Richard Dawkins: ‘Strident? Do they mean me?’

Emma Townshend in The Independent:

4853882_246793t Richard Dawkins is in the middle of London's Natural History Museum, telling me about the applications on his iPhone. Sitting in the museum café, he holds the phone up to his mouth and tips back his head to show me how he can drink a virtual “pint” of Carling on screen, the beer draining as the phone tips further. Which is not exactly what I was expecting.

Dawkins has the enthusiasm of a teenage geek for new technology. “I love my iPhone,” he confesses. “I'm on my third already.” Then he shows me another phone app, this time simulating Darwinian natural selection. As each generation of a populace is born, the appearance of the group of individuals on screen varies. As Sir David Attenborough walks past and says hello, I feel secretly relieved we aren't still laughing at the lager trick. “Do you find it difficult to switch off from technology?” “Aha, yes,” he says with a dark chuckle, straightaway. And do you ever get in trouble for that? He laughs again.

To most observers, Dawkins is the textbook aggressive champion of evolutionary theory. His new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, is intended to amass the scientific testimony for evolution in one place, answering creationist critics who say there is no evidence that evolution by natural selection has ever taken place. In person, Dawkins fails to live up to the “aggressive” label.

More here.