English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins appeared on “Real Time With Bill Maher” Friday night insisting he’s not a “militant” atheist and warning people to be weary of nice guy Pope Francis.
“Doc, do you share my belief that Pop Frank is secretly an atheist,” Maher asked Dawkins.
“Like many people, I’m sure that [President Barack] Obama is an atheist,” Dawkins said. “I’m sure Kennedy was an atheist. But I doubt Pope Frank is, no. He’s obviously a nice man, therefore a dangerous man. We don’t want nice men in the Vatican.”
Dawkins agreed with Maher’s supposition that people who claim he is a “hostile” atheist are people who “mistake militancy for clarity.”
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“I think you’re very clear on what you believe, and they misinterpret it as hostility,” Maher added.
“Interesting you should say that — I actually think exactly that,” Dawkins responded. “Not in respect to me, but in general: clarity is threatening. People can’t bear clarity. They want you to weasel around and obscure. But if you’re clear, if you stand up and say clearly what you think and what you’re saying, then they will think you’re being threatening, aggressive, strident, shrill.”
Maher also brought up a recent discovery of skulls, which are reportedly 1.8 million years old, beneath a medieval village in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
“How could a skull be 1.8 million years old if the Earth is only 5,000 years old?” Maher asked in jest.
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“If you believe that the world is only 6000 years old, as some of these people do, given that the true age of the earth is 4.6 billion years, it’s equivalent to believing the width of North America is eight yards,” Dawkins mused.