Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catherine Deveny meets Richard Dawkins

...and they are in lurrrvvve. It would be a match made in heaven if they believed in such a place.

No, "Deveny meets Dawkins" isn't the latest shmock horror film to hit our shores, it's Deveny's review published in today's edition of the "The Age" of "Root of all evil? The God Delusion" documentary to screen tomorrow night at 9:30pm on the ABC.

Of course, this is Deveny's first "close encounter" with the man whom she adoringly introduces as
a scientist and passionate atheist who has produced a stunning, thoroughly researched and expertly executed work that flatly denies the existence of God and illustrates what a destructive force religion is.
We cannot expect that she has read the book. Her review does not even suggest that she is aware that the book exists. After just having had a discussion with my eldest daughter about the way in which "the film" always chops up and dumbs down "the book", it is somewhat surreal to read such a gushing review of a film made about a book whose argumentation was pretty poor to begin with.

So, what, for Deveny, is the best bit about Dawkins' documentary? The fact that he agrees with her. That he says exactly what she has always thought, but in a way that seems much more clever than she could ever say it. And that he--being "a Scientist" (ooh, aah and other sighs of awe) whereas she is only a comedian and part-time journalist--says it with much greater authority and with that "glorious" Oxford accent. But they both have the sneering and the smuggness down pat.

In case you think that Dawkins is just "preaching to the converted" (Deveny tells us), this documentary will "actually convert fence-sitters with truth and reason." Truth and reason? Yeah, right. Funny how "truth and reason" mean one thing for the admirers of Richard Dawkins and a completely different thing for the admirers of Pope Benedict.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Dawkins has at least been preaching to one convert. Here are a few of the adjectives Deveny uses for Dawkins' documentary: "stunning", "expertly researched", "entertaining", "brilliant", "intoxicating", "masterful"...

Yes, dear readers, there is romance in the air. And I think Cathering Deveny is full of it.


At Sunday, May 20, 2007 9:44:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...


I read Deveny's piece too, and was equally perplexed, not least when she took on the role of prophet. Twice she wrote that the showing of this documentary will convert people.

Your comments regarding her failure to mention the book were apt too. She seems to be forgetting that we've all been on the Dawkins diet for a long time. Too long!


At Sunday, May 20, 2007 11:36:00 pm , Blogger Arabella-m said...

I've just watched the "expertly researched" show.

The information presented about Pope Pius XII and his proclamation of Mary's Assumption as doctrine was very wrong.

Considering the original documents re. the proclamation of the Assumption are so easy to access this was extremely shoddy work. "Expertly researched" - I think not!


At Monday, May 21, 2007 11:46:00 am , Blogger Athanasius said...

I have read, I can't recall where, that the more knowledgeable the reviewer of Dawkins book in areas such as philosophy, theology or sociology, the more dismissive the review.

Based on that correlation, can we assume Deveny knows nothing at all about any of the three?


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