay.'”

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Earlier in the episode, Dawkins argued that dogmatic forms of thinking like modern “dictatorial wokeism” have a limited lifespan.

“I’m sort of optimistic in the sense that these things come and go, and I think that, for example, just as McCarthyism is now dead, whereas in the 1950s it was extremely powerful, I think that the sort of dictatorial wokeism that we’re seeing at present will pass in the same kind of way.”

Dawkins said there are mysterious mechanisms in modern society for how public opinion on certain issues and ideologies shifts thanks to everything from rulings to everyday conversation.

Dawkins noted that while “people sometimes say something like it’s in the air,” but argued it comes down to “a sort of combination of oh … gossip and dinner party conversations and newspapers, journalism, judges, courts of law, all these sorts of things contribute to the shift of opinion and I’m just looking forward to the change in the present climate of opinion.”

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Later in the podcast, Dawkins pushed back against an audience comment arguing that he’s being hateful toward people who identify as transgender or denying the reality that they exist. Dawkins said such people indeed exist, but he disagrees with their beliefs about who they are.

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“That’s a ridiculous question. I don’t deny their existence and I don’t in any way oppress them. What I object to is the statement ‘A woman can have a penis,’ ‘A transwoman is a woman.’ I object to that because that’s a distortion of language and a distortion of science.”

 

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