Richard Dawkins' dubious Twitter form underwent a further mutation on Sunday, the evolutionary biologist claiming Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old arrested last week after a teacher suspected a homemade clock was a bomb, was guilty of "fraud."
Mohamed was arrested and questioned by police officers at the MacArthur high school in Irvine last Monday. He was subsequently suspended for three days. The controversy gained national attention, including an invitation from President Obama to bring his clock to the White House.
Dawkins opened with these on Sunday morning:
If this is true, what was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so https://t.co/LtOFAAmVxK— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
What has this got to do with evolutionary biology or atheism? Why are you so annoyed about this kid?— Gut ohne Gott (@I_Love_Atheism) September 20, 2015
.@RichardDawkins Richard, you're missing the point a little here.— Bang the Bore (@bangthebore) September 20, 2015
@RichardDawkins the key words in all of this are 'kid' and 'handcuffs' throw in open carry in Texas too, if you want....— Jimmy the Carpenter (@diggerjimmy) September 20, 2015
@HarryStopes I don't know. Possibly wanted to be arrested? Police played into his hands? Anyway, now invited to White House, crowdfunded etc— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
@RichardDawkins he's an enthusiastic fourteen year and you, a grown man and public figure, are trashing him on the internet for "fraud"— Jon (@RowettBrew) September 20, 2015
@RichardDawkins for a famed scientist you are really fucking stupid— reptoid (@mrreptoid) September 20, 2015
@RichardDawkins remember when you were a scientist instead of a twitter crank...those were better days— Physically, I'll (@ScottyTonga) September 20, 2015
Yet Dawkins' ire remained fixed on Mohamed's claim he invented the device... and not the fact that a teenager was arrested for exploring rudimentary electronics.
If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax http://t.co/bBcaWoJpbd— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
Then a slight evolution in Dawkins' thinking:
OK, fraudulent claiming of an "invention" is not heinous. And he certainly should not have been arrested by the police.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
Then this climbdown:
Sorry if I go a bit over the top in my passion for truth. Not just over a boy's alleged "invention" but also media lies about J Corbyn.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
But Twitter was not having it:
Richard Dawkins now one of the consipracy theorists who think a kid planned to get arrested so he could be famous https://t.co/7lhST0K1kL— Physically, I'll (@ScottyTonga) September 20, 2015
Periodic reminder that Richard Dawkins is NOT a spokesperson for atheists or evo biology; he's the Westboro Baptist Church of science. #STFU— Gwen Pearson (@bug_gwen) September 20, 2015
That could well be true, in which case I apologise. I guess I'm a bit sensitive about being among the many fooled. https://t.co/Tkhg3rfM2L— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
If the authorities really thought it might be a bomb, why did they not evacuate the building? Casts doubt on their motive for arresting him.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
My mistake. He was arrested on (v implausible) suspicion of a bomb HOAX. Like people at airports arrested for making jokes about bombs.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
This post encapsulated the general bafflement:
@RichardDawkins The real scandal is that he was denied his RIGHT to call his parents when being interrogated. The police violated the law.— michaeldemoore (@michaeldemoore) September 20, 2015
Any finally, this retweet by Dawko.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
We await tomorrow's Twitter pantomime in which the author weighs in on the Kim Davis case by focusing on her husband's straw hat.
Hate And Bigotry Is Toxic For Everyone -- Not Just Muslims
"Hate and bigotry is toxic for all Americans, not just Muslims."Posted by The Huffington Post on Friday, 18 September 2015
Here are a few more of Richard's offbeat offerings: