Richard Dawkins recently sat down with Bill Maher in the latest episode of the Club Random podcast. Whilst Maher was clearly keen to praise the scientific author, the two failed to find a middle ground on the COVID pandemic.
Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher discuss COVID
Things turned slightly awkward during the podcast discussion when Maher addressed a number of debates surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.
When discussing the utility of the COVID vaccines, Dawkins told Maher: “I’m surprised to hear you say the herd immunity thing didn’t work.”
Before Dawkins could even finish his sentence, Maher was quick to press the scientist, saying, “I never mentioned herd immunity”.
“I thought you said the idea for herd immunity was not important,” the author responded.
The two then squabbled over what Dawkins described were anecdotes used by Maher to push his claim that the current COVID vaccines only protect those who take the shot.
Mainstream sources suggest that vaccination can reduce the risk of COVID transmission, although this is highly doubted by many, including Maher.
The Club Random host was eager to defend himself, noting his anecdotes surrounding the vaccine were common occurrences. “I’m just getting to a point”, he told Dawkins.
Dawkins had previously told Maher during the discussion that he often takes issue with the HBO host’s medical scepticism.
It was clear throughout the interview that the scientific author was often left frustrated by being cut off. Dawkins was often seen glaring at the floor in moments when Maher chimed in with an alternate perspective on a number of topics.
A number of users were particularly taken aback by Bill Maher’s insistence on smoking pot and drinking just minutes into the episode.
“The clunkiest start to a Club Random that I’ve ever seen. Bill probably shouldn’t have been drinking and smoking so much for this particular guest,” one comment on YouTube read.
Twitter was far more critical of the discussion. One user wrote in response, “I just watched the first two minutes of Bill Maher’s podcast with Richard Dawkins. It is painfully cringe. I couldn’t continue.”
Oh cancel culture…
Later on in the discussion, Dawkins admitted to being cancelled in recent months, then resulting in losing out on the opportunity to embark on a book tour.
“I was being cancelled or something. American publishers were scared of the young people in their organisation who are all woke to a fault,” he told Maher.
Dawkins faced criticism last year for what many regarded as transphobic comments, claiming sex was “pretty damn binary”.
He later cleared up his comments via Twitter, distancing himself from Republican politicians in the United States who are far more radical in their beliefs of the transgender community.
Whilst both Bill Maher and Dawkins did admit to being rather close in recent years and even going on the occasional dinner, it sure seemed the general mood during the Club Random discussion was off. Maybe Dawkins should have accepted the tequila offer…