Richard Dawkins will make a guest appearance on “Doctor Who.”

I’m a long time Doctor Who fan as well as a long time Richard Dawkins fan and now two of my favorite things will be combined if only for a little while:

He is the creator of galaxies, saviour of Saturday night telly and the most influential gay man in Britain, but Russell T Davies can still shriek like a starstruck fanboy. “Richard Dawkins!”

The evolutionary biologist and best-selling author of The God Delusion will appear as a guest star in the new series of Doctor Who, which began last night. “People were falling at his feet,” says Davies, creator of the BBC’s flagship show. “We’ve had Kylie Minogue on that set, but it was Dawkins people were worshipping.”

As writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, Davies often plays with religious imagery (from a cross-shaped space station to robot angels with halos), but he’s a fervent believer in Dawkins. “He has brought atheism proudly out of the closet!”

Dawkins has an indirect connection with Doctor Who because he’s married to Lalla Ward who once played Romana, a fellow Time Lord and traveling companion of The Fourth Doctor during Tom Baker’s years. It appears that Davies is a big fan of Dawkins as well, however, and that led to him making a brief appearance as himself in an upcoming episode. Once I find out which one it is I’ll let you know.

The first episode of season fourth just aired last night and I’ve already grabbed it off the night. It was a bit on the silly side, but it wasn’t a bad start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Just an FYI the link to the full article above does contain at least one spoiler about an upcoming episode so if you’re avoiding spoilers you may want to avoid the article altogether.

Richard Dawkins says he’s a ‘cultural Christian’.

Professor Richard Dawkins, author of the book ‘The God Delusion’ and one of Britain’s most well-known atheists, has described himself as a ‘cultural Christian’. The comments come about after Mark Pritchard, an opposition member of Parliament, accused politically correct people of undermining Christmas and other Christian festivals.

Dawkin’s response was thus:

“I’m not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions.

“This is historically a Christian country. I’m a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims.

“So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I’m not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.

“If there’s any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists.”

Pritchard, meanwhile wants a parliamentary debate on “Christianophobia” and is complaining that ‘Christian heritage was being undermined by secular officials and public figures’.

A more effective means of education.

Who knew Richard Dawkins is such a bad ass?


Click to embiggen!

Found via The Friendly Atheist.