The American Humanist Association Board has voted to withdraw the 1996 Humanist of the Year Award it bestowed on the respected evolutionary biologist and internationally renowned atheist, skeptic, and humanist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins received the Award in 1996 from AHA in recognition of his work as a science communicator, something the group said at the time was an “important aspect of advancing the cause of humanism” and for “promoting reason and science worldwide.”
Now AHA says they took the action of withdrawing the Award over concerns about his recent call to “discuss” trans and black identities.
Dawkins is widely celebrated as one of the most important voices of reason in the world today and a public intellectual whose influential works on evolutionary biology, the public understanding of science, and atheism have had a significant worldwide impact. He has argued loudly and often that atheists should be proud, not regretful, insisting that atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind and that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by.
We completely align with Dawkins in rejecting knowledge “revealed” to humans by gods or in special books. Atheist Alliance International believes the decision by AHA to withdraw the Award is ill-conceived and inappropriate. We strongly support the equality and rights of minorities and believe the world should be a place where race, gender, and sexual orientation do not make a difference to one’s life chances. Accordingly, we believe the woke culture as represented by AHA’s actions is a serious backward misstep.
We support the concern that cancel culture and the woke mob are killing free speech. The term woke has gone from being a clarion call as a right-wing insult to being a cliched put-down.
Humanism reflects a perspective that affirms the notion of human freedom and progress. It views humanity as responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and espouses all people’s equal and inherent dignity. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant example of a committed humanist. The virtue-signaling of the woke mafia cannot deny his immense contributions to humanism, atheism, and science.
We strongly encourage AHA to reconsider their withdrawal of the award to Dr. Dawkins.