January 26, 2009

Who Would Send Sir David Attenborough Hate Mail? Christians, Of Course.

"They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance," Sir David said during an interview with the Radio Times about his latest documentary on Charles Darwin and natural selection.

This year marks two centuries since Darwin's birth and 150 years since the groundbreaking On the Origin of Species was published.

Telling the magazine that he was also asked why he did not give "credit" to the Lord, Sir David continued: "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."

He said: "It never really occurred to me to believe in God - and I had nothing to rebel against, my parents told me nothing whatsoever. But I do remember looking at my headmaster delivering a sermon, a classicist, extremely clever... and thinking, he can't really believe all that, can he? How incredible!"

Sir David also said it was "terrible, terrible" when creationism and evolution were taught in schools as equivalent, alternative perspectives. "It's like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five... Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066."

Speaking about the relationship between people and the rest of nature, Sir David said: "People say to me: 'What is a mosquito for? They're no good for anything!', The basic notion that the world is our oyster, that we have domination over all things, that they are here for us..." Asked where that view comes from, Sir David replied: "The Bible, of course. Genesis, chapter one."


  1. Sir David Attenborough is an absolute living legend.

  2. I met him at a book signing event we held last year - he's such a charming, affable and considerate gentleman. He satrted his signing session early (he hadn't eaten lunch, but the queue was round the block so he just got out a pen and got on with it) finished it late and had a kind word for every single person in line. Fantastic bloke.

    Even now I disparage any wildlife documentary that isn't accompanied by his melliflous tones. Sir David, for me, is natural history.

  3. sir David Attenborough is truly the greatest person ever like it or not