Overwhelming ignorance

Here is an excerpt from the Richard Dimbleby Lecture on November 12th, 1996, delivered the on BBC1 Television in England by Richard Dawkins. He quotes Bernard Levin, the columnist.

Bernard Levin’s effusion in The Times was entitled “God, me and Dr. Dawkins” and it had the subtitle: “Scientists don’t know and nor do I — but at least I know I don’t know”.

It is no mean task to plumb the full depths of what Mr Bernard Levin does not know, but here’s an illustration of the gusto with which he boasts of it.

“Despite their access to copious research funds, today’s scientists have yet to prove that a quark is worth a bag of beans. The quarks are coming! The quarks are coming! Run for your lives . . .! Yes, I know I shouldn’t jeer at science, noble science, which, after all, gave us mobile telephones, collapsible umbrellas and multi-striped toothpaste, but science really does ask for it . . . Now I must be serious. Can you eat quarks? Can you spread them on your bed when the cold weather comes?”

It doesn’t deserve a reply, but the distinguished Cambridge scientist, Sir Alan Cottrell, wrote a brief Letter to the Editor:- “Sir: Mr Bernard Levin asks “Can you eat quarks?” I estimate that he eats 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 quarks a day.

Taken from The Edge .

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