Richard Dawkins has suffered a stroke. It was very quiet and undramatic as strokes often are. He was sitting down at his home in
Oxford last Friday when he suddenly found that his left arm
wouldn't move properly. He tried to stand up, but fell to the ground. He
managed to phone his wife in London and she alerted their neighbour who called an ambulance.
He was taken to my old hospital, the John Radcliffe, where he was given a scan
which revealed he had had a haemorrhagic stroke in the right basal ganglion,
the part of the brain that governs movement of the left side of the body.
Luckily the part of his brain that Dawkins values the most, the organs of higher
cognition, was unharmed. He was kept in the neuroscience ward over the weekend
and was then sent home. He is expected to make a full recovery. For the time being
though his manual dexterity is hampered. He has a lot of trouble with buttons
which he's used to fastening with his left hand. He's even joked about going to
live with the Amish people where buttons are banned for religious reasons. Unfortunately
he's had to cancel his upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. As always, controversy has followed Dawkins even to his
sick bed. The Revd Arun Arora, the Church of England's head of communications,
has been criticizing for Tweeting that Christians should pray for Richard
Dawkins, despite him being the world's most famous atheist. Some of Dawkins'
fellow atheists interpreted the call to prayer as sarcastic and gloating. The
church maintains that it was intended sincerely and I think it almost certainly
was, see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3446628/Church-England-accused-TROLLING-stroke-hit-atheist-author-Richard-Dawkins-ask-believers-pray-him.html.
Something similar happened when Christopher Hitchens first fell ill. Richard Dawkins
has recorded a short podcast in which he speculates what might have caused his
stroke. He has suffered from high blood pressure for a while, a known risk
factor in strokes. The doctors also asked him if he's experienced any stress
recently; and of course he has, as I reported myself a few days ago, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/richard-dawkins-banned.html.
He specifically mentions the "Tweetgate" incident. He felt very
distressed at being banned from appearing at NECSS. Interestingly the morning
of the day his stroke happened, Dawkins received a very gracious letter from
the NECSS management committee announcing that they'd changed their mind about
their decision to no-platform him. They apologized and reissued their invitation.
This delighted Dawkins, see: https://soundcloud.com/user-733970241.
Rebecca Watson so far has expressed no remorse for her treatment of Dawkins,
but released a short statement on her blog wishing him a recovery, see: http://skepchick.org/2016/02/richard-dawkins-suffers-stroke/.
I can only join her in hoping Prof. Dawkins gets well soon. All the best to his
wife and family too. "Social Justice Warriors" are an utterly
ruthless bunch. Seeing as they are a product of cultural Marxism in all its materialistic
amorality, that is to be expected. They felt no shame when they made Dr Ian
Taylor weep on live TV, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/sexist-comet-shirt.html,
nor when they banned Alison Tieman from a comic art convention, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/anti-feminist-women-banned.html.
I don't expect Rebecca Watson to undergo an overnight conversion after her
experience of internet bullying; but if she, or any other SJW, has a shred of
humanity left inside them, I hope that the plight of Richard Dawkins will start
them on the road to reconsideration. As for Dawkins himself; he remains as
atheistically positive as he ever was. He's not about to do a Jill Bolte
Taylor, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU.