‘Richard Dawkins is at it again . . . It’s the familiar stuff: a fluent, funny, whingeing litany of jibes about genocidal Israelites, filicidal Gods and benighted Tennessean Creationists. We’ve all heard it all before, of course. Dawkins has become a hackneyed national treasure. He’s a sort of pantomime dame – always doing the same old gags. We’d miss him if he didn’t appear. We love him for his ridiculousness, the extremity of his speech, and the extravagant colour of his bile, just as we love the dame’s unfeasibly enormous breasts and her outrageously striped tights.
You’ve got to admire the Dawkins-Dame. He never rests on his laurels. His lines might be the same, but he tries to alternate his frocks. This time he’s wearing a very fetching little pretext: read the King James Version . . . It takes great stamina to carry on doing the same show for decades. Why does he do it? He doesn’t need the money. Surely he’s not so insecure as to need the applause of his scientifically illiterate fan club? Doesn’t he know that there’s almost no one in mainstream biology who thinks that life and the universe are as monolithically simple as he says they are?
. . . So why go on? Perhaps because he’s become his mission. Perhaps there’s no Richard Dawkins inside that scowling, spitting ball of godless epigrams. If he stopped preaching, maybe he’d just disintegrate. Old actors become their parts: when the show stops, so do they.’