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David Shankbone/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Miss Wetzel's Art Class/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

The fine science of trolling Richard Dawkins

Here's how it's done.


Eve Peyser

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 7, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:50 am CDT

There’s a distinct group of older men some might casually refer to as “shitbabies.” I can’t, because I’m an unbiased journalist—but others happily would. These men are active Twitter users and purported intellectuals with, ahem, certain worldviews. 

One example of a shitbaby, if you’re the type to use the term, is Bill Maher. Another example is Erick Erickson. (Remember when he threw a tantrum and shot a newspaper? Classic!) Another of this ilk who is no longer alive is Christopher Hitchens, who once wrote an essay about why women aren’t funny. They’re everywhere.

Something many of these dudes have in common is a racist attitude toward Muslim people. They think it’s important to tweet about how all Muslims are terrorists. This is simply not true, and, moreover, extremely counterproductive. Racist tweets about Muslims can inspire literal violence against innocent people who have brown skin or who are open about practicing their religion.

The member of this cabal I’d like to discuss today is a man named Richard Dawkins, a 74-year-old white man who is famous for being an atheist. He was once married to a woman named Eve, and my name is Eve, and it makes me sad that I share a name with one of his ex-wives. For more information you can visit his Wikipedia page. That’s where I discovered much of this fascinating information.

One non-shitbaby thing Richard Dawkins did in his life was coin the term “meme.” I wouldn’t have a career in viral content if he didn’t do this, and for that I do have to thank him.

But a cool thing about the Internet is that we have infinite opportunities to troll Richard Dawkins when he reverts to shitbaby behavior. And in the last year there are have been some real winners. Let’s begin with some tweets that make it feel as if Dawkins is already trolling himself:

Sometimes he made no sense:

Sometimes he didn’t understand jokes:

Back in 2013, Dawkins got sad because he couldn’t bring honey onto an airplane. As the rest of the world understands, it’s standard practice to not allow liquids on airplanes because of “terrorism” or whatever. But Dawkins was not pleased.

And still, in 2015, Dawkins hadn’t quite come to terms with the honey situation—as trolls were still getting under his skin about it. 

Richie (or Dick, as we should probably call him) also got sad when Glenn Greenwald called out his Islamophobia in 2013. They’ve continued to feud because Twitter is a magical wonderland that allows middle-aged men to publicly argue without end or shame.

Speaking of anti-Muslim rhetoric, I have to tip my cap to @orientdistress, infamous for her love of Edward Snowden and brilliant takedowns of Islamophobic garbage, for beautifully owning Dawkins this year. After a young Muslim boy was accused of bringing a bomb to school—and it turned out to be a homemade clock—74-year-old Dawkins tweeted:

Thankfully, @muslamichoe clapped the fuck back:

And of course there’s @virgiltexas, who trolled Dawkins in the best possible way. This was a carefully planned attack. First, @humanpog instructed Dawkins to unblock @virgiltexas.

Virgil started off slow, letting ol’ Dick know that he had something to share with him.

Little Richie granted him permission.

And boom! Trolled!

Dawkins had clearly forgotten why he blocked this dude in the first place.

The sad thing is Dick Dawkins can’t even take a joke.

To sum up Dawkins’ 2015:

Now that it’s 2016, we’ll need to troll Dawkins harder than ever before. To reiterate, here is a list of things Dicky D does not like:

  • God
  • Religion in general
  • Islam
  • TSA regulations regarding honey

Here is a list of things Dicky D really, really likes:

  • Atheism
  • Darwin
  • “Science”
  • Islamophobia
  • Honey

So how do we best troll Dawkins in 2016?

  • Deliberately confuse him with Richard Dawson from Family Feud.
  • Photoshop a picture of him and the pope hanging out. 
  • Photoshop him into The Last Supper.
  • Send pots of honey and religious texts to the Richard Dawkins Foundation.
  • Point out that “atheist” isn’t capitalized like “Christian,” “Muslim,” or “Buddhist.”
  • Offer to pray for him.
  • Ask if he’s excited to see what heaven is like.
  • Make a case for Lamarckian evolution.
  • Tell him he’s a racist, keep telling him he’s a racist—maybe he’ll get it, just a little bit.

Honestly, though, just about anything you tweet with “@RichardDawkins” should piss him off. So have at it—and have fun! 

Update 9:45am CT, Jan. 7: Updated a Twitter username.

H/T New York Magazine | Photo via David Shankbone/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Miss Wetzel’s Art Class/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Jan 7, 2016, 12:00 pm CST