Dawkins Foundation Attacks Unreason

According to a short blurb, “Dawkins Versus the Gods,” by Eliot Marshall, in the December 1 issue of Science, Richard Dawkins has started a new foundation dedicated to promoting science and reason. Here is Mr. Marshall’s blurb in its entirety:

After scanning the titles in a local bookshop, Oxford University geneticist Richard Dawkins discovered that “real science” was “outnumbered three to one by pseudoscience.” Concerned that “the enlightenment is under threat,” the author of The God Delusion has created and will help fund the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason. The new charity, with U.S. and U.K. branches, will support research on “the psychological basis of unreason,” produce videos and books, and run a Web site (richarddawkins.net/foundation). Another goal, “to oppose … well-financed efforts to teach creationism in science classes,” will put it up against the U.K.–based Truth in Science, which recently sent “intelligent design” promotional packs to 5700 British secondary schools. Truth in Science claims it received 59 positive responses.

The foundation’s Website is very preliminary right now, but the trustees plan to incorporate in both the US and the UK, partly for tax reasons. The Website includes a video by Professor Dawkins, which I will not discuss because the transcript is posted as well; links to books by Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Matt Ridley, and Sam Harris (but not, alas, Why Intelligent Design Fails); and a short list of lecturers, not least P.Z. Myers. We can additionally look forward to a calendar and a newsletter.

I wish Professor Dawkins luck, but I fear it is 300 years after the Enlightenment, and unreason seems to be increasing, not decreasing. He (and we) have a long, hard row to hoe.