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Ray V
user 7799412
Stow, OH
Post #: 619
Dick Goddard, everyone's favorite weather man, has released his memoirs and part of the book was dedicated to his religious skepticism. During our Coalition of Reason campaign he contacted us and expressed his support for what we are doing. Unfortunately because he is employed by a Fox affiliate he has to keep a somewhat low profile on this issue. He was considering retirement at that time but it looks like this tough old skeptic is going to solider on for now. One thing is for sure, you will never hear him forecast any upcoming 'acts of god'

This brings up our ongoing 'new atheist/accommodation' debate. Dick's approach (bless 'em) would fall in accommodation camp, but given his position he is very brave and doing a great service by publicly promoting rationality. He gets nothing but credit from me. It shows exactly how the hard and soft approach can exist side by side. A weatherman is a scientist, but they are also entertainers of a type. I expressed disappointment when Neil DeGrasse-Tyson came to town and then took the soft approach. But there were several differences that lead to my criticism of his presentation:

1. He is a public face of science discussing science itself, not just a public person working in a scientific field.

2. He made a dramatic point about how the middle east was making fantastic progress during the west's dark ages, but then the fundamentalists took over and tamped down any further innovative thinking. He did not follow this point to its logical conclusion that anytime a human claims to speak for god or know more that anyone else about him it will frequently lead to very bad outcomes - to say the least.

3. He came down hard on Dawkins and would not acknowledge that the hard line approach has its place.

4. When asked if science and religion are compatible he took the 'separate magisteria' line and said that they are compatible except when religion makes empirically testable claims not supported by science.

My position is that every claim about the universe is either a) testable or b) meaningless. Yes inner emotional experiences have great impact and make people feel that "there is something more" going on in the universe, but these internal experiences never seem to lead to better conditions here on Earth. That is why I just dismiss them. If I ever have one of these mystical experiences I will have to integrate it's meaning into my worldview but the years keep racking up and so far - nothing.

That said, Partly Cloudy is not designed to make him beloved.

''I spent a couple months just on the religious part 'cause I know it will offend people greatly,'' he said. ''But I wasn't going to fake that one. I'm surrounded here by born-again Christians. They're good Christians, bless 'em. But I went through the singing in the choir, church and all that but . . . I decided, you know, talking snakes and other phantasmagoria didn't make any sense at all. . . . These people that talk about 'intelligent design.' I think we should fire the designer.''

He happily noted that one preacher's recent predictions of the Rapture had been revised from May to Oct. 21 — ''which means we'll be able to get in Woollybear XXXIX on Oct. 9!''

Dick will be on "The Sound Of Ideas" Tomorrow at 9:00am!

Here are some excerpts from his new book: "Six inches of partly cloudy"
Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 522
It sounds like his autobiography is chock full of interesting stuff!


Ray said:

"My position is that every claim about the universe is either a) testable or b) meaningless."

I concur!
A former member
Post #: 3
Beautiful message Mark. It's wonderful to know Mr. Goddard is one of us :) Most important he is such a giver for animals. Tat thrills me to pieces. I adore animals & do as much as I can. 4 of my 6 cats were fosters that didn't get adopted.
Willard B.
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 8
A very pleasant surprise. I agree with Ray-considering his folksy persona, a gutsy thing to do.
Melodye G.
user 14320208
Vermilion, OH
Post #: 2
Darn!! That means I'm will have to suffer through another year of all the tourists trying to park in my driveway.
Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 523
Re: Melodye- I've never been to the Woolybear Fest... woo hoo, free parking at Melodye's place! laughing

Our favorite weatherperson was on WCPN 90.3's "The Sound of Ideas" this morning... I haven't listened yet, but according to G & Josh Mr. Goddard doesn't hold back. He gets his digs in about religion, declares himself a secular humanist, etc...

Here is a link to listen/download/watch the video... the first 15 minutes or so is talk about "top stories" (for the most part, the Tressel fiasco) after which DG is interviewed.


A former member
Post #: 4
Ray your collection of info is great. I just started The God Delusion. Religions are made up of hate & violence backing an entity where there is NO proof. It's wonderful to have Mr. Goddard among us. Get a load: Thomas Jefferson was an atheist.
Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 525

I don't think TJ could be considered an atheist. A deist would probably be the proper tag to put on him- although judging by some of his later-in-life quotations, a case could be made that Jefferson was a borderline agnostic. Deism was the freethought of its time... in those days, it was pretty much unthinkable to profess atheism.

That being said, Jefferson is responsible for some quotations that would peel the paint right off of church walls! :) It can certainly be said that TJ was anti-theist to a degree.
Melodye G.
user 14320208
Vermilion, OH
Post #: 3
Everyone should come for the fish-fest instead. The Woollybear is too cold and there is no beer tent. Also you might miss Little John falling off a bar stool. Besides what if the rapture really happens in October, ha,ha.
Suzy W.
Rocky River, OH
Post #: 129
I haven't listened to Dick Goddard for years, but can not help but know who he is. The one time I saw him was in 1964 when Dad and I were downtown very very earl y on a Sat. morning. We and were waiting in a very long line to buy Beatles concert tickets!! He drove by and then stopped and stepped out of the car and waved to all of us!!

I am always so glad when someone like him is not afraid to share his FreeThinking ideas. I checked and the library doesn't have his book yet, and I do want to read it!

I enjoy reading your comments!
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