The Perils of Fame

I’m not as excited by Doctor Who as — ahem — some people, but this news report made me perk up:

The evolutionary biologist and best-selling author of The God Delusion will appear as a guest star in the new series of Doctor Who, which began last night. “People were falling at his feet,” says Davies, creator of the BBC’s flagship show. “We’ve had Kylie Minogue on that set, but it was Dawkins people were worshipping.”

Cue the complaints that atheism is a cult of personality in 3. . . 2. . . .

(Thanks to Lee Brimmicombe-Wood at Pharyngula.)

UPDATE (7 April): He’s also become a D&D character, or more precisely, a “22th-level Evolutionary Biologist” with “spell resistance infinite” (because magic isn’t real).

8 thoughts on “The Perils of Fame”

  1. Perhaps a more generalized “cooking with laboratory equipment” merit badge is in order. Personally, I keep my olive oil in a volumetric flask. And what respectable scientist hasn’t tried to cook something with a Bunsen burner?

  2. Cue the complaints that atheism is a cult of personality […]

    Dawkins is an atheist?!
    Seriously, it’s more important that Dawkins is a prominent and famous scientist. They’d probably be all over Benoit Mandelbrot, Anousheh Ansari or John Dobson, too. (I know I would!)
    Doctor Who is sci-fi, not athe-fi.

  3. Pseudonym:

    I can see your point; my impression has been that Dawkins has received a general +N celebrity modifier as a result of his recent, er, antics, and might consequently be more likely to appear in these odd places. We’ll have to wait until the episode comes out to see how he’s portrayed (it’s entirely possible that his entire cameo is just a joke about his being Lalla Ward‘s husband).


    His Dark Materials?

  4. I would listen to Prof Dawkins any day rather than that airhead Minogue who is hardly erudite and is really rather bland and monosyllabic.Still rabbiting on like a drama queen about her cancer 3 years later as if she alone ever had a brush with it, so manipulative.Like being raped on a guilt trip to buy her rubbish and worse the media helping her all the time.Dawkins at least has intelligent integrity whether one agrees or not he makes you THINK…an alien concept to Minogue OBE

  5. Blake:

    Definitely with you on the +N celebrity thing. While Doctor Who staffers are probably not a cross-section of the general population, most people in the UK could certainly pick Dawkins out of a line-up. You couldn’t say that of Mandelbrot.


    What would athe-fi look like? Maybe Hitchiker’s Guide?

    At the Christian high school that I went to (mainline Lutheran, in case you were curious), all my friends were huge fans, so no.

    Even His Dark Materials (which was never popular here in Australia; I hadn’t heard of it before the movie came out) has been endorsed by reformist Roman Catholics.

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