Dawkins and the Dark Ages

In this Twitter spat between Richard Dawkins and the Muslim community, I find it interesting that no one has noted the silliest thing that the world’s most famous atheist said:

Professor Richard Dawkins has become embroiled in a Twitter row after he claimed the last time Muslims contributed something worthwhile was during the Dark Ages.  The 71-year-old author went on to tweet that the world’s Muslims had won fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.

His comments sparked anger among high-profile Twitter users including writer Caitlin Moran and economics editor at Channel 4 News, Faisal Islam.

Moran tweeted: ‘It’s time someone turned Richard Dawkins off and then on again.

‘Something’s gone weird.’

While Islam said: ‘Actually, over the last two decades, it’s 8-4 against Trinity. I

‘I say this as a muslim alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge.

‘Of course if @RichardDawkins had any clue what he was talking about, he’d know to strip out the Economics Nobels, which aren’t quite real’

Forget the fake Nobels of economics, which Islam is correct to point out are not true Nobel prizes, but rather Sveriges Riksbank Prizes in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.  It’s more pertinent to point out that there never were any Dark Ages, in Europe or anywhere else, and even if one uses the term in the historically incorrect colloquial manner, it has nothing to do with Islamic history.

Richard Dawkins is simply demonstrating, once more, the fact that in addition to being a philosophical and theological ignoramus, he is a historical one as well.

UPDATE: It is pointed out that it was the newspaper, not Dawkins, who used the ahistorical term “Dark Ages”.  Fair enough, that is an error that should not be laid at his door.  But he is responsible for this logical error: if Muslims had contributed nothing worthwhile, then the Nobel count difference cannot matter since either Nobel Prizes are worthwhile, thus proving Muslims have contributed something, or they are not, in which case his comparison is pointless.

Of course, all of this is irrelevant, since Dawkins is merely playing his usual game of vomiting forth rhetoric in the guise of dialectic.