When it comes to religion, Stephen Hawking is the voice of reason. Not for him the polemical style that has propelled Richard Dawkins to the fore of national consciousness in the God debates. His argument is likely in the long term to be more dangerous to religion because it is more measured than The God Delusion.
Irritating, I know, since Dawkins' arguments are generally pretty measured. But I have an alternate take on this quote. This quote actually demonstrates just how successful Dawkins and the other Gnu Atheists have been, and reaffirms their importance!
Without books like The God Delusion entering the public consciousness, can you really honestly picture a major newspaper reacting positively to Hawking's proclamation? They'd be painting him as the mean nasty atheist who is spoiling all of the fun, rather than revering him as the wise and humble oracle who perhaps we ought to listen to after all. The public perception of Dawkins, regardless of its accuracy, paves the way for mainstream media to embrace messages like this.
I have written before about the importance of a multi-pronged strategy for social change. This silly little opinion piece from The Times just goes to show how crucially necessary such a strategy is. We need the entire continuum ranging from Mooney to Hawking to Dawkins to, well, someone like Pat Condell.
Without dicks, we are lost.