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Richard Dawkins Clashes With Giles Fraser On Radio 4 Over Atheist Poll (AUDIO)

02/14/2012 10:52 am 10:52:12 | Updated 14 February 2012

Richard Dawkins has been labelled an "embarrassment to atheism" after clashing with a priest in a debate on BBC Radio 4.

The author of the God Delusion could not recall the full title of Charles Darwin's 'The Origin Of Species' during a discussion with Giles Fraser, Former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, over a poll conducted for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (UK) which found that self-identified Christians didn't go to Church, or read the bible.

Dawkins said an "astonishing number couldn't identify the first book in the New Testament." But his claim that this indicated self-identified Christians were "not really Christian at all" was challenged by Fraser, who said the poll asked "silly little questions" to "trip" people up.

Giles Fraser: Richard, if I said to you what is the full title of 'The Origin Of Species', I'm sure you could tell me that.

Richard Dawkins: Yes I could

Giles Fraser: Go on then.

Richard Dawkins: On The Origin Of Species.. Uh. With, Oh God. On The Origin Of Species. There is a sub title with respect to the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.

Giles Fraser: You're the high pope of Darwinism… If you asked people who believed in evolution that question and you came back and said 2% got it right, it would be terribly easy for me to go 'they don't believe it after all.' It's just not fair to ask people these questions. They self-identify as Christians and I think you should respect that.

Fraser warned against "culture wars" in Britain which "ape the nastiness" of America.

The exchange prompted Dawkins' name to trend on twitter, with even self-professed atheists criticising the professor.

He was even described as an "embarrassment to atheism".

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