Bill Maher gets the Richard Dawkins Award? That's like Jenny McCarthy getting an award for public health

This is an opinion piece about Bill Maher and his penchant for a different kind of woo.
Sent to me by Jay on Facebook, thanks Jay.

Past recipients have included James Randi, Ann Druyan, Penn and Teller, Julia Sweeney, Daniel Dennett, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, all worthy recipients.

So the other day I was rather shocked to see who the 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award will be. If you read Pharyngula, you knew the answer a couple of days ago.

Bill Maher.

When I found this out, all I could think was: WTF?


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Replies to This Discussion

I agree that there's much about Bill Maher that bothers me, but he does have an audience and has the courage (or power through ratings) to push a generally liberal, non-religious point of view. I think, as long as his audience can think for themselves and dismiss his anti-Western stance on medicine, he does more good than harm. But should he get this award?
I really don't think he should. I have nothing wrong with Bill Maher getting awards. I think he's awesome. If you look at the actual description of this particular award, he really doesn't fit criteria.

"The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who through work or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins."

Bill Maher isn't even an Atheist :|

What's everyone else think?
I will second that motion.
I'm sort of 'whatever.'

Granted he is a bit much into the woo. He doesn't have a grasp on science.

However he has done one criteria very well, much better than any of the past winners: raising awareness of atheism. Religulous was fantastic. That's merit enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Maybe next year they'll give it to PZ Myers or Hitchens.


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