"The Magic of Reality" 
Bill O'Reilly spars with
Richard Dawkins on
myths, religion and
origins of existence

Bill O'Reilly and Richard Dawkins

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has written a new book, The Magic of Reality, and appeared as a guest on Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's program Wednesday night to talk about the book.  O'Reilly wanted to fight about it as a mockery of God, particularly in the sense that Judeo-Christianity was classified as a myth.  According to O'Reilly, the Judeo-Christian philosophy is reality and the United States is based on it.

The fact that Jesus said to love one another was also proof that life was created by intelligent design,  in O'Reilly's view. A befuddled Dawkins asked his host what that had to do with the existence of the moon.

O’REILLY – You may remember about two years ago we had an atheist, Richard Dawkins, on The Factor.  He was on a crusade to convince believers they’re idiots.  Well now, Mr. Dawkins’ new book, partially aimed at children, called The Magic of Reality – I talked to him earlier this week.

Now, you wrote this book, and this book, you know, is marketed somewhat toward children, adolescents, correct?

DAWKINS – It is, yes.

O’REILLY – And you want them to not only believe in science – which I think is a good thing – but reject God and religion.

DAWKINS – No, this is a book about science.  It doesn’t talk about God.

O’REILLY – It mocks God.  I looked at it.

DAWKINS – No it doesn’t.

O’REILLY –  Come on!

DAWKINS – Which page have you looked at?

O’REILLY – I mean I went through that book and basically you’re saying that everything can be explained by science.  Correct?

DAWKINS – Well, everything about the natural world can be explained by science.  But where does it mock God?

O’REILLY – It basically says that these things are myths.  They’re not really true…

DAWKINS – Every chapter has myths at the beginning of it.


DAWKINS – Some of them are Aztec myths, there are ancient Egyptian myths, the … {inaudible}.

O’REILLY – You're playing semantic games.  You know what you’re doing.  You’re trying to get to the kids and say you’re an idiot if you believe in God.

DAWKINS – It has nothing to do with God.  I am talking about myths from all over the world.  The Judeo-Christian myth is thrown in occasionally, as one of many myths that come from around the world.

O’REILLY – The Judeo-Christian philosophy isn’t a myth.  It’s reality.  This country is based on it.

DAWKINS – Whew! That’s not true.

O’REILLY – Yes it is.  Throughout history, some of the worst regimes ever have been atheistic.  You know that.  Communists, under Stalin, Mao Tse Tung …

DAWKINS – That’s nothing to do with atheism.

O’REILLY – No?  Really?  No?  See, my hypothesis is that religion is a constraint  on society – Good will toward men, teach – treating everybody, as Jesus taught – the same as you, how you like to be treated, the ten commandments, they’re constraints against bad behavior.

DAWKINS – Which of the ten commandments do you value?

O’REILLY – All of them.

DAWKINS – Thou shalt not make a graven image?  Thou shalt not violate the Sabbath?

O’REILLY – Thou shalt not kill.  Thou shalt not bear false witness.

DAWKINS – Thou shalt not kill is a widespread belief all over the world …

O’REILLY – Well, not by Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, they all had one thing in common, they didn’t believe in God.

DAWKINS – But in any case, it has nothing to do with whether you believe in God or not.

O’REILLY – You don’t see it as a constraint?  You don’t see religion as being a constraint on human behavior, the bad behavior?

DAWKINS – No, not really.  The evil – I don’t want to get into a shouting match about who is more evil than who.

O’REILLY – Are we shouting?

DAWKINS – What I do think is that there is a logical connection between believing in God and sometimes doing evil things.

O’REILLY – Sometimes, absolutely.  You see it in the holy war of the jihad.

DAWKINS – Yes, indeed.  But there’s no logical connection between being atheist and doing evil things.  It’s just incidentally true that, say, Mao Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin happened to be atheist.  But that wasn’t what drove them.  What drove them was a political ideology.  It had nothing to do with atheism.

O’REILLY – Well, I – but again, I come back to the constraining influence of religion, that it does discourage this kind of behavior because we'll go back to the ‘thou shalt not kill’ commandment.  Now, the last time you were here, you were honest enough  to admit you don’t know the origin, whether it was a meteor or something like that.  And you said to me we’re working on it.  And I said to you, when you get it, let me know.  That’s how we left it last time.

DAWKINS – That was about two years ago.

O’REILLY – And still, you don’t know.

DAWKINS – Well, are you talking about the origin of life?

O’REILLY – I am talking about the origin of existence, of human existence, and plant existence, and animal existence.

DAWKINS – How can it possibly help to postulate a divine intelligence to explain something complicated like that?

O’REILLY – Here’s how it can help.  If you believe in the teachings of Jesus or Buddha or someone like that who wants people to be peaceful and to love each other, that is a good thing.

DAWKINS – Yeah, but what does that have to do with the origin of the moon?

O’REILLY – Because I don’t believe a meteor crashed into the earth and made everything happen.  I think intelligent design made everything happen.  Give it the last word.

DAWKINS – Well, science does know quite a lot about things like how the moon came into existence and why the sun is there and why the galaxy is there.  Science doesn’t yet know how everything started and as I said last time, they’re working on it.

O’REILLY – All right.   Okay.  We appreciate your coming in and taking the fire, Mr. Dawkins.  And the book is, The Magic of Reality.

DAWKINS – Thank you.