Even the renowned atheist Richard Dawkins has inquiries regarding transgender thought.
In a recent episode of his podcast, “The Poetry of Reality,” the evolutionary biologist made a statement that he found the idea of more than two sexes to be “unusually strange” and a “peculiar misrepresentation of reality.”
During his discussion with journalist Helen Joyce, Dawkins asserted, “Sex is indeed binary. There’s no doubt about that. One is either male or female, and the distinction is unequivocal.”
The American Humanist Association (AHA) has rescinded the award for Humorist of the Year after Dawkins was honored, chastising the scholar and writer for “belittling marginalized communities” under “the pretense of scientific discussion.”
Dawkins, the author of well-known works like “The Selfish Gene” and “The God Delusion,” was celebrated by the AHA in 1996 for his “remarkable contributions” to making scientific ideas accessible to the general public. On Monday, the association revealed that they were revoking the award, citing a recent tweet from Dawkins where he drew a comparison between transgender individuals and Rachel Dolezal, the civil rights advocate who falsely claimed to be black for several years.
Dawkins wrote on Twitter: “In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white NAACP chapter president, was scorned for claiming to be Black. Some men decide to identify as women, and some women decide to identify as men. You will be denounced if you reject that they genuinely are what they identify as. Discuss.”
Responding to the backlash, Dawkins clarified: “I did not mean to deride trans people. I understand that my scholarly ‘Discuss’ question has been misinterpreted as such, and I regret that. I also did not aim to align myself in any manner with Republican bigots in the US who are currently taking advantage of this issue.”
In 2015, Dawkins expressed his view on the matter: “Is a trans woman a woman? It’s a matter of semantics. If judged by chromosomes, no. If by self-identification, yes. I refer to her as ‘she’ as a courtesy.”
In a formal declaration, the AHA board stated that over recent years, Dawkins had repeatedly commented: “that employ scientific language to belittle marginalized communities, a tactic that is fundamentally at odds with humanist principles.”
According to the board, the esteemed evolutionary biologist’s most recent remark “suggests that the identities of transgender individuals are deceitful, while concurrently casting Black identity as something that can be conveniently assumed.” They added that his “later attempts to clarify do not sufficiently demonstrate empathy or authenticity.”
“As a result, the AHA Board has determined that Richard Dawkins no longer merits recognition by the AHA and has chosen to revoke, with immediate effect, the 1996 Humanist of the Year award,” announced the organization.