I was glad to see someone finally ask Professor Dawkins for some scientifically gathered information for his claim that raising a child Catholic is worse than sexual abuse. In my view, he needs to be asked to provide evidence far more often.
In fact, I was disappointed that the interviewer in the video asked for a show of hands. I would much rather him have asked Dawkins if he would have accepted “it seems intuitively entirely reasonable” from a religious person after requesting scientifically gathered evidence.
Dawkins has made long lists of accusations about the harmfulness of theism for years, while simultaneously insisting that one must base one’s conclusions on the findings of science. Having sifted through quite a few anthropological and sociological studies on the effects of religious belief, I can say with confidence that Richard Dawkins is not taking his own advice (or, I suppose, is simply dishonest – but I doubt that).
In fact, I’ve listened to quite a bit of what Professor Dawkins has to say, and have no memory of him ever quoting a study on the effects of religion – even in the vague sense of “studies have shown…”. It doesn’t surprise me, then, that his claims are so consistently contradicted by actual studies.
That being the case, it’s hard to see how he can claim to have a “scientific mind”, as he puts it, on this subject. The person who genuinely insists on evidence should, as a matter of fact, be completely uninterested in anything he has to say.